At first glance, Paladins and Overwatch look like very similar games. And while it might be easy to dismiss Paladins as a clone-only based on its resemblance to Overwatch, one of the most popular multiplayer shooters globally, the two titles are very different in terms of their competitive aspect.
Both these titles appeal to very similar demographics. Yet, there are many different factors like level design, character abilities, and game modes, which help them further carve out their niches within these groups.
So in this article, we’re going to examine both games and try to see which of them is more competitive.
There are 46 unique Champions in the game—each of these falls into one of four different categories.
Front Line: These characters are the best at taking damage and holding onto objectives.
Damage: As the name suggests, these Champions are most suited to dealing high damage.
Support: Support Champions function as healers and can provide several buffs to their allies.
Flank: Flank Champions are highly mobile and excel at getting behind enemy lines and quickly dealing very high damage.
Because the roster in Paladins is so large and diverse, it’s almost guaranteed that most players will find at least one Champion that works for their particular gameplay style. When we create different combinations of teams with these characters, what you get is a competitive mode in which players have a hard time predicting team behaviors.
There are hundreds of different team combinations in the game, and any one of them can be present in a match, so this always keeps the pressure on. It’s not easy to adjust to different strategies because they vary highly from match to match.
There are 32 playable Heroes in Overwatch, and each of them is a highly specialized character with unique abilities. These characters can be divided into three categories.
Tank: Tank Heroes are capable of soaking up a lot of damage, breaking through enemy lines, and generally just acting as good distractions.
Damage: These Heroes are specifically suited to rushing and racking up kills with their high damage output.
Support: This category includes all of the healers and other similar support characters.
Heroes in Overwatch are designed with specific playstyles in mind, and their movesets and abilities vary greatly from character to character. They also control incredibly well.
So even if you don’t find a character that suits your exact playstyle, you can still quickly get accustomed to any of them.
The only negative here is that most players who have been playing this game for a long time have already mastered their chosen Heroes, and you’re likely to see the same combination of teams over and over again.
Overwatch is slow to add new Heroes, and so repetition sets in quick as players don’t experiment much.
While technically a class-based shooter, Paladin borrows a few different elements from MOBA style games.
Firstly, maps in the game are immense, and players usually require mounts to get back to key locations. This ensures that not only can players jump back into the action quickly after respawning, but also that changing targets and moving to new key points on the map is really quick.
Each Champion in the game also has three different Talents. These are buffs that add additional effects to their abilities like knockback or increased uses. At the start of a match, players can choose one of these to bring into battle, and they usually come with a tradeoff to make sure that they aren’t unreasonably powerful.
And finally, Paladins also has a robust deck building system that truly differentiates it from its peers. Players create a loadout of 5 different cards before jumping into a game, and these provide additional enhancements to their skills like increased reload speed or cooldown.
Taking all of these factors into account, the experience in Paladins varies highly from match to match. Even two players on opposing teams using the same character can perform so radically different that you don’t always know what to expect.
Comparatively, Overwatch is a fairly simple game. There are no pre-game ability modifiers present here, and there certainly isn’t something as complicated as a deck-building system.
But Overwatch isn’t built to accommodate any such metagame. It’s a fast-paced shooter, and it excels at being just that without the need to add another layer of complexity to the game.
Its maps are smaller but more layered and specifically designed to serve as playgrounds that complement the game’s heroes’ various movement styles and abilities.
This relative simplicity is what makes Overwatch much more approachable than Paladins.
Currently, Paladins only has three different game modes, and unfortunately, they aren’t varied enough to keep players satisfied.
Seige: Players have to capture control points on the map while fending off the enemy team. The first side to grab four sites wins.
Onslaught: Earn tickets by killing enemy players and controlling the capture point. The first team to reach 400 tickets wins.
Team Deathmatch: A classic mode where the first team to reach 40 kills wins.
Players in the Paladins community have been very open about their displeasure at the lack of new game modes over the years. Even in 2020, it seems that this issue is not being addressed.
It also hasn’t helped that two game modes, Siege and Onslaught, are very similar. Both feature objectives centered around capturing and holding control points.
But while variety is not available, it’s generally agreed that Siege is the best mode in the game. It’s also the only mode available during the competitive mode.
Overwatch has a selection of seven different game modes by default, with new seasonal modes temporarily available during special events like the holidays.
Assault: The attacking team has to capture two control points on the map, while the defending team has to repel them.
Control: There are three control points on the map, and both teams have to capture and hold as many as possible to get their team progress to 100% completion. The more sites a team holds, the faster their progress increases.
Escort: The attacking team has to escort a payload to the delivery point before time runs out, while the defending team has to stop them before they reach it.
Hybrid: A cross between the Assault and Escort game modes.
Capture the Flag: Both teams are tasked with stealing a flag from the enemy base and bringing it back to their own to earn a point. The first team to reach three points wins.
Deathmatch: Classic free-for-all with eight players. The first player to reach 20 kills wins.
Elimination: 1v1, 3v3, or 6v6 game mode where the first team eliminates the opposing side wins. There is no respawning.
Not only does Overwatch have a selection of classic game modes like Capture the Flag, but it also has modes like Control and Assault that genuinely allow the various Heroes in the game to flex their abilities. Players are honestly spoilt for choice here,
It also helps that the maps these game modes take place in are well-crafted locations that are generally very fun to play in.
Which Game Is More Competitive?
The answer to which of these two games is more competitive is very subjective and will vary highly from player to player.
Overwatch is an incredibly polished and fun game, with a roster of very charming Heroes that adhere to many different playstyles.
But that doesn’t change the fact that regardless of which map or game mode you play, the core gameplay loop is the same experience over and over again. You know how each Hero in the game behaves, and you learn to develop counters against their behaviors and abilities.
Paladins, on the other hand, is not nearly as refined a game as Overwatch, but what it lacks in style and polish, it makes up for in character and builds diversity. It’s enjoyable to play a match in this game and not know how different players will behave on your own and enemy teams.
The talent and deck systems are not just gimmicks; they are features that add a whole lot of variety and spontaneity to matches and create an environment where you have to switch up your tactics to deal with your opponents rapidly. Because Just like you, they are also adapting from match to match and constantly switching out talents and decks.
So as far as my personal opinion is concerned, Paladins gets my vote. It is the more competitive game of the two.