Riot Game’s free-to-play shooter has over 12 million active players per month. It also thrives as one of the most viewed games on Twitch. Are there other worthwhile multiplayer games like Valorant?
Valorant is a top 5 popular game, it’s a Windows exclusive, and it features cartoony graphics to lower the requirements. And because if free, you’d probably be able to play it, if you want.
It means you’re here because you want more. Valorant may be too hard, too easy, or not just your thing. Other multiplayer games like Valorant should have a healthy player base as well, so you can play them.
Selecting Games Like Valorant
Valorant may look silly, but it’s a unique game capable of appealing to two kinds of audiences.
First, it takes tactical shooting elements from the Counter-Strike series. Then, it adds aspects of the mainstream approach of the squad-based shooter.
But we want to see the specifics. Understanding the Valorant elements would help us identify titles with similar characteristics:
- Genre: Valorant is a hero and tactical first-person-shooter. You play as part of a 5-player squad in a series of rounds.
- Hero Shooter: You pick from an array of Agents, each one featuring unique abilities, plus in-game challenges.
- Cover Mechanics: Combat gameplay depends mostly on balancing between taking cover and using your abilities.
- Roles: Heroes within the squad fill a role, as they come in four different classes. Squad success relies on properly fulfilling the roles.
- Abilities: Heroes have various unique skills, plus a signature ability available once per round.
- Charges: Abilities rely on charges, which you can get with in-game actions like killing, getting orbs, or completing objectives.
- Rounds: You play through a series of rounds, either defending or pushing and objective. You start the first round with a pistol plus your abilities.
- Currency: As you play each round, you earn currency. Then, you can use the money to buy weapons at the start of each round.
- Game Modes: Other game modes put a twist on the round rules. For example, a game mode where every player uses the same Agent.
- Price Point: Not to forget, Valorant is free. We would like to find other free or cheap games you can play.
- Cartoon Style: Lastly, the game uses cartoony visuals, akin to Overwatch. It allows the game to lower the PC requirements to broaden its player base.
Overall, Valorant is tactical, challenging, and familiar. It does nothing new; rather, it adds elements from here and there to deliver something fresh.
Games like Valorant should also feel fresh, even if they are old. Moreover, they should get enough Developer and player support to guarantee you would play it for a long time.
Games Like Valorant
Team Fortress 2
- Developer: Valve
- Publisher: Valve
- Release Date: October 2007
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Xbox 360, PS3, Linux
It’s amazing how, many years after its debut, Team Fortress 2 still has 70K concurrent daily players on Steam. It’s one of the top games for PC players and the ever-lasting hero and squad-based multiplayer shooter.
It’s also free, with a modest download size of 15GB and cartoony visuals to lower the spec. If you have the time to try it, there’s nothing to lose, except maybe that’s a bit hard to play. After many years in the market, players are well aware of the mechanics, the third-person shooting, the skills, and the map layouts.
On Team Fortress 2, you play as part of a team, and you either push or defend an objective. You then pick one of the nine characters with unique abilities, weapons, advantages, and disadvantages. Fulfilling your role in the party is key to success.
There’re also dozens of maps on the map, while Valorant has a limited selection. The developers keep adding content like maps, character customization options, balance changes, and in-game challenges.
Lastly, matches support up to 32 players on two opposing teams. Moreover, there’re various game modes altering the rules of the match, like playing for points, on a time frame, or for specific goals.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Developer: Valve
- Publisher: Valve
- Release Date: August 21 2012
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox 360, Classic Mac OS, Xbox One, PlayStation 3
CS: GO is perhaps the most significant influence Valorant has. It’s the latest entry of a two-decades-old series. The first entry debuted as a Half-Life spin-off. Since its premiere, Counter-Strike has solidified its position as a top-tier multiplayer shooter.
The latest entry features two opposing teams (terrorists and counter-terrorists). You’re part of one of the two 5-player squads and fight in closed urban areas. The goal depends on the faction, but it’s either plating bombs or defusing bombs.
As Valorant, you play in rounds, earning currency depending on your actions. Then, at the beginning of each round, you can expend the cash to buy weapons, armor, grenades, and other gear.
That said, the title has evolved over many years. For example, it has a Battle Royale mode, Danger Zone, where 18 players battle in a free-for-all arena until a single player remains.
Lastly, CS: GO has a modest learning curve. You have to learn about the weapons available and master weapon recoil. There’re no bullet drop mechanics or other realistic details to make the game more difficult.
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Publisher: Activision-Blizzard
- Release Date: May 2016
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows (cross-play available)
Overwatch stood as the biggest team-based hero shooter for many years. It’s a massive hit by Blizzard, and so it’s the title to check if you’re a Valorant fan. In particular, it looks and feels a lot like Valorant.
It’s much simpler, though, as it features a classical approach. You play as part of a 6-player team, either defending positions or pushing towards positions against the enemies.
Moreover, each player must fill a role within the team. There’re three roles, so squads always have two tanks, two DPS, and two support heroes.
You play these heroes in first-person. Each belongs to a role and has at least two unique abilities, a weapon load-out, an ultimate skill, and, sometimes, an extra traversal ability.
