Paladins: Champions of the Realm (known in-game as Paladins) is a free-to-play multiplayer-focused high-fantasy first-person/third-person shooter developed by Hi-Rez Studios (later by Evil Mojo) and released digitally by Hi-Rez Studios for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Mac on May 8, 2018. It was later released for the Nintendo Switch on June 12, 2018.
A "hero shooter" in the same vein as Blizzard's Overwatch, Paladins combines elements from class-based teamplay shooters (such as Team Fortress 2) with hero-based MOBAs (such as SMITE). The game includes a deck-building system, allowing players to customize the abilities and playstyle of each Champion, and later added complete cross-platform multiplayer and progression support.
The game takes place in a fantasy realm years after a group of magical warriors (known as the Paladins) brought about an era of peace after a cataclysmic event. After the discovery of newfound limitless magic through crystals, two major factions are at war: a powerful order of magic users known as the Magistrate (led by ex-Paladin Karne, who seeks to quell potential chaos by banning all crystal magic from the common population) and the common Resistance (led by ex-Paladin Valera, who believes that crystal magic can be used freely for progress).
The Steam version of the game was originally released as an early access title September 15, 2016, while the XB1 and PS4 versions received an open beta on May 3, 2017. Along with seasonal updates, the game later received two spin-offs: the mobile top-down "hero shooter" Paladins Strike and the survival-shooter Realm Royale.
Paladins is a team focused online first-person shooter. Teams are filled with unique characters with their own abilities, weapons, and traits.
Each Champion has four unique skills associated with their weaponry. The main skills operate on a cool down and can only be used again once that countdown timer reached zero. Each character also has an ultimate skill that can only be used once a meter has reached 100%. This meter fills slowly on its own and by doing damage to enemies. Once the ultimate has been used the meter resets to 0%.
The game was initially released with a roster of 36 playable Champions, each split up into four roles: Front Line, Damage, Support, and Flank. As of the release of Corvus, this total was increased to 45 Champions.
Excel at using their heavy health and defensive abilities to maintain control of objectives and protect teammates. They gain double Credits for standing near objectives.
- Ash, The War Machine - Wields a slow-firing mid-range Burst Cannon, which fires large projectiles that explode on impact. Can change her attack to a powerful close-range knockback attack using Kinetic Burst, deploy a shield wall that advances forward using Siege Shield, and perform a high-speed shoulder charge using Shoulder Bash. Her Ultimate ability, Assert Dominance, causes her to leap forward and deploy a banner that grants her damage immunity.
- Atlas, The Man out of Time - Added on March 27, 2019.
- Barik, The Master Mechanic - Wields a slow-firing short-range Blunderbuss that fires like a shotgun. Can deploy a shield wall using Barricade, deploy up to two automated sentry turrets using Turret, and perform a guided rocket charge using Rocket Boots. His Ultimate ability, Dome Shield, causes him to deploy a dome-shaped shield wall with a close-ranged turret inside.
- Fernando, The Self-Appointed Knight - Wields a short-range Flame Lance that acts like a flamethrower and must be recharged over time. Can expand his shield to block damage using Shield, fire a high-damage fireball from his lance using Fireball, and perform a high-speed charge using Charge. His Ultimate ability, Immortal, gives him and all nearby allies damage immunity (when below 1500 HP) and immunity to damage-over-time effects.
- Inara, The Stone Warden - Wields a mid-range Stone Spear that launches stone projectiles in a three-round burst. Can enter a defensive state (with improved damage resistance and healing) using Earthen Guard, deploy a stone wall using Impasse, and deploy an obelisk that slows and damages nearby enemies using Warder's Field. Her Ultimate ability, Seismic Crash, causes her to throw her spear, which can over-penetrate shields and stun nearby enemies.
