There are many great free-to-play games out there, but what is the best free-to-play survival horror FPS?
Without a doubt, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly is the best free-to-play survival-horror FPS out there; it’s highly customizable and replayable. Many consider this gem to be the best way you can experience S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
History of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
GSC Game World’s S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series won the hearts of many gamers when they first released Shadow of Chernobyl in 2007. It remains one of the most atmospheric Survival-horror FPS games ever. This brilliant game’s RPG elements and gameplay freedom were way ahead of their time.
The series was heavily inspired by the Russian novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky named Roadside Picnic and the movie Stalker which was released in 1979. This book and the movie are the source material for the games’ lore.
In 2008, GSC Game World released S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky which was a prequel to Shadow of Chernobyl. In 2009, GSC released S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat, which is the most polished game of the series.
In December 2023, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl will release. Watch the gorgeous trailer for the game here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjDMwsbaSd8
GSC Game World is a Ukrainian company, so they’re obviously having trouble steadily developing the game with the war going on. Consider buying the previous games to support the developers.
You can save about $10 by buying the bundle instead of individual games: https://store.steampowered.com/sub/35983/
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly combines the worlds and characters from the original trilogy and creates a huge game that’s improved in every aspect. There are new stories, new characters and an entire arsenal of weapons.
Anomaly is a very difficult but rewarding game. You need to manage your character’s hunger, thirst and sleepiness and need to regularly repair and clean your weapons and armour.
You can kill an enemy with one headshot, and an enemy can kill you with one headshot as well. The gunplay is tactical and hardcore. Running and gunning like in Doom or Call of Duty won’t work here. Ammunition is scarce so it’s sometimes better to avoid battle rather than chase them.
This game will feel frustrating and overly difficult at first, but keep up your persistence and you’ll be able to experience the best survival-horror free-to-play FPS game.
Storylines of Anomaly
The Storyline is called Lost to the Zone and there are 3 parts:
Part 1: Living Legend: a famous stalker has returned to the Zone. Pursue him in order to obtain his invaluable knowledge.
Part 2: Mortal Sin: a sinister faction emerges from obscurity to take over the Zone. You are among the few who can stop them.
Part 3: Operation Afterglow: the Zone attracts a lot of attention. However, some people believe that its many secrets are best kept hidden
There’s also a bonus story:
Part 4: Hollow Boundaries: play as a member of a foreign force to investigate and reveal the secrets of the Zone.
These storylines are optional. You are free to do whatever you want and become whoever you want in the Zone.
Where to Download Anomaly
You can download S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly for free from the ModDB page: https://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-anomaly
Please read the descriptions and install information on the page. Installing the game is quite simple, but reading the page will be useful.
Anomaly is the most popular Mod on ModDB. It’s ranked number 1 out of more than 50,000 other mods.
Add-ons for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly
Anomaly is heavily customizable. There are hundreds of add-ons you can download to improve your experience. But the unmodified vanilla version of Anomaly is completely enjoyable. You can play it as is if you want to.
Here is a list of all the Add-ons for Anomaly: https://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-anomaly/addons
Below are some of the most recommended add-ons.
- Boomsticks and Sharpsticks: Adds a multitude of new weapons to the game. These new guns feel way better than the vanilla ones. Highly recommended mod. https://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-anomaly/addons/boomsticks-and-sharpsticks
- Food, Drug and Drink animations: Pretty self-explanatory. Adds new fluid animations. https://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-anomaly/addons/food-drug-and-drinks-animations-reuploaded
- Anomaly HD Models: A Texture mod that makes the game look much better with higher resolution texture maps. https://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-anomaly/addons/anomaly-hd-models-addon
- Agressor Reshade: This makes the game look similar to Escape From Tarkov. Very good graphics mod. Comes with new grass and ground textures. https://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-anomaly/addons/agressor-reshade
- Expedition: A graphics overhaul. My favourite Visual mod for Anomaly. https://www.moddb.com/mods/stalker-anomaly/addons/expedition-graphical-overhaul-addon-for-anomaly-151
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. GAMMA: A Huge Modpack that improves every single aspect of the game significantly. Only install Modpacks if you don’t plan to install individual mods. Modpacks are generally easy to install because a ton of popular mods are pre-installed into a single pack. Join the GAMMA Discord server to download: https://discord.com/invite/stalker-gamma
An Essential Guide for Beginners in the Zone
This video is the single best guide for Anomaly on the internet. This YouTuber doesn’t have many subscribers or views, so please support them because they deserve it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGNSrOAW1DY
Some Screenshots from a Modded Version of the Game
I took some screenshots from my custom-modded version of Anomaly. There aren’t many mods installed except the above-mentioned ones.
Any questions about Anomaly or this article? Let us know in the forums: https://gamefreaks365.com/forums