Electric (Electronic) Paintball Guns – An Introduction
An Electric paintball gun or rather an electronic paintball gun is basically the same as a mechanical marker, with the only difference being that electric markers has a circuit board powered by batteries that is able to give the gun a variety of firing modes. Electric markers can also typically give you intelligence like how many shots you have taken, what air pressure you have left, what battery life you have left and so on, through a display or flashing lights.
That being said, electric paintball guns come in a wide variety of prices. From as little as $199, they can go up all the way to close to $2,000. With such a wide price range, it is quite obvious that some electric paintball guns are meant for intermediates who are trying to get a little more serious with their game, with the most expensive guns usually for the hard core professionals who play tournaments for a living, or for those who simply want high-performance guns to enjoy the game as much as they can.
At Paintball Gun Doc, we have as usual been very thorough when trying to bring you information on the best electric paintball guns out there. We have classified the guns into Pro and intermediate categories. Without further ado, let’s look at the top electric paintball guns in each one of these categories.
Best Pro Electric Paintball Gun – Dye M3+, Planet Eclipse Geo CS2 & HK Army Luxe X
Planet Eclipse Geo CS2 Pro
The CS2 Pro operates at an incredibly low 105 PSI. That’s low enough to work with even fragile paint, something you can’t really say of high end paintball markers that are rather picky. Helping the low pressure is the 3-stage bolt acceleration that is extremely reliable.
The CS2 will work just anywhere. Hot deserts. The Frozen Arctic. Anywhere. It will just work and keep working. The gun can take some throwing around too. All the critical core parts are mounted directly into the frame of the gun. This means that the batteries, solenoid and even the breech sensors are built into the frame, meaning less chances of failing from vibrations, hits and what not.
The marker comes with not one but two adjustable trigger shoes, allowing you to customize the feel of the trigger on this baby. There is a high level of adjustment on offer too. If you have rather weird preferences when it comes to the feel of a trigger, you will probably find exactly what you are looking for.
The grips are simply awesome. With a wraparound design and full rubber build, they feel solid in your hands, yet very maneuverable. Planet Eclipse, like always, have been a great company and provide an excellent and attractive looking hard case cover for this beautiful marker. Things like this is what makes us want to pick the CS2 Pro over the other two on this list. Also, remember that Planet Eclipse probably has the best network of technicians there is in all of the paintball industry in the USA. If you got a problem with your CS2 Pro or any Planet Eclipse Marker for that matter, there’s a high likelihood that a technician is hanging around to fix it quickly for you.
The CS2 Pro is the marker you want if you just want to win. World cup winning teams often sport the CS 2 in their most crucial matches. You can’t go wrong with this marker.
The Dye M3+ gives you the most consistent shot. If you rely on accuracy more than agility and speed, you will probably lean towards the Dye M3+. Shot after shot, the paint ball’s trajectory is almost similar to the previous one. Players who love consistency from their marker will simply love the M3+.
The recoil or rather the lack of recoil on this electric paintball gun is nothing short of insane. Blame it on the well-designed active recoil cancellation system built into the gun. Though the M3+ doesn’t have a 3 stage acceleration like the CS2 Pro, it features a 2 stage firing cycle that still allows it to shoot fairly fragile paint.
The ASA on the M3+ is brilliantly designed for convenient use. There are no buttons or knobs or levers. Press, slide and engage. It’s as easy as that. Servicing the Dye M3+ is a breeze. The FL-21 bolt system and other critical components that need frequent servicing are all very easily accessible.
The M3+ has some really cool features like cable free charging, wireless Air Sync and a board that can store multiple player profiles, to let you get to a setup very quickly. The really high contrast and high-visibility screens and an always working internal pressure sensor and also an option to control the power are all great features to have. Dye gives you these features, in a phenomenal gun that is the Dye M3+.
