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Welcome to the Realm, either for the first time or as a returning player! Paladins has had a lot of systems and changes over the years, so we on the team wanted to provide a resource for players old & new to learn how to hop into Paladins today & enjoy the vast number of playstyles the game has to offer!
Paladins is a free-to-play, fantasy class-based first-person shooter. That’s a lot of words, so let us explain a bit further.
Paladins is available for download on multiple platforms, including Steam, Epic, PlayStation 4/5, and Xbox One/Series consoles. We have 8 permanently free Champions (our playable characters), as well as 8 additional Champions on rotation, so all you need to begin to explore the Realm is to install the game!
Paladins takes place in a fictional Realm, inhabited by various fantastical races and groups. From Humans to Elves, Tigrons to Leipori, there are many types of beings who live in the Realm. There are also factions, from the political Magistrate to the scrappy Resistance, the angelic Pyre and the corrupted Abyss, and cosmic horrors known as the Maw. Of course, the namesake Paladins are also a group in this vast world.
Paladins is a team-focused shooter, with various classes players can balance in unique ways to develop strategies. There are 4 Classes our Champions are divided into and 5 players per team, so how you mix and combine them can lead to various different playstyles, both individually and as a group.
Our classes are as follows:
As the name suggests, Damage characters are the most consistent way to deal out damage towards your opponents, while controlling areas with their abilities. This class is usually the easiest to start out with!
This class is built to specialize in mobility and burst damage, especially against weaker targets. Their name is a guide to their playstyle, sneaking around behind enemy teams and eliminating stray characters like Supports.
This class is the tank of the group, built to hold objectives while protecting their teammates or forcing enemies to focus their fire into them. They usually will lead their team into battle and be the backbone of every push.
This class offers various supportive utilities to the team, from healing to offensive buffs. Without Supports, many teams will be unable to sustain themselves throughout a fight, so having one that is versatile and matches your team composition is essential.
While there are some moments and characters that utilize other viewpoints, Paladins is a first person title, meaning almost every action you take will be from the perspective of the character you are playing. At its core, Paladins is a shooter that utilizes conventional and imaginary weaponry alongside abilities to allow players to wreak havoc in a variety of maps and modes.
Champions are the characters you will play in Paladins, each with their own abilities and weapons that define how they can best be used. We divide them into aforementioned Classes in order to help guide players to how they should be utilized. For each Champions, they have the following characteristics (We’ll be using Viktor, your first Damage character, as an example!):
Every Champion has a unique weapon, alongside a set of abilities they can use on set cooldowns, and an Ultimate ability that passively charges over the course of a match. In order to earn more Ultimate charge, players should play their roles (earn Eliminations, heal allies) to increase its recharge rate. Once earned, you can activate it for a team-fight altering effect, then begin to earn your next Ultimate.
Each Champion has 3 Talents you can select at the start of the match, each of which provides a different effect to your abilities that can evolve your playstyle. You’ll start out with 1 Talent and can unlock the others by playing the Champion!
Then, you select a card loadout to augment minor aspects of your Champion, to cater them to your playstyle. There are 3 default card decks for each Champion, each designed after one of their Talents.
For more advanced players, you can create your own card deck from 16 unique Cards in the Champion section on the main menu. Each Card has 5 available levels, and a valid card deck must include 5 cards & 15 levels used among them. Experimentation is encouraged with loadouts in order to make every Champion suit your preferred playstyle.
Items are a set of buffs you can buy on any Champion during each match. Whenever you interact with aspects of the game (earning Eliminations, healing allies, playing the objective), you will earn Credits that you can spend in the spawn area in order to purchase Items. By default, Auto Purchase is enabled so Items are selected for you, however you can disable this to customize yourself.
Items are broken into 4 categories: Defense, Utility, Healing, and Offense. Each Item has 3 tiers, each providing an increased bonus to players. Items allow you to further customize your playstyle mid-match in order to counter and adapt to your opponents. You are allowed to own 4 different items per game, for a maximum of 12 tiers of upgrades per match. You can mix categories or buy all of one, the choice is up to you. To see each Item in more depth, head into the Shooting Range in game!
Advanced Note: In Paladins, we have a system where multiple sources of the same effect (e.g. Lifesteal) provide diminishing returns (less % than listed) for each source beyond the first. This allows players to have a wide variety of ways to receive buffs (Items, Abilities, Cards, etc.) without having out of control values above 100%.
There is one passive effect that every Champion has throughout the match: Anti-Healing (some players call this by an older name: Cauterize). It is an anti-heal effect that slowly grows throughout a game, forcing teams to adapt their playstyles & continue to build to counteract its effects. This can be countered by a few effects, most notably the Item Rejuvenate. You can always check & see the progress of Anti-Healing under the scoreboard!
As you play a Champion, you will increase their Mastery Level. Leveling up your mastery on a Champion will unlock cosmetic rewards, including Golden Skins to show others your dedication to Champions you enjoy.
