Get to know the Desperados 3 characters you'll come to depend on in the Wild West. This tactical stealth game is team-oriented first and foremost. No single character can handle a situation by themselves, at least, not after their tutorial. They all need to support one another, moving simultaneously to take down enemies and survive.
It pays to have a good understanding of all five Desperados 3 characters, and familiarising yourself with their abilities lets you take full advantage of their skills. From confident gunslingers, to axe-wielding tough guys, I'm here to introduce you to each of the Desperados 3 characters, covering their strengths, weaknesses, and how their abilities interact.
All Desperados 3 characters and their abilities
As the protagonist and first character of the game, Cooper is very much a jack-of-all-trades. He has moderate HP and can carry bodies at moderate speed, and is decent with both stealth and guns. He can also climb and swim, which most characters can’t, meaning he can move into unexpected locations to clear a path for less agile team members. Here are John Cooper's abilities:
The only ranged silent kill in the game, this allows Cooper to take down a guard who is standing in the open in situations where a melee fighter would be spotted. On a typical takedown you’ll be wanting Cooper to stand a few steps back and target this exact type of enemy while the other characters take down guards that are within arms reach.
A good all around distraction skill, Cooper tosses a coin, causing enemies within a small radius to turn and look at where it landed, perfect for letting someone dash past and reposition. The coin can also be used offensively. Throwing it at a horse will provoke it to kick backwards, as explained in the tutorial, but the opportunities to use it are rare enough that it’s easy to forget this use entirely.
Cooper’s "loud" skill (technically two skills, but they're identical) lets him target two enemies at once, allowing him to quickly take them out when the shooting starts. When you go loud you really want to clear all the enemies as quickly as possible, so this is very useful. Combine this with a knife throw and Cooper can take out three enemies the moment the shooting starts, potentially clearing the screen before anyone else can react.
Doc is far less mobile than Cooper. He can’t climb or swim and moves slowly when carrying bodies, but he has several powerful ranged attacks to make up for it. You will usually want Doc to stay at the edges of a conflict, either pulling people away with his bag or using his gas and sniper attacks to incapacitate enemies from a safe distance. Here are Doc's abilities:
Doc’s distraction attack is to toss his bag out into the open, causing any enemy who can see it in their vision cone to walk over and try to open it, at which point it explodes in gas, blinding them for a few seconds. The gas is the least useful part of the attack, but it buys Doc a few extra seconds if he can’t stick the guard with a syringe fast enough. What really matters here is the powerful distraction. Pulling an enemy out of position is a strong way to break up a group of guards who are watching each other’s backs.
Colt Buntline Special
Doc’s custom revolver is the longest ranged weapon in the game, a sniper rifle in all but name. Despite being a gun it can actually be used stealthily because the extremely long range means he can stand somewhere out of earshot while sniping enemies from afar. It’s not great in an out-and-out gunfight, where the slow firing speed and inability to hit multiple targets makes it less useful than Cooper’s revolvers or Hector’s shotgun.
A standard healing skill, Doc’s bandages let him heal a moderate amount of HP, and can be used on either himself or an ally.
Doc doesn’t get this ability until his second appearance, but it’s very powerful. Throwing a gas bomb stuns all enemies in a small radius, giving you a few seconds to tie them up before they regain consciousness. It has a very limited number of uses, so save it for when you have a really tight cluster of enemies and you can take out multiple targets at once.
The big man of the group, Hector gets significantly more hit points than the other characters, which he needs as his attacks tend to be very short ranged. He’s also so strong he can carry two bodies at once, and moves faster when holding them than anybody else. Finally and most importantly, his axe attack can instantly kill elite “Longcoat” enemies. In combat Hector is the guy you’ll want to deploy as far forward as possible, using his axe attacks, hiding the bodies of people incapacitated by other characters, or using his powerful whistle distraction. Here are Hector's abilities:
Hector’s trap is kind of like Doc’s Bag, except that it instantly kills an enemy instead of gassing them and doesn’t have a built in distraction: enemies have to be lured toward it using a separate skill. It’s also really loud, making it difficult to pick off enemies stealthily with it. It’s great if you can isolate an enemy far away where they can’t be heard, but those enemies are usually very easy to take out with other skills too.
