The best Android shooter games

by Simon Sage

We’ve rounded up some of the best shooting games across Android for those that always need a target. We’ve got the full gamut here, ranging from simple, single-tap games to full-blown first-person shooters that nearly bring the console experience to your phone and tablet.

Ready to lock and load with the best shooting games out there?


Call of Duty: Strike Team

Call of Duty: Strike Team is a smart mix of first-person-shooter and tactical strategy. In the heat of battle, players can zoom out and coordinate a full squad through precarious missions. There’s an over-arching single-player campaign full of political intrigue, and though there isn’t any live multiplayer, you can work climb your way up leaderboards among your friends. Players earn perks and gear as they progress and level up, allowing you to tweak your team to your play style. Though the standard dual-stick control layout is here, an easily accessible snap-to target system keeps things moving, plus gyroscopic controls help with slight adjustments while looking down the crosshairs.

For players that are looking for something more than just run and gun, Call of Duty: Strike Team offers a refreshing mix.

Dead Trigger 2

Dead Trigger 2 continues to be the quintessential zombie-shooting experience on mobile. The graphics are amazing, though the game hardly takes itself seriously - there are lots of tongue-in-cheek references and over-the-top baddies to mow down. This version is a little different in the players now have their very own hideout and a crew that can build stuff for them. The controls have also been streamlined for touch; all you have to do is move the crosshairs over a zombie, and if you’re in range, you’ll automatically start shooting.

There are tons of missions and progression to enjoy, and the in-app purchases have been scaled back with the removal of the premium currency - now you can buy and build everything yourself without spending a cent.

Epoch

Epoch is an imaginative third-person shooter where players control a humanoid robot working its way through a post-apocalyptic city and blasting through equally-armed robots. Apparently you’ve been programmed to protect a princess in a tower and have a need to get back there, but the true full story is salvaged through personal logs. Over time you earn new bits of scrap that you can bolt to your body for different types of upgrades. The control scheme is very intuitive, involving a few simple swipes to dive between cover and pick your targets.

For a gritty, visually-polished, finger-friendly shooter, Epoch has you covered.

Major Mayhem

Major Mayhem is fast, simple run-and-gun side-scroller. Players simply tap on ninjas, secret agents, or whoever else the president has commanded you to wipe out, and continue on your mission. There’s some kind of storyline in there about a girlfriend or something, but really, you just tap your targets as the pop out from behind cover.

It sounds simplistic, but the great cartoon feel, over-the-top storyline, and wide range of unlockables provide excellent, bite-sized gameplay.

Mass Effect: Infiltrator

Mass Effect: Infiltrator hauls in the reknown PC and console sci-fi franchise to mobile, and it’s great. Players navigate between firefights with intuitive swipe and tap gestures, progress their character in specific specialties. If you’ve played the original Mass Effect games, you’ll be familiar with the robotic Geth menace, crazy biotic powers, and the World at War campaign, which ties in your mobile progress with that of the primary game.

Mass Effect: Infiltrator brings in outstanding graphics, fluid controls, and a rich back-story to keep things moving.

Modern Combat 4

Modern Combat 4 is widely regarded as the best first-person shooter on mobile so far. It’s an unabashed clone of the Call of Duty or Battlefield games you’ll find on PC and consoles, and it manages to do a pretty good job of bringing their best qualities to mobile. You’ll find stellar graphics, deep online multiplayer, lots of unlockable items and achievements, and a fleshed-out single-player campaign. Modern Combat 4 also has excellent support for Bluetooth hardware controllers.

As with most Gameloft titles, you’ll find a sprinkling of microtransaction options here, but for the most part they stay out of the way of gameplay.

Pew Pew 2

Pew Pew 2 is a classic top-down shooter game with a funky, retro art style. Don’t let the wireframe graphics fool you, though - there are some great visual effects thrown in here to make this game as gorgeous as it is frantic. New in Pew Pew 2 is a single-player campaign where players dig through labyrinthine stages, but the real fun is found in the various infinite play modes. You can unlock new ships and game modes as you progress, too.

There aren’t any in-app purchases or ads to be seen here, which will be refreshing for many gamers.

Ready Steady Bang

Sometimes less is more. Ready Steady Bang is a simple, stylized dueling game where players have to tap their side of the screen as soon as the countdown is finished. The “bang” kicks in a random intervals though, making the wait sometimes too much to bear. There’s no aiming, just pure speed and reflex. It’s got an old-timey Western theme with a modern, minimalist aesthetic. Players can work their way through a roster of increasingly skilled AI gunslingers and earn new and entertaining death animations in the process, or go head-to-head with a friend in local multiplayer.

On top of its simple and suspenseful gameplay, you won’t have to deal with in-app purchase prompts, or fork over a giant list of device permissions when installing.

Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy

Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is easily the best-looking flight simulator you’ll find on mobile. Players work their way through a lengthy single-player campaign with diverse objectives involving land, sea, and air. While flying your jet, you employ a wide array of weapons and gadgets, get upgrades, and buy new birds. Control schemes vary from an easy-going dual-joystick set-up to an extremely sensitive gyro-based control scheme, but throughout you’ve got gesture-based maneuvers at your disposal to outwit rival dogfighters. You can also take the fight online for a real challenge.

Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is a great shooter, especially for anyone that has a need for speed.

Zombiewood

Zombiewood is a goofy dual-stick shooter where players take control of an overly ambitious stuntman in zombie-infested Hollywood. A perverse director guides you through scenes that make ample use of costumed undead. Players work their way through ridiculous movie tropes while laying down withering fire on the undead.

Over-the-top power-ups, weapons, and upgrades all add up to a pretty wild experience. I found the animation particularly smooth to boot.

Those are our top picks, and we’ll be updating regularly as big releases are made, but what are your favorite shooting games on mobile?

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