There's something extremely satisfying about hunting down your online adversaries and knocking them out with a well-placed shot, which probably explains why shooting games are still one some of the most popular time killers for iOS and Android.
Shooting games for mobile devices come in many different flavors, from old school top-down shooters that hearken back to the golden age of arcade gaming, to highly competitive multiplayer FPS shooters that pit players against each other in a perpetual quest for dominance. But there are thousands of titles in this genre, so to help the cream rise to the top, we compiled a list of the 10 best shooting games available for both iOS and Android phones and tablets.
While all the games in this list are free to install, they all also come with in-app purchases that can give you that extra edge against your foes on the battlefield. That said, we made sure to only pick games where in-app purchases are not required to enhance in-game experience, and all the multiplayer games listed had team-balancing features to ensure fair and even gameplay. So, without further ado, here are the 10 best free shooting games for both iOS and Android.
If you're a Counter-Strike junkie, then you'll feel right at home with Critical Ops. It's a multiplayer FPS in its purest form, and it does away with elements that often ruin the experience of online combat.
There are no pay-to-play schemes here, so big spenders and experienced players don't have a distinct advantage over free and new users. The game even omits the typical reward-based system of earning cash to purchase higher-grade weaponry.
Critical Ops pits counter-terrorist units against terrorist cells in two scenarios: Team deathmatch and bombing/defusing. Once you've picked a side and a match type, simply choose from an assortment of firearms and proceed to play.
Though graphics and weapon selection aren't as great as other FPS games out there, you'll quickly disregard these shortcomings and appreciate the simplicity of the game once you're deep in online combat.
The Binary Mill earned a name for itself with the excellent Gun Club series, which featured ultra-realistic firearm simulations. They've taken what they've learned and applied it into their fantastic entry into the crowded zombie FPS field, Fatal Raid.
The game features great graphics, as well as silky smooth gameplay and animations, so folks who prefer realistic gameplay should love it. Overall, it's got a bit of a Dead Trigger 2 vibe to it, though Fatal Raid certainly has its own merits.
Fatal Raid comes with a great, anime-inspired story-driven campaign mode that's sure to keep you keep you entertained, especially as you test out your weaponry on all the hapless undead that come your way. You also get a PvP mode to go up against other players in simplified maps designed for head-on encounters to guarantee fast-paced combat.
As is common with this genre, your character, along with precious loot, can be upgraded and leveled up to help keep you as sharp as a razor. Though, as with the other games in this list, you don't have to pay to get ahead.
Bullet Force by Lucas Wilde is a dedicated multiplayer FPS with gameplay more akin to Call of Duty, but with a little more oomph. The game is extremely fast-paced, almost bordering on chaotic, which makes it all the more addicting.
By duking it out with your opponents in various objective-based game modes, such as team deathmatch and conquest, you can credits that are spent to unlock new firearms and weapon customizations. such as optics and suppressors. Experience gained through combat also levels up your character, which, in turn, unlocks special perks to help give you that extra edge in combat.
World of Tanks Blitz is one of those games that evokes feelings of sheer terror, though it's followed by the exhilaration that comes with facing down and ultimately defeating a Soviet IS-3, all while armed with an inferior medium tank like the German Panther.
This game arguably requires the most skill in this list, as you have to take numerous things into account when battling. You'll need to attack from the right angle to penetrate armor, maneuver to get behind the enemy, and most importantly, coordinate with your team.
There's no shortage of tanks to choose from in World of Tanks Blitz, but you can only pick one at a time, so make sure it fits your style of fighting.
Tank destroyers are great if you love to snipe, light and medium tanks fit well with scoot-and-shoot gamers, and heavy tanks are perfect for defensive players. Experience and credits earned in combat gives you the ability to upgrade and purchase more powerful tanks to field in battle.
Sky Force Reloaded by Infinite Dreams is ideal for the more casual gamer that's constantly on the go. It's a top-down shooting game where you pilot a spaceship and endlessly shoot your way through a gauntlet of enemies.
But it's not just a mindless shooter — you still need to collect stars, rescue people, and complete various other tasks. With great graphics and easily-understood controls, Sky Force Reloaded is sure to keep you glued to your smartphone for hours on end.
