Best Budget Paintball Gun in 2024

Best Budget Paintball Gun in 2024

Best Budget Paintball Gun in 2024

As we move through 2024, many new players are wondering what the best budget paintball gun is. Fortunately we have narrowed it down to two standout options that may be the best budget markers for the year, catering to the diverse needs of paintball players. The balance between functionality, performance, and value must be balanced with cost. The competition is fierce, but the Planet Eclipse EMEK and the Empire Mini GS are, we believe, some of the best options you’ll find anywhere.

Planet Eclipse EMEK: The Mechanical Marvel

The Planet Eclipse EMEK has set a new standard for mechanical paintball guns with an impressive blend of durability, efficiency, and affordability. Priced at $290, the EMEK is an exceptional choice for players that need a reliable mechanical marker. Its robust design is highlighted by the Gamma Core drivetrain, a feature shared with higher-end models like the GTEK 170R, ensuring longevity and consistent performance.

One of the EMEK's notable features is its compatibility with PAL loaders, enhancing the loading efficiency for a smoother play experience. Its design includes a clamping and locking feed neck, allowing for secure attachment of various hoppers, from Spires to Rotors. The simplicity of maintenance and the ease of customization, with options for upgraded triggers and ASAs, make the EMEK a favorite among both recreational players and competitors in mechanical tournaments such as the ICPL and Iron City Classic. The addition of a POPS ASA, for an extra cost, further improves its usability by simplifying air pressure management.

Empire Mini GS: The Electronic Contender

In contrast, the Empire Mini GS appeals to those inclined towards electronic markers, with an MSRP of $400 (but currently on sale for $300!). This marker is celebrated for its user-friendly design, incorporating a fully programmable board and a 14-inch two-piece barrel that delivers accuracy and reduced noise. The Mini GS's clamping feed neck accommodates various hoppers, ensuring a tight and secure fit.

Powered by a nine-volt battery, the Mini GS is designed for air efficiency and ease of use, featuring different firing modes to suit various play styles. Adjustments and maintenance are straightforward, with a clear gauge to monitor internal pressure and an accessible velocity adjustment. The Mini GS is also upgradable, with options for redline boards and soft bolt tips, providing a path for enhancement and customization.

Making the Choice: EMEK vs. Mini GS

When choosing between the mechanical EMEK and the electronic Mini GS, players must consider their play style, preferences, and the environments in which they compete. The EMEK offers excellent durability and a classic paintball experience, making it ideal for those who value simplicity and reliability. Meanwhile, the Mini GS caters to players looking for programmability, speed, and the convenience of electronic features.

Both markers have their unique advantages, with the EMEK being highly regarded because of its performance in mechanical divisions and the Mini GS being a favorite among beginners and intermediate players in speedball. The choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and the specific requirements of the player's preferred paintball format.


The paintball community's interest in budget-friendly yet high-quality markers has led to significant advancements in both mechanical and electronic options. The Planet Eclipse EMEK and the Empire Mini GS stand out in 2024 as top choices for budget-conscious players who do not want to compromise on performance. Whether you lean towards the mechanical precision of the EMEK or the electronic versatility of the Mini GS, both markers offer exceptional value, proving that you don't have to break the bank to enjoy the thrill of paintball with reliable and efficient equipment. For a full review take a look at our “Best of” YouTube video below and be sure to check out our online paintball store for the largest selection of paintball equipment anywhere!