This is a tough question and one which we’re pretty sure there isn’t a definitive answer for – or at least not any answer that will be accurate enough in six months time when the latest crop of markers are released. What makes a good marker is wholly subjective, as some people prefer fully-automatics, other prefer short, stocky models, some folks like super-fast triggers and others will opt for long barrelled markers which can be used for sniping. So, trying to take all of these things into account (and many, many more variables) we’re going to tackle this age old question.
We could also include a caveat of, say, under £250 to this line-up, as realistically that’s what most players are looking for in a marker – good value. But for the sake of accuracy, we’ll try and cover a healthy prince range of models, hopefully with something for everyone!
After trawling through pages and pages of reviews, forum debates and YouTube videos, we thought is best to give each marker its place based mainly on actual user reviews (as there’s no way even we have tried all of these models). With that in mind, let’s go!
1. Planet Eclipse Etek 3 AM – £485
Here’s what one reviewer on PBreview.com thought of the Eclipse:
“The Etek has always stood for reliability, performance and value for money. It has always carried the same core values as every other Eclipse marker of exceptional quality, robust and reliable design, simple maintenance and ease of use. The Etek3 is no different. By combining many features and parts found and used within the Ego range, but in a pared-down design, it allows the Etek3 to perform at similar levels, but at a price-point that makes it obtainable by the more cost-conscious player. A true Marker for the Masses.”
2. Azodin Zenith – £100
3. Tippmann Pro-Lite – £200
4. Vanguard Creed – £699
A popular one on the forums, someone on PBreview.com really love this marker!
“Right were to start – when you first open the box its clear how much effort has gone into this marker. Everything you could need for the marker is included. 3 barrel bores barrel sock, instructional DVD charger with all the possible plug you could ever need, usb wire an amazing allen key set, stickers, mobile charger unit
the marker really come into its own once u have it in hand. the lightest marker I have ever held even light than the EGO 09. I took it straight of the box aired it up and away it -went. getting amazing consistency over crono from the first shot only getting +/- 8, shoots amazing lines even though it kicks a little more than other markers of this price range. shoots accurate and consistent. the best I have ever shot. so tight small profile and looks great”
5.Dangerous Power – Fusion FX – £500
Probably the coolest name out of all of them, but what makes this marker so special? Over on PBnation.com, someone added their tuppence worth to the debate:
“This is a amazing marker, especially for the price, every part about it is amazing, I really wouldn’t change a thing, it shoots ropes and feels amazing in the hands.”
6. Azodin Kaos Pump (KP) – £160
This is how the manufacturer describes this beast of a paintball marker! And, c’mon, pumps are so cool too.
“KAOS PUMP (KP) brings all the innovations you come to expect from the AZODIN team to the pump market. Built on the KAOS chassis, the KP provides closed-bolt performance in an entry-level package.
The optimized valve and main springs of the KP give you the efficiency you need when you are out at the field. The pump action is smooth out of the box so you do not have to worry about breaking in the pump action. The KP features the innovative TRIAD Ball Retention System that prevents roll-out even when you are using the smallest of paintball.
With Cocker-threaded barrel, Ion-threaded feedneck and bottom-line mounting for both straight screws and Dovetail you can customize your KP to your own specifications.”
7. Kingman Spyder Electra – £130
A classic throughout the paintball industry, here’s a review from pbreview.com to whet your appetite:
“I had been shooting the Pilot ACS and wanted to upgrade but didn’t want to spend a fortune so I bought the Electra. WOW! I was blown away. For 200 bucks this marker rocks. I love the overall feel of it. Its sleek and sexy. I like the shooting modes and I like that it has eyes. I have shot some high dollar markers and I feel this gun can hold its own against them. The barrel isn’t the best. Accuracy is so so. I put a Linear barrel on it and now I can drive tacks. I wish the feedneck had a cam lock instead of having to use an allen wrench to tighten it, but not a big deal. Another feature I like is that it operates on air and CO2.”
8.BT-4 Assault – £220
No list is complete without at least one assault rifle marker!!
9. Inspire Nano – £450
Another classic here, and a marker that was full of innovations when it first hit the market. A true turning point in paintball technology. One lucky owner on paintballgunreview.com had this to say about his Nano:
“The Inspire Nano has a sleek design with a lightweight 3D-milled body that weights less than 800 grams. It has a standard 45 grip frame, magnetic on/off and clamping feed. It’s also very easy to maintain since the entire operating system uses only 2 moving parts and six o-rings. Bolt and assembly is just as simple as there is only one screw to remove. The Inspire Nano is also the first marker with stock Carbon Fiver barrel and comes in 12″, 14″ and 16″ configurations.”
10. Tippmann 98 Custom – £95
Our favourite by a long shot: reliable, accurate and almost indestructible. The 98 is a modern classic for several good reasons. This review from Amazon.com pretty much sums it up!
“After going paintballing for the first time and renting their crappy guns I decided to get my own. This is the first gun I’ve ever had and I couldn’t be happier. This gun is reliable and easy to maintain. I bought a double trigger and installed it with ease. Everything came as said and it was all packaged very securely and nice. I would definitely recommend this gun to anyone who needs an affordable gun. I look forward to buying a cyclone feeder, a flatline barrel, and whatever else i can afford to upgrade this gun.”