What Are the Differences Between First-Person Shooter and Third-Person Shooter Games?

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What Are the Differences Between First-Person Shooter and Third-Person Shooter Games?

In gaming, player perspective can make all the difference. The majority of shooting games feature a first-person shooter (FPS) or a third-person shooter (TPS). The most obvious difference between the two is the player's perspective. In the case of a first-person shooter, the player sees everything from the point of view of the character, which can include a view of the avatar's hands and equipment. With third-person shooters, players can see their avatars moving through virtual worlds. The avatar is usually viewed from a point above and behind it. These differences in viewpoint give rise to a number of related differences in gameplay.

Learn about the characteristics, and advantages and disadvantages of first-person and third-person shooter games. A comparison of features is included for ease of reference. Most players prefer one or the other and it is generally a matter of personal taste and gaming style. However, knowing what each character type is able to do may change the mind of even a hard core gamer. First-person and third-person shooter games are available from a variety of sources, including gaming and computer shops, department stores, supermarkets, and sites like eBay.

First-Person Shooter Games

A first-person shooter game allows the player to experience the game from a first-person perspective. This is done by viewing the action through the eyes of the protagonist. First-person shooter games are not a recent invention. The first was Maze War, developed in 1973. Doom, first released in 1993, is perhaps the most well known forerunner of today's first-person shooter games. Advances in gaming graphics have turned this genre into a more commercially viable and popular choice.

Advantages of First-Person Shooter Games

One of the biggest advantages of first-person shooter games is their realistic feel. It is easy for a player to immerse him or herself in the game, with every action taking place as if performed by the player.

Immersion in the Virtual World

Those who prefer this style of gaming feel that they have a more intimate connection with the in-game characters. Instead of simply manipulating an avatar, they enter the virtual world. Their view is narrower, but more detailed. Creeping along a dark alleyway or sneaking up behind an enemy becomes more nerve wracking.

Accuracy of Shooting

It is also felt that players shoot more accurately with this type of perspective, as they are more aware of where they are aiming; with or without the use of crosshairs. Getting the target in sight is also easier as the character or awkward camera angles cannot block the player's view.

Improved Mental Agility

Aside from gaming mechanisms, first-person shooter games could increase players' mental agility. Studies have found that people who play these games often have faster reaction times when switching between everyday tasks. Playing these types of games can improve multitasking, driving, and navigation skills.

Disadvantages of First-Person Shooter Games

First-person shooter games have a number of drawbacks. Players may find it difficult to control their characters. It is important to consider how the character moves and the complexity of commands during gameplay. The platform that the game is played on makes a difference, as PC gamers have a mouse that can be used to aim and shoot quickly and accurately, whereas other platforms may not.

Field of Vision

While the perspective makes gameplay more realistic, it limits the player's field of vision. This gaming perspective creates a tunnel vision effect, enabling the player to see at an angle of only 30 or 40 degrees with no allowances for peripheral vision. To see what a person would normally see, the player must turn his or her character's head. In addition, players cannot see behind them.

Lack of Cover

Few first-person shooter games feature reliable or working cover mechanics. Players cannot hide behind objects without losing the ability to see or shoot enemies. Most first-person shooter games that feature improved cover mechanics switch to a third-person view when taking cover.

Motion Sickness

People who are prone to motion sickness may experience nausea when playing first-person shooter games. The movement of the player's view tends to trigger this condition.

Third-Person Shooter Games

In a third-person shooter game, the player views the action from a distance. Gamers can see their characters and the environment, with camera angles that are usually set above and slightly behind the avatar.

Advantages of Third-Person Shooter Games

Characters in third-person shooter games are generally easier to control. The player can see where the character is going, placing movements in context. The field of vision is greater and more closely resembles what a person would normally see. This also means that it is easier to spot enemies behind the character.

Improved Cover

These games allow for more practical cover mechanics. The avatar can hide behind an object without necessarily losing its view of the surrounding area.

