Knowing Your Team - A Desperados 3 Character Guide

Gaming article by Robert Grosso on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 13:00
Guide
Topic(s):
Developer
Mimimi Games
Publisher
THQ Nordic
Release Date
June 16, 2020
Series
Desperados
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
Steam Amazon

What skills do your gang bring to the table?

Desperados 3 is a game about strategy and stealth, where you need to maximize your skills and timing of your actions to complete objectives. Players have a colorful cast of specialist characters at their disposal to achieve this, allowing them to get ahead against insurmountable odds—so long as they know each of their characters strengths and weaknesses.

This guide is designed specifically to tackle that, in discussing the skills and abilities of each character in Desperados 3, and some tips on how to play to their strengths against the game's numerous enemies.

Getting to Know the Desperados 3 Posse

Desperados 3 Skills and Abilities
The 'character sheet' for each character you control, showcasing passive abilities and active skills. 

There are five playable characters in Desperados 3, and each of them comes equipped with several skills, designated into passive abilities and active skills. 

Passive abilities refer to actions that each hero can or can’t do, such as swimming, carrying bodies, climbing up rough terrain such as ivy or ropes, lock picking, and their starting health. For some stats, such as your health, the amount depends on the game's difficulty; higher difficulties tend to have lower health stats for all characters, for example. Other abilities are universal throughout the whole game.

Active skills are skills that have cooldowns attached to them, such as attacks and traps. These skills often take some time to perform, may create noise, and even have limited ammo capacity, which needs to be replenished by finding marked chests in the game maps. 

Finally, we need to address the enemy types in the game. There are essentially four classes of enemies to worry about:

  • Normal Enemies: Includes cowboys and cowgirls who act as gunmen, thugs, and guards.
  • Elite Enemies: Nicknamed Ponchos in game, for their red poncho, these enemies are tougher to distract and often see through most lures or tricks.
  • Long Coats: The toughest enemies in the game, these characters see through every distraction quickly, and cannot be killed in one hit like other enemies. 
  • Dogs: Have a short range of sight, but can see through most disguises and sniff out hidden characters quickly if you're not careful. 

Knowing the ins and outs of these abilities and skills, and how they relate to the different enemy types, is key to being successful in Desperados 3. So let’s take a look at each individual character to see what they can do.

John Cooper: Skills and Abilities

Desperados 3 Cooper

HP: 4 (Beginner), 3 (Normal), 2 (Hard/Desperado)
Swim: Yes
Climb Ivy/Rope: Yes
Body Carry Speed: Average
Main Attack: Knife and Fists (2-second animation)
Special Skill: None

Cooper is the main protagonist of the Desperado series, appearing in all three games in some form. He is the quintessential “cowboy” type who functions as the “jack of all trades” when it comes to stealth, combat, and skills. 

Throw Knife: Cooper’s primary skill, it allows him to toss his knife at a fair distance to silently kill one enemy on guard. A silent skill that can take down all but the Long Coats in one hit. The major drawback is a 4-second kill animation, which can lead to your detection if you're not careful. Cooper only has one knife as well, so he needs to retrieve the knife from his victim to keep using it. 

Fake Coin: A quieter option is using Cooper’s fake coins to distract enemies. Enemies won’t approach the coin to pick it up, instead they will stay in place and avert their gaze towards the location where the coin was thrown. This is perfect for maneuvering characters through tight locations, or even sneaking up on a few enemies to incapacitate them. Coins can also be thrown at animals, like bulls and horses, which can then kick and gore enemies right in front of them.

Coins do not distract elite enemies for long, however. Ponchos and Long Coats still turn their heads, but only do so for a brief second, making your window of movement incredibly small compared to normal enemies. Coins also have a 9-second cooldown for each use, so timing the throw of your coins is key to success.

Dual Revolvers: Cooper is the only character to have dual revolvers, an Old 51 and New Model Army, specifically. He has a total of eight bullets he can fire before he runs out of ammunition, roughly 4 shots a revolver, and he can shoot twice at two seperate enemies before needing to reload. Only Long Coat enemies can survive a shot from the revolvers, and their reload time is pretty slow, but having two shots at a time can help clear out a few enemies in quick succession.

