Looking for your next FPS? There might be a few in here that tickle your fancy. Here’s a look at a few good FPS options on Linux & SteamOS.
When it comes to FPS games, Linux now actually has quite a number of high quality titles. We don’t get the latest Call of Duty, sure, but maybe there’s something here you might enjoy.
It’s been about three years since I listed some decent FPS titles, so here goes!
Do you like weird enemies? How about randomly generated dungeons? If that sort of thing ticks your box then Immortal Redneck might be a good one for you. It has an Egyptian theme which makes it quite unique.
Each time you die, you progress a little further as you're able to spend money on your character's progression. This makes death quite rewarding, enabling you to get further through each run.
Naturally, Ziggurat needs to be featured. Much like Immortal Redneck above, this room-based shooter features smaller environments in which to battle in. However, unlike the above, Ziggurat is more about magic with the weapons you can pick up, rather than guns.
The creature designs in Ziggurat are fantastically creepy, who wouldn’t be slightly afraid of a maniacal carrot coming to eat them?
It's hard to give a proper description of Black Ice. It's an FPSRPG, so you progress like in Borderlands with various abilities and you also get random loot. Unlike most shooters, there's very few roaming enemies, instead you "hack" into servers, which then begins a battle as you fight off waves of enemies until the hack is finished.
The developers say it's like if Borderlands merged with Tron and that's not a half bad way of describing it.
Note: It currently has a Unity bug where it has no input in full-screen. You can use this as a Steam launch option (or adjust the config file):
If you like the sound of having a 'Disco Deathball' as a weapon, do check it out.
Day of Infamy
Online play only
We don't have many realistic shooters on Linux and Day of Infamy comes pretty close to it. This WWII shooter is pretty brutal, especially the flamethrower.
The gameplay has quite a lot of variety to it, thanks to 10 different game modes. Not all of them are against other players, some of them see you all team up to take on the AI.
You can even call down aircraft strafing and bombing runs if you're a Radioman and it sure does look awesome. Taking cover from aircraft, while the enemy is bearing down on you sure does get intense.
Online play only
WWII shooters not your thing? Insurgency also sits on the more realistic side, but it features more modern weapons. It has multiple game modes, over 40 weapons, 16 maps each of which can be played in night or day versions and a lot more.
It's actually developed by the same team that made Day of Infamy and they're working on an updated and much bigger Insurgency game at the moment called Insurgency: Sandstorm, which will support Linux.
Online play only, no bots.
If you're looking for an online class-based shooter, that isn't realistic and is really easy to get into, this could easily be the one for you. It has a progression and customization system, where you're able to adjust your weapon loadout and change your abilities. It has a lockbox system, which grants you interesting weapon skins and accessories and the boxes are free to open too!
If you want to know how good you are against everyone else, it even has a leaderboard system.
We even run three servers for it! See our Game Servers page for details.
While this may be one of the most simplistic FPS games around, it’s incredibly addictive. Your only mission: survive. It’s an FPS where you’re battling more and more difficult circumstances to survive just a few seconds longer and attempt to beat the times of your friends and the rest of the world.
The entire game takes place inside the same small, dark arena. Even though the game is small, the atmosphere is absolutely incredible for such a game. It will make your heart race, it will make you sweat and you will love it.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Out of this list, this might actually be my favourite. A great immersive story, crazy action sequences with a character upgrade system. It’s easily the best looking too by far!
You are Adam Jensen, a mechanically augmented human with metal arms and other various implants. Thanks to these implants, you can play the game in many ways. Will you be an overhwelming force rushing in and smashing everyone up, or a take a more sneaky ninja approach? It also mixes in some third-person for when you're taking cover, allowing you to sneak from box to box and get in close.
You don't even need to have played the previous game, since it has a handy video to sum up what happened, which can be skipped.
I'm quite sad that it's possibly the last Deus Ex game, due to apparent underwhelming sales of this game.
Stop — Don’t move. Move and you might die! I was so extremely impressed by SUPERHOT that I wished it was longer. When I originally wrote about it, I called it “the most innovative shooter I've played in years.”. I still think that was true at the time.
It won’t be to everyone’s tastes, since it’s not fast-paced action, but more about careful movements. Nothing moves until you move, letting you carefully study your surroundings and plan your next movement.