Greater In-Game Awareness

In addition, the player is more aware of where the character is in the game. When playing a first-person shooter game it is easy to get lost in the virtual environment. Seeing the character from a distance simplifies navigation a great deal. It is also easier to jump as the player can judge the distance more effectively.

More Detailed Graphics

As the player can see the character during gameplay, graphics related to character actions tend to be more detailed. Players can watch as they bring out their best martial arts moves to defeat their enemies. This adds an element of entertainment and allows the game designers to show off their skills.

Disadvantages of Third-Person Shooter Games

Third-person shooter games are not as immersive as first-person versions. The player may feel somewhat detached from the action as it is taking place at a distance.

Lack of Realism

Third-person shooter games can be less realistic. As the player's point of view is not centred on the character's point of view, players often shoot less accurately.

Awkward Camera Angles

While it is usually easier to seek cover, camera angles may make it difficult to see or could block the player's view entirely. This has mostly been overcome by the addition of intelligent camera systems that compensate for this automatically or allow the player to control the camera angle.

First-Person vs. Third-Person Shooter Games

Choosing between the two points of view could be a challenge for novice gamers. The table below presents a short comparative summary of the gameplay aspects already discussed in relation to each gaming format.

Gaming Aspect

First-Person Shooter Game

Third-Person Shooter Game


Most realistic

Player is removed from the in-game character

Shooting accuracy

More accurate

Tends to be less accurate

Ease of aiming

Easier to aim

Can be more difficult to sight


Complex and challenging


Field of vision



Cover mechanics


Well developed

Awareness of character and environment

Can be problematic as the view is obscured

Wider view improves awareness

Camera angles

Difficult to judge distance when jumping

Can be problematic when taking cover or moving close to objects

Overcome by the development of intelligent camera systems

Many games feature the ability to toggle between first-person and third-person point of view. This is especially popular when a first-person shooter takes cover or enters a vehicle.

How to Buy First-Person and Third-Person Shooter Games on eBay

eBay is the perfect place to shop for both first-person and third-person shooter games, with sellers offering a huge selection at competitive prices. To find shooter games, type a key phrase, such as "Call of Duty", into the search bar, which is located conveniently on every page, to see the items listed by sellers. Refine your search by choosing the most appropriate category and item characteristics. For more control over your search, use the advanced search feature.

Before You Buy on eBay

Before buying on eBay, evaluate the item and the seller. Click on a selected listing to view the item listing page. Here you can find information such as the full item description, buying choices, payment options, postage and packaging costs, and the seller's feedback information. If you have any questions about a listing, use the "Ask a question" link to contact the seller. Remember to add the cost of postage and packaging to the item's final selling price to calculate the total item cost.

Get to know the seller by viewing his or her seller feedback. Click on the number next to the seller's username to access this information. Buyers are encouraged to leave feedback about sellers' products and customer service when every transaction is completed. Use this information to form your own opinion of specific sellers.


The main difference between first-person and third-person shooter games is the player's point of view. This affects the game mechanics in a number of ways. First-person shooter games tend to be more realistic and it is easier for players to immerse themselves in the games. Many players find that aiming is simpler and shooting is more accurate. However, the lack of cover mechanics, reduced field of vision, and difficulty controlling the character are distinct disadvantages of this gaming point of view.

While third-person shooter games create distance between the avatar and the player, the character is easier to control and the player has a broader, clearer field of vision. It is important to take note of in-game camera systems, as fixed cameras can cause problems when characters take cover or move close to objects. Players also find it more difficult to aim and shoot accurately in this format.

Choosing the right point of view for a particular player depends a great deal on the player's skill level, personal preferences, and gaming style. Some players have no problem controlling characters in first-person formats and prefer the ability to become part of the game to the advantages offered by third-person shooter games. With eBay sellers' wide range of games on offer at excellent prices, buy a first-person and third-person shooter game and try both to experience the differences between the two first-hand.

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