Note: We write and schedule our articles far in advance. We certainly didn’t specifically mean to publish this post a day after yet another shooting. That said, video games don’t cause these incidents.
First Person Shooter (FPS) games are action games centered around gun and projectile weapon-based combat. As the player, you experience the action directly through the eyes of the protagonist. FPS games have become a very popular type of game online.
A lot of FPS games are paid, but there are many you can play for free. Most FPS games have online versions where you play in a supported browser or download a program for your PC that allows you to connect to the game online. We have collected links and information about some of the more popular free FPS games available. All the games listed here are free to play, but there may be some limitations, and you have to register for many of them and download game clients to your computer to be able to connect to the game online.
In Alien Arena, you play the character of an Alien, that you design yourself. It’s an retro sci-fi game, for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, with modern features and rich, colorful arcade-like atmospheres. You choose among many different guns, maps, music, and options, making the game unique.
It has a large, built-in player base, making it easy to find a good match going on, at any time of the day. Members of the friendly community have created dozens of maps, models, and various accessories, adding to the Alien Arena gaming experience.
Alien Arena runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Alliance of Valiant Arms (A.V.A.)
Alliance of Valiant Arms is a massively multi-player online first person shooter (MMOFPS) game for Windows. It offers frantic action in a modern warfare experience.
A.V.A. takes place in an alternate timeline, in which war has broken out in modern Europe between the European Union (EU) and the Neo Russian Federation (NRF). Players in the game side with one of these two forces and attempt to eliminate the opposing team on vicious urban battlegrounds. There are three classes available in A.V.A., point man, rifleman, and sniper, with different traits and specialties, each having their own advantage and disadvantage against the other classes. As a player, you can choose which class to play next during the game and unlock unique skills and upgrades for your class of soldier by gaining Class Skills.
You can choose to go solo in Player vs. Player missions or if you’d rather team up with friends, you can fight your way as a team through intense, objective-based Co-Op missions.
Battlefield Play4Free is a free to play, 3D, MMOFPS game for Windows with realistic graphics, stunning visuals and many different vehicles from which to choose.
As a player, you learn new combat skills throughout the game and earn in-game currency to spend on a massive array of devastating weapons and equipment for use in online battles. The game simulates the career of a professional soldier. As you progress through the game, you can upgrade your physical capabilities, available equipment, and combat expertise.
Blacklight: Retribution is a free-to-play, futuristic, 3D MMOFPS game for Windows with cutting edge graphics, and advanced weapons, armors, taunts, and more customizable down to detailed levels. Players use the new Hardsuit (a hulking armored suit) and Hyper Reality Visor (HRV) to overcome the futuristic killing machine. The HRV allows you to look through walls for partners and enemies.
You can play solo using the Hardsuit and HRV or you can team up with friends in one of the game’s vicious competitive modes, such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination, or King of the Hill.
Punkbuster, an anti-cheat system for online multiplayer games, is required to play Blacklight: Retribution. It’s available for download on the Blacklight: Retribution download page.
BlackShot is a free FPS game for Windows in which the goal is to kill your enemies, earn money, and become commander-in-chief. You must register for an account on the Garena website to obtain a username and password to use when playing BlackShot.
Choose one of four different characters and the kind of game you want to play. The locations in the game are set in the near future and look like the aftermath of a large destructive force, such as a nuclear blast.
Control Monger is a free, FPS game for Windows where mankind has been pushed to its limits and in an age of death and destruction, the only thing that matters is total control. The quest for riches has taken over and shattered the universe, turning it into a battle-torn arena of combat. It’s kill or be killed in this ultimate quest for control.
Choose from seven types of players (bots) and multiple modes of play on each map. The game supports custom made maps and has advanced particle effects and dynamic shadows.
Cube 2: Sauerbraten
Cube 2: Sauerbraten is a free, multiplayer/single player FPS game for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. The goal of this game is not necessarily to produce the most features and the most elegant eye-candy possible, but rather to allow the players to edit the maps and geometry dynamically during the game. Players can even make maps together with other players online in “coop edit” mode. A large variety of game modes are available, as well as a great variety of original maps.
