If you look at Paintball and Airsoft from the outside, the two games would appear to be very similar. However, you should take note that these two are vastly different. Therefore, many people are left wondering what hurts more paintball or airsoft. It is the former that hurts more because a paintball is significantly bigger and can lead to swelling. The same happens in the case of Airsoft, but to a lesser extent.
It should be noted that both games have the potential of inflicting physical harm, but Airsoft tends to be softer as opposed to Paintball. The size of the ammunition used in the two games is the most distinguishing feature. They can be found in different weights and sizes. It should be noted that size determines how much pain you will suffer. The gun used in Airsoft weights about 0.20 grams, while those in Paintball weigh about 3 grams.
As far as energy is concerned, the Airsoft BB releases about 0.84 joules of energy, while 12.5 joules of energy are released by a Paintball gun. This huge difference in kinetic energy shows that paintballs carry about 10 times more energy than Airsoft BBs. Therefore, even though both boast a frame rate of about 300 to 400 frames per second (fps), paintball is going to hurt more than airsoft. The differences in surface area, weight and size makes paintball more painful.
Another important thing to bear in mind when you want to know what hurts more paintball or airsoft is the distance. The pain you feel will depend significantly on the distance between the target and the player. Shooting from a shorter distance is definitely going to hurt more because there will be significant impact, while the longer the distance, the lesser the impact, so distance plays a key role in how much it hurts.