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The best free FPS games you can play right now…

While Activision and Infinity Ward managed to squeeze a single-player campaign into this year’s Call of Duty: Mordern Warfare, it’s a privilege you have to pay for whether you actually play through the story or not. If you’d rather just get stuck in the mud and blast away strangers on the internet, you can zip shut your wallet and check out some of the best free FPS games instead.

Apex Legends (Xbox One, PS4, Windows)

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It has been more than two years since Respawn Entertainment launched the excellent Titanfall 2, a full-priced multiplayer shooter that mixed brilliant on-foot gunplay with hulking, walking tanks that delivered deadly firepower. Rather than create a full sequel, the studio instead developed the free-to-play Apex Legends, a battle royale game cut from the same cloth as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s “Blackout” mode.

Set on an enormous map and currently limited to several dozen players divided into three-person squads, Apex Legends feels like a battle royale game made for people who don’t typically enjoy the genre. There is still a circle that closes in on your position, but if you don’t like where you spawned, you can find a device that flings you back into the air. If you happen to get killed early on, your teammates still have a chance to recover your “banner” and revive you at a special medical station.

These tweaks are placed on top of a gorgeous and varied map, and Respawn’s signature snappy weapon controls are back in full force. It isn’t Titanfall 3, but it’s a spinoff that has already attracted more than 50 million players in a month.

Origin

PUBG Mobile and PUBG Lite (Mobile, PC)

PUBG Mobile

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds first amassed a huge following on PC and later Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but the free-to-play PUBG Mobile offers a great alternative version for anyone itching to get their battle royale fix on the go. The game uses a combination of virtual buttons and sticks to create a shooting experience much better than it has any right to be, and with optional motion controls, you can even fine-tune your shot to take out the most distant targets with a sniper rifle. As with its big siblings, PUBG Mobile supports duo and team-based matches, and built-in voice chat allows you to coordinate with your teammates before you approach a new area.

You can actually play PUBG Mobile in either first-person or third-person perspectives, and you don’t even have to have a mobile device to get in on the action. Publisher Tencent developed its own emulation tool so you can play the game from your PC with a mouse and keyboard setup. It won’t have the same fidelity as the full PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but it’s completely free to play and just as addicting.

Tencent also recently extended the reach of its PUBG Lite release to almost anywhere other than North America. Initially restricted to Thailand, this free alternative to the original PC release also relaxes the more taxing system requirements, making it easier on older systems. If you had to settle for the mobile version because of an aging machine, PUBG Lite might be what you’re looking for. Likewise, there’s PUBG Mobile Lite if that 2014 handset is still your only option.

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Call to Arms (Windows)

Its name certainly evokes images of Activision’s Call of Duty series, and its setting isn’t that far off from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, but Digitalmindsoft’s Call to Arms is a very different beast. At its core, it’s a real-time strategy military game with destructible environments and offers a ton of control over how you complete a mission, but this is a “best free first-person shooters” list, and the game offers plenty of that, as well. Want to put your boots on the ground and fight with one of your soldiers in direct combat? Go right ahead, and you’ll still be free to destroy environments in order to get the jump on your enemies.

There are paid versions of Call to Arms that offer additional downloadable content as well as single-player content, but the free version gives you access to the multiplayer mode, and you can progress just like you would in the full version. If you do decide to make the jump and purchase a paid package, you’ll be able to transfer all your progress, too.

Steam

Quake Champions (Windows)