Planet Eclipse Etha 3 Review: Our Top Pick

When we took the Planet Eclipse Etha 3 Mech for a spin, its upgraded features immediately set a new benchmark in the mechanical paintball marker category, earning it our #1 pick for the best paintball gun. The new FL 3-way valve and the aluminum single-finger trigger significantly enhanced the marker’s performance, providing a more responsive firing experience that was genuinely noticeable on the field.

The Etha 3 Mech’s sleek design and ergonomic improvements, like the quick-release bolt assembly and the low-rise aluminum feed neck, were visually appealing and functionally impressive. Such features typically found on higher-priced markers were a welcome addition, giving us the edge during play with better accessibility and maintenance.

planet eclipse etha 3 review

Bottom Line

Overall, the Planet Eclipse Etha 3 Mech stands out in its class for those looking to upgrade their mechanical paintball marker.

Its performance enhancements and ergonomic design offer a serious advantage on the field.

Don’t hesitate to enhance your paintball game with the Etha 3 Mech now.

Overview of the Planet Eclipse Etha 3 Mechanical Paintball Marker

After spending some time on the field with the Etha 3 Mechanical, this marker has raised the bar for mechanical paintball guns. The new trigger and FL 3-way valve noticeably improve firing responsiveness, making it a standout for those who prefer a mechanical setup. The quick-release bolt is a game-changer for maintenance, simplifying what was once a tedious task on the field.

While it’s not the smallest marker, the low-rise feed neck helps keep a more compact profile. The GRN body enhances the durability, though it doesn’t sacrifice aesthetics—it’s a sleek-looking piece of equipment. The grip and hoseless air-transfer system provide a more streamlined experience, free of the typical entanglements.

It operates solely on compressed air, and the consistency is remarkable thanks to the Gamma Core drivetrain. We’ve noticed that the reduced operating pressure of 135psi results in gentler handling of paintballs, cutting down on breakages. However, the price point might be steep for some, especially considering other markers in the category.

In summary, the Etha 3 Mechanical certainly lives up to its promise of taking things to the next level. Its thoughtful upgrades make it a reliable and enjoyable marker for players looking to upgrade their mechanical game.

Related: A Guide to the Best Paintball Brands

Ergonomic Design

Recently, we had the chance to handle the Etha 3, and our experience with its design was quite noteworthy. The marker’s frame and foregrip merge seamlessly into a single piece, which provides a sturdier grip and a more intuitive feel. Its comfort is further enhanced by the lightweight yet durable composite material that reduces arm fatigue during extended play.

We particularly appreciated the thought put into the trigger’s design. The aluminum single-finger flat trigger comes with an adjustable backstop, allowing for a personalized setup that can significantly affect reaction time and firing comfort. Adding to this is the lighter trigger return spring, which results in a snappier and less strenuous pull.

Maintenance and on-field adjustments are a breeze with the tool-less bolt removal and the easily accessible POPS ASA. These features show that much thought went into the design to minimize any hassle during playtime. However, the low-rise clamping feed-neck did feel a bit snug when switching out loaders, but once secured, it held them firmly in place without any wobble.

Overall, the Etha 3 demonstrates a well-considered ergonomic design that’s as functional as comfortable. Player experience and ease of use have been at the forefront of its design philosophy.

Maintenance and Accessibility Features

We found that the Etha 3’s design facilitates easy maintenance, making it a reliable choice for paintball enthusiasts who want a hassle-free experience. The tool-less bolt removal system is a standout feature; we appreciated not fumbling with additional tools for basic cleaning or repairs. The quick-release back cap also contributes to this streamlined approach, allowing for swift access to internal components.

Accessibility features like the low-rise aluminum clamping feed-neck ensure secure and accessible attachment of the hopper without excessive force or adjustment. Meanwhile, adjustments to the single-finger flat trigger can be made quickly thanks to the adjustable backstop, tailored to our preferences for a responsive experience during gameplay.

The FL 3-way valve design impressed us, simplifying the operation and reducing the markers’ susceptibility to common paintball marker issues. The POPS ASA mechanism also came in handy for painless tank attachment and detachment.

Our time with the Etha 3 showed us it combines thoughtful engineering with user-friendly features, streamlining maintenance and ensuring stress-free access to its functionality.

Trigger and Firing Efficiency

When weighing the merits of the Etha 3’s performance, addressing how the marker responds in action is crucial. We experienced a crisp and responsive trigger, pivotal for any paintball enthusiast looking for a seamless firing experience. Its spring-piston air gun power type contributes to a dependable shooting mechanism, offering fast and consistent shots with the .68 caliber rounds.

Despite being a mid-tier marker, we found that Etha 3 holds its own regarding firing efficiency. The lightweight frame and aluminum barrel aid in maneuverability, positively influencing our shooting precision. We noticed it’s slightly taller in the grip frame, which might require an adjustment period for some, but overall, it didn’t hinder our ability to shoot accurately.

There is a dissenting voice among users concerning the price listed here compared to the manufacturer’s advertised price; however, focusing strictly on the trigger and the marker’s firing capability, we find no fault. The Etha 3 performs reliably in various conditions, living up to Planet Eclipse’s reputation for crafting quality paintball equipment.

Durability and Construction

Upon handling the Etha 3, we immediately notice its resilient plastic frame and aluminum barrel, known for their sturdiness in paintball markers. Although plastic may raise eyebrows initially, this certainly doesn’t compromise the unit’s durability; it stands up well to the rigors of regular play. Our experience on the field confirms that the Etha 3 can endure slides, dives, and the occasional knock against bunkers without flinching.

