The best free shooting games for Android
Our favorite free Android FPS titles, twin-stick blasters and vertically-scrolling retro shoot ’em ups.
Kinja Run (opens in new tab) initially resembles auto-runner games like Subway Surfers and Temple Run, but it has more in common with bullet-hell shooters. Although there are moments where you blaze along in 3D, darting left and right to scoop up coins before jumping across terrifying ravines, you’re mostly blasting enemies and avoiding their projectiles.
These sections are smartly designed, as you use a single finger to weave between patterns of deadly bullets. The game also regularly affords you the means to customize your set-up, by selecting new power-ups during a game. This also means no two missions are ever quite the same.
Perhaps inevitably, there’s grind and gating through multiple currencies and energy limits. But if you’re happy briefly dipping in on a daily basis, there’s a lot of shooty fun to be had here for free.
Salvagette (opens in new tab) is ideal if you like the idea of bullet-hell shooters, but if you also find dealing with dozens of projectiles hurtling toward you at any given moment a bit too much. It gives you time to think by reframing the genre as a single-screen turn-based strategy game of sorts.
Each level has a selection of enemy craft beam in. You swipe to move, time stopping when you do. The enemies convey their intention to fire by way of a blue glow that gradually shrinks, and you need to ram them before they strike – or dodge their projectiles should they blast them in your general direction.
It’s a clever, refined idea – and surprisingly intense, given that you mostly stare at a static screen. Multiple endings and an in-game shop for stocking up on power-ups add longevity and strategy, respectively.
PewPew Live (opens in new tab) scratches a number of retro-gaming itches, with its fast-paced gameplay and vibrant vector-style graphics. At its core, it’s a twin-stick shooter, echoing Geometry Wars and Robotron, as you aim to survive for as long as possible in a claustrophobic arena full of hostile enemies.
But PewPew Live expands on this basic premise across five meaningfully different game modes. One builds on classic arcade title Asteroids. Another has you weave between multiple deadly objects, thereby testing your dexterity more than your trigger finger.
One of these modes alone would be enough to recommend the game. That you get five equally strong challenges for free transforms PewPew Live into one of Android’s most unmissable freebies.
Shooty Quest (opens in new tab) is an excellent warning to wannabe evil types that annoying someone called the Deadly Arrow is a bad move. Furthermore, you really don’t want to, say, burn down his house, steal his cat, and sign your handiwork - because he tends to get a bit shooty.
Cue: 36 levels (and one endless battle) that features you, as the Deadly Arrow, killing everything in sight. Said carnage is all tap-based, with you unleashing arrow-based doom by prodding at the screen.
As you sit stationary at the center, survival initially relies on timing, dispatching encroaching enemies in order; later, you must master multiple weapons, ensuring you’re armed with the most effective one to off the nearest foe. In all, this is a frenetic and exciting claustrophobic shooter that’s ideal for mobile play.
Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs
Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs (opens in new tab) takes Angry Birds into the third dimension, and frees it from the confines of your phone. Sort of. Both of these things are achieved by the game being presented in augmented reality.
This means ramshackle constructions within which egg-stealing pigs lurk are ‘projected’ on to your surroundings, be that a table, the floor, or the local town square. You can then check out the current challenge from any angle, before flinging one of the titular avians at it by way of a massive catapult.
As a series, Angry Birds was arguably tired years ago. But this game is more than yet another me-too sequel. In providing 3D environments you can fully scrutinize, the concept again feels fresh; and it doesn’t outstay its welcome, with 70 tightly designed levels.
Kazarma (opens in new tab) finds you zooming along the ancient bridge of Kazarma, which connects the human colonies within the galaxy. Sadly, it has seen better days. Not only have maintenance been slacking, judging by the massive holes everywhere, but the bridge has also been invaded by aliens. It’s your job to sort them out, by blowing them all to pieces.
Much more suited to a phone than a tablet, this free Android game has you use a single thumb to zip left and right, dishing out neon death to anything stupid enough to get in your way. Procedurally generated levels ensure no two games are the same, and there are also three difficulty levels. On the easiest, Kazarma almost has a chill-out vibe, but ramp things up and it will take your face off!
Boom Pilot (opens in new tab) is a shooter that yet again finds a lone hero saving the world, on the basis that the good guys can apparently only afford to fund a single pilot. This time, you’re in vertically scrolling territory, weaving through bullet hell, to take down robot fleets that now command the skies.
For some reason, the heavens are also packed full of boxes to blow up, coins to grab, and massive floating plane crushers. There are also, naturally, bosses to take on with the comparative pea shooter that is your plane.