In-game progression within Sky Force Reloaded allows you to ditch your pea-shooter for more powerful weapons. Along the way, you can also upgrade to more effective armor to help you dish out more damage than you absorb as you shoot your way through hostile-infested skies.
Buff cards and other bonuses can also be won while campaigning to maximize your chances of surviving intact with a record high score. Ultimately, it's a perfect game to pass the time while still being thoroughly entertained.
Zombie Gunship Survival from Flaregames is a complete revamp of its prequel, Zombie Gunship. You still get to mow down massive undead hordes from the relative comfort of your AC-130 gunship, but your primary role has changed from rescue to providing air support for your team.
You'll need to stick close to your team as they go on scavenging runs for valuable supplies to upgrade your base and arsenal. This is absolutely essential, as you have to defend your base from zombie swarms every eight hours.
You'll get access to more advanced weaponry for your gunship and soldiers as you progress through the game and level up — Bofors 40 mm cannons, Hellfire missiles, RPGs, and M4 assault rifles, just to name a few.
With a more advanced arsenal, you'll be able to deal more efficiently with the endless hordes of the undead that are out to devour your squad alive. All of these new features give Zombie Gunship Survival an incredible level of depth and detail that is sure to please fans of the genre everywhere.
Dead Effect 2 picks up where its predecessor left off. After killing the evil scientists responsible inflicting cruel experiments upon you and others in the original Dead Effect, you'll now have to fight your way through zombies, cyber hell-hounds, and other fiendish beasts in a research spacecraft that's run amok.
Dead Effect 2's stunningly grim visuals really lend to the the nightmarish setting the player is stuck in, serving as a constant reminder that there's no escape from the cursed vessel.
Despite the bleak and hostile surroundings, however, the game at least gives the player a fighting chance, thanks in large part to a customizable gamepad layout. This ensures that anyone can master the controls right off the bat and increase their chances of survival.
Enhancing abilities and unlocking other perks can be achieved as you progress farther along in this story-driven game. This practice will see to it that you are better prepared for the higher level monsters you're guaranteed to run into.
Shadowgun DeadZone from MADFINGER Games is an excellent choice for gamers who feel more comfortable rampaging through the battlefield form a 3rd person perspective.
The game has a bleak, futuristic feel reminiscent of popular console titles like Gears of War and Mass Effect. There are no elaborate story modes in this game, however, only multiplayer carnage in the form of a free-for-all deathmatch or team-based zone capture and defense.
The third-person shooter format makes it easier to find proper cover and gives you the ability to perform rolls to help avoid incoming fire. The game's fluid controls make these vital maneuvers very easy to perform, as the wider field of view gives you a better idea of your surroundings and helps you plan out attacks.
As is standard fare with multiplayer shooters, you'll earn money and points through combat. This can be used to unlock better weaponry, gear, and special perks that will help you prepare for the endless combat that lies ahead.
Triniti Interactive's Call of Mini: Double Shot is another top-down shooter that's great for casual players. For a quick escape, you can occasionally sneak into your phone to massacre some zombies, then go about the rest of your day.
The game has the straightforward objective of killing waves of undead and trying to survive unscathed. This can be accomplished on your own, or with a friend through the game's co-op mode.
Graphics are a little dated, but Call of Mini's drawn-on style offsets this by giving it the aura of a game that's not to be taken too seriously. The controls are incredibly easy to get used to, so you'll be annihilating legions of the undead in no time flat.
As you might expect, progressing through the game enables you to unlock ever more powerful weapons and characters, along with new skills to make you more effective against the waves of zombies you encounter.
The last game to make our list, Pixonic's War Robots, offers thrilling mech-on-mech combat. This great time-killer straps you onto a giant robot and pits you against other players in squad-based combat with a straightforward objective: Either hold more ground or eliminate the opposing force.
War Robots lets you customize your robots with weaponry that ranges from rockets and missiles to full-on plasma rifles. You can mix and match your arsenal to better suit you playing style, and this element of finding the perfect combination to dominate enemy mechs significantly adds to the fun in playing.
Like most other multiplayer games, gold and silver earned through combat can be cashed in for even more powerful robots and weaponry. The loot also helps you upgrade the robots you already possess, so no in-app purchases are required.
As great as these shooting games are for challenging our skills and killing time, there may have been other action-packed games that flew under our radar. What's your favorite shooting game for Android or iOS? Let us know in the comment section below.