Magfed is taking the paintball community by storm. I’ve been seeing magfed grow by leaps and bounds. What is it about limiting your ability to shoot paint that draws so many players to this style play? And can you still play magfed even if there are no “magfed only games” in your area?
I love paintball, and since I’m not a young guy I tend to use more strategy when playing paintball. I pick my shots at times, and think about ways to ambush my opponents by predicting their movements. If you are the type of player who fills your hopper to the brim, and carries more than 6 pods of paint with you on the field and goes through them in many games while using a gun that shoots more than 15 balls per second… Magfed probably wouldn’t appeal to you! But, if you enjoy the tactical side of shooting sports, counting shots, thinking about magazine changes, and the joy of dropping a mag and inserting another while on the run… While taking out your opponent from behind with ONE shot! Then you might LOVE this style of play!
When paintball was young, players used mini tubes of paint for each shot, as the years passed, they changed to tiny hoppers, then hoppers got bigger and faster, and became powered with ways to shoot paint at alarming rates, while the guns became much faster at shooting paint as well. And you know what that caused? More paint was sold, and at games, the volume of paint per match went to very high levels, making the cost per game to go way up. Years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for me to typically shoot an entire case of paint every time I played! As time went on, I started thinking about how much paint I was wasting each time I played. And I started focusing on learning to buy better paint, so it went where I wanted it to go, and more importantly BROKE when it hit my opponent. I used to shoot 3 balls every time I fired at someone, and I started cutting that back to 2, then one!
This brings your shooting ability into question; can you hit your opponent with one shot? Or do you fire, watch where that paintball went, and then adjust and fire again to get your opponent out? Or just rain paint in their general direction until one finally hits them? If you have learned how your marker works and developed muscle memory to the point you can fire ONE shot and if it goes where it should it will tag your opponent, then you might love the challenge of playing Magfed vs hopper paintball!
I’ve played quite a few games now magfed vs traditional hopper players. And it is a VERY different game, as I have to pay attention to my shots. The more you play, the more you get used to “knowing” when you are out of paint. Or learning to get rid of those last few shots, so you can change magazines before rushing into your next big push forward!
What do you need to play Magfed?
I started with a Tippmann Tipx, it was a low cost way to get into magfed paintball, and I could use it as my backup marker/sidearm if I broke paint in my barrel or ran out of air while playing with my Tippmann A-5. I had 4 of the 7 round Tru-Feeds, and carried it on my hip in the Tippmann Holster. If I snuck up on someone I would use it instead of my A-5 as I wanted to learn to shoot with my left hand. In this video you can see me take out an opponent with my Tipx as my sidearm. This was in a regular rec ball game, so players were primarily using hoppers only. I only had a few magazines with me, so I used my hopper to reload my magazines during the game!
As I got used to changing mags, and counting my shots, while using my left hand for my magfed gun, I decided that I was ready to play some full on magfed paintball vs my local high volume players!
So I got the new Tippmann 98 magfed adapter for one of my Tippmann 98’s (only $50!). Since I was playing with guys that used hoppers and carried more paint in their hopper than I had in all my magazines combined, I decided to get a LOT of magazines. 12 of the new 13 round TruFeeds ($40 for 2 of them), and I already had a new Zetamag. Putting my magfed load out at 218 paintballs max per game (12 of the 13 round TruFeeds, 6 of the 7 round TruFeeds and a 20 round Zetamag (10 rounds on each side). Since I was using my Tipx as my secondary, and my 98 as my primary, I could use any of the magazines in either gun! Which is one of the benefits of using Tippmann markers, as ALL of their magfed markers (TCR, Tipx or 98 custom variations) can use any combination of these magazines.
Next you have to consider how you are going to carry that many magazines? Each marker will have one loaded, but I still have 17 more magazines to deal with! I purchased a tactical vest (you will need one for magfed) with magazine holders for the front, and a large dump pouch that I put on my left side. I put the magazines in with the grip facing up when they are full, and when I empty them, I put them back in the pouch with the paint side up, so I can see it is empty. That way you can easily see how many you have left when playing! Here is a game where I am using my Tipx for “easy” shots, and my hopper fed A-5 for most of my playing.
The realism of playing with magazines is quite satisfying especially if you have a lot of real steel experience in your life. As the satisfying “Thunk” of slamming the new magazine into your marker, and shooting off an entire mag and then kicking it out and slamming in the next magazine, is something that can’t be described. If you love tactical shooting, you will understand the appeal!
I use my Tipx with 12 gram co2 cartridges primarily, so I have to consider changing those every 30 shots as well! (I get around 30 shots per 12 gram, if I shoot slowly letting the gas expand between each shot, shooting fast will reduce the number of shots you get out of a 12 gram). But, I also have a remote line adapter, and since I typically use Co2 on my back, I can “charge” the Tipx if needed during a game. (Plugging in the remote line for a second will give you about 6 more shots out of an “empty” 12 gram, as it pushes enough Co2 into the system to get you out of a jam!).
Here is a full game, where I brought “most” of my magazines and ended up using ALL of them… I have a bad habit of thinking I won’t use them all. Lol!
And here is a game where I played some speedball with my Tipx and 98 Magfed! It was a ton of fun, and the games are so much faster paced than typical rec ball paintball.
One of the biggest draws to magfed is the lower cost per day of play. The cost of magazines needs to be factored in, and the marker you decide to use, but if you typically shoot 1,500 paintballs for a typical day of play, you can expect to only shoot 400-500 all day playing magfed. So you have cut about 2/3 of your paint cost from your typical day of play! Which if you are in Canada… That is a HUGE cost! (Here in the Midwest we are spoiled with $30-$40 cases of paint, verses over $100 in Canada).
Magfed isn’t for everyone, and brand new players who are interested in magfed, should buy a marker with both magazine capability AND hopper capability (like the new Tippmann TCR) as that way they can play hopper ball if they are being outgunned or they can switch to Magfed if they want to try it. But, if you are the type of player that enjoys a challenge on the field, you might really enjoy the challenge that magfed brings to a recreational game of paintball.