Cube 2: Sauerbraten uses a new 6-directional heightfield (or octree) world model. An octree, in Sauerbraten, is a cube that can be split into eight smaller cubes that can then be done the same to. This allows much more complex level geometry and easier editing.
Digital Paint: Paintball 2.0
Digital Paint: Paintball 2.0 is a free, fast-paced FPS game for Windows that is based on the Quake2 engine, though you do not have to own or use Quake2 to play Digital Paint: Paintball 2.0.
Choose from several types of gameplay, such as Capture the Flag, Elimination, Siege, and Deathmatch (free-for-all). It only takes one shot to eliminate someone, but the use of the Quake2 engine allows for quick dodging, insane jumps, and breakneck speeds. Digital Paint: Paintball 2.0 offers a very unique experience, for both hardcore and novice players, with its high-value team objectives, limited range projectiles, and intense maneuvering.
Gotham City Imposters
Gotham City Impostors is a free to play, 3D, download-only, multi-player FPS for Windows (and PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE). In the game, Gotham City has become overrun with violent vigilantes dressed up like Batman and craven criminals dressed up like the Joker. The two sides are engaging in open warfare on the streets of Gotham City.
Develop your character by upgrading and unlocking the 1000 levels of player advancement through solo challenges and multiplayer modes.
Kuma\War is a free, online, FPS game for Windows that is actually a high-end series of nearly 100 playable reconstructions of real events in modern combat. Choose from missions that reflect unfolding events around the world. You are equipped with modern weapons and thrown into recreations of various conflict zones. Background information is available to supplement each mission, such as satellite photos, political context, and info about the weapons, tactics, and forces involved.
Nexuiz is a free, fast-paced, arena FPS game for the Windows and Xbox 360, that is extremely competitive.
The basis for the game is the war waged between the Kavussari and the Forsellians for centuries. A fragile truce exists, but because they still loathe each other, their warriors fight against each other in arenas rather than on the battlefield. These arena battles are broadcast throughout the galaxy as entertainment in episodes called The Nexuiz Competition. The game features over 100 “Dynamic Mutators” that allow you to power-up your game. You can play solo against bots, honing your skills. Then, play online in up to 32-player matches.
OpenArena is an open source, multiplayer, deathmatch FPS game for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is community-produced and contains many game types, including Free for All, Capture the Flag, Domination, Overload, Harvester, and more. There are also 17 unique player models and 12 weapons from which you can choose.
Planetside 2 is a free to play, open-world MMOFPS game for Windows in which you fight in epic, large scale battles (up to 2000 players in one battle) across a variety of landscapes both day and night. Choose one of three factions, each with their own unique weapons, land and air vehicles, and abilities. You can also customize your outfit color, weapon attachments, and vehicle abilities during the game. The battles are waged across three unique continents, each one with dozens of square kilometers in gameplay space. Planetside 2 also features 6 unique classes you can level up, customize, and switch to on the fly while playing the game.
Red Eclipse is a single- and multi-player FPS game for Windows and Mac, that is set in a fantasy world with aliens. Design your own character and join other servers, create your own server. The game is open source, so every detail of the game can be edited.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 (TF2) is a free to play, 3D, class-based, multiplayer FPS game for Windows that offers detailed training and offline practice modes that help you develop your skills before diving into one of TF2’s many game modes, such as Capture the Flag, Control Point, Payload, Arena, and King of the Hill. TF2 also offers a large variety of classes, each providing a broad range of tactical abilities and personalities. Just a few of the classes available are a flame-throwing Pyro, a room-clearing Heavy, or a Spy who is a master of disguises.
Use TF2’s Item Drop system to find new weapons and accessories, build them using their Crafting system, or purchase them through their proprietary “buying” system in the store. However, you don’t need to purchase anything to play through the entire game. Premium accounts provide extra features, such as access to rare and cosmetic items through random item drops, the ability to store more items in your backpack, and more powerful trading and crafting abilities.
TF2 also offers constant, free updates, including new game modes, maps, and equipment.
