If you’re on the lookout for a beginner’s marker, look no further than the Cronus, a fantastic offering from industry giants Tippmann. Pairing high octane performance and unbeatable durability, all in one milsim body, it’s a tough contender to beat.
Given that they’ve been in business since 1986, Tippmann’s paintball guns, equipment and accessories have been afforded global recognition and respect. As an update on their existing ‘98 model, it’s a refreshing take on a beloved classic.
Today we’ll be taking you through the features we really like about the Cronus, as well as some places we think it could stand to improve. As well as that, we’ll also have a look at the new and improved reboot, the Cronus Tactical.
There’s a reason this gun is usually sold out online across most retailers; with a wide range of customizable features available, letting you mod an already impressive marker as much as you desire. Keep reading to find out why!
Tippmann Cronus .68 Caliber Semi Automatic Paintball Marker
Max Firing Range
Max Firing Speed
- Off-set feed port
- Front and rear fixed sights
- Semi-Automatic action
- Push button safety
- Matte body finish aids glare reduction
- Four Picatinny rails
- High impact composite body
- Mod Kit available to purchase separately, with mock silencer, stock, carry handle
What We Liked
The Cronus, a semi-automatic, .68 caliber paintball marker is incredibly lifelike; you might even mistake it for a real gun at first glance. Available in either olive and black or tan and black, it’s a sleek, stylish beginner’s weapon, ideal for the very first game.
With little touches like the soft, over molded rubber grips on its high-impact composite body, this is a marker designed to withstand some serious use. Whether you’re ninja stealthy or fall on your face, it looks good and takes considerable force.
Proffering Tippmann’s patented, reliable in-line bolt system, it’s very easy to get the hang of. No prior skills or experience are needed for maintenance, as cleaning is as simple as opening it up, which takes a matter of seconds.
Similarly, there’s a push button safety feature, especially useful for those who have never played before, and yet another reason we love it so much. Don’t worry about getting anxious and forgetting what to do - it’s as simple as hitting a switch!
You’ll also notice an internal gas line - we love that this has been moved to the gun’s interior, allowing for a more comfortable experience. When it comes to long, drawn out matches, you really don’t want it digging into your hand.
More easily held onto with the overmolded grip, it shoots fast and retains accuracy, firing eight pellets a second up to a hundred and fifty feet! Given the affordable price point, it offers a considerable bang for your buck, if you’ll pardon the pun.
It might be on the heavier side at 4lb, but that just means it’s more durable, and you’re less likely to drop it or break it when you do! Given its reliability, it’s proved a real hit amongst amateur and intermediate players, and popular for companies too.
Further modification is easy; there are four picatinny rails on which any number of add-ons and accessories can be mounted. To start you off, there are already three main mods: a mock silencer, adjustable stock and carry handle.
This is quite unique for a beginner’s marker, as they usually arrive in one stationary design that cannot be upgraded. Unfortunately, that means you usually have to buy a
whole new gun when you’re ready for more force, which isn’t the case here.
As part of every purchase, you’ll also receive a full year’s manufacturer’s warranty, as well as 24/7 access to Tippmann’s dedicated technical support department. Certified and run by experts, they’re always on hand to help and advise you.
Room For Improvement?
Given this is a gun aimed at beginners, it seems futile to suggest a bunch of bells and whistles to upgrade it with. It would be silly to fully load a marker for new starters with a whole bunch of powerful equipment they have no idea how to use.
That doesn’t mean, however, we don’t have any suggestions! The entry level components it has been built with will prevent you from achieving some of the more accurate precision and intense speeds required for serious, skillful play.
Unfortunately, the only modifications possible are superficial. This means that you can make the Cronus look a whole lot cooler, but you can’t improve its performance abilities. Eventually, you’ll need to bite the bullet and get yourself a new gun.
Though actually helpful for those who are just getting started, when you’ve upped your skills a little, the mechanical trigger can feel a little touchy and temperamental compared to higher end markers aimed at better players.
We also found that the barrel length is a little short when it comes to achieving as much accuracy as we’d like, though it is possible to buy a replacement barrel and swap it out. More of a personal preference than a general complaint, though!
Cronus: Tactical Edition
Tippmann Cronus Tactical .68 Caliber Semi Automatic Paintball Marker
Max Firing Range
Max Firing Speed
Tan/Black or Olive/Black Desert Op
- High-performance ported barrel
- Four Picatinny rails
- High impact, composite body
- Proven, in-line bolt design
- Fixed front and rear sights
- Internal gas line
- Includes: Mock Silencer with front sight, 6 Position Collapsible Stock, plus Vertical Grip & Carry Handle with Integrated Sight
If you’re interested in the Cronus but want to pick it up with some of the improvements already made, the Tactical Edition could be just what you’re looking for. There’s only a slight price increase, but several new features!
The range is much the same, at 150 feet, and the max bullets per second has had a slight increase to 15; given this gentle improvement, it would probably make a better second gun than it would a very first one!
