I’ve been playing Paladins quite a while now and I have been enjoying my time on the game a lot despite it being a free-to-play game on the Nintendo Switch. However, given that Paladins is strictly an online multiplayer game, my experience with it is heavily reliant on how the people that I end up playing with behave. And I hate to say it but, I’ve played with some people who, because of their actions, can/have ruined my Paladins game experience somewhat.
Not to the point of quitting the game as I am glad to say that most of the folks that I’ve played with in Paladins are awesome, but I still have some frustrating experiences with a handful of people. Had they behaved differently, I would have had a much better time with those matches. So I came up with four “rules” for Paladins players to follow in order to keep the Paladins experience great for the community.
1. Don’t Join the Queue if You Can’t Play
Paladins is a five-on-five team-based shooter so it needs a total of ten players to queue up for a match, which can take up quite some time. In a previous version, once the ten players have been assembled, the game prompts everyone to confirm that they are ready to play. If there is at least one player who misses this for one reason or another, everyone gets re-queued and it feels like we have to wait additional time for a match to start. Note: This was removed in the latest version of Paladins (v 1.5) but might get restored due to negative reception of the changes by the Paladins fan community.
Once all players have confirmed, everyone is brought into the game’s lobby wherein each player is given some time to choose a Champion. If for some reason, there is at least one player who has not chosen a Champion, everyone gets thrown out of the lobby and are re-queued, starting everything from scratch. Another note: This was supposedly removed from the latest version (v 1.5) but I still experience it – not as often as before but it does still happen (I think the developers are still tweaking their setups).
Essentially, what I’m saying is this: If you are thinking of playing a game of Paladins but you don’t have enough time – maybe you need to run off to do an errand or you have an activity scheduled in a few minutes that is going to interrupt you – then don’t queue up at all. This just causes delays for Paladins players who actually have time to play. If you thought you could squeeze in a round or two of Paladins but something comes up, it’s easy enough to exit out of the queue. Just a little consideration for your co-Paladins players – the inconvenience is minor, but it does add up over time (worst I’ve experienced was getting re-queued four consecutive times).
2. Fill the Required Roles
What differentiates Paladins from other team-based shooter games is the variety of classes that its Champions are classified under, and the roles that each class fulfills in the game. This is good for people like me who want a little more than the usual first-person shooter experience, but I’ve noticed that players have a tendency to gravitate toward the Damage and/or Flank Champions – the two classes that are geared more towards combat. And that’s generally fine – people are free to enjoy Paladins in whatever way they want. But I’d like to think that people should also be considerate towards the others that they’re playing with.
Despite not as glamorous as the Damage/Flank Champions that rack up so many kills, Frontline and Support Champions are equally important – especially in Siege/Ranked mode. While I’m still quite new to the game (just over 400 matches under my belt and counting), my brief experience has shown that it is very difficult to pull off a win if you don’t have at least one Frontline and one Support Champion. So if you were a little late in choosing a Champion and others had already chosen Damage/Flanks for the first three slots, maybe you can take one for the team and choose a Champion that fills out the missing role?
In fact, if I had it my way, that’s exactly how I’d approach it – if we’re playing Siege or Onslaught mode and you want to be able to choose your preferred Champion, then you gotta have fast reflexes. Otherwise, you have to choose what the team needs – you’ll just end up playing for a loss if you don’t. Or maybe don’t queue up for Siege/Onslaught and queue up for Team Deathmatch instead; a mode that doesn’t rely on having representation from across all four Champion classes.
3. Go on AFK or Disconnect During the Match
This is somewhat related to Rule # 1 but is a lot more painful when you are on the wrong side of it. Once you’re in a Paladins match, going on AFK (“away from keyboard”) essentially means leaving your team in a 4-V-5 situation and even if you’ve got really good Paladins players on your team, if your side is down one Champion then your team is not only going to have a really tough time winning the match, but your team is most likely going to have trouble surviving battles.
