Star Wars: Hunters – Ultimate Game Review

Explore our comprehensive review of Star Wars: Hunters, a thrilling arena shooter game.

Star Wars: Hunters Review – Quicker, Easier, More Seductive

Overwatch with Star Wars characters sounds like a license to print money, and Star Wars: Hunters may well do so, given its heavy use of microtransactions.

Back in the early 2000s, LucasArts was unashamedly cynical about how it used the Star Wars license, creating Star Wars versions of whatever genre was popular at the time. This led to games like the Tekken-style beat ‘em-up Masters of Teräs Käsi, the Age Of Empires knock-off Galactic Battlegrounds, the Battlefield clone Battlefront, and the Twisted Metal copycat Demolition.

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As shameless as they all were, most were competent games – even if they were not as good as their inspirations. Hunters feels very much of that era. If LucasArts had been around back then, it would have insisted on a Star Wars version of Overwatch (just as Marvel Rivals seems to be a superhero version of the same idea).

Even if that’s not an inherently bad idea, the fact that Hunters is a free-to-play game made by FarmVille publisher Zynga raises many red flags. And yet, just like back in the day, Hunters is not as bad as you’d think. Or at least it wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the usual grotesqueries of modern live service games.

Strangely, Hunters is only available on mobile phones and the Nintendo Switch. It’s not clear whether Nintendo paid for it as a console exclusive, but playing it on Switch and iOS, it’s obvious that the smartphone version runs a lot smoother, while the Switch edition is much easier to control. Hunters isn’t a complex game, but it does use almost every button on a joypad, so the touchscreen controls are far from ideal – making the perfect setup the smartphone version with a Bluetooth gamepad.

Rather than featuring any established characters, Hunters has an entirely original lineup, although many are based on more familiar races or character types. So you’ve got a Mandalorian who’s not the Mandalorian, a Wookiee who’s definitely not Chewbacca, a smuggler type that uses Han Solo’s gun, a Stormtrooper, and a generic Dark Side user.

There are also some more unusual choices, such as a Jawa standing on another Jawa’s shoulders while wearing a trench coat, a Mon Calamari in an anti-gravity chair, a Droideka, and a Trandoshan who’s dressed up like Kraven the Hunter. Some of the more original characters are a bit generic, looking more like failed Apex Legends candidates, but there’s also a Rodian like Greedo and a droid that thinks it’s a Jedi.

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If none of that means anything to you, the short version is that there’s a very wide range of different characters in terms of both their appearance and abilities. The character design is definitely the highlight of the game, even if the cartoonish, Fortnite-style art design is slightly off-putting. Unfortunately, this is a sign that in most other respects, the game is disappointingly familiar.

There are three class types (tank, damage, and support), the game modes are exactly what you’d expect of an arena shooter, and while everyone has their own gimmicks – from grappling hooks to shields – they still manage to feel predictable and generic. The lightsabers are fun, but once again in a Star Wars game, the blasters feel like pea-shooters and not at all what you’d imagine from their use in the movies, in terms of weight or power.

The biggest problem is the lack of complexity in the various abilities and weapons. While everything is very clearly cribbed from Overwatch and Valorant, there’s none of the same nuance in their use. Everything is overly simplified, and it’s obvious that the game has been designed primarily for play on mobile, with the Switch version very much an afterthought.

All the maps are smaller than you’d expect, matches are very short, and the game is filled with microtransactions. That goes without saying for a free-to-play game, but while Hunters is arguably no worse than something like Fortnite, in terms of what it’s offering, the obnoxious way in which it constantly advertises the battle pass and tries to tempt you into paying to unlock additional characters is beyond the pale.

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The range of characters may seem impressive at first glance, but you don’t get all of them at once. Instead, you have to slowly unlock them by playing the game repeatedly or, as Zynga hopes, you just give in and pay for them. The Mandalorian character, Aran Tal, can only be unlocked by paying for the Premium Arena Pass, yet cynically, he’s the most prominent character in the marketing.