Serious Sam Fusion 2017 (beta)
Single-player and online play available.
Well, this one is technically a game engine. It powers the newer versions of various Serious Sam games. Croteam have supported Linux exceptionally well in recent years and they deserve full credit. It currently works with Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter, Serious Sam 3: BFE and VR versions of some games too.
If you like seriously over the top shooters, with lots of weapons and completely crazy action this is a must have on Linux.
This newer game engine can use both OpenGL and Vulkan giving us the best of both worlds.
Metro 2033 Redux
The world has been devastated by an apocalyptic event, leaving most of mankind dead. You play the role of a Russian survivor living in the tunnels of the Metro. The world has been transformed, with all sorts of horrors awaiting you both above and below the surface.
There's lots of action, horror elements, plenty of guns to choose from and the Redux version improves the game in many ways. There's also two different styles of play available, with "Spartan" giving more resources and health and "Survival" being more difficult.
Can you survive the horrors that await? When it was originally released, the game was absolutely ground breaking and is still utterly fantastic today.
Metro Last Light Redux
The direct follow-on from Metro 2033, just as epic as and scary the first game. If you enjoyed the first, but you haven't picked up Last Light yet you're absolutely missing out on another incredible experience.
Few games get a sequel that's better than the first game, but Metro Last Light Redux might actually be one of those times. Not a lot else to say about it, since it's similar in a lot of ways to the previous game in terms of the setting, the action and everything. Still, it's an easy choice.
If you have memories of playing split screen games with your friends when you were younger, you will probably also remember how you often stared at their screen to find them. Screencheat literally requires you to do just that!
This crazy FPS has everyone invisible, so you need to study their screen while being mindful of everyone watching yours. It's absolutely nuts!
PAYDAY 2: Ultimate Edition
Single-player with bots and online play available.
Ever dreampt of robbing banks? Don't worry, we won't tell anyone, but that's the aim of the game in PAYDAY 2. An absolutely action-packed crime-filled fun fest! You're the bad guy, you're facing off against police and it's good fun.
It might not have a SteamOS icon to indicate Linux support on the Steam store directly, but PAYDAY 2 does support Linux. It seems a bunch of DLC hasn't been tagged as supporting Linux (even though they do work as well), so the icon no longer shows on the homepage of this new edition. However, if you click to see the bundle details it then clearly show PAYDAY 2 itself with a SteamOS icon. Steam is just — weird.
Single-player practice mode against AI, as well as online play.
Possibly one of the most unique FPS games around. You don’t get your weapons the in the traditional ways, instead your weapons grow from the ground for you to cut down. Weapons are based on vegetables and fruits, to hilarious effect. If you fire at someone and miss, your bullets that impact the ground then grow a new weapon.
It has various game modes, but their version of capture the flag is quite amusing. You have to catch and hold onto a chicken to score points, the only problem is you can't shoot while holding it.
Such a very clever idea and it's great for a younger audience as well as adults.
Single-player and online co-op!
An obvious choice for such a list. Borderlands 2 has so many qualities that give it a firm place here. It has plenty of characters to pick from, each with unique abilities. The game is rammed full of content, so if you're after something that will give you a long list of things to do and people to kill then it's a solid pick.
It's another FPS/RPG hybrid with full character progression. It has plenty of side-quests in addition to the main storyline, some of which are really damn good.
By far my favourite feature of Borderlands 2 is the random weaponry. I’ve come across so truly crazy weapons. A machine gun grenade launcher? Check.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Single-player and online co-op
Borderlands, only a bit different. It might not be as epic as Borderlands 2, but it's still a pretty decent first-person shooter overall.
Much like Borderlands 2, it has tons of loot, character progression and a lot of the same traits. However, you're on the moon so gravity is lower, oxygen is required and it plays rather differently.
Playing as a Claptrap certainly made the game interesting. Even more interesting is the Claptastic Voyage DLC, where you enter the mind of Claptrap CL4P-TP, what could possibly go wrong?
Another FPS dungeon crawler here, this one is vastly different to Ziggurat and Immortal Redneck. You're making your way through a colourful maze full of weird creatures and security systems. This is an easy game to get into since the mechanics and gameplay is really simple, but it's quite difficult to actually finish.
