Esports Game Comparison: Paladins vs. Overwatch

Esports Game Comparison: Paladins vs. Overwatch

Two games are proving to be really popular now: Overwatch and Paladins. If you've seen both online games in action, you might think they look quite the same in many aspects. It's easy to dismiss these hero shooters as clones of each other, but they're quite different in many ways.

With many similarities, it's no surprise that we get many Paladins vs. Overwatch debates in the online gaming community. The two games may appeal to the same demographics, but their differences in graphics, character designs, game modes, and unique abilities allow each to be distinct in their own ways.

To understand what makes each one different, let's look at what these shooter games have to offer gamers today.

What is Paladins?

Paladins is a free-to-play online multiplayer hero shooter where teams engage with one another using guns and magic to become the legendary Champion of the Realm. This free game was developed by Evil Mojo and published by Hi-Rez Studios.

paladinsHi-Rez Studios


When it was first released in May 2018 as a new addition to the hero shooter genre, many considered Paladins to be an Overwatch clone due to the similarities players saw between the two games. However, the title had been in development for many years before it even went public for its open beta test.

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Paladins Gameplay

Starting off with the gameplay of Paladins, you can expect a conventional first-person shooter experience similar to games like Team Fortress, where two teams duke it out. However, users get to customize their chosen champions the way they want to play them, with team composition being of less importance in the game.

With your character, you have access to your basic attack, three different skills you can change as you see fit, and an ultimate ability. The latter is the best skill of a champion and should be used carefully.

card system


What makes Paladins distinct from playing Overwatch is that it has a skin and card system that allow players to personalize their different characters at the start of each match. They can't make changes to their selections once they're locked in.

This results in the preparation phase for characters at the beginning of a Paladins match being as important as how players perform. Each player's goal is to do their best to build the right champion to meet their needs.

Paladins Graphics

The graphics of Paladins are somewhat simple. Its 3D style visuals regarding the environment and level design are a bit low quality by today's standards.

Paladins Gameplay

The good news is that the game's character and weapon graphics are quite decent, with sufficient detail added to both aspects. Additionally, you can also expect its effects to be cartoonish.

Paladins Development History

Paladins was first announced in August 2015 in the United States, with its closed beta tests being carried out a couple of months later. After a week of its open beta launch on Steam in 2016, the game has accumulated more than 800,000 downloads. It even became one of the most popular games on the platform for some time.

Today, Paladins has a large community of gamers with millions of players in different countries. Casual players will find it the best game due to its being free-to-play since its launch.

Paladins Pros and Cons

These are the pros and cons of Paladins.

Pros of Paladins

  • Its free-to-play setup makes it a fun game for new players.
  • It offers cross-platform gameplay on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and PS5.
  • The game feels unique, especially since it allows players to customize their own play style.
  • There are different playable characters with unique customization options.

Cons of Paladins

  • A small development team means a lower budget and not a lot of new content.
  • The visuals are lower in quality compared to Overwatch graphics.
  • Faulty servers can easily lead to waiting for a long time to start a match.

What is Overwatch?

Blizzard Entertainment is known for producing many games throughout the years, and the release of Overwatch in 2016 is just another step this company is taking to become truly unique in the gaming scene.


Initially, Blizzard had a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the works called Titan that was canceled due to failures in controlling the scope of the game. However, a part of the group that worked on this title decided they could still salvage some aspects of it, and this was when the Overwatch team came about.

Besides being an excellent team deathmatch online game, Overwatch stood out among the other shooters because of the game's story. Blizzard did a great job working in the Overwatch storylines to flesh out the different playable characters.

The appeal of Overwatch characters, its seven different game modes, and the gameplay make Overwatch a better game than many titles today. In addition, Blizzard's own Overwatch League adds more hype to their already popular esports title.

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Overwatch Gameplay

Compared to Paladins, the composition of your Overwatch roster for a given match plays a crucial role in finding success here. There are three unique classes to choose from: DPS, tank, and support. Each one promotes a different play style, and the players' job is to ensure their team has the right balance to win.

Overwatch Gameplay

For instance, the DPS is designed to deal damage while tank heroes hold the front line. The support is essential in any game mode due to their healing and buffing abilities.

