Both laser tag and paintball are competitive and enjoyable activities that can be done solo or in a group. Although on the surface both are similar, there are several important ways in which they are different.
Pain Vs Comfort
Probably the first difference you’ll notice, or rather feel, is that getting hit by a paintball hurts. It hurts a lot! Paintballs can leave you with welts and bruises. This means if you’re hit on the forehead, then you’ll have an embarrassing reminder for days. On the contrary, laser tag is painless. Other than the momentary annoyance of being taken out, being hit by laser is completely painless.
A Game for Some Vs a Game for All
Paintball is extremely popular with young to adult men between the ages of 15-30 years old. The reason is because of the already-mentioned pain factor. Not everyone enjoys having large painful welts for days. Older people especially don’t enjoy it as it takes longer for them to heal, and the potential for a more serious injury is bigger. Paintball is actually restricted for people above or below a certain age.
For this reason, laser tag has a wider fan base with ladies, kids and the elderly enjoying. There’s still a competitive element to the game, but you don’t have to worry about being injured while you play.
Aggression VS Fun
A big aspect of both games is to take out the opposing team. However, paintball players tend to be much more aggressive than their laser tag counterparts.
Part of the reason for this is the crowd it attracts. As already mentioned, paintball’s biggest fan are men between the ages of 15 to 30. Another reason is the pain element. Some players genuinely enjoy decimating their opposition and inflicting pain.
Laser tag, lacking ways to inflict pain on an opponent, is mostly just played for fun. There’s no way to dominate someone else, so players can only get satisfaction when they defeat someone.
Expensive Gear VS an Inexpensive Experience
To play paintball, you’ll need protective body gear, a mask, a paintball gun and of course, a whole lot of paintballs.
Even if you’re playing in an arena that does rentals, there will always be hardcore players with their overpowered gear. So, if you ever decide to compete (or even just not get slaughtered by the hardcore players), then you’ll need to start investing in gear as well.
None of this is a requirement if you want to play an exciting match of laser tag. You don’t need to invest in a protective gear and there are no pellets to purchase. Just rent a laser gun from the arena and that’s it.
We have our own bias, but the evidence seems clear that laser tag is the way to go if you and your friends just want to enjoy an evening blasting each other. However, which activity seems the most interesting will depend on your personality.