Ramping In Paintball

Paintball is an exciting adrenaline-filled sport that continues to grow in popularity. One of the key aspects of tournament paintball is the use of electronic markers that can shoot at very high rates of fire. This is where ramping comes into play. Ramping allows a marker to automatically increase its rate of fire under certain conditions. There are different ramping modes with specific rules to promote balanced and fair tournament play.

What is Ramping?

Ramping refers to the ability of an electronic paintball marker to automatically increase its rate of fire from a semi-automatic firing mode to a ramped firing mode. This allows a higher rate of fire to be unleashed when needed, giving competitive players an edge.

The trigger needs to be pulled multiple times initially for the ramping to be activated. Once triggered, the marker’s software takes over and ‘ramps up’ the rate of fire. The firing rate continues to increase until a maximum predetermined rate, usually capped at 15 balls per second, is reached.

Why Use Ramping?

Ramping is used to provide a tactical edge and increase a player’s ability to eliminate opponents without excessive trigger pulling. Here are some key benefits:

  • Allows a higher rate of fire to be unleashed on demand
  • Reduces fatigue from manually pulling the trigger repeatedly
  • Improves accuracy with less trigger movement
  • Quicker reaction time to engage targets
  • Critical for tournaments with professional-level players
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However, unrestrained ramping can also lead to excessive and unrealistic rates of fire. This is why modes with specific ramping rules are used.

Ramping Modes Explained

There are 3 main ramping modes used in paintball tournaments today:

1. NXL/PSP Ramping

This is the standard ramping mode for tournaments organized by the National Xball League (NXL) and Professional Paintball Players League (PSP).

  • Firing mode: 3-round burst then full-auto ramping
  • Ramp activation: Pull trigger 6 times
  • Ramping rate: Up to 15 balls per second

This mode provides a balanced blend of semi-automatic and ramped firing. The 3-round burst prevents strings of inaccurate fire when initially ramping up.

2. Millennium Ramping

This ramping mode is used in tournaments sanctioned by the Millennium Paintball Series.

  • Firing mode: Semi-automatic only initially, then full-auto ramping
  • Ramp activation: Pull trigger 8 times within 1 second
  • Ramping rate: Up to 15 balls per second

The 8 trigger pull activation requirement makes ramping more difficult. This places emphasis on accuracy and strategy versus all-out fast shooting.

3. PSP Burst

This variant is sometimes used in PSP tournaments:

  • Firing mode: 5-round burst then full-auto ramping
  • Ramp activation: Pull trigger 6 times
  • Ramping rate: Up to 15 balls per second

The 5-round burst provides enhanced accuracy downfield compared to the 3-round burst. However, it is more paint intensive.

Ramping Settings on Popular Tournament Markers

Here are the ramping modes available on some of the top tournament paintball markers:

MarkerRamping Modes
Dye M3+NXL, PSP, Millennium
Planet Eclipse CS2NXL, PSP, Millennium, Custom
DLX Luxe XNXL, PSP, Millennium, Custom
Proto Rail M5NXL, PSP

Ramping Rules and Etiquette

While ramping provides a tactical edge, some etiquette and rules should be followed to keep play fun and fair:

  • Only ramp when facing equal opponents, not new recreational players
  • Don’t overshoot inflated ramping rates in close quarters
  • Allow opponents time to walk off the field if hit
  • Follow all league rules and ramping mode protocols
  • Be mindful of rental players who can’t ramp back
  • Don’t ramp just to show off
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Good sportsmanship and fairness should come first when utilizing this technology. Ramping skillfully at the right times will provide the competitive edge needed to dominate tournaments!

FAQ About Ramping in Paintball

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about ramping:

What is the difference between ramping and full-auto?

With full-auto, holding down the trigger unleashes maximum rate of fire immediately. Ramping starts at a slower semi-auto rate and requires multiple trigger pulls to activate the ramp to high rate of fire.

What is the maximum legal ramping rate?

15 balls per second is the standard maximum ramping rate allowed in tournaments. Some leagues may set other limits though.

Is ramping allowed in woodsball or scenario games?

Usually not, as it provides an unfair advantage in those formats emphasizing stealth and lower rates of fire. Ramping is primarily for speedball tournaments.

Can ramping be turned off on tournament markers?

Yes, markers with ramping can be set to semi-auto only modes if ramping is not allowed.

Do you need an electronic marker to ramp?

Yes, computerized circuit boards in electronic markers are required to enable ramping capabilities. Mechanical markers can not ramp.


Ramping allows paintball markers to unleash devastating rates of fire when needed most. The different modes balance firepower and accuracy for competitive tournament play. Following proper ramping etiquette and rules will ensure fun and fair play. As technology progresses, ramping functionality will continue to evolve on the electronic markers dominating tournaments worldwide.

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