The Best Low Spec FPS Games

Low spec FPS Games

The First Person Shooter genre is still one of the most popular genres for video games, especially on PC.

Using a keyboard and mouse to hunt down and kill your opponents is so much more satisfying than doing it with a controller.

However, can you enjoy FPS games on a low end PC? I think so.

There’s at least 10 low spec FPS games that I’d recommend playing and that’s just off the top of my head.

Having a low-end PC doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all of the killing fun. But it does mean you’ll have to settle for older games, with a smaller player base and outdated graphics.

Older doesn’t necessarily mean worse though, I’d much rather play COD 4: Modern Warfare over Modern Warfare 2019.

Best FPS Games For Low End PC’s

Out of the games on this list, I’d probably recommend the old Call Of Duty titles the most. I’m slightly bias though, I grew up playing them every single day.

You can’t really go wrong with any of the games on this list. There’s even some survival games included, as well as Free-To-Play FPS games such as Black Squad & Fistful Of Frags


Crysis Original PC

While more recent Crysis titles had become the go-to games for graphic benchmarks, the original Crysis can be ran on pretty much any modern PC.

The game was first released in November 2007, and was built using the CryEngine 2. At the time, the graphics were so advanced, it’s fair to say they’ve held up pretty well over time.

As a minimum, to run Crysis you’ll need:

  • Supported OS:Windows XP or Windows Vista
  • Processor:2.8 GHz or faster (XP) or 3.2 GHz or faster (Vista)
  • Memory:1.0 GB RAM (XP) or 1.5 GB RAM (Vista)
  • Graphics:256 MB
  • DirectX Version:DirectX 9.0c (included)
  • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • Hard Drive:12GB

Even the recommend specs are super low, with an Intel Core Duo CPU being recommended alongside a Nvidia GeForce 8800 GPU.

That’s enough about tech specs though. Is it actually a good game?

If you’re not familiar with Crysis already, it’s a game built in the future where technology is king. You’re armed to the teeth which futuristic weapons and equipment, with the most important piece being your nano suit.

The single player campaign is around 6 hours long from start to finish.

You’re thrown into the life of a special forces soldier codenamed “Nomad” and your main goal is to prevent North Korea from acquiring nanosuit technology.

Unfortunately, the multiplayer servers were taken down in 2014, meaning once you’ve completed the campaign there’s not much else to do.

If you are going to buy this game, make sure to buy it on Origin or GOG. The steam version has issues on most modern PCs and may require you to download patches and files from third party sites.

Call Of Duty

Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare

This one is more of a general recommendation than anything else.

Every Call Of Duty that was released up until Call Of Duty Ghosts were pretty easy to run. Especially on todays PCs.

This means you can choose from:

  • Call Of Duty
  • Call Of Duty 2
  • Call Of Duty 3
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare & Modern Warfare 2
  • Call Of Duty: World At War
  • Call Of Duty: Blacks Ops 1 & 2

Obviously as you go through the years, the games become slightly more demanding. However, even the most recent game out of that list (Black Ops 2), has incredibly low requirements of:

  • OS: Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7. Windows XP is not supported
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E8200 2.66 GHz or AMD Phenom X3 8750 2.4 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB for 32-bit OS or 4 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512 MB or ATI Radeon HD 3870 512 MB
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 16 GB
  • Sound: DirectX 11.0c compatible

If you have a laptop or desktop PC with any dedicated graphics card, you’re almost certainly able to run older Call Of Duty titles.

My own personal recommendations would be the Modern Warfare series, World At War and the Black Ops series.

I think those were the best games and you can even play custom zombies on World At War which adds many more hours of game-play. Multiplayer is also relatively busy on those titles, whereas the original call of duty can seem like a ghost town.

Dig a little deeper, maybe even see which of the titles you can run well using can you run it. There are even ways to play MW2 MP for free, but you didn’t hear it from me…

Counter Strike

Counter-Strike Global Offensive

If you didn’t already know, Counter-Strike is a First Person Shooter that’s developed and ran using the source engine.

