Virtue Spire Hopper – Virtue Spire 3 and Virtue Spire IR

Last updated on January 8, 2020

Virtue Spire Hopper is one of the most popular and well-known brand when it comes to paintball, and since its introduction to the market, many of their products became immensely popular, especially hoppers, which has become their trademark product. The Virtue Spire is the manufacturer of many popular hoppers, and today we will talk about two of their most loved products, The Flagship Virtue Spire 3 and their budget offering to their loyal fans, The Virtue Spire IR.

Spire III vs Spire IR | Best Virtue Spire Paintball Loader

Virtue Spire 3

From that very first day it appeared Virtue Spire Hopper iii appeared in the market, it quickly became one of the most popular high-end loader in paintball industry with great virtue spire 3 hopper review. At the time of its appearance there were three loaders considered as high-end in the market—the Empire Prophecy, Dye Rotor, and Virtue Spire—and then Spire came out and became the clear winner. The Spire had some straight-cut feature and characteristic like it was simpler, smaller, lighter, and it just perfectly worked out for general paintball players out there. That doesn’t necessarily mean the loader was perfect; it did have its faults, but it was the best in its own way.

Virtue Spire III Electronic Paintball Loaders/Hoppers - Black
  • Hinged Shell Technology | Higher 230 Round Capacity | Faster Jam Proof Feeding
  • Dual LED Reload Indicator with Alarm | Brittle Paint Performance | Improved Toolless Design
  • Toolless Tray Disassembly | 35% Smaller Spire Drive | Shock-mounted G-force Sensor | CPU-Optimized Motor Logic
  • Removable, Flexible Spire Drive Fingers | Magnetically Attached Spire Drive | Integrated Backshell Windows

Virtue Spire IR

How can you make something more appealing over Spire iii? May be by making it cheaper…..and The Virtue Spire basically just did that with their IR which is a cheaper version of their spire iii with some key compromises and by introducing some handful new feature. The Spire iii was an amazing loader with very few issues or weaknesses… The IR has even less quirks or issues. This budget paintball loader is not only smaller, lighter, and jam free, but now with Intelligent Proactive Feeding it’s even more consistent and reliable than ever. With new infrared (IR) technology Virtue Spire just introduced us with a total different view on preventing jam. Virtue IR also offers tool-less design that can be taken apart and reassembled in seconds and has a strong durable nylon back shell. With the Spire IR loader you will be getting an aggressive, compact, lightweight design and trusted feeding system at a very affordable price.

Virtue Spire IR Electronic Paintball Loader/Hopper - Black
  • [Built to Win] - Smaller, lighter, easier to use and more reliable than any other loader in its class
  • [Intelligent] - Proactive feeding using improved sensors to give a constant stream of paint
  • [Reliable] - Never pulses, never jams | Quiet and efficient | Peace of mind, rain or shine
  • [Durable] - Strong nylon back shell designed to endure intense wear and tear


In true sense the spire IR looks very identical to the spire iii, sometimes it can even confuse you with their very familiar looks though we’ve always liked the way the Spire iii looked more than the spire IR. When the Spire iii was released, it was a break from the norm—its angular design made it a different looking than the organic shapes of the Dye Rotor and Empire Prophecy, which become popular in just about a month. Changing that much loved design aesthetic would have been a mistake in terms of designing and it is good to see that Virtue kept their previous overall theme of sharp and contrasting lines and angular shaped design for their IR model too.


Without any doubt, the biggest change in their build we noticed is their shells. The Spire IR shell consists two pieces—the top shell and the bottom shell, which has been considered as a problem from previous models.

Unlike other Virtue Spire loaders, The Spire iii doesn’t have this problem, the whole thing come in one piece and getting rid of that top-shell, making it easier to disassemble and clear. This was a great improvement they made as the top shell was criticized as one of the biggest problems of previous models.

Build Quality

Virtue makes these loaders so tough you could run it over with your car.  Ok, we don’t suggest running it over but we bet you could.  We have tested these loaders for a considerable amount of time and have found the shells, and electronics to be bullet proof.  The IR and Spire iii looks to be no different from any other products they have released.

Feed System/Tray

The Spire has always delivered one of the best feed systems out of all the high-end paintball loaders. Virtue Spire was known for feeding any kind of pellet under any condition—it just worked all the time, and the legacy continued with Virtue Spire 3.

The Spire III uses the same drive cone design from the previous original Spire, but with a few improvements, like the drive cone is magnetic with spire III. The IR model has the traditional tap drive cone like other models,

Virtue has also famous for easy disassembling system and this time too they made it very easy to disassemble the tray of both of these paintball hoppers. The board, raceway, and tray can all be taken apart fairly quickly without tools.


Based on pure performance, the Virtue Spire IR is a clear improvement over the Spire. The Spire III has improved drive cone, software, and the new motor did improve rate of fire.

Based on our unscientific testing, the virtue spire 3 speed feed was able to feed around 19 BPS, while the Virtue Spire IR Speed feed fed around 15 BPS, a significant improvement over the Spire III.


As we are done with discussing the main features to consider before comparing these two hopper, let’s have a quick look at things that separates these two:


 Pricing is an important thing that almost everyone consider before buying any product and pricing of these hoppers is of the main differences here, as The Spire III costs almost double the price of Spire IR. Though Spire III is a flagship model offering more of everything than the budget IR option, we think it’s something worth mentioning.


Good jam proofing facility is something every hopper should have and both of these hoppers on paper have that option. But The Spire IR has taken the jam-proofing system to the next level by implementing as the name suggests, The IR (Infrared) technology for the first time which allows this model to prevent jamming like never before.

The Spire III is also considered as good at jam-proofing, but there is no particular feature for ensuring that.

Reload Indicator

The Spire III now features a smart spring ramp that can automatically detect if there is paintball left in the hopper, then a speaker will beep once and two LEDs on the side of the loader will continue to glow red until the spring ramp detects paintballs again.

Spire IR unfortunately doesn’t offer something like this, which is OK from their price point.

Paintball Capacity

There is importance in understanding the number of paintballs you may need to complete your challenge, and both of these hoppers offer almost similar capacity. Skilled and mid-range players need a unit with a larger capacity than the basic models.

There are models that offer a capacity of 200+ paintballs in one run while there are others that offer less. Spire III has a capacity of 230 paintballs while the Spire IR can hold 200 paintball at a time. Depending on the budget and capacity you need you can pick a model with a large volume or less.

Final Verdict

Both of these hoppers has their own reason to love them and there are some pretty indication about which one is for whom.

If you are an amateur who want to play for having fun with one of the best manufacturers out there, the Virtue Spire IR is undoubtedly the better option for you.

If you are a veteran or someone looking for an upgrade to improve your game, with more advance features and capacity, Spire III is the one you should go for.


Simplicity is great thing to have on your side and every paintball player is a big fan of it, means it’s great not to have to think about the product you are using. That is what the Spire has always accomplished with their products and again they successfully did it with their hoppers.

These hopper’s simple design ensures that it keeps working under all conditions. Their increased durability will result into you playing more paintball and having to worry even less about your hopper.

These two virtue spire hoppers are durable, lightweight, simple, easy to disassemble, and, quite simply, two of the best hopper in the market right now. You can buy any of them according to your budget and need. Easy recommendation.

So, with which one you will go, virtue spire ir or virtue spire 3? Comment and share your experience. Thank you.

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