- Khan, Primus of House Aico - Wields a mid-range Heavy Repeater. Can expand his bulwark to block damage using Bulwark, grant himself temporary damage immunity (while healing himself and nearby allies) using Battle Shout, and charge forward (grabbing and throwing the first enemy he impacts) using Commander's Grab. His Ultimate ability, Overpower, allows him to grab, immobilize, and throw an enemy. Added on April 12, 2018.
- Makoa, The Ancient - Wields a slow-firing short-range Cannon. Can pull in a nearby enemy using Dredge Anchor, deploy a shield using Shell Shield, and spin forward in his shell using Shell Spin. His Ultimate Ability, Ancient Rage, allows him to swing his anchor for powerful melee hits and to fully heal himself.
- Raum, Rage of the Abyss - Added on November 6, 2019.
- Ruckus, The Worst of Friends - Unlocked from the start. Wields two fast-firing mid-range Miniguns the require a spin-up time prior to firing. Can launch shoulder-mounted missiles using Missile Launcher, create an energy shield around themselves using Emitter, and quickly jet in any direction using Advance. Their Ultimate Ability, Hexa Fire, causes them to use two additional miniguns and two rocket launchers for more firepower.
- Terminus, The Fallen - Wields a melee-focused slow-swinging Massacre Axe. Can fire energy projectiles using Calamity Blast, absorb enemy gunfire into Calamity Blast charges using Power Siphon, and deal a leaping smash attack using Shatterfall. His Ultimate Ability, Reanimate, allows him to return to life with a large powerful explosion.
- Torvald, The Runic Sage - Wields a Gauntlet that fires blasts of energy. Can channel a beam that silences and damages a single enemy using Nullify, project shields on a teammate using Protection, and regenerate Shield Points using Recharge. His Ultimate Ability, Hyper Beam, channel a large beam that deals massive knockback to enemies.
Excel at using their weapons and abilities to deal consistent damage to enemy players. They gain double Credits for dealing damage.
- Bomb King, His Majesty - Wields multiple Sticky Bombs that can stick onto surfaces (as well as enemies) and be remotely detonated using the Detonate ability.
- Cassie, The Hunter's Daughter - Unlocked from the start. Wields a long-ranged Crossbow.
- Dredge, Admiral of the Abyss - Added on September 27, 2018. Wields a Cursed Howitzer that launches bouncing grenades (including a larger one that launches while reloading).
- Drogoz, The Greedy - Wields a Rocket Launcher.
- Imani, The Last Warder - Added on January 16, 2019. Wields Dragon Gauntlets that launch elemental projectiles (depending on the current elemental alignment).
- Kinessa, The Bounty Hunter - Wields a long-ranged Sniper Rifle that normally fires as a fast-firing carbine.
- Lian, Scion of House Aico - Wields a mid-ranged Heirloom Rifle.
- Sha Lin, The Desert Wind - Wields a Long Bow that can be charged (for improved damage and range).
- Strix, Ghost Feather - Wields a slow-firing long-ranged Talon Rifle.
- Tiberius, The Weapons Master - Added on January 8, 2020.
- Tyra, The Untamed - Wields a fast-firing mid-range Auto Rifle.
- Viktor, The Lone Wolf - Unlocked from the start. Wields a fast-firing mid-range Assault Rifle.
- Vivian, The Cunning - Wields a fast-firing mid-range Light Machine Gun that causes her to move slow while firing.
- Willo of the Summer Court - Wields a Wand of Overgrowth that fires Fae energy blasts.
Excel at healing teammates. They gain double Credits for healing teammates.
- Corvus, The Magistrate's Blade - Added on April 29, 2020.
- Furia, Angel of Vengeance - Added on June 6, 2018. Wields a short-ranged Pyre Blade.
- Grohk, The Lightning Orc - Wields a mid-range Lightning Staff.
- Grover, The Wild - Wields a large Throwing Axe.
- Io, The Shattered Goddess - Added on July 17, 2019. Wields a Light Bow.
- Jenos, The Ascended - Unlocked from the start. Wields a mid-range Star Splitter.
