Best Paintball Hoppers of 2023
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There are two clear contenders atop every list of the best paintball hoppers: the Dye Rotor R2 and Virtue Spire IV. Which is our pick for the best paintball loader? Scroll down to find out.
Paintball hopper manufacturers try to wow you with bold claims:
- “Our hopper can feed 50 bps!”
- “It holds up to 400 paintballs!”
- “I just ate 3 feet of sub for lunch!”
OK, that last one is genuinely impressive. And the second one has some benefit too.
But 50 bps? Who needs that?
Electronic markers with ramping modes like PSP, NXL, and NPPL cap out at 15 bps in accordance with tournament rules. Most paintball fields will cap you at 12-15 bps, and semi-automatic markers can’t approach those numbers anyway.
This article’s purpose is to wade through the chafe and cut the fluff so you get just what you came here for: the best paintball hopper.
The Top 7 Paintball Hoppers
#1: Virtue Spire IV Electronic Loader
The Best Electronic Paintball Hopper
- [Performance] – iFI integration with compatible markers | Proactive feeding logic for consistency and reliability
- [Integration] – Wireless programming through Apple / Android App | Toolless N-Charge installation | Toolless quick-change speed feed adapter
- [Durability] – Single hinge-mounted unit for increased durability | Magnetically attached drive assembly
- [Convenience] – Dual LED reload indicator with integrated smart spring ramp | Toolless tray disassembly for easy cleaning
- [Style] – Upgraded cosmetics | Injected Virtue logos | Numerous coor options to match your gear
The Virtue Spire IV Electronic Loader is in a virtual tie for Best Paintball Hopper with the Dye Rotor R2. The Spire IV is smoother and more reliable up to 13-14 bps, at which point the Rotor R2 is the better loader. But considering the max-allowed firing rate is 15 bps, what do you think is more important
- The first 14 bps
- The 15th and final bps
I’ll take the first 14, and that’s why we think the best paintball hopper is the Virtue Spire IV Electronic Loader.
#2: Proto Primo Gravity-Fed Loader
The Best Gravity-Fed Hopper
The Proto Primo’s hopper design efficiently feeds paintballs into your marker faster than any other gravity-fed loader. It almost never jams and it’ll outpace your semi-automatic firing all day, every day.
#3: Dye Rotor R2 Electronic Loader
The Fastest Paintball Loader
- The World’s First Adjustable Capacity Loader – The R2 includes a revolutionary patent pending highly innovative multi-capacity shell that allows the user to choose between 200 or 260 round capacity without the need for additional shells, parts or tools.
- Patented Rotor Force Fed Technology, feeds 30+ balls per second and lasts for up to 100,000 shoots on 3AA batteries. Unleash the true capabilities of your marker with a loader that never fails to keep up.
- 20% larger mouth design over the R1 makes it easier to load while keeping your eyes on the game. A completely redesigned Quick Feed system makes changing from rain lid to Quick Feed (not included) effortless and accomplished in seconds without any tools.
- New Reload Alert System and low battery indicator – New circuit board logic provides an industry’s first patent pending Reload Alert System. Never worry about playing a game not knowing what life is left in your batteries again, the R2 circuitboard blinks red when its batteries are low so you know exactly when to change them.
- Patent pending Shark Fin Jam release trigger effortlessly gets you back in action in the event of oversized or out-of-round paint.
The narrow loser to the top-ranked electronic loader — the Virtue Spire IV — the Dye Rotor Series actually has a longer track record of success at the pro level than any other hopper. These hoppers are lightweight, compatible with every paintball marker out there, never jam, and can fire over 50 bps. You’ll have it for life, making it a worthwhile investment.
#4: HK Army Pinokio Loader
The Biggest Paintball Hopper
- Holds 250 / 400 Rounds
- Interchangeable Pinokio nose
- Runs off (2) 9 volt batteries
- Feeds 30 balls per second
- Weight 16 oz with batteries installed
The HK Army Pinokio has a nifty design that lets you expand its capacity from 250 paintballs — the same size as other high-end hoppers here — to an astonishing 400 paintballs by adding the neck attachment, all while remaining as light and maneuverable as possible. The larger volume is great for woodsball and pairs well with some of the best markers for woodsball. And despite the Pinokio’s high capacity, it can still feed over 30 bps.
#5: Valken V-Max Plus Electronic Loader
The Lightest Paintball Hopper
- 30+ balls per second and 220 ball capacity
- Weighs less than 1 pound with two 9 volt batteries
- Disassembles and reassembles in seconds, so you can spend more time playing and less time cleaning at the end of the day
- A one touch On/Off button and LED display make using your VMAX+ loader simple
- The standard friction full cover lid lets you quickly reload, and also provides a window to view paintballs left. Easily switch to a speed feed in seconds with no tools needed
The Valken V-Max Plus has a 220-paintball capacity yet weighs under 1 pound while other electronic hoppers here weigh at least a few ounces more. However, the Valken V-Max Plus is only compatible with .68 caliber markers.
#6: Tippmann Cyclone Feed Low-Profile Hopper
The Best Low-Profile Paintball Hopper
- Low profile
- 200 round capacity
- Fits A5 Marker
- Fits X7 and Phenom Markers
- Fits Cyclone Feed System
Tippmann shows off their design chops once again with their Cyclone Feed Low-Profile Hopper System, which works on the Tippmann A5, X7 Phenom, and other Cyclone Feed-compatible markers.
#7: JT Paintball Revolution Electronic Loader
The Best Cheap Paintball Hopper
- Electronically-controlled, anti-jam propeller automatically Reverses and resets once a jam is detected
- 2-piece body design for easy Cleaning and Battery replacement
- 180 paintball capacity
- Requires two, 9-volt batteries (not included)
The JT Paintball Revolution Electronic Loader was revolutionary when its paddle-powered, paintball-feeding system was first designed about 15 years ago, but it just can’t keep up with the paintball hoppers above. Still, it’s just about the cheapest electronic loader you’ll find and feeds paintballs at 12 bps — the top end of what the best gravity-fed hopper can do — with a 180-paintball capacity.
Honorable Mentions For Best Paintball Hopper
There are a few other paintball loaders I haven’t mentioned that clearly aren’t the best paintball hopper but do have their place for different types of players. Let’s run through a few more with a quick overview of why I like them.
- Empire Prophecy Z2 Electronic Loader: A somewhat distant third behind the Virtue Spire IV and Dye Rotor R2, this Empire Prophecy Z2 Electronic Loader is a more budget-conscious choice.
- Invert Halo Too Electronic Loader: A solid mid-level loader, the Invert Halo Too Electronic Loader feeds around 20 bps with a 180 paintball capacity.
- GenX Global Gravity-Fed Loader: Sometimes all you need is cheap and functional. This gravity-fed has no features and costs next to nothing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a paintball hopper?
According to this patent, “A hopper for dispensing paintballs to a paintball launcher.”
How many paintballs does a hopper hold?
Are paintball hoppers universal?
Yes, if made after 2007. You can can replace your hopper with a bigger and faster model.
How long will 200 paintballs last?
Around an hour for most players