If you're a first-time player or even just a beginner, you may be wanting to know more about paintball gear and how it can help you as you play. There are six main gear parts that are essential for safe, fun play that we'll break down below. Pads/Jersey Paintball is an extensively physical sport. Often, players will slide, dive, crawl, and even "fall" into position. Knee, elbow, and chest pads will take the brunt of these actions and keep you safe and playing on for the entire day. Custom or special jerseys will have some pads built in, like those you'll see professional players wearing. Group jerseys help distinguish each side as well as hits, which means you'll need to wipe off after each game. PB Marker Standard rental guns typically have fewer settings, accessories, and shoot at a slower rate. Competitive player's markers fire at a specific rate, as per tournament rules, and can have digital screens and other high-end perks. Whatever marker/gun you have, it is important to get to know it well. Paintballs Paintballs are made of gelatin and are water soluable, though some cloths like microfiber are better at removing their sticky residue. The paint is non-toxic and safe if it happens to get in your eyes or mouth. That being said, paintball cases can be expensive and when playing the paint tends to get everywhere. Be prepared. Shoes Cleats and other high-grip shoes are recommended as paintball fields can become slick from paint and weather. Water or oil resistant shoes are best for easy, quick, cleanup but are not necessary. Loader Typical loaders hold about 200 paintballs and are roughly the same size. Cleaning them is important as they can get clogged easily. Loaders aren't the priciest equipment, but the higher end ones can set you back more than just a few bucks. Airtank Possibly the most important piece of gear, besides the marker itself, is the air tank. Air tanks hold either compressed air or CO2 and are tested and certified to be safe. A special seal ensures that any leaks or malfunctions do not cause explosions, so no worries there! They do need to be refilled to play, and paintball fields have the equipment for this. Air tanks come in a range of sizes for different players, playing styles, and competitions. Most competitive tanks will be 4500 psi if that is the sort of thing you're looking for. Now that you know a little more about the gear associated with paintball ask around to see what players prefer what, what kind of styles are better with certain kinds of gear and the like. It's best to know what you're looking for regarding recreation or competitive play first, and then you can better decide which gear will work. So go out there and have some fun playing shootie balls!