In Paladins, there are various modes players can play, each with its own rules & objectives. These modes are either permanent or rotate in on a regular basis, with new Limited Time Modes appearing on the weekends. For this guide, we’ll go over the base modes of Paladins:
The most popular & core mode in Paladins, Siege is a round based game mode with two sections: point capture & payload movement. In the initial phase, players fight over a single objective on the map, attempting to capture it by standing on it without enemies. The winner of this fight earns a point & then is tasked with pushing a Payload towards the opponent’s spawn.
Standing next to the payload progresses it, and similar to the objective enemies can stand near it to delay it. You have a set time to push the payload before the round is ended, regardless of progress. Successfully pushing the payload earns you an additional point, however if your enemies stop you they earn a point. After this, it resets and begins the next round.
Siege is a first to 4-point mode, with the winner either successfully pushing a payload into the enemy spawn or capturing the objective.
Advanced Note: In Siege, we have a mechanic known as Comeback. This activates whenever an opposing team is ahead in score of the other. When it is active, the losing team will receive slightly increased capture point progress. For one point behind, the losing team receives this bonus alternating every other second. For two or more points behind, they receive it every second.
A variant of Siege, Ranked is a mode designed to let players improve their skills & earn ranks to show their progress. The main difference is the changes in Character selection, where teams take turns selecting and banning 3 Champions each. Due to this, players are required to own at least 16 Champions & have leveled their account to 15 to enter Ranked.
Ranks are divided into tiers and divisions, and after placement matches you are given a tier & division within it as a starting point. From there, it’s about player proficiency and game wins to progress. In Ranked, we rotate maps in and out to keep competition fresh, and each year begins a new Ranked Season, requiring everyone to play placements again.
From Ranked, you can earn unique rewards throughout the year & learn the depths of the meta that makes Paladins a diverse competitive experience.
Onslaught is a queue with two different variants of the same mode: Onslaught & King of the Hill. In both modes, players fight over an objective, slowly accruing points for holding the point & eliminating players. In Onslaught, the point is stationary throughout the match, while in King of the Hill the point will respawn and move throughout the match.
Payload is an round based game mode with two rounds, one on Attack & one on Defense. The attacking team must escort the Payload to the defending team’s base while the defenders attempt to hold it back as long as possible or until the timer runs out. After that, the sides swap and the new attackers have to beat either the distance the other team pushed or fully push the kart faster than them. The team that performed better between these rounds wins. In Payload, all Items and Credits from the first round are reset at the beginning of the second one, and players can change their loadouts in the second round’s starting phase.
Team Deathmatch is a classic deathmatch mode where players fight in a small arena, with the first to 40 eliminations winning.
These terms are ones you will see throughout Paladins; whether it be item effects, crowd control conditions, or keywords that are used to describe specific circumstances and functions.
An effect that locks the target at their current position, while also preventing any interaction between them and allies/enemies, however they may still contest and capture objectives.
An effect that deals damage over a period of time to the target.
An effect that prevents the target from using movement abilities, excluding ones that utilize Knockback.
The period of time you have to wait before an effect or Ability can be activated again. Effects that reduce Cooldown will lessen that period of time.
A buff that either reduces or negates various Crowd Control effects on a target. Can be gained by Abilities, Items, and Cards.
A Support-specific keyword that provides a Talent increased Healing.
A buff that reduces the amount of damage the target takes. Can be received via Abilities, Items, and Cards.
Objects & creatures that can be placed via certain Abilities and can be destroyed if dealt enough damage. Countered by Bulldozer.
An effect that prevents the target from using weapon basic attacks.
A state in which the target can’t have their Health reduced & is not affected by other effects & collisions.
An effect that forces the target to run away from the effect’s source and prevents any actions from being taken.
An effect that lifts the target into the air & restricts their movement for a certain amount of time.
An effect that restores Health to the target’s health total. Can be received or improved via Abilities, Items, and Cards.
An effect that reduces or nullifies healing a target would receive.
An effect that forces the target to be pushed into a certain direction, either outward or upward.
An effect where you gain Health based on the amount of Damage dealt. Can be received via Abilities, Items, and Cards.
An effect that reveals a target & makes them susceptible to increased damage.
An effect that transforms the target into a harmless creature that has lower health & can only move. Targets are returned to their previous form & status when the effect ends.
A Support-specific keyword that provides a Talent slightly increased Healing & Damage.
An effect that makes the target visible through walls to opponents, as well as through Stealth.
An effect that deals damage over a period of time to the target.
An effect that prevents the target from moving and using movement abilities.
A buff that provides additional temporary Health on top of your maximum, that once broken goes away. These also can be created as separate, physical barriers placed on the map. Improved by Guardian, countered by Wrecker.
An effect that disables all abilities outside of the target’s weapons.
An effect that reduces the target’s movement speed.
An effect that allows you to be invisible to the enemy team, unless within close proximity. This is countered by Reveal and Illuminate.
An effect that prevents the target from taking any actions.
A Support-specific keyword that provides a Talent increased Damage.
Overview by AndrewChicken
Comeback Mechanic by AndrewChicken
Payload by Kreepers
Overview by AndrewChicken
Diminishing Returns by AndrewChicken
Main versus Off Roles by AndrewChicken
Settings by AndrewChicken