To a new player choosing between airsoft and paintball, a beginning package for airsoft is much cheaper in terms of hardware, but for apparel they can be roughly equivalent. One major difference, however, can be seen in the cost of ammunition and upkeep of the packages - due to the type of ammunition used, airsoft guns are less prone to "jamming", and airsoft bbs (6mm) are considerably cheaper to manufacture than paintballs.
Air soft rifles and pistols are usually the most expensive piece of equipment. Low-quality electric guns, commonly called LPEGs (low priced/powered electric guns) can cost from $5-70 depending on the quality, the MPEGs (Medium priced/powered electric guns) can cost in the range of $80-180 dollars USD, while a higher-quality AEG can be more than $200 USD. A paintball gun of equal level usaully costs in the midst of 200-300%. The overall average for a high quality electric gun such as a Classic Army or Tokyo Marui, is around $200-$500( or much higher, if the user decides to purchase a pre-upgraded gun or a specialized gun, such as a sniper rifle or an LMG replica) USD, depending on the model. Some custom guns can cost more than $2,500 USD.
In Mil-Sim games, where the main aspect of the play is realism, equipment is usually much more expensive. Many Mil-Sim players choose to wear real gear (not an airsoft replica) and in some cases, real ballistic protective armor. This can raise the price of the game considerably, with guns and gear sometimes totaling in excess of $10,000 USD.