The 7 Best Dual-Stick Shooters for Android

From Geometry Wars to Towelfight, the best arena shooters on Android

The player fires at some spider bots in Space Marshals

Pixelbite 

The dual-stick shooter genre is perfect 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 are tons of unique offerings in this genre all worth checking out on their own merits. Here are a few of our picks.

01
of 07

Space Marshals

Space Marshals
Pixelbite
What We Like
  • Stealth elements shake up the usual formula.

  • Great touch controls.

  • Episodic storyline.

What We Don't Like
  • No character customization.

  • It's short.

This dual-stick shooter stands out from everything else on this list due to it's 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 compared to traditional twin-stick shooters, but quite a welcome one.

02
of 07

Crimsonland

Crimsonland
10tons
What We Like
  • Hundreds of enemies on-screen at once.

  • A large amount of weapons and abilities.

  • Can be played co-op.

What We Don't Like
  • Co-op requires a gamepad.

  • Pricey for a mobile game.

  • Lacks control customization.

Developer 10tons originally made this dual-stick shooter back in 2003, but it's given it some modern tweaks and upgrades along while releasing it on virtually every single platform.

It's apparent 10tons was just ahead of its 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's as good now as it was in 2003.

03
of 07

PewPew 2

PewPew 2
Jean-François Geyelin
What We Like
  • Nine game modes.

  • Eight unlockable ships.

  • Controller support.

What We Don't Like
  • Last update was in 2016.

  • Scoreboards reportedly plagued by hackers.

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

04
of 07

Xenowerk

Xenowerk
Pixelbite
What We Like
  • Fast-paced, brutal bug killing action.

  • 70 levels.

  • Performance based rating system.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be repetitive.

  • Wonky camera.

  • Lacks a tutorial.

In case Space Marshals developer Pixelbite had you convinced they couldn't do a fast and brutal dual-stick shooter after Space Marshals' stealthy offering, 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.

05
of 07

Inferno 2

Inferno 2
Radiangames
What We Like
  • 80+ levels.

  • New Game+ mode adds more replayability.

  • Lots of secrets.

What We Don't Like
  • Boss fights can be underwhelming.

  • Cramped UI.

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 you can sit down and play for hours on end because it's just so well-made. It's a fun, engrossing experience that knows what it's trying to do: provide you with hours and hours of shooting action.

06
of 07

Bullet Storm Arena

Bullet Storm Arena is a fun twin-stick shooter for Android

GA Software

 

What We Like
  • Unlike other twin-stick shooters, it's in portrait mode.

  • The Battlezone-style controls.

  • Authentic Japanese design.

What We Don't Like
  • The unusual tank-like control scheme might turn some people off.

This game deserves notice because it manages to do so many things differently from other dual-stick shooters. It's in portrait mode, for starters, although it still requires two hands to play. But the game also uses Battlezone-style controls where you move like a tank, albeit with the ability to move in any direction while facing the same way.

You might not be 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 this one has authentic Japanese design, especially evident in the music and sound effects, and it's certainly worth experiencing.

07
of 07

Towelfight 2

Towelfight 2
Butterscotch Shenanigans
What We Like
  • 43 unique weapons with over 80 augmentations.

  • Procedurally generated levels.

  • It's free.

What We Don't Like
  • Resurrection is costly.

  • Controls could be a bit better.

While developer Butterscotch Shenanigans has been in the spotlight for the survival-crafting game Crashlands and the tumultuous personal history behind its development, they were cranking out solid games well before that. This silly top-down shooter uses a unique ammo system and feels more like a Zelda game than the other shooters on this list.