The first time you switch on the game, it’s awash with so many garish adverts and pleas for you to give it money that it’s tempting to just turn it off right then and there. Although we have a feeling they’ll tone this down at least a little post-launch, the main menu itself is horribly ugly and confusing, even if there weren’t any ads.

It’s always difficult to critique a free-to-play game, not least because as vile as the game’s microtransaction practices seem to console and PC gamers, they’ve clearly been accepted as the norm on mobile.

If you can ignore the microtransactions, Hunters is not a complete failure. But as a third-person shooter, it’s overly simplified and shallow, and you’re likely to start losing interest long before you unlock all the characters. It’s designed to be that way, to appeal to what Zynga thinks a casual audience wants, but what’s frustrating is that with some tweaking, this could’ve been a good game.

Unfortunately, Zynga has given in to the Dark Side and rather than create something that people would want to play for its own sake, they’ve instead produced a cynical cash grab that is only interested in your money, not your entertainment.


  • Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
  • iOS
  • Android






Zynga and NaturalMotion

Release Date

4th June 2024

Age Rating


Gameplay and Mechanics

Star Wars: Hunters offers a mix of typical arena shooter gameplay with a Star Wars twist. Each match is a team-based affair where players choose from a roster of unique characters, each with their own set of abilities and weapons. The game modes include standard fare like team deathmatch, capture the flag, and king of the hill.

Character Classes:

  1. Tank: Characters with high health and defensive abilities. They are designed to absorb damage and protect teammates. Examples include the Wookiee warrior and the Droideka.
  2. Damage: Characters focused on dealing high amounts of damage to opponents. They have offensive abilities but usually lower health. Examples include the Mandalorian and the smuggler.
  3. Support: Characters that provide healing, buffs, or other utilities to their team. They are crucial for maintaining team health and providing strategic advantages. Examples include the Mon Calamari in an anti-gravity chair.

Each class has its own playstyle, strengths, and weaknesses. Tanks excel in soaking up damage and holding the line, damage dealers focus on eliminating enemies quickly, and support characters keep their teammates in fighting shape with heals and buffs.

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Visuals and Art Style

The game’s visual presentation is heavily inspired by the popular Fortnite aesthetic, with cartoonish and exaggerated character models and environments. This art style may not appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer the grittier and more realistic depictions seen in other Star Wars games. However, it does give the game a unique look that sets it apart from other titles in the franchise.

The character designs are imaginative, even if some feel derivative. The standout designs include the Jawa duo in a trench coat and the Rodian droid Jedi wannabe. The variety in character models helps keep the visual experience fresh, even if the overall art style might not be to everyone’s taste.

Controls and Platform Differences

Playing Hunters on different platforms yields varying experiences. The smartphone version runs smoother but is harder to control due to touchscreen limitations. On the other hand, the Nintendo Switch version, while easier to control with a joypad, suffers from performance issues that affect the gameplay experience.

The ideal setup seems to be playing the smartphone version with a Bluetooth gamepad, which combines the performance benefits of the mobile version with the control benefits of a physical gamepad. However, this is not a convenient solution for everyone, and the disparity in performance between platforms is a significant drawback.

Monetization and Microtransactions

Microtransactions are a major aspect of Star Wars: Hunters. The game is free-to-play, but it heavily relies on microtransactions to generate revenue. This includes purchasing new characters, skins, battle passes, and various other cosmetic items.

Battle Passes and Character Unlocks:

The battle pass system is designed to encourage regular play and spending. Players can unlock a basic tier of rewards for free, but the premium tier, which includes exclusive skins and characters, requires payment. The Mandalorian character, Aran Tal, is an example of a character locked behind the Premium Arena Pass, which is prominently featured in the game’s marketing.

The aggressive monetization tactics can be off-putting, especially when the game frequently pushes players to spend money. This is a common issue with many free-to-play games, but Hunters seems particularly relentless in its approach, which can detract from the overall experience.

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Sound and Music

The audio design in Hunters is solid, with sound effects and music

that capture the essence of the Star Wars universe. Blaster fire, lightsaber hums, and the various alien languages add authenticity to the game. The music, while not as memorable as the iconic scores from the films, does a decent job of setting the mood and enhancing the gameplay experience.


