Many of the ideas in this thread were taken from NYLightning77's thread on PbN, but I've added many of my own thoughts.
Here are some tips for playing XBall. the #1 thing you need to understand about XBall is that it's VERY FAST!! You need to have an eye trained for paintball and be able to see/hear paint/shots and know where they are coming from. this is something that is developed through practice. Next time you're playing, pay attention to where paint is coming from, it's a great indicator of where your opponents are, and it's an essential skill for edging and battling with an opponent off the break.
ALWAYS keep your head up and know what's going on so you have a chance to avoid getting hit, instead of getting blasted with your head down!
Running and Gunning
This is a skill that takes a lot of time to learn, but it is something every great player can do. This is what seperates the great from the good. When playing XBall, your gun should be up at all times unless you are making a huge run off the break. XBall is centered so much around fast games and movement that having your gun down for a few seconds, even while pulling a pod, can cause an opposing player to make a move without you shooting him. Keep it up, keep it rolling, and reload fast with it up.
Playing the X
The X is a huge advantage when running to a center bunker. It cuts down on tons of lanes in the center of the field. If you are moving to any bunkers in front of the X, the only way for you to be shot is by a player making a move to a 40 bunker with their gun up, players making a move up the tape (possibly), or possibly players in corner bunkers. You need to be able to run at full speed up to the bunker, behind the cover of the x, while at the same time putting a stream on either a corner runner, or a left/right 40 or 50 runner. Again, KEEP YOUR GUN UP! You never know when someone's going to make a move and have a line on you.
If you want to play the X, you need to be able to shoot very accurately while running, and you also need to be able to hit the dirt fast. To make the X, you want to run up to the left or right side of the X while shooting at a corner runner on that side becuase they will have the best angle on you. The X should block out most other shots at you. If you shoot the corner runner off the break (which you should be able to in most cases), that will make a move to the X much easier. Then focus on the 40 bunkers. Remember, it is next to IMPOSSIBLE to snap shoot at the X because so many players have angles on you. When you are in that bunker you need to post on an opposing player, make yourself as SMALL as possible, and be ready to blow their head off at the first sign of movement, otherwise, you are a sitting duck. The X needs to be played VERY aggressively, so you NEED to be confident in your shooting and moving abilities. Once you have effectively shot (or your teammates have shot) the side of the field, you have the chance to essentially run through on the remaining players, most of the time they wont know whats happening until you shoot them, because more often than not, if you play the X well, the opposing team will not know you are there until it is too late. That is why the X is such a key bunker, because it opens up the field if your teammates do their job. Two things to remember while playing the X:
1. Make sure you run there low and under sufficient cover from the X so that an opposing player cant edge out wide (we'll discuss that in a minute) and blow your head off.
2. Remember to keep your butt/legs/back clear of the center of the X. more often than not, that will mean the majority of your body will be xposed to the players on the side of the field you are playing. That's ok. if you are aggressive and accurate with your posting you will shot your opponents before they have the chance to take advantage of it. It's always better to leave yourself exposed to the side of the field that you have a chance to shoot, rather than the side that you are blind to , who can easily shoot you in the foot/butt from the cover of their corner bunker. It takes time and practice to play the X effectively, but in the end it can be very worth it for your team.
The MOST important skill in Xball is edging. remember, that in Xball you have a 15 foot bunker in the middle of the field, which means that you can't see the players in the opposing starting box, and they can't see you. So one would think that a whole team could take a knee off the break and shoot all the other players out from behind the safety of the X, but that's not true.n Why? Because Xball players know how to edge. Edging (very simply) is shooting a stream of paint at the keyers from the opposing team (shooting the shooters), to put pressure on them or even eliminate them so that your corner/tape runners can effectively make their bunkers. So how do you shoot players you can't see? Xball players realized, that if you shoot a stream of paint over the bottom outer edge of the X, your paintballs will be landing in the vicinity of the other teams starting box. So even though you cannot see your opponents, they will be able to shoot you, and you will be able to shoot them This eliminates the possibility of the whole team taking a knee behind the X in the starting box and picking off the runners one by one. This also creates a very unique situation, because each team can be shooting other players without seeing them, and can be shot by layers they can't see. Every game you should always have at least 2 people edging. It increases the chances of your teammates making crucial bunkers with as little heat as possible from other players that could be leaning them out. Now remember, many times you will find yourself edging against someone who is edging right back at you, so you need to practice adjusting your stream of paint to effectively put pressure on your opponent so they either give up and go for their primary, or are forced into a more convinient, but less effective bunker. That's where seeing where paint is coming from comes into play. In that kind of situation it's kind of like a chicken fight. You can either give up and run to your bunker (under or around their stream of paint) and pray they dont hit you, or go into a convinient bunker and wait for less heat to move. Obviously this is a very hard technique to master, and should be decided game by game. That's why Xball is so hard to master, because you have to have a feel for where everyone is on the field, including your teammates.
The most important skill to have as an Xball player is the ability to play EVERY position and EVERY bunker, and be able to play them well. There is not back/mid/front in Xballl, there is only primary and secondary bunkers, after that, it's pretty much a free for all. If you're not moving, you're waiting to lose. You need to play every bunker and position, so get out there and practice! if 6'4" Alex Lundqvist can play the snake, so can you.
Another thing to mention is that if you think you're playing tight in Xball, you're not. Play tighter! If you're not playing tight, someone's going to make a move and blow your head off. Get tight, get right up on the bunker, push it with your barrel, and kill some people.
Originally posted by something nasty
Paintball is a game of making as few mistakes as possible, and capitalizing on as many of the opposing players' mistakes as possible. Basically, that means shooting your opponent everytime he screws up and gives you too large of a target, and not getting shot in the process. If you can stay alive and keep your gun up, even if you aren't shooting many people, you are much more valuable than someone that gets a few lucky shots in but still gets blasted in the gogs every game.
In my opinion, that is the most important skill in paintball. Everytime you get shot, ask your self why and how it happened, and don't let it happen again.
In XBall, there are no gun fights. If someone is shooting at you, snap at him, get him in his bunker by shooting a rope at him, and move. Then blow him away before he realizes that you moved. XBall is all about movement. If you realize you should move, you probably should have moved earlier. Get a player in his bunker with a big rope of paint, wrap, run with your gun up, and then hit the dirt if you need to. Remember, you have to be able to watch the paint. If you're making a move and you see someone's shooting at you, hit the dirt! If you're trying to move to the snake or the doritos on the tape, and someones laning, dive under it! If you can't, make a nice little juke move and go to an open bunker, even if it's less effective. You have to be able to improvise.
That's all I've got for today boys!
Keep your gun up, and maybe you'll be as good as Mr. Gator Glaze someday!
BTW - Check out my Diving 101 and Sliding 101 threads as well!