Overall, Overwatch is easy to play, fun, and features outstanding abilities and moments. There’s a sequel on its way, but Blizzard’s current state after Microsoft’s deal is not quite clear.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
- Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Release Date: December 2015
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Even though it’s not free, Rainbow Six Siege is often cheap or sold for a discount across various platforms. That said, it’s a top-tier squad-based multiplayer shooter.
As Valorant, you pick a class and play as part of a team. You’re either the Police, sieging a place, or the criminals, defending the place. Also, you pick from a roster of characters, each one with skills, perks, and gadgets.
Unlike Valorant, though, the game features realistic elements. There’s weapon recoil, and the arenas are very close and small. So, combat relies on fortifying areas, strategic pushes, and tactical holds.
Operators use gadgets, skills, and particular weapon load-outs for combat. For example, a skill allows players to break a wall, whereas a device could track enemy movement or sound.
Lastly, matches support 10 players, which means five players on each team. That is a constant rule, but the developers keep adding maps, operators, gadgets, weapons, and rules with every update.
- Developer: Respawn Entertainment
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release Date: February 2019
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Apex Legends is another free-to-play and massively popular hero shooter. As part of a 3-player squad, you play in first-person on free-for-all maps with 60 players.
You get to pick a character, a “Legend,” each one featuring skills, a weapon load-out, traversal skills, advantages, and disadvantages. You need to fill a role in the squad, but there’re five roles, so a team can’t fill them all.
Because of that, the game requires more strategy than what you’d initially think. Mixing and matching the heroes is key to success, as victory relies on surviving to the end of the team-based Battle Royale.
There’re also ways to “combine” various characters’ special abilities. Moreover, the fast-paced combat feels like it has a rhythm. It comes from its smooth traversal, reloading mechanics, skill mechanics, and sci-fi weapons.
Lastly, the game features various maps and game modes. The list ranges from large Battle Royale floating cities, enclosed Arenas, and a combination of both.
Escape From Tarkov
- Developer: Battlestate Games
- Publisher: Battlestate Games
- Release Date: July 2017
- Platform: Windows, MacOS
If you’re looking for the ultimate tactical shooter, Escape from Tarkov is your choice. It’s a punishing solo FPS PvP experience, so complex you’d require hours of guides and playtime to master.
The title has a setting. Two private military organizations are fighting over the fictional Norvinks region. Tarkov, the city, is the main stage, and the goal, as the title suggests, is escaping the battleground.
So, the gist of the title is entering Tarkov for 30-minute raids. You loot as much as possible and then escape to your offline hideout. Whatever you take with you can become a resource to upgrade your gear, load-out, or shelter. However, others can kill you, and if you die, you can lose everything you carry.
On top of raid mechanics, the game includes a tough recoil, localized damage, localized healing supplies, thirst, hunger, and more. There’re also character stats you can level by performing specific actions. Yet, you can lose stat progress by not doing particular activities for a while.
These elements deliver a gritty, challenging, realistic, and hardcore game. Death means losing all of your items, and it could come across the map from a talented sniper rifle. There’re ways to protect yourself, though, like trading your loot with NPCs on the map, hiding your loot in specific places, or getting special pouches that protect your items on death.
That said, maps support up to 14 players, plus several enemy NPCs. You can play solo or play with your friends for extra support. Either way, it’s a must experience for multiplayer FPS fans.
- Developer: Evil Mojo Games
- Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios
- Release Date: May 2018
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Paladins is another free-to-play hero squad-based shooter. It has a healthy player base, with about 6K daily concurrent players on Steam, but it longed past its prime time. Still, Paladins gets fair developer support, and tons of new players every day.
It’s a high-fantasy shooter where the heroes wield guns, magic, and artifacts against their enemies. Each Champion has 3 skills, plus an ultimate skill. However, the game offers ways to customize your heroes while mixing and matching abilities from different characters.
You can further customize your gameplay by leveling up and creating a deck. Champions have three talents, and you can pick one per match. Additionally, each Champion has 16 cards, and you can use five per match, which you add to your deck beforehand.
Each Paladin has their fighting style, and they also belong to a race. The heroes range from a human rifleman to globins on mechs, magical elves, and explosive dragons.
Lastly, players combat for goals and objectives. The maps are colorful and sci-fi, and the matches are 3v3 spars where teams need to play with tactics and coordination.
- Developer: Epic Games
- Publisher: Epic Games
- Release Date: June 2017
- Platform: Windows, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Fortnite is one of the top big ones as well, but it’s much less tactical than Valorant. Even so, it’s a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter. It’s also Battle Royale with cartoony graphics and blocky building mechanics.
Fortnite has three distinct game modes, so it goes beyond what Valorant offers. It has a Battle Royale, a campaign, and a creative mode. Every mode relies on similar mechanics, which is shooting while also building walls, roofs, stairs, and floors to fortify positions and reach higher grounds.
The Battle Royale is a competition between 100 players, either solo or part of 4-player squads (maximum). You enter an island without any weapons and shoot and loot until you survive until the end.