CS was originally a mod for half-life (also recommended), before valve acquired the rights and released “Counter-Strike” in 2000.

In the main series there are 4 titles. These are Counter-Strike (AKA 1.6), Counter-Strike Condition Zero, Counter-Strike: Source, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

The most popular and most recent tilte is CS:GO, it’s also mentioned it in my low spec steam games that are free to play article.

For the sake of this article, I’m going to focus on CS:GO and the minimum requirements are:

  • OS: Windows® 7/Vista/XP
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8750 processor or better
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Video card must be 256 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 3.0
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 15 GB available space

The only issue I have recommending this title is that I’m not sure they’re the most accurate minimum recommendations.

CS:GO has seen many content updates that’ve increased how much power is required to run the game.

Don’t get me wrong it’s still easy to run, however, if you only just scrape the minimum, it could be a horrible gaming experience.

I’ve got almost 2,000 hours in this game and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

If you’re willing to invest the time into learning the game and getting better, it can be one of the most rewarding FPS games ever.

You can also play casually though, with many different community servers and game modes to choose from such as Surf, Jailbreak, Trade Servers and much more.

Once you get into this game, you’re probably never breaking free from it ever again.

Battlefield Bad Company 2

Another blast from the past, Battlefield Bad Company 2 was a game that I played often. It has recently arrived on steam and I can’t recommend it enough for those with budget PCs.

BFBC 2 will allow you to play the award winning battlefield gameplay that made it become what it is today while eliminating the need for a $1000+ gaming rig.

In-fact, you’ll only need:

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo @ 2.0GHz
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Graphics: 256 MB Video Card (GeForce 7800 GT / ATI X1900)
  • DirectX®: DirectX 9, 10, and 11 support
  • Hard Drive: 15 GB

Despite the low requirements, Bad Company 2 uses the frostbite 1.5 engine, which at the time was considered to be pretty demanding.

This was the first title that had the destruction 2.0 system in place which allowed you to take down entire buildings and create your own camping spots by blasting holes in walls.

While the game is preferred for it’s squad based multiplayer gameplay, there’s also a story driven single-player campaign that provides at least 8 hours of fun.

The servers are still going strong in 2020, and since it’s not long been re-released on steam, may even see a slight resurgence in popularity.

Unfortunately, if you’re a returning player with a previous account, there has been some complications that can lock you out of multiplayer until you buy a new code.

This will set you back a couple of bucks if you acquire a code from a third party seller. However, If you contact EA and Steam they’re also likely to solve the problem for you.

Left 4 Dead 1 & 2

If you don’t already know about Left 4 Dead, where’ve you been?

Left 4 Dead was one of the first multipayer zombie survival games that kick started the survival genre on it way to where it is now.

Because it’s a valve game that’s designed and runs using the Source Engine, both L4D & L4D2 are super easy to run.

Here are Left 4 Dead 2’s minimum requirements

  • OS: Windows® 7 32/64-bit / Vista 32/64 / XP
  • Processor: Pentium 4 3.0GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Video card with 128 MB, Shader model 2.0. ATI X800, NVidia 6600 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 13 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

If you can run it, you definitely want to get Left 4 Dead 2 over the original. However, if you wait for a steam sale, you could buy both of them in a heavily discounted bundle, or even buy the valve complete pack.

In either of the Left 4 Dead titles, you’ll find yourself working through each level fighting off an insane amount of zombies as you go.

While you can play single player, the game is heavily focused around co-op play and gets much better with a team. Especially if it’s a team of friends you know IRL.

In terms of gameplay, the first left 4 dead has 6 different campaigns, whereas L4D2 has only 5.

To get through all of the campaigns on your own would probably take 6 hours, but with friends it will be a little longer.

On top of the campaign/story driven modes, L4D2 has 3 different multiplayer modes. These are Versus, Survival and Scavenge.

They’re all interesting modes, however, Survival is probably the best. Effectively turning the game into Horde Mode (Gears Of War) or Nazi zombies (Call Of Duty).