You're given limited ammunition, which you can pick back up and manually reload one by one. That might sound difficult, but there's not usually many enemies since th game is set in a maze, a lot of it is played out in small rooms and corridors.
It's game over on death, but you can buy certain upgrades during a run using a vending machine to carry certain things over to the next run, like money and keycards.
Can you reach level 8 and reset the reset the security mainframe?
Fistful of Frags
The game I hilariously titled “Fistful of Fags” by accident once — woops. This western-themed FPS is simple and fun.
It has multiple game modes, like the traditional free for all, zone capture, push the cart, team elimination and more. There's a surprising amount on offer, when you consider this is a completely free to play game.
It's powered by Valve's Source Engine, so it should run pretty nicely on computers even with not so great specifications.
It's beautiful, it's bloody as hell and it runs really smoothly. It's a re-imagining of the classic 3D Realms’ shooter with fast paced action, witty remarks and swords. The game as a whole is really quite impressive, visually it's incredible with some really detailed environments, enemies are varied and you have an upgrade system that allows you to unleash some devastating attacks.
The loading time is impressive too, switching between parts of a level takes so little time it's great. You see a momentary blip as it loads in and then it's really smooth.
Hopefully at some point we will see Shadow Warrior 2. It was supposed to release for Linux at some point.
Possibly my second favourite on this list after Deus Ex. The single-player is fast, engrossing and the Linux port is pretty damn good. The story really captured me, from the moment I picked it up I didn't want to put it down.
The really unique feature of BioShock Infinite is how you travel, you will be flying through the air attached to high-speed Sky-Lines and you're free to drop down at any moment to unleash hell. You can get your companion to release tears in time to gain an advantage or unleash your own powers like throwing an explosive ball, summon a bunch of murderous crows and more.
If you need more, there's also two additional DLC episodes, one of which sees you play as Elizabeth, but I won't spoil why you play as her. If you're after an FPS with a good story, this is a very safe bet.
For those of you really fond of Minecraft’s blocky world, Blockstorm might satisfy you. It’s an FPS where practically the entire environment is destructible.
It's a bit of a weird one though, as it's not particularly fast paced, it's completely unrealistic and it's just so very werid to play. I must admit, there's something incredibly satisfying about absolutely obliterating a wall with an enemy behind it.
Mainly multi-player, bots available if you create your own game
In the mood to take down endless amounts of Zombies? Codename CURE is a completely free to play Source Engine survival shooter. The game has two modes: an endless wave-based survival mode where you simply cannot win, designed as a test of your skill. There's also an objective-based mode, where you plant explosive charges to purge areas of infected.
In the objective mode, each member of the team can have a specific class. One class has a shotgun with grenades, one can deploy an ammo crate and so on. As simple as it is, there's a lot to appreciate.
Since it runs on the Source Engine from Valve, it runs extremely well. Since it's completely free, it's certainly worth a try and you might find your next game to sink some time into.
There's also various open source shooters, but honestly a lot of them that I've looked into have a non-existent player-base. Not only that, but a lot of them are heavily outdated both in terms of graphics, features and ease of use. There are some like Xonotic, a fast-paced arena-style shooter that requires quick reflexes that still has a few players. There's also ET: Legacy, which is the improved open source build of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, but it never seems to work when I try to connect to a server.
Honourable mention goes to Verdun, the WWI shooter from M2H and Blackmill Games. While it’s not a favourite of mine, it’s still worth looking into if you like a slower-paced, more realistic WWI multi-player experience.
We also have the newest Unreal Tournament, but it's still rather early in development and the Linux version does have a number of issues, so it's not a great fit just yet for such a list.
There’s also the obvious Valve games too like Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Half-Life, Half-Life 2 (and the Episodes), Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. All still going great years after release and work well on Linux.
There's also third-person shooters to take into account, some of which are really good, but they're not the aim of this list. I might take a look at some of those soon.
Phew! That’s a lot of games. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but even with the titles I’ve picked it’s not a bad list at all! If you’re an FPS fan then gaming on Linux should be a pretty good choice, as long as you’re willing to keep your options open on games that aren’t yet another Call of Duty-like.
The one thing I would like to see, is more single-player FPS games. We have a lot of multi-player focused titles and not many story-based FPS games on Linux.
What’s your current favourite Linux-native FPS game and why? Share that infinite wisdom in the comments section.