Doc McCoy: Skills and Abilities

Desperados 3 McCoy

HP: 4 (Beginner), 3 (Normal), 2 (Hard and Desperado)
Swim: No
Climb Ivy/Ropes: No
Body Carry Speed: Slow
Main Attacks: Syringe and Chloroform (4 seconds)
Special Skill: Can Pick Locks

Doc McCoy is a returning character from previous Desperado titles, and he maintains the role of “long-range specialist” in the game. McCoy excels at luring and sniping characters from a distance, as he is often very frail and limited in where he can move across the game map due to his lack of swimming and climbing abilities. He is also the only character who can pick locks.

Colt Buntline Special: McCoy’s primary skill is his modified, scoped pistol, which allows him to snipe enemies at far distances. Players can move the crosshairs to any enemy they have a line of sight to. The shot is also fairly silent, compared to other guns in the game. This means you can snipe lone enemies and other snipers without being detected, provided you are in a safe position. The big downside is McCoy only has 5 shots to snipe with. Long Coat enemies are also only stunned when shot as well, so aim at your own risk if you start targeting these tough foes.

Doctor Bag: McCoy’s doctor bag is a lure that can attract normal enemies to it. Once they inspect it, however, the bag erupts with a blinding gas that limits their vision temporarily. This is great for moving normal enemies off their guard posts, blinding them, and incapacitating them in quick succession. Ponchos and Long Coats, however, are not attracted to the bag, and like Cooper’s knife, the bag must be retrieved to use it again. 

Bandages: Some of the characters have healing items, and McCoy is no exception. In his case, he has an unlimited amount of bandages he can use to heal up to two HP on himself or other characters. It also takes 20 seconds for the ability’s cooldown to end, so it does take some time to heal up if need be.

Swamp Gas Vial: McCoy’s final ability is his swamp gas vial, a grenade that can be thrown and knocks out enemies caught in the blast. This gas can stun all enemies, including Long Coats, and is best used to hit large groups all at once. The major downside is you only get two uses of swamp gas on average, with no chance of replenishing them on a given level, so they are best used in incredibly tight situations with tons of enemies. 

Kate O’Hara: Skills and Abilities

Desperados 3 Kate

HP: 4 (Beginner), 3 (Normal), 2 (Hard and Desperado)
Swim: No
Climb Ivy/Rope: No
Body Carry Speed: Slow
Main Attack: Kick (3 seconds, cannot tie up enemies)
Special Skill: None

Another returning face, Kate is an intelligent and sneaky gambler who uses her feminine charms to sway the odds in her favor. Kate has a few powerful abilities that make her an excellent support character, allowing players to set up other characters across the map.

It should be noted that Kate is the only character to have one main attack, her kick. This kick only incapacitates enemies temporarily, does not kill them. Kate can also not tie up enemies at all after being kicked, a limitation that needs to be compensated for.

Disguise: Kates primary ability is a powerful support ability, where she can disguise herself to move freely amongst enemy patrols. Being in disguise doesn’t normally trigger an alarm and gives Kate two special options when interacting with enemies: flirting and luring. 

Flirting allows the player to distract enemies for an extended period of time. Players can actually position themselves to avert the gaze of enemies while flirting with them, allowing other characters to sneak by undetected. Luring allows Kate to lure an enemy, temporarily making them follow her to a new location for a few seconds. This is often a good spot to pick off guards one by one, as Kate can kick them while another character can kill or tie them up right afterward.

There are some major downsides to Kate’s disguise however. First, you need to find and steal the disguise on most maps, often in an area swarmed by guards or other eyewitnesses. Second, flirting does not work on female enemies. Lastly, Long Coats and Dogs can see right through Kate's disguise, so it is best to avoid them at all costs.

Perfume Vial: Kate can throw a bottle of perfume that acts similarly to McCoy’s doctor bag; it temporarily blinds enemies. Kate’s perfume doesn’t last as long as McCoy’s doctor bag, but it can be thrown an infinite amount of times and has more versatility in hitting enemies out of line of sight. It does have a 10-second cooldown, though, so make sure to time your shots.

Derringer Pocket Pistol: Kate’s only violent means of attack is her derringer pistol, which can shoot enemies in short distances. Unlike most guns, the derringer doesn’t make a lot of noise, but it does have longer cooldown: 6-seconds per shot. Kate only has five shots for her Derringer and, like most guns, cannot kill a Long Coat enemy.

Hector Mendoza: Skills and Abilities

Desperados 3 Hector

HP: 6 (Beginner), 5 (Normal), 4 (Hard and Desperado)
Swim: No
Climb Ivy/Rope: No
Body Carry Speed: Fast
Main Attack: Axe or Punch ( 2 seconds)
Special Skill: Carry two bodies at once

Hector is a brand-new character in the Desperados series and serves as the “strong man” archetype. Hector has the most HP out of any character in the game, can carry bodies with relative ease, and is the only character in the game who can kill a Long Coat enemy without stunning them. Despite his brute force skillset, Hector does have a few simple moves that are efficient in distracting or trapping enemies with ease. 