Online is still fairly active, with over 14,000 players in-game on steam. That said, I’d much rather play with friends than randoms.

Payday 1 & 2

Payday is another game similar to Left 4 Dead, however, instead of zombies, it’s the police that you’re fighting off.

As a team of 4, you’re placed in numerous heist scenarios where you can decide to go in all guns blazing or stealthily complete the objective.

Despite the fact that it was released in 2013 and actually looks pretty good, the minimum requirements for this game seem low.

  • OS:Windows 7
  • Processor:2 GHz Intel Dual Core Processor
  • Memory:4 GB RAM
  • Graphics:Nvidia & AMD (512MB VRAM)
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive:31 GB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible

Admittedly if you go in guns blazing and are faced by an onslaught of cops, the game quickly gets crowded and your frame rate will drop.

However, in a lot of cases, this game runs perfectly fine on low end PCs.

While the game doesn’t have one big story, each mission has its own context and there is also banter flying back and forward between the four in-game characters.

The gunplay and mechanics feel very good, however, at times the police can seem unbelievably strong.

If you’re looking for a FPS game that also has a grind aspect to it, Payday 2 is great.

As you level up and develop your skills, you’ll be made to choose between 5 different skill trees. These skill trees all have special abilities that you can use towards successfully pulling off a heist.

On top of the levelling system, there are many other ways to customise your player. Payday 2 gives players the ability to create their own masks and modify their weapons in many different ways.

Take into consideration that there’s more than one way to approach each level and you have a game that will never get stale.

The biggest issue I found with the game was how frustrated I was getting. As you play more and more, you’ll start to find players that don’t stick to the plan annoying and the police onslaughts become very tiring.

Black Squad

Black Squad Free To Play FPS Game

Throughout the years there has been many, many different free-to-play FPS games released, most of which are pretty dead.

What I like about Black Squad is the fact that it’s found a nice area in-between Call Of Duty and CS:GO.

The game has such a high skill ceiling, however it also feels you can jump in and have fun at the same time.

For a game that was released in 2019, the minimum requirements are pretty low:

  • OS: Windows 7 64bit
  • Processor: CORE2 DUO 2.2GHZ / AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.66GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GEFORCE 8600 OR GT630 / RADEON HD 6750
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 7 GB available space

Obviously, the higher the settings that you can run it on and the higher FPS, the better experience you’re going to have.

Initially the game was pretty poorly optimised, however, they seem to be fixing that with every patch that’s released.

Black Squad is full of content with 10 different game modes, 85+ weapons and over 48 Maps to master.

In terms of characters and customisation there are 10 different characters to collect and over 460+ skins for your weapons.

As of right now, the game is completely free-to-play. Every item can be earned by just playing the game.

The biggest issues that you may face playing this game is lag and the fact that some “innocent” players are getting manual banned.

I can’t prove the latter and I don’t necessarily believe it either. However, this is what the steam reviews claim. Unfortunately the reality is that most F2P FPS games are plagued with hackers.

Fistful Of Frags

Fistful Of Frags Steam Free To Play

Fistful Of Frags is a fairly old game by now. It was first made as a themed modification for the source engine, before it was renewed and released as a fully standalone title.

The Minimum Requirements for Fistul Of Frags are:

  • OS: Windows® XP
  • Processor: Pentium 4 3.0GHz or equivalent
  • Memory: 2000 MB RAM
  • Graphics: ATI Radeon 9600 or nVidia GeForce 6 series
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 compatible sound

This is a completely free, standalone mod. Unlike other free-to-play titles, Fistful of frags has 0 micro-transactions and 0 third party registrations, simply download the game and jump straight into battle.

For a free to play game that makes the developers literally no income, it has a good amount of content.

You can play both offline and online, featuring in classic deathmatches, cooperative modes and even play a fast paced wild west battle royal type mode.

To this date, the game still gets updated. A brand new map was released in May, 2020 and there’s still a decent player base online too.

For a game that’s only 4GB in size and runs on pretty much any PC, it’s pretty impressive and worth trying out.

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About the Author: JoshWilkins