Star Wars: Hunters is a mixed bag. On one hand, it offers a fun and accessible arena shooter experience with a variety of unique and imaginative characters. The game modes, while familiar, are enjoyable and provide a good framework for team-based action. The visual style, though not universally appealing, gives the game a distinctive look.

On the other hand, the game’s heavy reliance on microtransactions and the disparity in performance across platforms are significant drawbacks. The aggressive monetization tactics can be particularly frustrating, as they constantly remind players of the game’s primary goal: to make money.

In summary, Star Wars: Hunters is a game that shows potential but is ultimately held back by its free-to-play model and the associated pitfalls. It could have been a solid addition to the Star Wars gaming universe, but its execution leaves much to be desired. Whether or not you enjoy it will largely depend on your tolerance for microtransactions and your willingness to overlook its flaws in favor of its strengths.

FAQs for Star Wars: Hunters

1. What is Star Wars: Hunters?

Star Wars: Hunters is a free-to-play arena shooter game developed by Zynga and NaturalMotion. It features team-based combat with a roster of unique characters inspired by the Star Wars universe. The game is available on iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch.

2. What platforms is Star Wars: Hunters available on?

Star Wars: Hunters is available on iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch.

3. Is Star Wars: Hunters free to play?

Yes, Star Wars: Hunters is a free-to-play game. However, it includes microtransactions for unlocking characters, skins, battle passes, and other in-game items.

4. How do the character classes work in Star Wars: Hunters?

Characters in Star Wars: Hunters are divided into three classes: Tank, Damage, and Support.

  • Tank characters have high health and defensive abilities.
  • Damage characters focus on dealing high amounts of damage.
  • Support characters provide healing, buffs, or other utilities to their team.

5. Are there any iconic Star Wars characters in the game?

Star Wars: Hunters features an entirely original lineup of characters, although many are inspired by familiar races or character types from the Star Wars universe.

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6. What types of game modes are available in Star Wars: Hunters?

The game modes in Star Wars: Hunters include standard arena shooter modes like team deathmatch, capture the flag, and king of the hill.

7. How do microtransactions work in Star Wars: Hunters?

Star Wars: Hunters offers various microtransactions, including purchases for new characters, skins, battle passes, and other cosmetic items. Players can unlock a basic tier of rewards for free, but the premium tier requires payment.

8. How do I unlock new characters in Star Wars: Hunters?

New characters can be unlocked by playing the game repeatedly to earn in-game currency or by purchasing them directly through microtransactions. Some characters, like the Mandalorian character Aran Tal, are only available through the Premium Arena Pass.

9. Does Star Wars: Hunters have cross-platform play?

Currently, there is no information about cross-platform play in Star Wars: Hunters. Players can enjoy the game on their respective platforms.

10. How does the control scheme differ between mobile and Switch versions?

The smartphone version of Star Wars: Hunters runs smoother but is harder to control due to touchscreen limitations. The Nintendo Switch version is easier to control with a joypad but suffers from performance issues. The ideal setup is playing the smartphone version with a Bluetooth gamepad.

11. Can I play Star Wars: Hunters offline?

No, Star Wars: Hunters requires an internet connection to play as it is an online multiplayer game.

12. Is there a single-player mode in Star Wars: Hunters?

Star Wars: Hunters focuses on team-based multiplayer gameplay and does not have a dedicated single-player mode.

13. What are the system requirements for playing Star Wars: Hunters on mobile?

The system requirements for Star Wars: Hunters vary depending on the device. Generally, a modern smartphone with an up-to-date operating system and sufficient processing power is required. Check the game’s listing on the App Store or Google Play for specific requirements.

14. Are there any in-game events or updates planned for Star Wars: Hunters?

Zynga and NaturalMotion have plans for regular updates and in-game events to keep the gameplay experience fresh and engaging. These updates may include new characters, skins, game modes, and other content.

15. How do I report bugs or issues in Star Wars: Hunters?

To report bugs or issues, players can contact Zynga’s customer support through the game’s official website or in-game support options. Providing detailed information about the issue can help the developers address it more efficiently.

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