Bianca the Bear Trap: Hector’s aptly named giant bear trap can trap and kill enemies in one hit, and it serves as his primary skill. Only Long Coat enemies are immune to stepping on the trap, but other enemies will likely catch themselves in it rather easily. Any enemy who is snared dies automatically, but it takes about five seconds for the death animation to finish, and is fairly noisy. Hector also needs to recover Bianca after it is placed down. 

Whistle: A great luring skill, Hector can whistle to lure enemies to his location. Unlike other lure abilities, this one is loud and can attract multiple enemies to a singular location, and has great synergy with using Bianca in helping Hector or other enemies to take out guards with relative ease. Whistling has a 6-second cooldown, and Ponchos and Long Coats are immune to the whistle. 

Sawed-off Shotgun: Hector’s main range attack is a short shotgun blast in a singular cone, which can eviscerate multiple enemies at once. Incredibly loud and sporting a long reload time, the shotgun is best used to take down multiple enemies at once, so they don’t have a chance to react back towards you. You only have four shots with the shotgun before you run out of ammunition.

The Good Stuff: Hector’s own private stash of moonshine is a powerful healing ability that recovers all of his HP. While it heals him completely, it can only be used for Hector and has a 20-second cooldown. This fits Hector’s more aggressive playstyle compared to the other characters, as he is expected to take a few hits here and again as he rips through enemies with his skills. 

Isabelle Moreau:Skills and Abilities

Desperados 3 Isabelle

HP: 4 (Beginner), 3 (Normal), 2 (Hard and Desperado)
Swim: Yes
Climb Ivy/Rope: Yes
Body Carry Speed: Average
Main Attack: Sickle or Punch (3.5 seconds)
Special Skill: None

Isabelle is another new character in the Desperados series, and is one of the most unique because her abilities are more supernatural when compared to the rest of the gang. Isabelle also is potentially the strongest character in the game with her abilities, though it is a very high-risk, high-reward play style that needs a bit of practice to use perfectly.

Mind Control: Isabelle’s best skill is one of the strongest skills in the game: the ability to mind control enemies. Mind controlled enemies can move around freely, pick up and interact with objects, and even attack other enemies on the map. This allows for a lot of versatility with your own plans of attack, from creating a distraction to stealing key items that are needed to make progress.

While incredibly powerful, mind controlling has several drawbacks. The first is Isabelle cannot move or use any other skills while actively controlling an enemy. Mind control is also a limited power, with only four uses before it needs to be replenished. The cost to mind control is also tied to Isabelle’s HP, so you need HP to even mind control an enemy. Finally, Long Coats are immune to being mind controlled.

Connect: Another voodoo ability, connect can link the souls of two enemies together, meaning if something happens to one enemy, it happens to both of them at the same time. Isabelle can link two enemies together by attacking them with a blowdart. Once linked together, any action taken on one enemy will be felt by the other; so if you blind an enemy linked together, the other enemies are also blinded. Same with being knocked out or killed.

Stella the Cat: Isabelle’s pet cat Stella can act as a distraction for most enemies. Similar to Kate’s flirting skill, Stella distracts enemies and can be maneuvered to give other characters a chance to sneak by them undetected. Stella’s distraction lasts about six seconds at a time, and has a 6-second cooldown.

Jimson Weed: Isabelle has her own healing ability, consuming Jimson Weed. It takes ten seconds for the Jimson Weed to reset from its cooldown, making it the fastest healing skill in the game. Its limitation is that it only heals 1 HP at a time, though like McCoy’s bandages, Isabelle can heal other characters with it.

Outlaws to the End

Desperados 3 Screenshot Gang
Use your gangs strengths, and you can overcome all the odds.

With every character's abilities and skills above, players can utilize various strategies to overcome their opponents. The biggest challenges will be using proper timing to get through difficult situations, fighting through Long Coats and Dogs, and navigating around the game maps to play to the strengths of each character. With the rundown of the skills above, players are now better equipped to survive the wildness of the wild west in Desperados 3

About the Author

Self Photo Holding Beer

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Enjoys penning long-form articles that few probably read. Love the art of gaming, preservation, collecting and RPGs. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over ten years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.