10 best free-to-play shooters in 2023, from Overwatch 2 to Warframe

10 best free-to-play shooters in 2023, from Overwatch 2 to Warframe
Images via Respawn | Infinity Ward | Blizzard | Epic Games

Written by 

Jack Roberts

Last updated 

9th Nov 2023 16:00


If you're looking for some of the best free-to-play shooters that you can play right now in 2023, then we have you covered with a list that features everything from Overwatch 2 to VALORANT.

There's an assortment of shooters out there that can be played for free so that you can dive straight in alone or with a group of friends. While some provide your typical FPS experience, others have a colourful cast of characters for you to enjoy a unique playstyle. So be sure to read on to find out about all the best free-to-play shooters you should be playing right now.

Best free-to-play shooters in 2023

#10 - Warframe

An Excalibur character in Warframe
Click to enlarge

Warframe details & key features:

If ever there was a free-to-play shooter that's stood the test of time, it's Warframe. A decade since its initial release on PC, it has subsequently been ported to every console generation since and received constant updates.

Despite middling reviews at launch, Warframe has gone on to become one of the most successful free-to-play shooters by combining procedurally generated levels with a variety of different mechanics. From your standard shooter to ethereal melee combat, no Warframe experience is ever the same.

#9 - Overwatch 2

Kiriko using her Kitsune ultimate ability in Overwatch 2, which is one of the best free to play shooters in 2023
Click to enlarge

Overwatch 2 details & key features:

Although Overwatch 2 may be seemingly overshadowed by various controversies with every update, its free-to-play model on release was a welcome addition that brought in a lot of new players, while also allowing existing players to continue their progress from the first title.

Unfortunately, the single-player content that was promised may not be seeing the light of day, but the existing modes still provide ample - albeit hauntingly familiar - matches with a cast of characters that continues to provide a variety of play styles, making this one of the best free-to-play shooters you can pick up in 2023.

#8 - Halo Infinite

Key art of Halo Infinite, one of the best free-to-play shooters
Click to enlarge

Halo Infinite details & key features

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Release date: 2021
  • Key features:
    • Classic Halo multiplayer goodness
    • Plenty of modes and weapons to play
    • Training mode for newcomers

When it comes to multiplayer features, the Halo series has always been considered one of the most legendary. Halo Infinite has certainly had a few ups and downs since its release, but at the time of writing, it seems to be in a pretty good place, with plenty of players keeping the fire burning.

While initially starting with humble beginnings with limited modes and a lack of a progression system, the game has grown significantly and seen its fair share of polish. While we hope it will keep this up, only time will tell. But in the meantime, with it being free-to-play, it is worth jumping into.

#7 - Apex Legends

Catalyst from Apex Legends
Click to enlarge

Apex Legends details & key features

Beginning life as an offshoot of Respawn’s Titanfall series, Apex Legends quickly overtook its progenitor to become a hit all of its own.

Taking the fast-paced action of Titanfall and placing it into a battle royale created a tense and exciting multiplayer shooter that instantly became among the best free-to-play shooters.

What is most impressive about Apex is the speed at which your characters will move around a map, with zip lines and slides that create a versatile environment and tactile battleground.

#6 - Destiny 2

Key art from Destiny 2 Lightfall, which is one of the best free to play shooters in 2023
Click to enlarge

Destiny 2 details & key features:

Destiny 2 grows bigger and better with every new update, bringing a constant slew of new weapons, cosmetics and missions to embark on for new and returning players.

While technically free-to-play, it does require expansions and season passes to help decipher its dense plot and lore, but even without that you get one of the best feeling free-to-play shooters out there.

Even without it, you can engage in Strikes, take on other Guardians in the Crucible, and try your hand at a couple of raids - including the legendary Vault of Glass.

#5 - Fortnite

Key art from Fortnite chapter 2
Click to enlarge

Fortnite details & key features:

Fortnite has seen its fair share of ups and downs, but one thing that has remained certain is that its free-to-play model continues to draw in players.

