Think back to the mid 2010’s era in gaming. The power of the Call of Duty franchise was waining thanks to the high tech and over the top features had taken the series away from its roots. Titanfall had failed to impress and Battlefield had it’s plaudits but equally, had became quite predictable.
In this era, the FPS genre was crying out for a new format to excite fans and breathe life into the genre. Then right on cue, the hero FPS format burst onto the scene.
While many will argue that the best hero based FPS title of the moment is the wonderful title, Valorant. You can’t ignore the fact that this game took inspiration from games that came before. These games are Overwatch, and perhaps to a lesser extent, Paladins.
These games offered an arcade style FPS format which allowed players to try out a handful of charcaters. Each with their own ultimate moves, unique weapons and skills and custom cosmetics, if you are into that sort of thing. These games moved away from the realistic modern warfare focus of typical FPS games and offered something truly unique.
However, you may be wondering, which one of these games should I invest my time into? Which one of these games is best? Well, you are in the right place. Join us as we compare these two games and see how each measures up. Here is our Overwatch vs. paladins guide.
Main Differences Between Overwatch vs Paladins
The main differences between Overwatch and Paladins are:
- Overwatch is a main fixture of the Esports landscape, whereas paladins has not been embraced by the Esports community to the same extent.
- Overwatch allows you to change your main hero on the fly, whereas Paladins will lock in your choice for the duration of a game, forbidding you from choosing a .
- Paladins uses a card system which offers in-game perks that can be used to give you an advantage. Whereas Overwatch offers a consistent, balanced game format
- Overwatch is a paid title, whereas Paladins is a completely free-to-play experience. Both games do include microtransactions but have done away with the previosuly included loot boxes.
- Overwatch offers heroes with specific playstyles, whereas Paladins offers a limited hero pool with more builds availbable to suit all playstyles.
- Overwatch is a team-oriented shooter, whereas Paladins has team-based aspects but is more geared toward individual success.
As mentioned above, Overwatch is a team-oriented shooter where teams of five Overwatch players will choose their ideal team composition of Overwatch Characters and play through various game modes in the hope of bringing home the win for their squad. Hero selection is vital as players will want to have a team that can attack, defend, heal and provide support throughout their matches. So choosing your hero carefully is a must.
There are 32 heroes to choose from at the time of writing and each offers unique skills, ultimates and traits which make use of various gameplay mechanics and will help players succeed. Here is a quick list of all the Overwatch Characters currently on the Overwatch roster:
- Wrecking Ball (Hammond)
- Soldier 76
Within this game there are a variety of game modes that all rely on teamwork and strategy to win. All of these are simple variations of existing game modes from other franchises and offer a simple to understand goal for each team to complete. Here is a quick rundown of the game modes on offer in Overwatch:
This is a game mode that will feel familiar to those who have played Domination or Headquarters in the Call of Duty series. In this game, one team will be defending and will be tasked with making sure that the offensive team does not capture their base. If they do, the clock is extended and a new base is marked, pushing the defending team back. The goal of the offensive team is to take both bases to win the game.
This game is quite similar to the one listed above. However, in this game no team is defending. Instead, both teams are fighting to control one capture point on the map. The teams in possession of the map point will increase their control percentage and when one team hits 100%, they will the point. This is placed in a best out of three format with different points on the map each round.
This game is yet another similar variation of the above and involves an offensive and a defensive team. The offensive team will have an overall goal of pushing ‘The Payload’ usually represented by a cart or vehicle, from one side of the map to another through choke points.
To do this, the team will have to be stood around the payload while no defending players occupy the space. This is split into 2/3 checkpoints and if the offensive team push the payload through these areas, more time gets added to the clock.
This is a game that basically combines the Escort and Assault format, with the first half of the game being an assualt capture point. Then once the offensive team capture this, they must then escort a payload.