Besides having different kinds of attacks and abilities available, both teams can choose to switch between available characters in the middle of a match. This is intended to allow people to counter the various enemy team builds they come across.

In this team deathmatch game, securing a capture point is one of the most critical elements players hope to achieve. However, there are other Overwatch game modes — like Escort, where the defending team must protect a payload until it reaches a specific location.

The winner is the first team with the highest score before the timer runs out.

Overwatch Graphics

Overwatch has solid visuals to offer gamers when talking about its graphics. Its locations are perfectly detailed, and the developers' chosen colors are pretty realistic as well.

Overwatch Graphics

The characters and weapons also look sharp and accurate, providing the game with a professional feel. Meanwhile, its shooting effects are quite satisfying, even for veteran gamers.

Overwatch Development History

As mentioned above, Overwatch came about after Blizzard decided to cancel the MMORPG game Titan back in 2013. So this was a shocking announcement, especially since the game had been in development for seven years.

Although most of the Titan team members were assigned to various projects afterward, a small team of at least 40 individuals was tasked to design a new game. They decided that a hero team-based shooter similar to Team Fortress 2 and other multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games would be a good game.

Blizzard Entertainment officially announced Overwatch at their Blizzcon event in 2014 through a cinematic trailer and extended gameplay footage.

Overwatch Pros and Cons

The following are the pros and cons of Overwatch.

Pros of Overwatch

  • It offers a lot of heroes and roles to match different play styles.
  • The game provides players with highly polished gameplay and mechanics.
  • It's fast-paced yet quite balanced in terms of action.
  • There are visually-appealing graphical designs.

Cons of Overwatch

  • Overwatch relies heavily on working as a team to succeed.
  • There can be long waiting times to find a match.
  • Little to no new content has been released recently.

Which Is Better: Overwatch or Paladins?

If you're looking for a free-to-play online multiplayer hero shooter game, you might be interested in playing Paladins. The game has also received a lot of new content lately that will get new players and veterans excited for its future.

For those that want a more polished game, Overwatch is the better choice. There are many actions that you can do in the game, and the design choices made by the developers make it an appealing title. It also has fewer bugs compared to Paladins.

Is Paladins Better Than Overwatch?

Paladins offer a better experience in terms of providing a quick match for casual players. It's also a free game, meaning you don't have to spend money to get started.

On the other hand, Overwatch holds the edge regarding quality, level design, and polish.

Did Overwatch Copy Paladins?

Overwatch was released in 2014, while Paladins became available to the public a year later. Although Paladins had been in development for a longer period, it's safe to say that Overwatch didn't copy Paladins simply because their developers didn't have access to the game by then.

However, games like Team Fortress and Global Agenda were released way before Overwatch and Paladins and are quite the same in many ways. If anything, Overwatch and Paladins were inspired by these two games.

Is Paladins the Same as Overwatch?

There are many elements that are pretty similar between Paladins and Overwatch. Both titles fall into the MOBA FPS hero shooter genre, have different characters to choose from, multiple abilities to use, and unique game modes to play.

What sets these two games apart is that Paladins allows you to customize characters before a match and locks that in, while Overwatch lets you switch heroes in the middle of a game.

In Paladins, you don't have to worry about your team's composition since it's mostly how you perform during the match that matters more. You get to customize your look and match your cards based on how you play.

Overwatch, on the other hand, heavily relies on your team's roster and actually playing as a team. This is primarily because there are different classes that have unique roles to fulfill in a match. As a result, the team with the better chemistry often wins the match in Overwatch.



Despite being considered highly similar games, Paladins and Overwatch differ in many aspects. They may both be hero first-person shooters, but each title's unique offerings make them enjoyable based on what players are looking for.

Paladins is ideal for casual gamers because it lets you jump into a match quickly without worrying too much about how you fit into a team. Although there are many ways to customize your character in this game, you can stick with how you want to play without following a designated approach.

On the other hand, Overwatch is the more mechanically-refined choice between the two games. Not only that, but it also has a better story than Paladins.

If you're looking for advice, we'd recommend giving both titles a shot. Perhaps try Paladins first because it's a free-to-play game, and then join a few matches on Overwatch to see how it compares.

Both esports games offer a lot of action for new players, and those who enjoy playing FPS games will surely have fun with either option.

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