Paladins provides various characters, called Champions, for the players to choose during their gaming sessions. Each of these Champions falls into one of the following categories: Front Line, Damage, Support, and Flank. Being a team-based shooter, players must rely on strategy, character knowledge, coordination, and teamwork in order to attain victory. Players may use VGS, along with text and voice chat to communicate. A good team will have a balanced choice of classes that will support each other during the game.
- Front Line: Heroes who serve as the anchor of the team, holding the front and protecting their allies. With high health pools and shielding capabilities, Front Line champions excel at blocking enemy fire and disrupting enemy objective captures, they are very effective at zoning out the enemy team after a wipe.
- Damage: Combat Hero who possess reliable and consistent damage outputs or large burst damage potential. Their damage, coupled with average health pools and decent mobility, make Damage champions ideal for skirmishes and extended firefights.
- Support: Champions with high utility and healing abilities, the backbone of any team. Due to their healing capabilities that keep their allies in the fight, Support champions are very valuable allies.
- Flank: Champions who excel at traversing the battlefield and getting behind enemy lines, eliminating vulnerable key targets. While most Flank heroes are relatively frail, having lower health pools than any other role, their excellent mobility and self-sustain provide them with the means of escape and survival.
There are 41 champions in Paladins, five of which are available from the start for new players to choose between. Additionally, four champions are also temporarily accessible for free on a two-week rotation. Players can permanently acquire additional champions through purchases using in-game currency.
Paladins takes place in a sci-fi fantasy "Dungeonpunk" world. There are elements of both fantasy and science fiction, including medieval-like soldiers who use ranged weapons such as shotguns and assault rifles instead of swords.
In the world of paladins, there is a conflict between two factions; the magistrate and the paladins. Champions were recruited in order to minimize casualties of regular foot soldiers. The champions would be considered "special forces" as they are more efficient at combat than a regular soldier. Not all champions are committed, however. There were a few who did not pick sides during the war, rather they would contract with both, rendering them mercenaries. The rest of these special forces were committed to a faction, either the magistrate or the paladins/resistance. There are also minor factions in the game as well, the "Abyss", the "Thousand Hands" and the "Pyre".