You see, even if you’re really good, it’s going to be hard to stay alive in a firefight against two other players and that means getting fragged, having to wait for your respawn, going back all the way to your team’s starting point, only for the opportunity to get fragged again. This has happened to me several times already and I can tell you – it’s not fun. So going on AFK or disconnecting from Paladins during a match isn’t just putting your team at a disadvantage, it’s putting them in a bad experience altogether.
I heard that AFK/disconnected players are replaced by bots, but the AI is just so bad, it feels like you have a toddler controlling one of your Champion teammates. Maybe the developers can find a good balance between finding a bot with decent-enough AI that will pull its weight on your team, but won’t necessarily overpower human opponents. But even then, I wish players would avoid queueing up for a round of Paladins if they don’t think that they can finish an entire match without being interrupted so that they can spare their fellow Paladins players from a bad experience.
4. Perform the Role of your Chosen Champion
It’s one thing to go into a match with a team that lacks a specific role, but at least you know what to expect whenever you start a match with an all Damage/Flank team that has no Support or Frontline Champions. A much worse experience is to go into a match thinking that you have a well-rounded team with one Damage, Flank, Support, and Frontline Champion each, only for one of those Champions to not fulfill their role.
I’ve been in matches wherein instead of holding the point and drawing enemy fire, our Frontline Champion was more interested in hanging back and sniping from afar. Or lumbering after faster, more nimble opponents. Those are pretty frustrating, but what really pisses me off is when players choose Support Champions and then avoid doing any healing whatsoever.
A lot of Paladins players don’t mind adjusting based on what the team needs – I’ve seen a lot of people, especially those who play Paladins frequently (I can recognize certain usernames simply from playing with/against them several times), be willing to change their selected Champion and choose a Frontline or Support Champion instead, if they don’t see anyone else choosing those. Actually, I often let my teammates choose before I do so I can choose a Champion from a class that my teammates don’t want to play as.
But we don’t have that opportunity if we see someone already select a Support Champion, for example. We go into that match thinking “Alright, someone already wants to take on the healing duties” and we’re able to finally choose something else, only to go and play an entire match without a healer because the guy who picked Support does not want to bother with healing.
I just played a Siege match with 3 Support Champions on my team and a Koga, so I chose a Frontline Champion thinking that my healer teammates would keep me alive. We faced a team with NO Support Champions (1 Frontline, 3 Damage, 1 Flank). My 3 Support teammates managed to deal a total of 20 K healing between the three of them – one didn’t even break the 2k barrier!
For comparison, here’s a match I played right after – I chose a Support Champion because I wanted to get a win and did not want to rely on others anymore, at least not at the moment.
Not to brag but I did four times more healing than those three people who had the balls to choose Support Champions. Playing a Paladins match with these kind of teammates takes the fun out of the game completely – not that I am so obsessed about winning, it’s just hard to enjoy a match you know you have no chance of winning because you have scrubs on your team.
5. Don’t Use Ranked Matches for “Practice”
Ranked is Paladins’ competitive mode, and just from the term competitive anyone should be able to infer that this mode is a little more serious than the usual style of play. It is a mode wherein wins and losses mean so much more. As Paladins is a team-based shooter, winning and losing doesn’t just depend on how good you are, it also depends on how good your entire team is. And the reverse is also true – each individual member’s chances of winning depends on your skill and your performance, so it’s not just your win/loss record and rank that’s on the line when you play but your entire team’s.
So anyone playing Ranked is expected to bring their “A” game. Sure, you may not be the best at Paladins, but at least try your best when you queue up for Ranked. And that means before you get into Ranked matches, make sure that you’ve had played enough of casual Siege matches and make sure that you’ve practiced with a good number of different Champions, and make sure that you choose a Champion that you’re already familiar with. Ranked is not the game mode for choosing Champions that you’ve barely used – we’ve got casual Siege mode for that. Don’t be inconsiderate and ruin your teammates’ chances of winning.
And there you have it, a list of things that I wish Paladins players would avoid doing, because these behaviors ruin the game experiences of other players. Don’t get me wrong – Paladins is still very fun to play. But better behavior from Paladins players can definitely improve the overall Paladins experience even more.