If you’re viewing this article, you’ve likely been playing Paladins by Hi-Rez and Evil Mojo for a significant amount of time and are wondering, “Why isn’t my KDA greater than 2.0?” or, “How do I win more one-on-one fights?” or simply, “How do I bring my Paladins play to the next level?” As you’ll hear just about anywhere for any type of game, there’s no one specific thing that can definitively improve your play. There are really only two ways to improve at a game: adjusting the game to your play style or adjusting your play style to the game.
With that said, all of these tips will fall under one of these two categories. You ideally should be doing both, but most of these tips will focus on adjusting your play style, as this is generally easier and can yield more immediate results in a lot of cases. Adjusting the game to your play style takes a lot more experimentation and time, but it is generally more effective in the long-run. Keep in mind that some of these tips will not be the most helpful in all situations; I will try to put disclaimers of some kind that highlight situations where the tips may not be as useful.
Finally, before we start, I’d like to start with the clarification that I am not a professional Paladins player or an expert on all champions, and I’m still learning just like you, so keep this in mind as you read these tips. I don’t play a lot of Ranked, but I have reached Gold I multiple times, so I have a pretty good idea of what it takes to be competitive in the game. If you believe I missed something in one of the tips or you think it’s a bad tip, feel free to let your fellow players know in the comments.
Now, let’s begin!
USE COVER, ESPECIALLY CORNERS
Let’s think about your typical Call of Duty or Battlefield games. It seems like a no-brainer that in military shooters, the ideal way to play is to use the cover supplied by the developers to gain advantageous positioning over the enemy. You’ll often be running from wall to wall and barricade to barricade to find cover and peak out to catch the opposition off guard.
In a game like Paladins, it’s easy to forget about cover because of how fast-paced gameplay is. It will usually feel subconsciously like there’s simply no time, but I assure you, you will stay alive a lot longer and deal out a lot more damage, healing, and/or kills if you learn to utilize the cover at your disposal.
Paladins champions are designed to deal a lot of damage very quickly: Zhin can deal 1500 damage in two seconds with the right combination of Nade Launcher and Hunter’s Mark, Tyra can deal out more than 2,300 damage in less than two seconds, even a support like Grohk can deal up to 1,950 damage in similar timing under the right circumstances. This is all without taking cards into account.
Standing out in the open against this kind of damage isn’t an option for the large majority of champions. Even some tanks like Barik and Terminus who are on the hardier end of the spectrum won’t stand a chance against this kind of concentrated damage, even with proper healing. This is why it’s so important to find corners to peek around, or barricade-like objects to peak over by jumping. This will effectively minimize how much damage you take. Corners, in particular, are excellent for shielding from opposing damage while being able to quickly peak back and forth and deal out your own damage, heal, or deal out killing blows, depending on your role. Speaking of which…
UNDERSTAND YOUR ROLE
It’s so important to adjust the way you play based on the role you play on the team, but in order to do that, you must understand the jobs of each role. It’s integral to know that your capacity to earn credits and purchase items throughout the game depends greatly on whether or not you’re doing your job.
Damage: This one may seem self-explanatory, but a certain amount of discipline is required in this role. Because of how much damage you can do, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to get kills. However, this is not your job. As a damage, you get a boost in how many credits you receive for dealing damage to the enemy, not how many kills you get. In fact, flanks are the ones who get a bonus for kills. While it may seem flashy to get as many kills as possible, your team needs damage. If you can rack up some kills in the process, that’s just icing on the cake.
Flank: I personally find this to be the toughest role. It requires a lot of stealth and patience, two things that I struggle with greatly in-game. As a flank, you stalk your prey and wait for the perfect time to pounce. I would also say that flanks have to know the maps better than just about anybody else. You have to be able to quickly choose between many different routes to the same place in order to successfully get to the backline and send enemies back to their spawn points. Like previously mentioned, this is how you earn bonus credits to buy more items. As the squishiest group in the game, you also have to balance deadly blows with self-preservation. You typically aren’t close to the supports, so healing is scarcely a reliable option. This role is all about timing.