Players who love an ergonomic feeling gun will absolutely love the M3+. There’s something about the feel of this gun that is just unmatched by the other two guns on this list, or by any gun for that matter. Things like the joystick operation and the fact that you can assemble the entire gun with just 2 simple tools make the M3+ a great candidate for your choice of best high end electric paintball gun.
Like the CS2 Pro, the Dye M3+ also comes with a hard carrying case, complete with high quality protective foam to keep your precious gun from being banged around, while in storage and transit.
HK Army Luxe X
The HK Army Luxe X is an upgrade from HK Arm’s other very popular Pro paintball marker in the Luxe Ice. The Luxe X has everything the Ice does, just with more features. For starters, it features a X-Core Bolt System that gives you a much more smoother shooting experience than what you might have experienced with the Ice.
At the front-end, the Freak XL Barrel system does a phenomenal job at giving you great accuracy.
The marker is incredibly easy to take apart. Called the Pro-Lock Frame, the frame can be taken apart without the use of tools. But, HK Army have gone to great lengths to also ensure that there are no accidental removals, an issue with tool less frames on other paintball guns, by introducing a cool locking mechanism in the frame that completely avoids accidental openings. Think of it as a child-lock for paintball players.
This Luxe marker is most known for its butter-smooth trigger. There’s simply no matching the feel on this epic electric paintball marker. In fact, the trigger alone is the reason why many Pros choose the HK Army Luxe X over the much more proven models like the M3+ and CS2 Pro. Besides being brilliantly smooth, the trigger can be adjusted while in the frame, making on-the-go adjustment ridiculously easy. You need an Allen key but you will be adjusting the trigger easier on this paintball gun than the other two on this list. As if the trigger wasn’t brilliant enough, HK Army throws in some cool upgrade options as well, giving you triggers shaped like a woman’s leg, a scorpion or an ‘S’ type trigger. You can pick up one that best matches your ergonomic or optic appeal.
The Luxe X also ships with a hard carrying case although the case is the least attractive of the three on this list. But, it does the job pretty well. The focus should be on the paintball marker anyways. And the Luxe X is one fine Pro level marker.
So, there you have it. The top 3 picks when it comes to Pro electric paintball guns. They are well north of the $1,000 price tag and each have something special to offer. The CS2 is accurate and unmistakably reliable. The DYE M3+ is insanely easy to handle and offers a super-consistent shot. The Luxe X from HK Army has the best trigger in Paintball, hands down. The Dye M3+ is an incredible deal when it comes to value for money. The CS 2 and Luxe X have top tier pricing but then they have a loyal fan following who will pay those big bucks to get the features that they have come to love from these guns.
Choose a Pro electric paintball marker wisely and go make it rain at your next paintball game!
Best Intermediate Electric Paintball Gun
Empire Mini GS
The Empire Mini GS is a favorite intermediate tournament grade electric paintball marker that borrows everything that was good from the original Empire Mini. It’s light, it shoots fast and it offers very little recoil.
The shots are very consistent and it is also very economical. Empire have thrown in a pretty neat micro switch trigger that will give you the speed you need, while also giving you a good dose of responsiveness. It has all the firing modes you need for a tournament and then some.
If there’s any complaints about the Empire Mini GS, it would probably be that it ships without a manual. Empire continues to baffle its fans by not including manuals. This makes maintaining your gun a bit of a guessing game. There’s of course YouTube to learn but a manual would have been nice. Another potential drawback could be the size. The Mini GS, as the name suggests, is meant to be small, giving you agility and speed while using the marker. But, if you are sort of a big dude who likes to feel your weapon in your hands, this may leave you feeling a bit wimpy.
This is an electro pneumatic paintball gun that has been equipped with a slightly milled down 12′ autococker thread barrel.
The Empire Mini GS is a phenomenal improvement over the original Mini. All design flaws in the Mini have been addressed with the Mini GS. If you like a tournament marker that feels very compact in your hands, this is the electric paintball marker to get. It weights just a pound and 14 ounces. It’s been around for many years and will probably continue to be one of the hottest favorites when it comes to intermediate paintball markers.
