Every now and then we all need a break from those fast-paced run and gun FPS games like COD. There’s just something about a shooter game with separate elements added to it that gives it a more thought out and tactical feel, that really set it apart and gets you more invested in the fight.
In this article, I’ve done some research to find some games that fit the bill in terms of having more tactical elements and themes added to them. Now, some of these games are less tactical than others and they all may not be your exact definition of a “tactical shooter” but regardless they all have additional elements that change up the gunplay and add more things to think about and utilize while in your gunfights.
With that being said, I’m Caleb from Cubold Gaming, and here are our picks for the best Tactical Shooter games that you can install for free on Steam.
Although it’s a little on the older side and still has that Walmart knock-off feel to it, Black Squad is a tactical shooter that honestly still holds up today and a decent community of people still play and enjoy this game on a daily basis.
Think of Black Squad as being inspired by Modern Warfare while being completely free. The game actually offers a lot with 10 different game modes, 48 maps, over 85 weapons, and the ability to make your own private games.
Now, I have heard some complaints that people have related to there being too many microtransactions and cash grab elements, but I think if you can get passed that, you could have a really good time with this game.
Other than that, the gunplay is solid, if you want a more tactical feel, you can play the more competitive modes with less health and with more skilled players. Overall, still a solid game that’s completely free and worth looking into.
Sector’s Edge is a bit of a faster-paced tactical shooter game in comparison to others on this list but I felt that this game should be included because of the interesting gaming mechanics that are included in the game.
Although you may not see this game as being a tactical one, consider that this game implements terrain destruction and reconstruction elements that add extra tactical features to the gunplay. You can get away with running and gunning your way through rounds but I think it’s safe to say that if you utilize the tactical building and structure features, you’ll have more advantages at your disposal.
Not only will the building aspects add to your overall strategic approach to your matches but you can also use the terrain manipulation tool to add even more combat options that you can use. One time I dug a hole under the map to the enemy’s spawn just to get behind them and catch them off guard.
There really are a lot of possibilities and options that you can explore in the game, plus, Sector’s Edge is such an amazing free game with a great community and dedicated devs and I really think it’s a great strategy shooter that is worth looking into.
Although people have their issues with Rogue Company, myself included, it really is a pretty solid strategy shooter that requires a lot of teamwork. Now, this game is one where you really can’t go in and rush without your teammates because you’ll most likely die.
Think of Rogue Company as a mix between Valorant and something like Overwatch or something. Technically it’s more of a CS: GO slash Valorant game because you need to buy your weapons at the start of the round and as you go on and get more money, you’ll get more kills. You also have 1 life per round.
There are a few different types of game modes but I think most people gravitate towards the Demolition mode which is basically search and destroy.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have as many players as it had in the past but there is still a solid Steam community for the game and it has a dedicated player base. I really recommend checking it out and if you can get some friends to play with, it may help because as I said before, teamwork is huge in this game.
Snake Force is a fun little top-down tactical shooter where you need to rescue your troops and gather more of them to form a larger squad to in turn help you get through more enemies and save more of your troops.
You dictate every movement and action that your troops do, so if you shoot, they all shoot, and wherever you go they follow directly behind you. Also, keep in mind that it’s only a single-player game but still a lot of fun.
The tactical aspects of it are really managing your squad and trying not to die because the stakes are pretty high and it’s not all that hard to die in this game. Other than that it’s really a short but fun little tactical shooter.
The Cycle: Frontier
The Cycle: Frontier has actually been around for a bit but just recently came to Steam for free. Imagine a space-themed Hunt: Showdown or Escape From Tarkov with some differences.
The game is a PVPVE game that has you as basically a scavenger that goes on various missions for materials and resources. You get deployed onto a planet with alien creatures and other scavengers that are all looking to kill you and take your stuff. The entire experience is tactical because there are so many things out to kill you and you really can’t just run out there and shoot and expect to come out alive. You have to play it smart, slow, and tactical so you can extract out of the planet alive.
You also lose your stuff if you die on the planet so the stakes are definitely high if you brought some good stuff with you. The sound design and the graphical style of the game are both so good, I’m honestly really impressed with the game.
It feels great and the tension you feel when there are other players around is something you only feel with this type of game. The gunplay is also super solid.
I know some people are having bug issues and they have some gripes about the game but honestly, it’s a really enjoyable game with great visuals and gunplay. It really does impress in a lot of areas and if you have friends to play with or if you are going in solo, The Cycle: Frontier is a really solid game.
Polygon was a game that I found a few years back and it blew me away back then and it still does not. It’s essentially Battlefield 4 with a low poly look and that’s completely free to play. The gunplay is surprisingly solid and the weapon selection is really good.
The tactical aspects are basically directly related to the tactical aspects that the Battlefield games have. Although you can still run and gun around, you really want to work with your squad to gain territory and push the other team back.
It’s a really solid game to play with friends and the content is still oncoming with new maps and weapons so it doesn’t get stale. If you enjoy the larger battle games with a bit of a more tactical focus to it, Polygon is definitely a game worth your time.
Of Guards and Thieves
Of Guards and Thieves was originally recommended to us by one of our subscribers, shout out to Cazyman, and although it took a bit for us to actually try it out, the game is really one of the coolest and most unique tactical shooter games out there.
So how the game works is that there are two teams, the guards and the thieves. The guards have slightly better weapons and gear but can only see through areas with light. The Thieves are a bit underpowered in terms of their guns and gear but they have night vision and can turn off the lights in areas to as to stay better hidden.
Each team has its own classes and operators and the gameplay never got boring or annoying for me. It was fun to play as both the guards and the thieves and I found it to be pretty well balanced. As long as you play your class and team type well, you can do both as either.
It gets pretty tense too in areas because one goal that the Thieves have is to steal various items around the map and bring them back to their extraction areas, but obviously, the guard’s goal is to stop you from doing that.
Not only that but there are plenty of other modes, maps, and community-built stuff that keep the gameplay fresh and new. I highly recommend this game and at the very least it’s worth giving a try.