Hector’s distraction ability, on the other hand, is very powerful. Whistle will attract all guards in a very large radius, larger even than Cooper’s coin, to investigate the source of the sound. The downside is that Hector can’t throw his voice, so he’ll need to either move immediately after whistling or have an ambush already in place to take them down.
Hector’s gun attack is just like him, powerful but short ranged. It can hit multiple enemies in a cone, but takes a while to reload, meaning it is best used to hit a big group of enemies at the start of a fight. I recommend partnering the shotgun with a whistle to lure as many enemies as possible nearby before going loud.
Hector’s healing ability is extremely strong, healing all damage in one use, but it can only be used on himself and has a long cooldown. Thankfully, since Hector is such a short ranged character, he’ll usually be the guy you’re trying to heal anyway.
While every other character in Desperados is playing Splinter Cell, Kate is playing Hitman. She has the incredibly powerful ability to disguise herself as an enemy, letting her wander around the map freely, but she pays for this with very weak direct attacks. Kate doesn’t have a lethal melee attack, only the ability to stun enemies briefly. She also can’t tie them up while they’re stunned, meaning she’ll often need to be supported by other characters who understand how to tie knots. This means that you’ll mostly be using Kate as a distraction, turning the heads of guards so the other characters can get into position to finish them off.
Kate is defined by her disguise ability. When she finds a disguise (she has to steal one to use the ability) she can wander around freely without arousing suspicion. When in disguise she gains two new interactions: Flirt and Lure. Flirt will point a guard’s vision cone directly towards Kate for as long as she keeps talking, allowing allies to sneak past, while Lure will get allies to follow Kate to a new location, where they can easily be ambushed. The downside to these supreme distraction abilities is that dogs can see right through the disguise, so do not try to pet them.
Kate’s perfume is a thrown area attack that blinds enemies, similar to the incapacitating effect of Doc’s bag. The blind effect only lasts a couple of seconds, but it completely disables a guard’s vision cone and importantly does not necessarily alert them when it wears off, allowing Kate to slip by undetected. This will be your primary way of moving Kate into position before she gets her disguise.
In keeping with her stealth tendencies Kate’s gun attack is short ranged and not particularly powerful, but it does have a very small sound radius, meaning you can use it more often than other guns. Useful, given Kate’s lack of other options for taking enemies out.
The final addition to the crew, Isabelle is interesting in that she’s just as mobile as Cooper, able to climb and swim, but lacks his direct attacks, instead relying on a series of unusual control abilities. The big draw here is Mind Control, which opens up whole new ways to play, but don’t sleep on Connect’s ability to multiply the effectiveness of other characters, letting them take down two guards for the price of one.
Isabelle fires a dart, which lets her take control of a guard. While under Isabelle’s control guards can wander around freely in the open without alerting anyone, just like a disguised Kate. Possessed enemies can interact with objects but don’t have any special distraction abilities other than attacking another guard and blowing their cover. When the mind control ends, the enemy is stunned and can be easily tied up. This means that sometimes mind controlling an enemy is a good idea even if you don’t have anything for them to do! There are three major downsides to this ability however: it has limited uses, Isabelle has to stay still while controlling an enemy, and it costs a small amount of HP to use. Good thing you have a healing ability.
Did you like the Domino ability in Dishonored 2? Wish you could use it in a tactics game? Then this is the ability for you. Isabelle fires a dart at two different targets, linking them together. If one dies or gets knocked unconscious, the same happens to the other. It's a great way to deal with an enemy out of reach, by connecting him to a closer enemy and then disabling him. Since Isabelle’s only killing move is her basic melee attack, she’ll have to rely on support from other characters or environmental hazards to finish guards off.
Stella the Cat
Isabelle’s distraction ability is similar to Cooper’s coin, only instead of using money to turn an enemy’s head she uses an adorable kitty. Stella only affects one enemy, but can easily be used from hiding and turns heads for a long time. Combined with mind control it means Isabelle can trivially get past groups of two enemies.
Isabelle’s healing ability only restores a single hit point, but has a very short cooldown. This is essential to keeping her alive as mind control inflicts a small amount of damage to her every time it is used.