The 10 Best Dual-Stick Shooters for Android

From Geometry Wars and beyond, the best arena shooters on Android.

Dual-stick shooters are a perfect genre for mobile: the sliding virtual joystick controls work surprisingly well, and you can do many things with such a simple setup of movement and firing. While many games trace their lineage to Geometry Wars, there's tons of unique games in this genre that are all worth checking out on their own merits.

Geometry Wars 3
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved for Android. Activision

Geometry Wars is the archetype that modern dual-stick shooters chase after, though the series had been dormant for a few years. Lucid Games skillfully brought this dual-stick shooter back to the forefront by combining the excellent game modes of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, with the level and upgrade progression of Geometry Wars: Galaxies. Throw in a spruced-up visual look and new 3D elements that take after Super Stardust, and what you ultimately get is an excellent dual-stick shooter that you have to play. It also supports controllers, cloud saves, and Android TV, in case you weren't yet convinced. It was excellent on consoles, and it's just as excellent on mobile. More »

Space Marshals
Pixelbite

This dual-stick shooter stands out from everything else on this list due to its stealthier, more tactical nature. You can't just rush in guns blazing, you have to be smart and use your limited ammo and tools wisely to take out enemies without alerting others. Thankfully, the game gives you great touch controls to work with. It's a change of pace kind of game, but quite a welcome one. More »

03
of 10
JoyJoy
Radiangames

Radiangames has a hardcore commitment to the dual-stick shooter. The solo developer even made a Metroidvania game for Cartoon Network that was basically an open-world dual-stick shooter starring the Powerpuff Girls. Radiangames goes the more traditional route here, with a high score chasing arena survival game. You have several weapons to use, auto-firing, special attacks to dole out, and all in a really unique visual style that sticks out even among colorful games. It's one of the better arena shooters you can pick up, and I recommend it. More »

04
of 10
Crimsonland
10tons

10tons originally made this dual-stick shooter back in 2003, and while they gave it some modern tweaks and upgrades along with releasing on virtually every single platform. It's apparent that 10tons was just ahead of their time with this game: its upgrade systems, large numbers of enemies at once, and co-op action for multiple players if you have a gamepad all make it a game that is as good now as it was in 2003. More »

Age of Zombies
Halfbrick

Before Halfbrick became known for Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, they made this dual-stick shooter for PSP. They eventually updated the game for mobile devices, which was a great choice: this is an absurd time-traveling game about taking on countless hordes of zombies at once. It features the hero of Jetpack Joyride, and will have you riding a zombie T-Rex at one point. It's a glorious game. Plus, it features the always-welcome controller and Android TV support. More »

06
of 10
PewPew 2
Jean-François Geyelin

Plenty of games have tried to mimic the style of Geometry Wars, to varying effect. PewPew 2 might be the best of the Geometry Wars clones, as it isn't afraid to go its own way. It features a level-based mode, to go along with several endless modes that actually go beyond what Geometry Wars games have even done. Its inspiration may be obvious, but even with Geometry Wars 3 on Android now, it still has a good reason to exist. More »

07
of 10
Xenowerk
Pixelbite

In case Space Marshals developer Pixelbite had you convinced that they couldn't do a fast and brutal dual-stick shooter after they did Space Marshals, well, Xenowerk, will prove you wrong. This game is all about spraying bug guts over dark corridors with various forms of ever more powerful weaponry. It's a real hoot, and a fun way to sit back and just destroy every mutated creature you can find. More »

08
of 10
Inferno 2
Radiangames

Radiangames delivers a sizable level-based dual-stick shooter here, as you explore levels for their objectives and secrets, taking out enemies along the way, with periodic boss fights. The structure doesn't sound super-exciting, but it's the kind of game that you can sit down and play for hours on end because the game itself is just so well-made that there's nothing bad about it at all. It's just a fun, engrossing experience that knows what it's trying to do: provide you hours and hours of shooting action. More »

This game deserves notice if only because it manages to do so many things differently from other dual-stick shooters. It's in portrait mode, for one; the game still requires two hands to play. But the game also uses Battlezone-style controls where you move in tank-esque fashion, albeit with the ability to move in any direction while facing the same way. I admit to not being a huge fan of games that use intentionally odd control schemes, but this one stands out as a particularly unique experience. Add in the fact that this one has authentic Japanese design, especially evident in the music and sound effects, it's certainly worth experiencing. More »

Towelfight 2
Butterscotch Shenanigans

 While the developer of this game is currently in the spotlight for their upcoming survival-crafting game Crashlands and the tumultuous personal history behind the game's development, Butterscotch Shenanigans was cranking out solid games well before that. This silly top-down shooter uses a unique ammo system, and a overall game feel that resembles a Zelda game more than the other shooters on this list. More »