Tremulous is a free, open source, game that is a combination of a team-based FPS game and a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Choose from two unique races, aliens and humans. Players are able to build working structures (16 types available) during the game, as in RTS games, that provide many functions, such as automated based defense, healing functions, and the most important structure, spawning. Spawn structures allow players to rejoin the game after death.
The overall objective of Tremulous is to eliminate the opposing team. To accomplish your goal, you must not only kill the opposing players, but also remove their ability to respawn by destroying their spawn structures.
Players advance during the game differently, depending on whether they are human or alien. For each alien they kill, humans are awarded credits which can be used to purchase new weapons and upgrades from the “Armoury.” When an alien kills a human, the alien gains the ability to evolve into a new class. The more humans an alien kills, the more powerful classes become available to that alien.
Tribes: Ascend is a free to play, online, multiplayer FPS game for Windows with a sci-fi setting. It features jet-packs, skis, vehicles, team-based gameplay, and stunning graphics. With the jet-packs, the skis, and the hills on the terrain, you can move around the maps at incredible speeds.
There are two game modes in Tribes: Ascend: Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. With the speed you can attain in this game, the Capture the Flag mode can be a lot of fun. You can swoop into enemy bases, pick up the flag, and disappear before anyone even realized you were there.
TrueCombat: Elite is a free, tactical-teamplay oriented, combat simulation FPS game for Windows, Linux, and Mac, set in a modern-world environment. You are placed in the role of elite mercenary soldier in the conflicts of two internationally operating forces. There are two teams with different mission objectives that are scriptable in maps. Many game types are available, including 1 Life Mission, Capture the Flag and Bodycount. TrueCombat: Elite features realistic weapon behavior simulation, sophisticated ballistic simulation, the ability for different weapons to penetrate different objects, and realistic lens flares, glare, and flash blend effects.
Urban Terror is a free, multiplayer FPS game for Windows, Linux, and Mac that’s described as a “Hollywood tactical shooter.” It’s somewhat realism-based, but their motto is “fun over realism.”
The game allows players to perform superhuman feats, such as keeping going after being hit numerous times, and moving through the game incredibly quickly, including performing moves such as wall jumping (jumping off walls to gain more height) and power sliding (sliding, rapidly, in a crouched position, maintaining speed).
There are numerous game modes, such as Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Team Survivor, Free-for-All (deathmatch), Bomb & Defuse, Capture & Hold, and Follow the Leader.
Select a primary, a secondary, and a sidearm from a list of weapons. However, you have a limited “slots” for carrying your support items, so you must decide how you will “load out” your character before the battle begins.
War Rock is a free, multiplayer, FPS game for Windows that is set in the midst of a nuclear war in the fictional republic of Derbaran, between Derbaran nationalists (government army – yellow camouflage) and NIU rebels (rebel army – green camouflage). Select between the two sides and engage in battles using 20th and 21st century military equipment, including a large variety of infantry weapons and vehicles. Players advance in rank with experience, and are rewarded with access to better gear, weapon mods, and the respect of your teammates.
War Rock is developed in episodes, similar to TV programming, but inverted, in that four seasons make up one episode. You can download the game free of charge, but you must register online to play it.
Warsow is a cartoon-styled, multiplayer FPS game for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, that is completely free to download and play. It is set in animated locations and the players look like wielding pigs and cyber punks. Choose from various weapons to kill others and collect health, armor, and weapons during the game to stay alive in the arena. There are various modes, including Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Free For All, Duel Arena, Bomb Defuse, and Race.
The game is different in that the violence can be toned down. When you kill your enemy, they can just break into cubes. And when you hit your enemy, it’s indicated by stars, rather than blood spilling everywhere.
Wolf Team is a free, fast-paced, 3D, MMOFPS game for Windows that allows the players to switch between playing as a Human and playing as a Werewolf. Humans have a large number of weapons available to them, giving them an advantage at a distance. Wolves have no ability for long distance attack, but they are faster and more powerful than Humans.
Being able to switch between Human and Wolf, allows players to not care about the amount of ammo left, as they can transform into a wolf with such abilities as running on walls and dropping in on other players unexpectedly.
