Don’t you just hate it when you are thoroughly enjoying a F2P FPS game, only for the publisher to riddle it with microtransactions and give the players who pay for microtransactions the upper hand competitively? Yeah, nobody likes that – unless you’re a whale and you want to pay for some 3D avatar booty and a sword with high stats. The problem with most free-to-play shooter games is that publishers have the habit of letting you enjoy the game, and after you invest countless hours on it, they begin to get greedy; changing the meta and microtransactions of the game, forcing to buy their in-game products just so you are more superior than other players. Assuming a player bends the knee and pay infinite money to please the inglorious publishers, they could have used all that money for quality games on Steam or GOG instead.
Fortunately, not all games are pay to win – especially for F2P FPS games on mobile. I rounded out only the fair FPS games in which you can still win and feel competitive whether or not you pay for in-game items or not.
1. Call of Duty Mobile
Despite Activision’s despicable disposition on deteriorating Cawadoody, CoDM seems to be in a stable place where all the guns feel balanced and no item is pay-to-win. In fact, it is one of the most fun F2P FPS games for a very long time since Shadowgun Legends without ever needing to spend a dime on. I still do not trust Activision, however, the way they are treating CoDM for f2players is just. Yes, there are microtransactions in the game and they are definitely questionable (to nobody’s surprise), but if you are planning to spend hundreds of hours on the game without paying the greedy overlords, you can. Although, do not count on it too much. It’s only a matter of time until Activision gets into a frenzy and decides to change CoDM into a pay-to-win haven.
Technically it CAN be an FPS game because of its FPS mode. Although, whether you prefer TPS or FPS mode, PUBGM is still going strong as a fun F2P game without requiring you to pay for powerful weapons. After all, it is a battle royale game that relies heavily on RNG – that includes weapon placements, item randomization and unpredictable player landings. It just works well, and the only loot crates and microtransactions you have to deal with are weapon and player skins. Battle royale games may seem to have been withering for the past months as of this writing, but there is no doubt that PUBGM is still fair for its F2P community.
3. Rules of Survival
I am not going to lie here, chief. RoS is not my cup of tea. I just find it to be a straight carbon copy out of PUBGM since character models, weapons and map visuals are identical. Yet, I give my respect for NetEase Games for keeping RoS f2p friendly. Sure, its FPS mode may be inferior (premade ADS png anybody?) but for the fans of the game, they are still treated fairly. Sure, there are a ton of microtransactions but they are all only under the cosmetic category. If you wish to dominate over other players with just a rubber chicken AND NOT pay a single cent on the game, you can do so.
4. Shadowgun Legends
Some claim it to be p2w but in reality, they just suck at the game. You see, Shadowgun Legends is one of the earliest F2P FPS games that are on par with triple-A PC and console titles because of its amazing visuals, high production sound design, and good gameplay. To this day, Shadowgun Legends sets an example of maintaining high production value without ever forcefully stripping money off your pocket just so you are more powerful than others. Shadowgun Legends is still a fun game to play, especially if you are into the aesthetics of Gears of War or even Halo.
5. Critical Ops
I could have added CrossFire and Crisis Action in the 5th spot but both of those games recently bent the knee and started becoming p2w. Although, all is not lost because of Critical Ops – a casual military-themed shooter that borrows heavily from the likes of Counter-Strike and Rainbow Six: Siege. A lot of people have been doubting on Critical Ops because of how generic the game sounds – one that is usually exploited to lure in casual action fans, only to be dismissed by the thought of p2w microtransactions. Critical Ops is great because none of the guns are pay-to-win. You can get an OP gun as long as you continuously play the game.
There is Still Hope for F2P FPS Games
As long as you count on these games, you will not ever get frustrated when you duke it out against whales. There are still other games out there that are fun to play without paying but these are my most recommended at the moment since the quality of life in these games is still fresh and relevant. Also, player activities are high in these top 5 games.