Support: Your number one priority should always be healing allies. However, sometimes the best way to prioritize that is choosing when to not heal allies. For example, there’s a friendly champion in a bad situation, and they need some help. Unfortunately, you two are the only ones on the team still alive. While it may seem like instinct to rush in and provide support to your teammate, it may be better to let them go down so that you can stay alive to heal the next allies who respawn and need your help. They will start with full health, may be coming with some backup, and have a better chance of making a difference in the fight. These are the kinds of situations supports are faced with. The bottom line: put yourself in the best situation to heal as many allies as possible.
Frontline: The biggest thing to remember is that frontline is not your chance to be reckless and non-strategic. Your job is to take up as much of the damage as possible so that the rest of the team doesn’t have to, as well as capture and contest objectives. With this in mind, a big part of being a frontline is knowing when to be conservative and when to be aggressive. A lot of it has to do with how many teammates you have alive and around you at any given time, especially the support(s). As a frontline, damage is easy to catch and difficult to deal out. You alone against two damages or even two flanks will typically end poorly for you, so know your surroundings and when it’s safe to press up. Of course, this is all happening within the confines of the objective.
Off-Tank: It’s possible that you don’t know what this role is, it’s a bit of an unofficial role within frontline. Off tanks are responsible for being a frontline presence in a more aggressive role. You typically build yourself towards dealing extra damage and not towards staying alive for as long as possible. You often find yourself fighting off flanks with your own flanks or damages, pressing the enemy when you have the advantage, and traveling across the map as needed. Ash is a great example of a frontline who has excellent off-tank capabilities.
USE F ABILITIES FOR MORE THAN ESCAPING
As I’m sure you’ve already noticed if you’re reading this article, F abilities are ways to be more mobile and often work pretty well for escaping tough situations. Because of this, it’s easy to think of these simply as “escape” abilities. However, it would be far more accurate to refer to them as “relocation” abilities. Through a lot of experimentation, you’ll find that more often than not, F abilities are great for getting yourself to an advantageous position to actually continue a fight, not necessarily get away from it. Getting around or above an enemy is often a good way to do this. Some F abilities, like Maeve’s, are actually meant to be more aggressive. Strix also comes to mind. Do some experimenting with this. You’ll find that the more you practice and get comfortable with it, the better you’ll be in a fight.
Yes, this is a very annoying and spamable quote in Paladins, but it’s sound advice. You’re only as good as the team around you. If you have no team around you, then you’re no good. All too often you see allies running to the point haphazardly when the rest of the team is dead. Not surprisingly, they are met with five enemies and die instantly, further fragmenting the team. If they had simply waited an extra three or four seconds, they would’ve had at least half of the rest of their team to back them up. Additionally, even if your whole team is alive and fighting the fight, it does you little good to go rogue and try to accomplish your own vendetta. It not only makes you weaker, it makes the rest of your team weaker. Stay with your team and take on the enemy at full strength.
So, you’re down 2-0. It’s pretty obvious which way this match is going, right? Never! It’s slowly becoming more common knowledge, but there is a “comeback mechanic” in place that allows a team that’s losing to capture the point faster during the capture phase. When it’s a tie game (including the beginning of the game), each team captures the point by 3% per tick. When a team is down by one point, their capture percentage alternates going up by 3% and 4% ever tick. When a team is down by two points, they consistently capture at 4% per tick. This gives losing teams a better chance at competing and possibly winning the game.
Additionally, the number of credits you receive for a successful push or successfully capturing a point increases as the game progresses. By putting the two together, a team down 2-0 that captures the point not only gets to capture it faster, but they receive more credits for doing so. This further allows them to improve themselves through buying items to level the playing field.
This mechanic is a bit of a hot topic amongst Paladins fans. Why should an objectively worse team receive an extra boost that could mean the difference between a swift loss and a possible win? Should the better team be punished for doing well? It’s a point of contention, but while it’s still in place, you’d be smart to consider it and take advantage of it when you can. This means putting a higher priority on capturing when you’re losing and putting less focus on kills. Frontlines become priorities as they can quickly capture and get you back in the fight, so supporting them all of a sudden has increased importance.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.