They’ve also shaved off 0.3lbs from the overall weight. This isn’t a huge difference, but it will be evident for more advanced players. Movements are swifter and it just feels a little nicer to hold, with less unnecessary bulk.
Switching out the original barrel for a Tippmann A5 thread means that seasoned players might feel more at home with the Tactical. Opting for this barrel or similar is a typical upgrade when improving your first marker, so it’s handy to have it already.
Stocking up with ammunition is really easy thanks to the included gravity feed, which allows the user to simply pour their pellets in until full. Your purchase also includes a mock silencer with a front sight, a vertical grip and a carry handle.
Built into the back of this version is a collapsible stock. With this, players can instantaneously switch up their gameplay or technique depending on the context, without having to carry around any additional equipment or stop to attach it.
It’s worth noting that there aren’t actually that many differences between the Cronus and the Tactical Edition, which begs the question… is the Basic model now rendered obsolete? Not if you’d rather have a bare-bones, no accessories version!
Tippmann - A Universally Beloved Manufacturer?
Accredited with designing the first ever automatic and propane-powered markers, refillable air systems, and even the Cyclone Feed, Tippmann have made some consistently excellent contributions to the world of paintball.
Though initially owned by the eponymous Tippmann family, and operated from Fort Wayne, Indiana in the early 1980s, the company has been subsequently sold twice and continues to thrive to this day. Their headquarters can still be found in the USA.
Several technologies, including the C3 Pe, Response Trigger, E-Grip and improved Anti-Chop, are a result of research and development at Tippmann, which has earned them a well deserved reputation as forerunners in the industry.
As they have over four decades of experience in designing and producing equipment, they are still beloved by players across the globe. Recognized as some of the best markers out there, you’ll be hard pressed to find truly negative reviews.
They even offer a limited selection of paintball grenades, in several sizes. Ingenious usage of expanded bladders filled with paint mix, as opposed to explosives which pose safety hazards and break regulations, they are well worth a look.
For a newbie, the Cronus Basic is an excellent option: it might be pricier than your average starter marker, but it’s absolutely worth the investment. With decent accuracy, fast shooting and a solid capacity for ammo, you’ll be off to a flying start.
Most of the upgrades Tippmann made in creating the Cronus Tactical can be added on as modifications using the Basic’s four Picatinny rails. However, it’s also had a few constructional modifications that make it a smarter, sleeker marker overall.
Both guns will inevitably require an upgrade once you surpass a certain level of play. As such, it’s worth seeing them both as starting points, rather than your first and last paintball weapon. That might make the decision between the two a little easier!
That said, without ignoring the cool features and high quality of the Cronus and the Tactical, they’re pretty run of the mill. Those who have been enjoying paintball for longer would benefit from a weapon aimed at more experienced players.
Depending on your budget and level of play experience, it’ll be obvious whether one of them is right for you (or the intended recipient). Either way, you’re going to look cool and have plenty of success on the field, so don’t sweat it too much. Have fun!
Not Satisfied? Here Are Some Other Markers You Might Like:
For those who are really just getting started, or especially young aspiring players, the Gryphon FX has had a makeover. With all new skull graphics, body lines and a ribbed receiver, it’s their cheapest marker, but it still packs quite a punch.
Being reliable, compact and lightweight, it’s ideal for those on the smaller side, whilst still looking impressive enough that they’ll feel cool wielding it. Rigid, with an ergonomic body and internal structure, perfect for anyone brand new to paintballing.
If you’re on the hunt for something with a little more power, and you have more money to play with, consider the Tippmann Stryker AR1 Elite. Entirely electro-pneumatic, it’s whisper quiet and accommodates virtually any barrel.
Tournament legal (because they require an Allen key to change settings), you can utilize the fully programmable board to set up a firing pattern that suits you. Whether semi, burst, full-auto or ramping, you’ll be shooting pellets like a professional.
Looking for a marker that also serves well as a tactical backup sidearm? Tippmann’s TiPX Pistol works well as a solo or a secret weapon, a genuine military style paintball pistol with a lightweight footprint and an impressively svelte design.
With features like an under-barrel Picatinny rail, clear ammo windows for instant load-checking and a removable barrel with A5 threads, it’s highly customizable and even comes safely tucked inside a foam lined, hard shell carry case.
Players in close quarters might prefer a lower caliber model for less impact. Tippman’s ever-popular MagFed TMC .50 is now available in such a format, allowing for the best of both worlds in one well-combined hybrid you didn’t know you needed.
Boasting a dual-feed option (either magazine or hopper fed, depending on your preference), and a stainless steel gas line, amongst other desirable features, you’ll be the envy of your whole team wielding this bad boy.
If none of those speak to you, why not check out one of our many other reviews! We’ve covered a whole range of markers, in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles, from an array of different manufacturers. There’s sure to be one here to suit you!