The controls are a bit floaty, but the game’s nonetheless an entertaining blaster, with vibrant visuals, and an urgent soundtrack that’s seemingly beamed in from the 1980s.
HELI 100 (opens in new tab) has the standard backstory of an arcade blaster: hordes of aliens are invading; but, for some reason, all your lot can cough up is a single defensive fighter. Into the fray you go, then, your people’s last hope against annihilation.
Fortunately, your craft is pretty hot stuff. You use two thumbs to have it zigzag between enemy fire, and it automatically retaliates, blasting foes to pieces. Now and again, pick-ups helpfully appear, which when triggered unleash all kinds of extremely dangerous death.
There are 100 levels in all, the last of which is endless, and the first ten or so of which are quite dull while you’re learning the ropes. Stick with it, though, because HELI 100 offers some cracking shooty action perfectly tuned for mobile play.
Piffle (opens in new tab) is a shooting game where you fling strings of balls at blocks, depleting their face numbers until they explode. The backstory is that the nefarious Doc Block is doing something suitably evil with the blocks, hence why you’re trying to eradicate them.
Okay, that’s not the deepest of stories, but it doesn’t matter when the cartoonish action is so inviting and immediate. Flinging balls around the colorful levels is lots of fun, not least because they resemble tiny meowing cats.
There’s some grind here, and you’re going to hit levels that urge you to open your wallet. In the main, though, this is a bright and breezy arcade treat, with nice surprises as you work your way to the ultimate goal of stopping the blocks – and Doc Block – for good.
PewPew (opens in new tab) is a twin-stick blaster in the classic mold. It has no time for storylines. Instead, it dumps you in a ship, hurls countless enemies your way, tasks you with blowing them to pieces, and dresses the entire thing in gorgeous old-school neon vectors.
From the off, this is a tense, exciting game. The arena you’re within is claustrophobic and frequently packed with ships and projectiles. Surviving for any length of time requires mastery of the controls, and learning how different enemies behave.
But there’s depth here, too. Once you’ve suitably honed your shooty skills, you can take on a mode with giant space rocks, and a version of PewPew that removes your weapons entirely, presumably making the ships pilot really wish they’d added ‘bring a really big gun’ to their to-do list.
Shadowgun Legends (opens in new tab) is a first-person shooter with tongue firmly in cheek. Set in a world where mercenaries are rock stars, and aliens are so much cannon fodder, this is a bold, brash, noisy slice of wanton arcade violence.
If you’re looking for nuance, head elsewhere. The story and characters here are wafer thin. But if you’re after action, Shadowgun Legends does the business. Missions are linear in nature, challenging you to be fast and accurate. Combat is responsive and fluid, and you soon find yourself amassing a pile of cash, upgrading kit, and adding to your fame.
Get good enough and your adoring fans will build a statue in your honor. It still won’t be enough to convince you this is a console-quality shooter, but this game feels perfect for mobile: streamlined, bite-sized, free-flowing, and fun.
Drag'n'Boom (opens in new tab) shows that you should never encourage a teenage dragon. Here, the rebellious fire-breather zooms about minimal landscapes, belly-sliding down hills, soaring into the air, barbecuing soldiers, and generally being a menace.
Fortunately, you get to be the dragon, rather than the put-upon army rather wishing it had better weapons. The game recalls Angry Birds in how you ping your dragon along, but also borrows from twin-stick shooters, Sonic the Hedgehog (super-fast tunnel bits), and even The Matrix (slo-mo as you aim).
Although there’s admittedly not masses of variation across the game’s 50 levels and endless mode, it’s hard to be too critical. Drag'n'Boom looks great, and has the kind of grin-inducing breezy gameplay that’s perfect for slotting into the odd moment when you feel the need to unleash your inner dragon.
This vertically scrolling shooter plays with convention in a manner that messes with your head. The basics are familiar – you’re dumped within a vertically scrolling environment and must shoot ALL OF THE THINGS.
Occasionally, obliterated foes drop bonus items that boost your weaponry, providing the means to unleash major destruction while yelling YEEE-HAA – if that’s your sort of thing.
However – and this is a big ‘however’ – everything in Time Locker (opens in new tab) only moves when you do. The temptation is to blaze ahead, due to bonus points being won for covering greater distances, and because you’re being pursued by the sole thing that doesn’t freeze when you do – an all-devouring nothingness.
But careening on isn’t always a good strategy, because blundering into a single foe or projectile ends your game. Risk versus reward, then, in this fresh and great-looking blaster that dares to try something different.