With its combination of crafting and shooting, as well as an ever-evolving map, no match is ever the same, making this a perfect choice if you're looking for the best free-to-play shooter.

While the base game is free for anyone to hop into, the paid-for cosmetics and battle pass allows players to live out their fantasy battle royales, by playing as everyone from Spider-Man to The Demogorgon. And don’t be surprised if you get drawn into a spontaneous concert or event from time to time as well.

#4 - PUBG Mobile

Female characters in PUBG
Click to enlarge

PUBG Mobile details & key features:

  • Platforms: Android, iOS
  • Release date: 2018
  • Key features:
    • Battle royale on the go
    • Available to so many more players
    • Tense action

While it may be just as easy to access the free-to-play console and PC versions of PUBG, the mobile version is where the title is currently thriving.

PUBG was one of the earlier titles to be released during the battle royale boom alongside Fortnite, and its mobile counterpart brought the action on the go.

While it could’ve been easy to write off PUBG as Fortnite’s more linear sibling, it has maintained its player base, with the mobile version only going on to increase its accessibility and gameplay options, making it a fantastic option if you're looking for the best free-to-play shooters in 2023.


A player character in VALORANT
Click to enlarge

VALORANT details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC (Microsoft Windows)
  • Release date: 2020
  • Key features:
    • Merges Counter-Strike and the hero shooter
    • Requires high mechanical skill
    • Guaranteed support for years

Riot Games’ VALORANT draws its fair share of inspiration from Counter-Strike, it has since gone on to incorporate several new elements from other free-to-play shooters that have allowed it to become the definitive experience.

While several other free-to-play shooters allow you to play solo queue and jump into battle alone, VALORANT emphasises the importance of working with friends and strangers in team-based combat.

VALORANT very much feels like the conglomeration of many of the previous shooters on this list, with ultimate abilities that can alter a match entirely into a fast-paced action where you are encouraged to think on your feet, You’ll need to have a dynamic approach if you’re going to jump into this title.

#2 - Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0

Key art for Call of Duty Warzone 2.0
Click to enlarge

Warzone 2.0 details & key features:

When it comes to reliability in the best free-to-play shooters, you should look no further than Warzone 2.0. Call of Duty has always been renowned for its multiplayer components, so having a free-to-play title dedicated entirely to it was a no-brainer.

Since its release, Warzone has only got bigger and better, with regular updates, considerations for new titles and an assortment of different playstyles (from teamwork to escaping the Gulag), there is plenty of content for new players to get stuck into.

What is the best free-to-play shooter?

#1 - Counter-Strike 2

A player using an AK-47 in Counter-Strike 2
Click to enlarge

CS2 details & key features:

  • Platforms: Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows)
  • Release date: 2023
  • Key features:
    • Highly competitive action
    • Easy to understand but hard to master
    • Player-driven skin marketplace

Our pick for the best free-to-play shooter in 2023 is Counter-Strike 2. As an upgrade and sequel to the iconic Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, CS2 picks up where its genre-defining predecessor left off.

Often hailed as one of the greatest shooters of all time, Counter-Strike has maintained its popularity with every iteration with frantic gameplay and great progression. While it has been somewhat divisive among the fanbase that has been playing CS: GO for over a decade, it still prides itself in being one of the best free-to-play shooters that you should consider getting into in 2023.

That wraps up our selections for some of the best free-to-play shooters you should get stuck into in 2023. With this level of variety, you’re bound to find something to hop into without your wallet begging you to stop. And if you’re after more lists, be sure to check out our dedicated homepage, as who knows what other games you may find along the way.

Jack is a Guides Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) & MA in English and Creative Writing, he was also the Gaming Editor for The Indiependent. When not pondering which game has the best cup of coffee (and drinking far too much of it himself), he can often be found playing Dead by Daylight, Street Fighter or making yet another build in Bloodborne.

Apex Legends character tier list & best Legends in Season 19
VALORANT 7.12 patch notes including Agent updates, bug fixes & more
How to farm Manglers in MW3 Zombies
How to add & change your Clan Tag in MW3
14 best Tycoon games on Roblox in December 2023