I have been playing RecRoom for many months now, in mostly the Paintball and Laser Tag rooms. Over that time, I've become pretty good, consistently scoring high on the scoreboard.
I have picked up and developed many tips and tricks when playing Paintball that I thought I would share here. A lot of new players have been coming in, so I hope this can help people get up to speed. First I will talk about each of the weapons, their strengths, weaknesses and situational uses. Then I will go into the best strategies for playing both the Capture The Flag and Team Battle modes.
I should mention the different types of RecRoom players: Teleport VR, Walking VR and Screen Mode. I'm a Walking VR player, so some of the strategies I talk about may need to be adapted for the other modes, but I think most of what I mention is pretty universal across the different play types.
Know Your Weapons
The Pistol is a very effective weapon. It has essentially no reload time and can fire a very long distance.
The only difficult thing with the pistol is getting used to its firing arc. When you get to medium range distances and beyond, you have to take that arc into account to get accurate shots.
With double pistols, you can make life very difficult for the enemy team by using the "spray and pray" technique of firing continuously from a safe distance using a very high arc to rain down paint balls in a wide area on the enemy side of the map. You can use this to flush out a sniper pretty easily. Be aware that this gives away your position, so be prepared for an incoming barrage soon after you do this.
The Shotgun is a great weapon, but be aware of its limitations. It shoots straight and with a spread that makes aiming very easy, but it has limited range and a slow rate of fire. It's not an instant hit weapon, so you still have to slightly lead your target to get a hit.
Given the slow firing rate, you have to make your shots count. If you try to spam it, you won't be nearly as effective as when you use it deliberately. When used by a skilled player, it can be absolutely devastating. When you see the enemy team approaching, you would do well to prioritize the guy with the shotgun above all else.
The shotgun is very powerful against the shield because of its spread. Only one pellet has to hit the enemy to count as a hit, so the spread of the shotgun is very likely to hit past the protection of the shield.
The Sniper Rifle makes it easy to hit targets on the far side of the map, having a scope and being nearly instant hit. The hardest part is keeping a steady hand while aiming. I use my left hand to actively support my right hand, which lets me keep my right hand relaxed, which improves my steadiness.
You have to be careful when sniping for a lot of reasons. It's usually fairly easy to sneak up on the snipers, since their position is so obvious. All too often snipers get lost in their scopes and don't see the enemy coming from their sides.
If you are going to try to be a sniper, you have to keep focused on the wider battlefield. Remember that you are exposed and stationary when sniping. A stationary target is very easy to hit with a barrage of pistol fire or a grenade even from far away. Make sure to keep moving and be aware of your surroundings.
Not many maps have the burst rifle, so you don't get to use it too often. The main power is the burst effect, holding the trigger fires several shots. But you have to get used to its recoil. Each shot fires higher than the previous, so the aim can be hard to get used to. I generally only let it fire two or three shots before I refire it to maintain accuracy.
To make the most of its burst, try to sweep horizontally while you fire. In practice, however, there is rarely an opportunity where the enemy is so tightly packed that this is really going to do much. But it is very good at providing suppression fire by covering an area in a near-constant barrage of paintballs.
The Grenade Launcher is a lot of fun, but not as powerful as it might seem. It has a slow reload time and very slow travel speed, which means you have to fire it with a large arc to get much distance. The blast radius is pretty small, so you still have to be quite accurate with your shots, which is hard to do given the time it takes to reach the target.
It's most effective in known choke points on the map. If you know an enemy is behind a corner or is about to come through a doorway, this is the perfect weapon. Don't forget that the blast radius hits through walls, which can be very useful in certain situations.
Grenades in Paintball are extremely useful. They don't kill your teammates and have an extremely large blast radius that goes through walls, making them very powerful for many situations. Strategic usage of grenades can completely turn the tide of battle in short order.
You have to practice throwing them so you can do it accurately. I find underhand tossing is most effective, since it gives you a lot of control. You can roll a grenade like a bowling ball in a very controlled way or send it half way across the map by tossing it very hard.
You can charge a grenade before you throw it by letting go of it and immediately grabbing it again. If there is a group of enemies nearby, you want to throw a charged grenade timed so that it lands and explodes at the same time. If you don't, the enemy will just run out of the blast zone before it detonates. If you charge it too long, it will explode before it reaches the enemies. You have to practice this timing quite a bit to get a feel for how long you have to charge a grenade based on the distance you need to throw it.
Grenades are great at taking out snipers and stopping the enemy flag carrier because you can throw them so far. In some maps, you can effectively block the enemy team from making progress primarily with grenades.
One of the great strategies is to deny the enemy team the use of their grenades by detonating them as often as possible. A grenade will immediately explode if it is hit with a paintball. So learn to hit grenades from a distance with your pistol. In fact, you can even hit a grenade that someone is holding in their hand. Likewise, if the enemy is attacking your base, shoot your own grenades to prevent the enemy from using them against you.
The Shield can be helpful, but it takes practice to use effectively. It has to cover as much as you body as possible, which can be tricky to do when you are trying to fire back. Most people hold it too low, exposing their head and top of their body. And it doesn't do anything when hit from the sides or from behind.
When holding the shield, it prevents your weapon from firing if they make contact. This can make you less accurate, because you have to hold your weapon farther out to the side then you normally would.
Overall, I only use the shield if I have a free hand and pass by one, but most of the time it is better to have two weapons.
Capture the Flag Strategy
In Capture the Flag, the first team to take the flag from the enemy base and return it to your flag three times is the winner. Therefore, the top priority is getting the enemy flag.