Other Game Modes Include:
- Capture the Flag
It wouldn’t be long before FPS developers would jump on the hero shooter band wagon and Paladins, a free to play shooter, would be the first game of note to do so.
released this in 2016 and immediately, this game recieved a lot of flack from critics and users alike and is to this day often refered to as a budget Overwatch clone. However, when the dust settled, many came to realise that Paladins tried to do some different things and had a good deal of success in doing so.
Firstly, this game takes a much more individualistic approach when it comes to combat. Paladins rewards players for being individually skilled but also offers game modes that require teams to work together to achieve success. As for the heroes on offer.
Players will be able to choose from a list of 41 different playable characters, each with a variety of skills that make use of unique to get one over on your opponent. Here is a list detailling all of the options:
- Bomb King
- Sha Lin
The game also fetures and variety of game modes, some of which are very closely modelled after those popularized by the Overwatch series. Whereas others are more conventional FPS staples. Here is a quick list of the game modes on offer in Paladins: Champions of the Realm:
This mode is considered the competitve mode within Paladins. This is a game that basically replicates the Hybrid mode from Overwatch. Players will work together to capture a point on the map and then have to push a payload to the defending teams base.
This mode is very similar to Domination within the Call of Duty series. However, alongside earning points for your team through capturing one of three points on the map. The player can also rack up points for their team by killing other players. Meaning that this also plays rather like a traditional deathmatch.
It speaks for itself, two teams fight to reach a killcount before the other. First team to reach forty combined kills wins the match.
This is a ranked/competitive version of Siege. The game format remains the same but some changes are made to the ranked layout. Teams can choose two champions to ban in the match and throughout the selection process, both teams are aware of the selections being made by the other team.
Paladins vs Overwatch Storylines
While there is no dedicated storyline or campaign mode for Overwatch, the developers have done plenty to ensure that Overwatch players can immerse themselves in this universe and get to know their characters fully. The central premise for this game revolves around an international military task force known as Overwatch.
This crack team of specialists were formed to deal with the Omnic Crisis, which was a war that broke out between intelligent AI war robots called Omnics and humankind.
This team would deal with the robot invasion and restore over to the world once more. However, after the war, the Overwatch team simply couldn’t co-exist as a unit.
This lead to in-fighting, power struggles and eventually a public outcry for the Overwatch organisation to be disbanded. The public would get their wish when the Overwatch HQ in Switzerland was destroyed, leading to a ban in all Overwatch related activity.
This would birth a new era of uncertainty, with corporations, terrorist extremists and other entities fighting to control the land and with no governing force to protect the people, the world was once again, in grave danger.
With the rise in prominence of the terrorist group known as Talon who have a global agenda to bring about the second Omnic Crisis, Winston, a member of Overwatch takes it upon himself to get the band back together and restore order to the world. This sets the scene for the events of the game.
Blizzard Entertainment have also over the course of this games run, produced a series of animated shorts which reveal important lore and backstory relating to each playable character on the roster.
This has been a smart vehicle to deliver engaging plot points without ever forcing story elements into a game that has purely succeeded as a multiplayer experience.
Paladins takes a similar approach to storytelling as the Overwatch franchise. However, Paladins decided that they would tell a variety of stories in an arc format. The initial arc revolved around the Crystal War and the battle between the two warring factions, The Magistrate and The Paladins.
The Paladins are a force that have existed within this universe for centuries and have helped the Realm fend off the threat of Goblins, Dragons and Wardens to name a few.
However, thanks to the discovery of magic crystals which produced unique magical properties, many within the ranks would defect to form their own group known as The Magistrate, led by Karne.
The Magistrates’ core beliefs centred around the fact that the crystals would undo the great work within the Golden Age and thus, aimed to ban all use of these crystals.
Whereas the Paladins, led by Varela, believed that these crystals could enhance people’s lives for the better and therefore, they fight to ensure that the crystals remain free to use within The Realm.
This is the central premise for the matches and game modes within the game and since this initial storyline, there has been a second arc introduced called ‘The Darkness Arc’ which revolves around the return of Yagaroth, a dark monster who aims to lay waste to The Realm once and for all. The Crystal arc still has not concluded but seemingly has been shelved in favour of the Darkness Arc.
