Paladins is still very early in its beta, and people are understandably still figuring out how to play it well. If you're new to the game or just looking for a few tips to improve your gameplay, these 10 tips might help you sneak out a couple extra wins and bonus chests.
Until more characters and cards are released, there's only so much of the "meta game" that can be determined. There will certainly be a lot more things to learn and discuss in the near future, so tips and tactics are on the simple side right now. Below you'll find a few basic concepts, strategies, and friendly reminders I've deduced, but many players still haven't quite grasped.
Objectives are the Objective
Way too many players get caught up in fighting and forget the goal of the game. You're supposed to be capturing points to spawn a siege engine, then using that siege engine to destroy your enemy's base. Anything that doesn't contribute to that goal is a waste of energy. Don't chase opponents miles away from the objective unless there's a distinct advantage to doing so. Don't focus on kills when you can be hitting a gate that's almost dead. Don't get yourself killed when your team needs you at a capture point. Think about every action you take and determine whether or not it's helping you reach the end goal.
Back Off When the Siege Engine is About to Die
Way too many teams will push a siege engine into the enemy base, and then linger far too long while hoping to kill an extra enemy. Unless there's a chance you can win the game at the vault, you need to rapidly leave their base once your siege engine is below 10% of its health.
Killing them in their own base does almost nothing, because they'll respawn right where they died in a handful of seconds. Sometimes it can help to linger well outside their base and keep them pushed back, but only if you already have teammates waiting at capture points to give you a head start and you can get away safely 100% of the time.
Always Look for the High Ground and Cover
Using the environment to gain an edge over an opponent can often make the difference between life and death. Many characters in the game benefit from area of effect damage hitting the ground below you, and positioning at a higher elevation can prevent them from throwing projectiles at your feet. You can also use cover to pop out only when your attacks are up, reduce your visible hitbox, or simply make your movements hidden and unpredictable.
Don't Be Out of Position When Capture Points Spawn
Capture points spawn semi-randomly in one of three locations. The only rule is that a capture point won't spawn in the same location twice in a row. This means you always know a point will spawn in one of two locations, allowing you to significantly reduce your travel time and make sure you aren't late.
If it spawns on the left, stand between the middle and right points. If it spawns in the middle, don't go all the way to one side and hope you guessed correctly. When you're wrong, you'll be late to the real point and endanger the rest of your team who arrived on time. Guessing correctly and getting there early usually only results in 20-30% of the capture, and can isolate you for an easy kill by the enemy team. The only exception to this rule is if your team has a numbers advantage after winning a team fight, and you can split your team onto both points to ensure you start capping as soon as possible.
People have a dangerous tendency to roam off on their own in this game,. There are numerous advantages to staying together. You can focus down enemies more quickly, you're less susceptible to being picked off, and you discourage opponents due to the daunting nature of organized play. Many characters also have card effects that benefit allies, so you can miss out on buffs or heals by being alone.
Be Mindful of Your Team Composition
Even though the game only features a handful of characters right now, you can still mess up your team composition if you aren't paying attention. Primarily you need to ensure that you have someone to stand on the point or engage at close range. Even if it means last-picking every time in order to make sure your team is balanced, that's the price you'll have to pay to win more games.
Fernando is the clear king in that role, but a Buck can work in a pinch, and you can make due with a Grohk & Barik combo from time to time. If you end up with a team that's Cassie, Pip, Skye, Ruckus, and Barick, you might be in trouble when it comes to actually holding the point and holding back enemy surges.
Learn Your Cards Before the Game
It's blatantly obvious which players don't know their cards when they stop in the middle of the battlefield for 10 seconds to read each and every detail. Now it's closed beta and it's totally fine that people are learning the game. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you want to make sure you're as quick and efficient as possible, learn your cards ahead of time. Being able to select cards quickly on the fly, based on the art alone, will ensure you're in the action all the time.
Sometimes It's Smarter to Die Faster
Many people will try to stretch out their life as long as possible in scenarios of certain doom. You can actually choose a rapid death instead, starting your respawn timer a few seconds earlier and getting back to the objective that much more timely. Sometimes it'll be more advantageous to delay opponents while they're chasing you down. Start to identify the opportunities where dying faster is smarter than distracting enemies, and you'll make the most of your deaths.
Kill Siege Engines, Not People
When a siege engine is pounding on your gates, far too many people try to focus down the enemies escorting it. They are certainly contributing a lot of damage to your defenses, but they're also much harder to hit. Your attacks can be more wisely used on the siege engine itself. Spending 10 seconds trying to kill a pesky Pip could've been used to kill the siege engine five seconds earlier and saved your gate. Once the siege engine is dead, the gates become invulnerable anyway, so the opponents will have to turn tail and run. I've lost numerous games where a siege engine is at 5% health but my allies continue to wildly and inefficiently attack the enemies bouncing around next to it.
Attack the Vault
On the other side of the coin from the above tip, when you're in the enemy base and your siege engine is at their vault, you need to attack the vault door! Don't try to kill enemy heroes that are at full health standing safely above the door. Of course if an enemy at 1% walks in front of you, killing them could help keep your siege engine alive, so that won't hurt. Otherwise, just burn down the vault door! In the late-game, vaults have so little health that they can be shredded in a few seconds under dedicated fire.
Everyone is still a beginner when it comes to Paladins, so don't feel too bad if any of the above tips rang especially true for you. The game is already loads of fun, so I can't wait to see it become more competitive and challenging as the meta develops and new characters are added.