In most matches, the best defense is a good offense. If you keep rushing into the enemy base and get their flag, even if you don't get very far, it keeps the enemy team distracted, making them more likely to play defensively. They'll be much less likely to take your flag if they are busy trying to return their own. Not to mention, the more times you get ahold of their flag, the more chances you give yourself of getting a successful capture.
The best place to defend your base is from the middle of the map because it gives you the most options. If the enemy gets your flag, just watch which exit they are going for and you can quickly set up an intersecting path with the flag carrier. It's very hard to chase the flag carrier, but it's easy to let them run towards you.
If the score gets close and you need to run out the clock to win the match, then it's safe to play a hard defense. If your whole team just hangs out in the middle of the map and prevents the other team from getting a foothold, you can easily run out the clock.
Now let's talk about the major phases and team roles in any CTF match.
Attacking the Enemy Base
This is the most common phase of the game. Both flags are still in their bases. During this phase, the goal of your team is to push forward into the enemy base and take their flag.
As you are working your way across the map, don't necessarily kill every enemy team member you see. All this does is put them back in their base, and now they know exactly where you are coming from. Ideally, you want to sneak into their base while most of the enemy team is battling in the middle of the map. While they are busy fighting, you can grab the flag and run.
You Are The Flag Carrier
Most successful flag runs happen when the enemy team is all focused on one side of the map. When this happens, the flag carrier can use the opposite side of the map to return to their base in relative safety.
When you are entering the enemy base, be very aware of the enemy position out on the battlefield. If you exit their base and run into the fighting, you aren't going to get far with the flag. Make sure to exit as far away from the enemy as possible. If the enemy is scattered everywhere, your best bet may be to take the shortest path right down the middle of the map and hope for the best.
You want to be able to get as much distance with that flag as you can, because the whole enemy team will descend on you very quickly. When you are running with the flag, use very erratic movements. Make it as hard as possible to predict where you are going. While you are actually holding the flag, your movement speed is reduced, both in walking and teleporting. If you throw the flag ahead of you, you regain your fast movement and can get significantly farther away from the base with the flag. Just be careful not to throw it to a spot where the enemy team can grab it.
Pay careful attention to the direction of the paint balls flying past you. If they are coming directly from behind you, you want to zig-zag around to make it harder to hit you. If they are all coming in from the left, then you want to move further to right and vice versa. In any case, you want to place as much cover as possible between you and the direction of the incoming paint balls. Crouch as low as you can and use all the barrels, hay bales, fences and everything else to block that incoming fire.
If all goes well, you will return the flag to your base and score a point for your team. Just repeat the process two more times to win the game.
Your Team Has Taken The Enemy Flag
When a teammate takes the enemy flag, the whole team needs to move forward and engage the enemy team. This will distract and pull their fire away from the flag carrier. You want to remain close enough to the flag so that if the flag carrier gets hit, you can pick up the flag and continue the run before the enemy can get to it. On the other hand, you don't want to be so close that you are drawing fire towards the flag carrier.
A flag run can often turn into a relay race of each team member getting a little farther along than the last. This is a very successful strategy, but it requires the whole team to keep an eye on that flag and position themselves so they can get to it if need be.
The Enemy Has Taken Your Flag
When the Enemy takes your flag, no matter where you are on the map, immediately look up and watch where the flag is moving. Unless you have the enemy flag, or are very close to getting their flag, you should work to intercept the enemy flag carrier as fast as possible.
If the enemy flag carrier is using a walking mode, you should be sending constant pistol fire ahead of where they are moving. This has a high likelihood of hitting them, since they are moving in a very predictable direction. At the very least, it will make them slow down as they try to avoid the incoming fire. Whenever possible, throw as many grenades as you can in the path of the flag.
When they drop the flag, keep firing at the flag to prevent any enemy from being able to pick it up. At this point you should pretty much make a bee line for the flag and grab it to return it to your base.
The "Both Flags Have Been Taken" Standoff
Every once in a while you get into the position of both flags being held in the opposing bases. At this point, the flag carrier needs to get into a safe position and is responsible for the flag. The rest of the team needs to keep heavy pressure on the enemy and get the flag back. Don't try to protect the flag carrier in the base, your efforts are much more important attacking the enemy base.
You may even want to switch who will hold the flag at this point. Let one of the weaker players have the flag and send the strongest players to get your flag back.
Some people like to defend in the flag room itself. This may work for a little while, but the next time the enemy comes in, they are just going to use a grenade to clear the room. And while you are waiting for the enemy to come in, you aren't helping your team progress across the map into the enemy base, which should be your number one priority.
Too many snipers. At most a team should have one active sniper. I often see teams with two snipers and occasionally I've seen three snipers. This happens when people on your team are not actively watching the game, and are just focusing on what they're doing. Be aware of what the other members of your team are doing and be quick to adapt to the situation. If another guy starts sniping, just start pushing forward into the enemy base.
Team Battle Strategy
In Team Battle, the best strategy is to play far more defensively than you would in CTF. Every time you get hit, you are giving the enemy team a point, so you have to hit at least one enemy before you die just to keep the teams even. In order to win, you need to hit as many enemies as possible while dieing as little as possible.
Your team should hold a defensive line just outside of your base. This gives you plenty of access to the main battlefield and still have lots of cover and access to all the weapons.
Use grenades as much as possible to take out any groups of enemies. Using the double pistols, you can spray whole areas from a long distance. This is an easy way to rack up some points.
Snipers can be very effective, but remember to keep changing positions so as to not make yourself an easy target. Unlike CTF, it is fine to have two snipers, since there is no need to go into the enemy base in this mode. Just make sure that you are making enough kills to keep the score going up.
I hope you have found this helpful. I'm sure a lot of people knew most of this already, but hopefully you picked up some new pieces of information or at least another perspective on the topic. Of course, make sure to experiment to find what works best for you. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.