How to Win at Attack/Defend Game Modes in Paintball and Airsoft

tips for attack/defend paintball game

Attack and Defend game modes are, in my opinion, some of the most fun you can have in paintball and airsoft. They require tactics, teamwork, and lots of practice to master, but once you start to get good at them, you become better at other game types as well. Plus, being able to set up ambushes and gain advantages over the enemy is a luxury that different game modes can ill afford. In my years of playing paintball and airsoft, I’ve gotten good at these game modes, but I had to learn a lot to get where I am now. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up during my playtime.

Tips and Strategies for an Attack and Defend Game

Ambushes Win Matches

As the defending team, you are probably outnumbered, but also get to decide when and where you pick your fights. Taking that advantage to the extreme is, I’ve found, the key to victory in any attack/defend game mode. Your first volley of shots should always claim multiple targets if your ambush is set correctly and, once the enemy knows where you are, you should still be able to win the fight against them.

Ambushes are easier to set up in woodsball events and often become the most common way that players engage one another in those environments. With so many opportunities to blend into the environment and hide from your opponents, it can be hard for an attacking team to prepare for what you have in store. Some of my most well-remembered ambushes involved enemies walking right past me to their objective, only for me to hit them all in the back thanks to my patience and positioning. Hide behind trees and rocks, or get some solid camouflage to blend right into the forest plants.

Even arena-style combat can still leave room for ambushes. At one airsoft field I used to frequent, there were a couple of rooms where you could hide behind the doorway and wait for enemies to advance past. If they failed to check those corners, I could wipe the whole team in one go. Finding those advantages and using them is the key to succeeding even when you’re at a numerical disadvantage.

Know the Field

I’ve found that the better I know a field, the more successful I am in any attack/defend game played on it. Familiarity allows you to learn hiding spots, avenues of attack, and lines of fire that may escape you the first few times you run through the area. Finding a location you enjoy and coming back often for repeat events is a good way to boost your confidence and work on other elements of play such as aim and movement.

Don’t Run Unless You Have To

In most paintball and airsoft game modes, faster movement allows you to evade enemy fire and gain the upper hand against unsuspecting opponents. Attack and defend game modes, however, are often best played at a slower pace. Taking things slowly allows you to react to sudden enemy fire and progress safely on the target. Plus, the other side might see or hear you running from far away and be able to coordinate their movements to adapt to yours. Most of the time, you can go at or above walking pace and still be moving fast enough, but coordination with your team is the key to successfully controlling your speed.

Move from Cover to Cover

As an attacker, you need to make use of cover if you want to stand a chance against the well-emplaced defending team. Making use of cover even when not under fire can stop you from being an easy target for an experienced player. Remember how I said that a good ambush takes out multiple enemies in the very first volley of shots? If you stay behind cover even when nobody is engaging you yet, you can stop that from happening. Make sure you keep moving from one cover spot to the next – attackers have to move and advance on their targets, after all.

Use Suppressing Fire

As time goes on, I’ve noticed myself expending more and more ammo when playing attack/defend game modes. I attribute that to my increased use of suppressive fire. By shooting around your enemies’ cover, you stop them from moving freely and grant your teammates the opportunity to maneuver and take precision shots on enemies exposed from their positions. Use of suppressing fire can make or break a round whether you’re on offense or defense, so long as your team knows where your shots are going.


Attack and defend games can be among the hardest to succeed at when you’re a newer player, so I recommend learning your equipment through other game types before trying to put these tips into practice. However, when you’re ready to make the jump to more tactically-focused game modes like bomb defusal or search-and-destroy, keep these tips in mind for the best experience possible.


Hi, my name is Jeffrey Alan. I've been playing paintball and airsoft for years, having started out small and slowly making my way into bigger and better events while learning as much as I can about the sport.  Read More

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