Planet Eclipse Etha 2.0
The Etha 2 is a phenomenal gun for the $400 or so that you pay because it uses a brilliant Gamme Core drive train that is the same firing bolt that is used in the much pricier Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R, a gun that retails for almost $800!
Planet Eclipse have always been a very customer-oriented company and they ship the Etha 2 in a very stylish hard carrying case that gives you just that extra bit of satisfaction when you receive your gun through Amazon. The Etha 2 has all tournament firing modes, both capped and uncapped. The trigger is a smooth micro switch trigger that Planet Eclipse calls the leaf trigger. It comes with 10 debounce modes.
The Etha 2 is as robust as they come. You can throw this thing around as much as you want and the GRN composite body will hold up, always. Another thing to love about the Etha 2 is that it can be used with PAL enabled hoppers that can feed the gun at 15 balls per second, without the use of a battery in the hopper.
There’s a lock and load type battery bay for quick swap outs and the gun uses AT POPS for ASA. There’s other small things to like as well. The LED indicator is on both sides, allowing you to always see it whether you are right handed or left handed. It’s these little things that make the Planet Eclipse Etha 2 the popular gun that it is.
If you want a super reliable tournament grade paintball marker at a nice price point, the Etha 2 is it. Featuring a bolt system that is also featured in much higher priced Planet Eclipse markers, this gives you great pro performance, without maybe the electronic bells and whistles you will find in guns that cost upwards of $1,000.
We love the Etha 2 at Paintball Gun Doc and we have pitted it against two popular competitors in our Paintball Marker wars series of posts. You can read about Etha 2 vs GTEK 170R here and Etha 2 vs Empire Axe 2 here.
Dangerous Power G5
At $300 or so, the Dangerous Power G5 is the best budget paintball marker not just among these three paintball guns, but the best value paintball marker ever made! This Dangerous Power paintball marker quickly ticks off many of the items you expect in a budget tournament paintball marker. It has all tournament firing modes. It features a hose less air transfer system. The trigger is simply sensational and is butter smooth. While other triggers in intermediate paintball guns can also be smooth, none match up to the tension responsiveness and feel that the G5 can put out.
The gun’s ergonomics are simply brilliant. Unless you have small hands, you will just love the way your hand feels around the fore grip. Another very lovable feature with the G5 is that they have gone with a very low profile feed neck. We all know how you tournament players love a low feed neck and the G5 definitely takes the cake with its low profile feed neck mount, one that is durable as well.
G5 has had a few complaints where the gun has been a little sticky in the first few games. This is a problem but it is one that you can easily fix by shooting out the problem by using 3-4 pods on just seasoning out the gun.
Another little con that you could point out is that the G5 probably offers the most amount of recoil among the three guns we have discussed in this intermediate paintball gun post. But, it still isn’t the type of recoil that you will call a deal breaker.
To conclude, we will say that the Dangerous Power G5 is an easy purchase decision if you want a paintball marker for less than $300. In fact, it is a good candidate for a paintball marker less than $400 as well! There just so much value on offer here!
So, to conclude with intermediate electric paintball markers, we will say that it is again a matter of personal choice. All 3 of these guns are phenomenal in their own right. The G5 gives you the most value for your money. The Etha 2 is the most reliable of the guns here and the Empire Mini GS gives you the most consistent of shots.
Choose one of these tournament paintball markers that best suits your budget, playing style and your expectations out of the gun!
P.S. – We might do a post on beginner level electronic paintball guns as well, on guns like the Spyder Electra paintball gun, the Tippmann X7 Phenom electro sidewinder sniper paintball gun kit and on some other best starter electric paintball gun models. Do check back at Paintball Gun Doc! If you still haven’t decided on what type of paintball marker you want to buy, please read our homepage with an exhaustive post on the best paintball markers in 2020!