FPS Games for Free
The first-person shooter genre is big business and several titles are released every year. The graphical standard may continue to improve but the gameplay has changed little over the last decade. If you enjoy a bit of violent gun action and you don’t have the spare cash to keep shelling out for the latest games then check out this list of free first-person shooters. They may not look cutting edge but they play well and gameplay is king at the end of the day. Some of these games are completely free, some offer microtransactions which are optional purchases.
Let’s kick off with a big release from EA. It’s Battlefield Heroes. This cartoon style FPS is loosely based on the Second World War with a caricatured Allied force facing the Nazis. They’re styled as the Royals and Nationals in the game. Battlefield Heroes is free to play but you have to register and you can only launch the game via your browser. It is a distilled and accessible shooter with a typical range of weaponry, vehicles and environments. You can buy various extras that you don’t need in the Store but for all intents and purposes this is completely free and you won’t be missing out by not spending. The Team Domination style gameplay and limited content lacks the depth to satisfy real FPS junkies but this is a high standard for a free FPS game. You can read more about it in our Battlefield Heroes Basic Guide and the Battlefield Heroes Class Guide. Plat it at the official website.
America’s Army 3
This is the official FPS of the American Army and it was conceived as a recruitment and training tool. This new iteration, America’s Army 3, was built using Unreal Engine 3 and it promises authentic training, technology, weaponry and audio. There is a single and multiplayer component and you’ll develop and unlock new abilities as you progress through the training. This is no free for all shooter though and you are expected to adhere to the Rules of Engagement. If you want realism and you don’t mind playing a propaganda tool designed to promote the US army then check it out at the official website. It is completely free.
This is a completely free FPS based on Cube which was another free FPS game and open source engine. Assault Cube has been developed by a group of amateurs and started out as a mod. It is now available as a standalone game and the focus is on various multiplayer modes. There is some good team based FPS action here but the game engine is not the greatest and this is far from attractive. It feels a bit odd to play thanks to some unusual mechanics but the modes and weaponry are standard first-person shooter fare. There is also an in-game level editor. Check it out at the official website.
Cube 2: Sauerbraten
This is a vast improvement on the original Cube. It is reminiscent of Quake and it features single player and multiplayer components. It also has an in-game level editor and it is completely free and open source so there is a fair bit of community created content. It is a fairly simple engine but the gameplay is chaotic fast-paced carnage with a sci-fi style. The fact you can create maps easily is the big selling point, though of course the game is completely free to download and play. Check out the official website for more.
This is fast-paced deathmatch action with a retro sci-fi style. Alien Arena conjures memories of Unreal Tournament and Quake III. There are bizarre aliens, plenty of chunky futuristic guns and loads of spaceship environments. The lively community run regular tournaments and there are all the standard modes you’d expect to find in a multiplayer FPS. It is quite a good looking game and the art style is well realised. The game is completely free but there is some in-game advertising. It is built on the CRX engine which was released by id Software. You can check out the Alien Arena website for more.
This game started out as a Quake mod. It is built upon an open source engine called DarkPlaces which is a heavily modified Quake engine. This is a completely free FPS game. It is another fast-paced sci-fi game with plenty of action. Simple and accessible the game features lots of user created maps alongside the official pack. There are sci-fi weapons and a single player game but it is essentially just multiplayer against bots. This is best played against other humans and it is a decent FPS game which is still being developed and improved. Visit the website to download the latest build.
Starsiege: Tribes and Tribes 2
Both these sci-fi FPS games were given away for free as part of a promotion for the third game in the series Tribes: Vengeance. The game features various factions locked in a war and there are standard multiplayer FPS modes including Capture the Flag and Deathmatch. There is sci-fi styled equipment and weaponry in the game and even jetpacks. The game was also designed to be modifiable so there are a few mods out there which have built on the free release. You can still get Starsiege: Tribes at FilePlanet.
This is a completely free FPS and RTS hybrid. Opposing teams must construct bases and aim to wipe out the enemy in a bitter fight to the death. It is a sci-fi game with aliens taking on humans and it was originally a Quake III Arena mod. It bears some resemblance to the popular Natural Selection mod although there is no relation. Tremulous was developed into a standalone game after the Quake III code was made open source. There are several mods and the game allows heavy tweaking of the server settings so you won’t always have the same experience playing it. It is still being developed and you can find out more at the official website.
World of Padman
This is different from the rest of the gritty sci-fi styled bunch. It is an open source first-person shooter based on the Quake 3 engine but it’s based on the Padman comic strip and has a well realised cartoon art style. The player characters are miniature so maps have a Micro Machines feel to them. It was originally going to be a Quake 3 mod and it was developed almost entirely by Andreas Endres and based on the Padman comic strip he did for PlayStation Games magazine. It is now a standalone game and has a number of user created maps produced by the active community. Check out the website for more.
This single player horror experience was well received and there was also a multiplayer component released for free. Plenty of maps, weapons and modes make this well worth a look for anyone seeking a free FPS multiplayer game. It is atmospheric, it plays well and it is completely free, you just have to register. It may not look as good as F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin but it is one of the most polished freebies on this list. You can download it here.
This cyberpunk FPS is free to download and play. It offers some engaging and manic gameplay wrapped up in a comic book style. The mechanics focus on silky, speedy maneuvers and you can walljump and rip through levels at high speed blasting opponents as you go. Each weapon has a double fire capability reminiscent of Unreal Tournament and the game draws in influences from Speedball as well. The levels are interesting and the gameplay really works for a good blast of adrenaline fueled gunplay. Oh yeah and there are pigs too. You can check it out at the official website.
More Free Games
There are a few other free FPS games out there and many of the top FPS titles have a number of mods. For example you can check out Doom 3 mods if you happen to own a copy of the game already. If you are still hungry for more free FPS games then you might be interested in a look at Combat Arms, War Rock and Operation 7. If you’re done with first-person shooters but still skint then check out my Top Ten Free PC Games for other genres. There are also a lot of MMOFPS games on the way and a few of them will be free to play or they’ll offer open Beta tests. Don’t let lack of cash stop you getting that FPS fix.