What are good free to play first person shooters on Steam with a high player population?

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Answered by: Rebecca, An Expert in the Action and Shooters Category
Looking for a new shooter to ring in the new year with, but tired of paying $60 or more for a game you might not even like? Why not try a free to play game instead? You've probably heard mostly negative things about free to play games, and might be hesitant to try them, but not all of them are as bad as people might say. The Steam store has brought many previously unknown free games to light, and they have surprisingly grown in population and popularity. Here are our top picks and favorite free to play first person shooters:

Team Fortress 2:

Initially released as a paid game in 2007, it was converted into a free game in 2011, and has remained a favorite among young and old players alike, despite the game's age. If you're into a more cartoon-y visual style and an emphasis on teamwork, then this game is for you. There are many other parts to TF2, such as the vast item trading community, the co-op mode known as Mann vs Machine, and the competitive TF2 scene. Recently, the creators of TF2, Valve, has announced plans to add a competitive mode into the game. This is a major change for this game, and will most likely draw in more players. Even though this game is 9 years old it still maintains a population of around 60,000 players or more on any given day.

Planetside 2:

This free to play game tosses players into a huge online world where large teams battle over territories. There is a level-up system that allows players to customize their fighting style, which means that no two big team battles will ever be the same. Even though the teams are so large, everything you do can help turn the tide of battle. From weapon upgrades to purchased vehicles to unlocks, this game has endless customization options, so you never get bored.


Released in 2013, this is one of the most recent free to play shooters made available on Steam. Although it is not in the first person view mode, it deserves a mention for its large and immersive world and game play. As with Planetside, players are able to customize their character to their liking via weapons and fighting styles, as well as armor and even companion upgrades. Players can find or purchase equipment and upgrades via in-game currency or real money. Even if you're not keen on third person viewing, this is one game that should be given a chance!

Blacklight Retribution:

Based in a Cyberpunk environment, Blacklight Retribution offers up tons of game modes and game types to keep players interested. The only downside to this game is that the customization is limited to weapons. Aside from that, the game keeps drawing in more and more players. All at the cost of $0.

In the end, there are countless free to play first person shooters out there. If you're in the Steam store, just click on the free to play category and have a look at the action games. You'll never know what the game is like if you never play it! Besides, the great thing about free to play games is that if you don't like it, you can just uninstall it.

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