Then, the Save the World campaign is available as a single-player experience or co-op (up to 4 players). It’s a PvE exerience where you fight against zombies, loot resources, build shelters, and defeat a storm. The campaign also has heroes you can level and weapon blueprints you can unlock.
Lastly, the Creative Mode allows players to build their own battle arenas, either solo or with other players. Then, you could share your custom maps with others or play custom maps with other users.
Call to Arms
- Developer: Digitalmindsoft
- Publisher: Digitalmindsoft
- Release Date: April 2018
- Platform: Windows
Call to Arms is a comprehensive multiplayer shooter. It has a single-player or co-op campaign, player-generated content, custom battles, mods, and a competitive PvP mode.
Either mode has the same mechanics. Call to Arms is a tactical first-person shooter relying on cover mechanics, strategy, and team coordination.
The main mode is Domination. There’re two teams (10 players each fighting for strategic positions. Capturing or defending a position earns points, and the match goes across various rounds. Combat relies on cover-shooting mechanics, but you can destroy almost every map, like on some Battlefield games.
Then, there’re multiplayer modes where you’ll find NPC enemies with an advanced AI. There’re also realistic modern vehicles, two playable factions, and many weapon mods.
Lastly, the title also has RTS elements. You can command AI units in real-time to take locations, defend positions, scout, and more. You can also use a third-person perspective.
Ready or Not
- Developer: VOID Interactive
- Publisher: VOID Interactive
- Release Date: December 2021 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows
Ready or Not is a hardcore, tactical, and first-person multiplayer shooter. It has a modern setting, where you play as a SWAT officer in hostile situations.
The developer consulted global police teams to create realistic mechanics. On top of that, the title uses ballistic calculations like a ricochet, bullet drop, penetration, recoil, expansion, and momentum. Lastly, there’s a tough weapon recoil, plus plate armor dynamics.
Yet, the actual gameplay is simple. Controlling the characters is easy, and so is shooting and aiming. The control scheme is intuitive, as it doesn’t have key bindings.
The game has five modes, which you can play as a single-player, co-op, or with AI teammates. You can do it as part of a four-player squad, but there’s no PvP mode (the game is on beta).
Either way, the title relies on careful planning and near-perfect plan execution. You have plenty of tools to approach a situation, like ballistic shields, tactical ladders, door rams, heavy armors, grenades, weapon modifications, etc.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
- Developer: Massive Entertainment
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Release Date: March 2019
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Under Ubsifot’s publication and development, Tom Clancy’s titles are also quite popular. The Division series is one of their most unique offerings, as it mixes PvP, PvE, and questing.
The Division 2 delivers a fully-fledged story, a tactical third-person shooter gameplay, and RPG elements. You can play alone or part of a four-player squad (maximum). The setting is a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. open-world.
You carry firearms and rely on stealth and cover mechanics to complete quests. You’ll fight against AI enemies and loot gear of different tiers and rarity. You’ll also level up to unlock skills, access weapons, and customize your character.
Then, the world is open, so you can explore freely and even recruit NPCs as AI companions. Most of the content includes fetching quests, upgrading settlements, and fast-traveling to safe houses.
Overall, the game belongs to another genre. However, as a tactical squad-based multiplayer shooter, it shares plenty with Valorant. On top of that, the cover-based shooting mechanics feel similar to Riot Game’s title.
Star Wars Battlefront 2
- Developer: DICE
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release Date: November 2017
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Battlefront 2 is a class shooter within the Star Wars universe. You pick a class across many in-game factions (like droids or the Empire) and fight on foot, land vehicles, and ships.
Classes are very different from each other. They define your weapons, skills, and overall gameplay. That said, battles can happen on land, the skies, space, or a combination.
The game also uses characters and locations from the prequels, the original trilogy, and the Disney trilogy. Each faction has its soldiers, starfighters, and advantages.
Additionally, every Star Wars era has unique maps, and the developers keep adding locations, characters, and classes to the rooster. It works through seasonal updates that take elements from the most recent Star Wars movies and shows for the title.
Matches support up to 64 players on two opposing teams. All teams have the same four classes available, so balancing roles and dividing groups into squads is paramount. Lastly, players can use a Star Wars hero or villain in some game modes.
- Developer: Proletariat
- Publisher: Proletariat
- Release Date: September 2020
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Spellbreak is last on our list, but not because of its quality. Instead, developers no longer support the title, and the player base suffers the consequences. There are probably less than 1K daily players across all platforms on Spellbreak.
Still, the twist on the Battle Royale and hero multiplayer shooter formula is enough to warrant a try. It’s also free, so you have nothing to lose other than broadband and the time you need for its 50GB download.
On Spellbreak, you choose a mage class and play in a free-for-all magical battle. The world is 3D, gorgeous, and cell-shaded, like Breath of the Wild. The result is a cartooney and third-person action-adventure multiplayer, squad-based PvP.
You can play as part of a 5-player team, where each member must coordinate and combine their skills to victory. Then, as Apex Legends, your team must survive to the end, and maps hold up to 42 players.
The battles are fierce and fast. You can fly, float, dash, run, jump, climb, and use magic. You can combine elements, get magical gauntlets, and find the tactical advantages you need to defeat your opponents.