- Mal'Damba, Wekono's Chosen - Wields a short-ranged Spitting Cobra.
- Pip, The Rogue Alchemist - Wields a Potion Launcher.
- Seris, Oracle of the Abyss - Unlocked from the start. Wields multiple Soul Orbs.
- Ying, The Blossom - Wields an Illusory Mirror that fires a mid-range continuous beam.
Excel at using their mobility to flank and finish off enemies. They gain double Credits for landing finishing blows.
- Androxus, The Godslayer - Wields a short-ranged Revolver.
- Buck, The Unyielding - Wields a slow-firing short-ranged Shotgun.
- Evie, The Winter Witch - Wields an Ice Staff.
- Koga, The Lost Hand - Added on July 18, 2018. Wields twin fast-firing short-ranged Submachine Guns.
- Lex, The Hand of Justice - Unlocked from the start. Wields twin mid-range Magnums.
- Maeve of Blades - Wields throwing Daggers.
- Moji and Friends - Uses her two-headed dragon familiar to attack enemies using Familiar Spit and Familiar Spray.
- Skye, The Twilight Assassin - Wields a fast-firing short-ranged Wrist Crossbow.
- Talus of the Ska'drin - Wields a fast-firing short-ranged Veracharger.
- Zhin, The Tyrant - Wields an Inferno Blade that deals both powerful melee damage and short-ranged damage from burning oil.
Game Modes & Maps
The game features three main game modes: Siege, Onslaught, and Team Deathmatch. While any mode can be played in Quickplay and Custom matches, Siege is the only game mode that can be played in Ranked matches.
Players in the PC version can enable a special Quickplay option to play on unfinished "test maps".
A round-based multi-phase objective mode where teams fight to take control of a Payload cart at the center of the battlefield, and then proceed to either escort that Payload uncontested (when successfully taking control of it) or stalling the enemy team's Payload for a certain amount of time (when failing to take control of it). Teams earn points either by taking control of the Payload in the first phase (one point), or by successfully escorting/stalling the Payload in the second phase (one point). Rounds end after the second phase.
First team to reach 4 points wins.
- Ascension Peak
- Fish Market
- Frog Isle
- Frozen Guard
- Ice Mines
- Jaguar Falls
- Serpent Beach
- Splitstone Quarry
- Stone Keep
- Timber Mill
- Warder's Gate (added on December 10, 2018)
- Shattered Desert (added on February 13, 2019)
- Bazaar (added on May 22, 2019)
A king-of-the-hill game mode where teams fight to maintain control of a single Control Point at the center of the battlefield. Teams earn points by killing enemy players (five points each) and by having at least one teammate (and no enemies) on the Point (one point per second).
A special variant, titled King of the Hill, was added to the Onslaught queue on September 11, 2019. The Control Point relocates to a different spot on the battlefield every 90 seconds, and players spawn in random locations throughout the battlefield (in close proximity to their allies).
First team to reach 400 points (or the highest scoring team after the timer expires) wins the match.
- Foreman's Rise
- Magistrate's Archives (made available for KOTH on September 11, 2019)
- Primal Court
- Marauder's Port (added on September 27, 2018, made available for KOTH on September 11, 2019)
In addition, the Snowfall Junction and Trade District maps from the Team Deathmatch mode were made available for the King of the Hill variant on September 11, 2019.
Basic team deathmatch, where teams earn points for eliminating opponents. Unlike other modes, players spawn at random locations throughout the battlefield (in close proximity to their allies) and can both change their loadouts and purchase Items anytime throughout the match.
First team to reach 40 kills (or the highest scoring team after the timer expires) wins the match.
- Snowfall Junction
- Trade District
- Abyss (added on July 18, 2018)
- Throne (added on July 18, 2018, Custom matches only)
- Dragon Arena (added on November 14, 2018)
In addition, the Foreman's Rise and Magistrate's Archives maps from the Onslaught mode can be played in this mode through Custom matches.