Spill some blood with the best Android shooters currently on the market.
We've rounded up some of the best shooting games across Android for those who always need a target. We have 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.
Last updated December 9, 2016: Added Modern Strike Online to the list!
Modern Strike Online
Not interested in anything other than the thrill of online multiplayer? Modern Strike Online offers just that: a pure online FPS experience packed with features and game modes we've come to expect from the genre. Once you've levelled up some you unlock all six game modes, which include the standard fare you'd expect — free-for-all, team deathmatch, seek and destroy, and a hardcore mode. In-game currency can be bought via in-app purchases or earned via daily rewards, crates and generally kicking ass. Spend your gold and credits on new weapons, armor and accessories for your character. There's a decent amount of customization available for kitting, with over 30 types of weapons available to rent or buy.
It's as complete a FPS as you'll find on Android. You'll want to head into the settings first to customize your controls and screen layout, and tweak the graphics quality to optimize gameplay on your device. By default, your gun will auto-fire as soon as an enemy enters your crosshairs — you can switch this off in the settings, but it's actually a pretty handy feature to have when you're already using your thumbs to move and look around. Yes, there's the occasional in-game ad and constant pressure to invest real cash, as is the case with most mobile games these days, but it's not terribly invasive and there's plenty of fun and loot to be had relying on the free crates and daily rewards.
Download: Modern Strike Online (Free)
N.O.V.A. 3: Freedom Edition
N.O.V.A. 3 picks up the story of former N.O.V.A. commander Kal Wardin as he crash lands in San Francisco amid an ongoing battle. Gameplay is mixed with cutscenes that tell the fairly in-depth story — it might in fact be the reason you keep coming back to N.O.V.A. 3.
Play against enemy A.I. units or play multiplayer over local Wi-Fi or internet. Gameloft implements some measures against cheaters and boosters, namely encouraging players to record or document the actions of said cheaters.
Controls are responsive and targeting is aided by tapping a button to aim down sights, a nice feature for those with big fingers. There are some ads displayed on the menu screens and a popup once in awhile when you die, but nothing the experienced mobile gamer can't handle.
Download: N.O.V.A. 3 (Free)
Hitman: Sniper finds you, Agent 47, stationed with a sniper rifle outside an estate filled with rich people, bodyguards, and a certain high-priority target. Your job is to take your time, plan a course of action, and begin removing enemies any way you see fit (as long as it's through a scope). Each mission has different objectives you can complete for extra money, which you can then spend on weapon upgrades and new sniper rifles. If you're especially proud of a mission, use the Share Replay function to share gameplay footage with your friends.
This game has nice graphics and great mechanics: you must lead enemies who are on the move, and must account for their sometimes unforeseen actions. They will not shoot back, but will take cover and move around the map attempting to help your prime target escape. Controls are easy and responsive, meaning you won't have too much trouble lining up the shot. The music is great, especially when you miss a couple of shots and set off some alarms, and the voice acting is also above par for mobile games. Get your heart beating with this great shooter, and enjoy no ads or in-app purchases.
Download: Hitman: Sniper ($0.99)
Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Did someone replace my phone with a console? Modern Combat 5: Blackout is a first-person military shooter that gives you a real video game experience from the palm of your hand. Beginning with an escape mission in Venice, the campaign follows Caydan Phoenix as he travels the world battling Raiders and the World Liberation Army. Customize your soldier's loadout and special abilities to best suit your playstyle — more options are unlocked as you rank up.
Gameplay is smooth and the controls are easier to manage than most shooters, likely due to the fact you can modify all settings, including audio, control, and HUD. Modern Combat 5 has beautiful graphics for a mobile game, and runs without hiccups on an LG G4.
New to Modern Combat 5 is a PvP multiplayer mode that has five game modes: Free for all, VIP, Squad battle, Capture the flag, Zone control, and Team battle. Test your skills against players around the world and work your way up the global leaderboard. This game has minimal ads, though it does have some micro-transactions.
Download: Modern Combat 5: Blackout (Free)
Overkill 3 is a third-person shooter that guides you through the level, also known as being on rails. Your job is to aim and shoot bad guys. Sounds easy? Overkill lets you choose a difficulty before each boss fight, meaning your recent disposal of entry-position bad guys has no bearing over what is to come.
Choose a loadout from the armory before each mission and unlock new weapons and gear as you progress through the game. You must collect stars by completing specific objectives during each mission — the stars are used to unlock more missions. A tally at the end of each level keeps track of your progress, so you'll never be unsure of where you stand.
Graphics are not as great as other shooters, but Overkill 3 features a co-op mode that lets you team up with a friend or random player to crush the enemy. Ads are few and far between, but there are many in-app purchases.
Download: Overkill 3 (Free)
Unkilled takes you on a wild, zombie-killing ride with a variety of enemies for you to slay using a variety of weapons. Some missions require different weapons and gadgets, meaning you must enter your armory to upgrade current weapons and purchase new ones. There are plenty of upgrades and weapons rewarded to you for free as you move through the ranks, and you will feel like you're achieving something each step of the way.
The controls are easy to use and sensitivities are adjustable. Your weapons will shoot automatically when you are aiming at a zombie except when you're in a static mission; here you will aim and shoot using both thumbs.
There are two play modes available now — campaign and skirmish ops — with multiplayer apparently coming soon. Skirmish ops pits you and your base against other players and zombies. Defend yourself or go on the offensive; either way you will find yourself moving up the leaderboard as you expend bullets and bash brains.
Ads are infrequent but in-app purchases are everywhere.
Download: Unkilled (Free)
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 that players now have their 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 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.
Download: Dead Trigger 2 (Free)
Major Mayhem is a 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. 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.
Download: Major Mayhem (Free)
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.
Download: Pew Pew 2 ($2.57)
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 at 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.
Download: Ready Steady Bang (Free)
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.
Download: Zombiewood (Free)
Gunman Clive is a throwback to early 2D platformers — we're talking NES difficulty and mechanics. Run, jump, and shoot as Clive makes his way through traps, puzzles, and enemy gunmen. The control design reminded me a lot of NES with its directional pad and two button interface — responsive and easy to control.
In an arena of mostly flashy, cutting edge graphics, the monochromatic visual art design might be enough to cause you to overlook this dusty gem. This game isn't about great graphics — it's about challenging gameplay and a soothing soundtrack. Be prepared to lose track of time as you try just one more time to reach the end of the stage.
Adding to the retro feel and offering a nice change to the norm, Gunman Clive does not require any device permissions, does not have any in-app purchases, and does not display any ads.
Download: Gunman Clive ($1.99)
Did we miss any?
Let us know in the comments below your favorite shooter available for Android. If none of these games put the ammo in your clip, check out our roundup of the best Android games.