Overall, we would say that the Overwatch saga is a much more well delivered and intruiging storyline. Partly due to the higher production value but also due to the more cohesive plot, the compelling animated shorts and the interesting characters. The Paladin’s story is commendable and, due to multiple arcs, more varied. However, as a whole, the Paladins story is a little too one note for us.
Paladins vs Overwatch Graphics and visual appeal
Visually, Overwatch is leaps and bounds ahead of Paladins in terms of graphical excellence. This is to be expected from a paid AAA game. However, its the finer details that help this game stand out. has a series of characters that all have distinct , animations, weapons, custom cosmetics and more. Not to mention that the offers some of the most stunning settings in FPS .
Thanks to the re-imagined Earth setting, the locations are loosely based off of real world locations. Places like Santorini in Greece, Dubai in the UAB and Hechingen in Germany to name a few. Allowing players to immerse themselves in the picturesque maps and enjoy the incredible vistas and landmarks within.
They say initation is the highest form of flattery. well, i’m sure that Blizzard were plenty flattered when they seen screenshots of Paladins Champions of the Realm drop for the first time. The game is visually a carbon copy of the Overwatch series. However, due to a lesser budget and a free-to-play setup, the game doesn’t have the same refinement or charm or unique character design that Overwatch has.
The animations are all largely the same for all characters, the textures and locations in this title are for the most part, generic and of poor quality. Plus, features like the UI in particular are just shamelessly lifted straight from Overwatch and thats before we even mention the who clearly mirror , and all. In short, this game looks exactly like Overwatch if Blizzard has a fraction of the resources and expertise.
Cross platform gameplay: Paladins vs Overwatch
Overwatch was a name that was crying out for cross platform gameplay and functionality. Especially with the appeal this game has when Esports gamers are concenred. However, it would take until August of 2021 before we would see a this. The game now supports cross play for all gamers whether they are playing on Xbox, Playstation, PC (Steam) or Nintendo Switch.
Paladins wins a point here as this game was quick to move on this trend, offering cross platform functionality from September 2019 onwards. The game supports matchmaking with players on Xbox, Playstation, PC (Steam) and Nintendo Switch.
FAQs About Overwatch vs Paladins
Answer: Paladins, while a great FTP title, is an Overwatch clone with some small tweaks here and there. Over time, the Paladins series has worked hard to establish its own unique personality. Plus, it offers more individualistic gameplay ideals. However, overall, Overwatch is better than Paladins in just about every way.
Answer: Overwatch takes the balance of their gameplay modes very seriously, as they should considering they are a respected Esports title. However, thanks to the card-based system employed in Paladins and the ability to buy cards through microtransactions. It’s clear that players who invest will win more often than those who don’t. Meanwhile, Overwatch’s loot boxes merely offer cosmetic items.
Answer: Not even close. Paladins while retaining a respectable player base since launching thanks to its FTP status, doesn’t have anywhere near the same appeal as Overwatch. The Blizzard developed title has its own world cup, it’s a staple of the Esports community and boasts a very impressive 37 million active users.
Answer: That depends. If you don’t want to invest in hero shooters until you know more about them, then Paladins is a great option as it is free to play. However, if you want the best experience out there regarding hero shooters, you’ll want to choose Overwatch or Valorant.
Here is a quick list of titles that any gamer should consider if you enjoyed Overwatch:
– Team Fortress
– Apex Legends
– Unreal Tournament
Overall, if you are a gamer looking for something that simply allows you to play an arcade style FPS game without any investment, Paladins is a great option. It has decent gameplay, a fun card system that isn’t unlike the one seen in Back 4 Blood and it also boasts a cavalcade of interesting charcaters.
However, if you want a more refined, more competitive and balanced Hero shooter experience. You need to go with Overwatch. It’s superior in just about every department. Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments section below and as always, thank you for reading!