There are several game modes from which you can choose, such as Deathmatch and Conquest. Certain game modes allow players to turn into other types of wolves such as ghost wolves that can become invisible.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is a free to play, downloadable, multiplayer (up to 32 players) FPS game for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X in which players wage team-based combat as Axis or Allies. Because it’s a team game, the only way to complete the objectives that lead to victory is by cooperation. Cover your teammates using your special class abilities in concert with the others.
Select one of five distinct character classes each with unique combat abilities, such as Covert Ops, Engineers, Medics, and Field Ops. Earn experience points in several skill categories, such as Battle Sense and Light Weapons.
World of Padman
World of Padman (WoP) is a free FPS game for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, available in both English and German. It offers common game types, such as Tournament, Free For All, and Team Deathmatch, as well as uncommon game types like Spray Your Color (spray a logo on the walls in the sprayroom), Big Balloon (similar to Domination), and Last Pad Standing.
Players die with they run out of health, however, unlike in other games, they can restore their health at a loading station or with the power-up “revival.”
WoP supports bots with a variety of skill levels in both online and offline play for all of the game types. The game supports modifications and custom maps and players can record audio and video in the game as they play.
Third Person Shooter (TPS) Games
The following games are third person shooter (TPS) games, which are different than FPS games. The main difference is that, as a player in a TPS game, you see yourself as a visible character on the screen. You can see the environment surrounding your character more clearly, which allows your character to more easily interact with objects around you. In TPS games, there is also a decreased risk of motion sickness, which some FPS players complain about.
Ghost Recon Online
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online (GRO) is a free to play, 3D, MMOTPS game for Windows which allows you to engage in fierce and visceral, 16-player online firefights. The matches are objective-based where the player with the quicker trigger finger is not necessarily the winner and team play and coordinating with your allies is essential to survival in the game. You are an elite Ghost, deploying cutting-edge weapons and technology and linking up with your Ghost squad to dominate your enemies on tomorrow’s battlefield. Choose among three different classes of Ghost: Assault, Recon, and Specialist. Each class is defined by a single main ability and gives a specific bonus to teammates who stick near them.
You must create a UPlay account to download and play the game.
Global Agenda: Free Agent
Global Agenda: Free Agent is a free to play, 3D, sci-fi, MMOTPS game for Windows where you are an elite, special agent, acquiring futuristic gear and weaponry, and battling enemy agents and robots for survival, technology, and territory. Create and customize multiple agent characters, unlock jetpacks, grenade launchers, mines, turrets, stealth, decoys, drones, among many other devices.
Four players work as a team, sharing the same online experience, and communicating using built-in text and voice chat, infiltrating facilities, defeating end bosses, and earning technology upgrades. The teams compete for scarce territory and resources, attacking territories, building facilities, and engaging in production, politics, and deception on the way toward world domination.
GunZ The Duel
GunZ The Duel is a fast paced, 3D, MMOTPS game for Windows in which adventurers, treasure hunters, and bounty hunters cross the border between the Empire and the Republic 50 years after the end of the war. Play online with up to 16 players at one time in eight different game modes. Run on walls, deflect bullets with your sword, shoot rockets, and blast away your enemies. Earn money, or “bounty,” by doing well against other players, and use that bounty to purchase new weapons and armor from the game’s store.
Free Training for Playing FPS Games
If you’re a newcomer to FPS games, you can get free training to help you play them on the FPS Trainer website. The trainer shows you where you are hitting your opponents and where your opponents are located to make it easy to locate and kill them. Also, the gun point is always indicated for a head shot. The trainer interacts with you using voice commands, instructing you when to reload, how to gain health, etc.
To use the FPS Trainer site, you must install the Unity Web Player, which is available for Windows and Mac OS X. Once you install the software, the site automatically displays.
The FPS (and TPS) games listed here are only some of the many free games available on the web. You can find more on the MMO Bomb site, as well as other gaming sites. If you have experience with some good free FPS and TPS games not mentioned here, let us know.
Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.
- Published 12/2/12