Nintendo aren’t known for pioneering the shooter genre, but their latest console has some of the highlights of the genre. There’s lots to offer shooter fans. The best Nintendo Switch shooter games include everything from competitive online games to charming indies.
Switch shooter games have wide-ranging gameplay. There are story-driven titles with shooting as a mechanic, through to titles that focus on perfecting mechanical skills. The Switch has a bit of everything.
The unique selling points of the Switch have some huge benefits for a shooter. One of the biggest is gyroscope controls. Stiff pointer controls in the past might have given these a bad name but games like Splatoon have proven how much more intuitive this control scheme can be.
With Switch shooters, you can use small movements to alter your aim without having to contort yourself. This is highly intuitive and for a lot of players, these natural movements for precision beat the clunky normal twin-stick controls.
Even outside of new control methods, some of these games are incredibly innovative takes on the shooter genre. There’s great variety and different styles of game within the top Switch shooters. These are the top picks.
Overwatch is a huge title and esport on PC, but it also has a decent-sized following here on Switch. The Hero shooter is one of the best Nintendo Switch shooter games for online-exclusive play. It’s got one of the highest skill caps.
As a hero shooter, each character in Overwatch has unique abilities and attributes. These are divided into three roles. There’s DPS that mainly deals damage, Tanks with high health and big hitboxes, then finally, there’s support which heals. Each category has plenty of choice.
Each character has abilities they can pop off throughout a game. Some are quick mobility bursts but others are large ultimate attacks that can turn a battle around. You’ll need to time them right to fully master Overwatch, alongside keeping up on coms and working closely with your teammates. It’s not a game for lone wolves.
The game’s modes are primarily objective-based. There are missions based around securing objectives on a map, some where you move a payload through a map, and more. However, there are simpler deathmatches here too.
The game runs pretty well on Switch, although motion controls could be better. It takes a while to dial them in perfectly. They’re still viable over twin sticks though. The game is also at a lower frame rate, but since you’re only playing with Switch users this isn’t too big of a problem competitively.
Most of the action in Overwatch is online-only, so this pick won’t be for everyone. It’s a great game for teams though. If you want a cooperative online shooter with lively characters, then this is one of the best Switch shooters around.
8. BioShock: The Collection
The BioShock series of games are known for their captivating story-driven campaigns.
BioShock mixes storytelling with stealth and shooting. The game is well known for its story and world, but the gameplay is compelling enough too. You’re fighting against some really interesting enemies. That includes some of the most iconic, like Big Daddy. To take them down, you need to use a variety of weapons as well as budget resources like bullets and EVE serum as you go.
Outside of shooting, you’re exploring Rapture, a planned community constructed by a Randian individualist to test out his philosophy on how the world should be organized. Discovering the city is the highlight of the game, so we won’t explain everything here. It’s story best experienced yourself.
BioShock’s setting is probably the most iconic out of the games in the collection. However, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite are also included in this package, both have new locales to explore, more enemies, and weapons.
These are enhanced ports of the original games that improve upon them in some ways. They’re updated and cleaned up here. If you particularly enjoy worldbuilding, this is one of the best Nintendo Switch shooters for you.
Superhot isn’t as expansive as some shooters here. You’re not taking down a planet of demons or competing online. Superhot is an Indie FPS with a unique angle, it’s smaller in scope but with a very creative approach to gameplay.
The game takes place in a minimalist environment where players are being rushed by attackers. You can pick up weapons to take out these enemies, along with making use of melee attacks. So far, quite simple. However, weapons break quickly. On top of that, you can get killed by a single shot from enemies.
Time only moves when you’re moving. You can take as much time as you need to reorganize your plan of attack. You can get out of the way of bullets or think through how you’re going to clear this onslaught. It adds strategy to the action.
Visually, Superhot strips a game down to just what you need. This is one of the best examples of minimalism in indie game design. There’s not much detail. However, you can easily tell what everything is, there are occasional colors for flare, but outside of that design is kept simple. A bonus of that kind of visual approach is the game runs perfectly on Switch.
Superhot is one of the best Nintendo Switch shooter games, especially if you’re looking for an Indie with a bit of a difference.
6. The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is a sci-fi RPG adventure from Obsidian, the developer behind one of the best Fallout games. Players travel from planet to planet, exploring the universe. Gameplay is a mix of RPG and shooting.
You use weapons in combat which include some fun sci-fi guns. There are more normal guns, energy weapons, and even crazy additions like shrink rays to keep things interesting.
One of the best aspects of the Outer Worlds is its open-ended storytelling. Players can make choices in the game which impact how the story progresses. You have multiple choices for dialogue. You can even choose to play the game in a different way to how the story is planned, like a pacifist run. This makes the game highly repayable as you can frequently revisit it making different choices.
The RPG elements and interesting world are what a lot of people highlight in Outer Worlds. However, the shooting action is developed enough to warrant returning to the game for more, over and over. This is one of the best shooter games on Switch for story.
5. Apex Legends
Apex Legends combines Battle Royale gameplay with the hero shooter genre. It’s one of the most addictive online Switch games.
In Apex Legends, you jump in and grab loot to take down opponents and compete to be the last one standing. As opposed to other BRs though, you have a specific character with their own quirks and powers. You’re playing a specific role.
Each of the titular Legends has abilities that they can use during gameplay. These can give you a tactical advantage, help you survive a firefight, and generally turn the tide of a game.
Apex Legends’ characters are pretty varied and there’s one to suit the preferred play style of every player. The game adds more with each season. Along with new maps and weapons, there’s always new content to play through that help it stay fresh.
While abilities enhance the game, the core shooter gameplay is still the soul. You’ll need quick aim and a good sense for when to pull out the shotgun to keep placing highly.
