I spent part of my weekend playing Valorant, the new multiplayer shooter from Riot Games. While I was waiting to get into the beta, though, I was trying to see if I could find anything else like it, particularly on mobile. Perhaps this is unsurprising to say, but: This was hard to do.
For those not familiar, Valorant is a 5v5 multiplayer shooter that’s more-or-less Counter-Strike with hero characters. It’s pretty fun, but requires a lot of focus and teamwork. Few mobile games really fall into this camp, so I decided instead to go for just good multiplayer shooters in general.
For the purposes of this list, “good” generally means the following: 1) No unbalanced free-to-play mechanics (i.e. fusing guns or characters to increase their stats), and 2) people are still playing them. Check out the picks below. Oh, and click here to check out all the great lists we’ve been making lately.
Critical Ops is probably the closest game to Valorant on this list, mostly because it’s heavily inspired by Counter-Strike. In it, two teams compete in various match types, including team death match and—of course—a bomb defusal mode where one team needs to plant an explosive on a map while the other team tries to stop them.
The action in Critical Ops is fast. Just a few shots can take you down quickly, so moving slowly and having quick aim will generally serve you better than trying to run and gun your way through matches.
Shooters on mobile can be tough purely because moving around 3D environments while also trying to aim a gun can feel awkward using touch controls. Armajet doesn’t have this problem because its playfield is smushed down into two dimensions, and involves players using jetpacks to zip over their enemies as they gun them down.
Armajet is probably the most original-feeling shooter on this list, though it does bear quite a bit of resemblance to Soldat. Still though, it can be quite a bit of fun, thanks to its various modes and especially because it recently got updated with controller support.
If the “hero character” part of Valorant caught your attention, the best game that incorporates these is probably Shadowgun War Games. This is essentially Madfinger Games’s attempt at making Overwatch for mobile, and they actually do a pretty decent job of it.
The game only has five characters, a couple of maps, and two game modes, but has promise to expand into a more expansive shooter soon. For those that want to be able to teleport or throw down shields in addition to shoot at players, this is the game to get.
ShockRods is a surprisingly fun old-school car combat game. It’s kind of grungy and janky, but its shooting is satisfying and presents weapons and game modes that you won’t see in any of these other picks.
If you’re worried about the game involving vehicles, don’t be. For whatever reason, this game doesn’t really care about making you feel like you’re driving a car. This means you can strafe and jump with no problem, making it feel more like a conventional shooter than you might think.
It’s hard to think of modern shooters that don’t take some inspiration from Call of Duty. This landmark series really redefined the genre back in 2007 with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and has continued to push things forward with every release since then, even on mobile.
Call of Duty Mobile is an astoundingly robust and competent shooter that repackages all of the most popular multiplayer modes of the console and PC releases into one convenient package. Pick this up if you want the deepest multiplayer shooter experience currently available on touch screens.