The spring-piston air gun power typifies the mechanical robustness one expects from Planet Eclipse, providing a reliable, consistent, low-maintenance firing mechanism. The sport of paintball demands equipment that holds up under pressure, and the Etha 3 meets that demand.

Review summaries suggest that users appreciate its reliability, pointing out its steady performance as a backup or primary marker. Some noted it being slightly taller in the grip frame, which had no adverse effect on maneuverability. Planet Eclipse delivers on a well-constructed product designed with the rough-and-tumble nature of paintball in mind.

Pros and Cons


After extensive hands-on experience with the Planet Eclipse Etha 3, we’ve come to appreciate its features that cater well to novice and seasoned paintball enthusiasts. Notably, the low-rise aluminum clamping feed-neck makes attaching the hopper straightforward and secure, a clear advantage on the field. The tool-less bolt removal and quick-release back cap feature offers convenient maintenance and cleaning, vital for any paintball marker’s longevity.

We were also impressed by the lightweight and sleek design, courtesy of the super sleek GRN body and back cap. This makes handling and maneuvering the marker more comfortable during lengthy matches. The adjustable aluminum single-finger flat trigger, with a lighter return spring, allows easy firing, enhancing our shooting precision without fatigue.

Additionally, the FL 3-way valve system improves air efficiency, giving us more playtime with less gas consumption—a crucial pro for anyone looking to maximize their time on the field. Lastly, including a 14.5″ 2-piece Shaft 5 barrel with fast threads ensures a stable and accurate shot, which boosts our confidence in the accuracy department.


While there’s a lot to praise, a few aspects could be concerns for potential buyers. One sticking point we’ve noted is the price point when purchased from certain retailers; it’s sometimes listed higher than the manufacturer’s advertised price, which can be frustrating when budgeting for a new marker.

Regarding ergonomics, the Etha 3 is slightly taller than other markers, most notably in the grip frame. This may feel slightly different for those accustomed to the fit and feel of slimmer models. The size difference could affect grip comfort, particularly for smaller hands.

To summarize, our direct engagement with the Etha 3 has shown its strengths in ease of maintenance, shooting accuracy, and efficient gas usage. However, the potential cost discrepancies and its slightly bulkier ergonomics merit consideration before making this your marker of choice. Despite these cons, the Etha 3 makes a strong case for itself on the paintball field.

Customer Reviews

We’ve noticed a satisfactory trend among paintball enthusiasts in exploring user feedback for the Etha 3 Mechanical Paintball Marker. Several players praised its dependability and performance, highlighting how it maintains accuracy and remains lightweight. The sentiment echoes across various users who appreciate the balance it offers between high-end features and practical usability.

A point of contention, however, centers around pricing discrepancies found online. While the marker’s value is generally undisputed, with it being lauded for quality that justifies a typical market price point, caution is advised in deal-hunting. Potential buyers have pointed out that prices can vary significantly, so shopping around is wise.

We found that those familiar with competing models or brands, like the Emek or M170r, tend to compare and contrast with an eye for detail. Their experiences provide a rich context for the Etha 3’s standing within its category. Based on collected reviews, this marker seems to be an attractive option for anyone looking for a mechanical marker that won’t disappoint on the field.


Having spent ample time on the field with the Etha 3M, we appreciate its balance of durability and performance. This marker holds its own against the Emek and M170r, favored by many players for its reliability. In our experience, it stands out for its lightweight design, ensuring that longer games don’t become a chore. Its shots are impressively flat and straight, indicating a thoughtful construction by Planet Eclipse.

A minor drawback we observed was its slightly taller grip frame, but it’s a negligible factor once you get used to the feel. Some discrepancies in pricing have been noted online; while it boasts a 4.6-star rating, we advise potential buyers to shop around for the best deal rather than a knee-jerk purchase, ensuring you get the quality you expect at a fair price. Overall, the Etha 3M is a solid choice for anyone looking to upgrade their paintball game without compromising on the build or performance.


What improvements have been made in the Etha 3 compared to the original Etha?

The Etha 3 introduces significant enhancements, including a new quick-release bolt assembly for easy maintenance, a lower-profile aluminum low-rise feed neck, and a redesigned aluminum trigger paired with the FL 3-way valve for a lighter and faster trigger response.

Can the Etha 3 be upgraded with a mechanical frame, and how does it perform?

The Etha 3 is already a mechanical marker and offers impressive precision and reliability without needing an official mechanical frame upgrade.

What are the key differences between the Etha 3 and the Etha 3M models?

The Etha 3 and Etha 3M differ in user experience and price; the Etha 3M has additional features that enhance gameplay, impacting its internal mechanisms and possibly external design.

How does the Etha 3 compare to the Planet Eclipse GTEK 170R in terms of performance and value?

The Etha 3 offers excellent value with dependable performance at a lower cost than the higher-end GTEK 170R, which has more advanced features but comes at a higher price.

What customization options are available for the Etha 3, such as body kits and accessories?

The Etha 3 offers customization options, including aftermarket body kits, grips, barrels, and color kits for aesthetic and performance enhancements.

Are any electronic firing modes, like full auto, available on the Etha 3?

The Etha 3 is a mechanical marker without electronic firing modes like full auto; players interested in electronic options should explore other models in the Planet Eclipse range.