Switch Apex is surprisingly well-presented. Apex can be demanding with its sci-fi environments and all of the effects on the screen. The Switch version does a great job of keeping the game looking good without sacrificing performance, you get a lower frame rate but visually the game is a good compromise.
It has pretty solid motion controls on Switch too, with more options to fine-tune than some titles. It might take a while to find the right mix of gyroscope and stick sensitivity. Getting it right pays off though.
Apex Legends is free, and it’s one of the best Nintendo Switch shooters to play alone or with friends.
Cuphead is a homage to the golden age of animation. Every asset in the game was created painstakingly by those old-fashioned methods, from hand-drawn animation to physical models as backdrops. This makes for a visually stunning title. Cuphead isn’t all style over function though, it’s a tough and rewarding game.
The gameplay is difficult but one of the most rewarding experiences on Switch. Levels are divided between boss fights and sidescrollers, each with enemies you’ll need to shoot to beat.
The boss fights are the main event, where you’ll have to use the various shooter weapons to get the souls of Inkwell Island’s colorful inhabitants. No one goes down without a fight though. You’ll need to learn the intricacies of each fight to find the openings to finish them off. In the end, players face the devil themselves in a fight for their freedom.
Cuphead’s shooter gameplay requires skill. You need patience, decent aim, and a great sense of timing to get through the game and beat all of the bosses. It’s one of the more difficult games in recent years. But it’s a type of difficulty that gets rewarding once you put the work in. It avoids cheap difficulty tricks entirely.
The game runs and looks amazing on Switch, it’s a visually breath-taking title that looks just as good here as on other platforms. It’s also a fantastic co-op game, perfect for the Switch’s easy multiplayer. It’s frustrating but working together might be the best way to play Cuphead on Switch.
Cuphead is in a league of its own. There are similar alternatives to Cuphead, but very few manage to be such a great experience as this. Cuphead is one of the best Nintendo Switch shooters, platformers, and all-around one of the top games of this generation.
It’s hard to deny the sheer impact that Fortnite has had in recent years. Between record esports prize pools, incredibly player numbers, and pioneering live experiences in gaming, there’s a lot in its favor. It’s one of the biggest shooters on Switch.
Fortnite is a third-person shooter and Battle Royale. In the core mode, players drop into an island solo or with friends, then loot up and find some weapons. You’ll need them when the storm comes in. This pushes all surviving players together into firefights.
Fortnite’s unique mechanic is building, you can throw up your own cover or crank out towers to grab the high ground. The high skill level for building can really be impressive with Fortnite. Editing and building at top speeds feel just as rewarding as grabbing clean kills.
Fortnite isn’t just the core Battle Royale anymore either. There’s a wealth of game modes. Battle Royale is now here without building for those who just want a shooter, there are in-game events that concerts or mech fights, and a creative mode with some of the most diverse user-made games on Switch. As a free-to-play game, it’s a pretty big package.
Fortnite on Switch has some of the most extensive options for gyro controls. Although, you are capped at 30 FPS. However, you normally only play with other Switch players so this isn’t a huge issue.
Fortnite offers everything from casual fun to deeply competitive action. In-game tournaments with cash prizes can even be played on Switch if you think you’ve got what it takes. This is one of the best shooters on Switch or any platform right now.
Doom revitalized the iconic franchise and took it to new heights. The game takes the demon-slaying premise and reimagines it, this title pushes what modern consoles can do.
Doom, or Doom 2016, is primarily a single-player shooter. You’re progressing through a facility infested with demons. Eventually, you even up in hell, ripping and tearing until it is done.
This isn’t the best Nintendo Switch shooter if you’re squeamish about violence. This is a game that likes blood. You’re going to be ripping demons apart, they explode with blood, and it gets on you, your screen, everywhere. The gore is half of the fun.
Doom’s appeal isn’t just ultraviolence though. The game is well designed to make the fights both tough and rewarding. It’s a rare game that really sells the power of the player character without making the task ahead feel easy. You get the sense of growing strength in the Doomslayer without ever feeling like you’re curb stomping.
Doom had an impressive port over to the Switch, it’s still an achievement on the platform You get the same ultra-violent experience here. There are compromises, but it’s still an impressive version of the game. The main downside is multiplayer. It’s disappointing which is a shame for fans of the original Doom games.
As a solo experience though, this is one of the best Nintendo Switch shooter games and one of the most impressive ports to the platforms.
1. Splatoon 2 & 3
Splatoon is Nintendo’s premier shooter franchise, bringing a lively world and fun gameplay to the genre. It’s uniquely Nintendo’s take on the shooter.
Splatoon puts players in a society made up of inklings, a race of kid-squid hybrids. These kids have decided to solve every minor disagreement with rounds of souped-up paintball.
The core game mode is Turf war where you try to cover more of the map in your color paint than the opposing team. However, Ranked Mode really opens things up. These are Splatoon takes on normal objective game modes. There’s Splat Zones with a limited space needing to be controlled, payload-style games where you carry a superpowered artifact called the Rainmaker, and even a horde rush mode in Salmon Run.
The game’s weapons are all pulled from various ways to paint. There are giant rollers to lay down thick lines or turf and even paint-fuelled sniper rifles. Splatoon’s unique kit never fails to find the most creative weapon to add in, like umbrellas or just a paint bucket you chuck around.
Splatoon is bursting with personality too. The squids’ language is mainly bizarre slang and who wears the freshest clothes counts for a lot. Even checking which maps are in the rotation is done by an in-universe news show hosted by two idols with its colorful hosts replacing your standard menus for information.
Splatoon is a great Nintendo-style take on the multiplayer online shooter. It’s got buckets of personality. This is one of the most fun games on the Switch.