Created By: eneuman96 on May 17, 2015 Last Edited By: Arivne on November 30, 2017

Twin Stick Shooter

An arcade-style shooter that involves two joysticks.

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A specific kind of Shoot 'em Up whose main controls involve using one joystick to move, and the other to simultaneously aim and shoot independently of the player's motion, usually in a top down environment. Additionally, buttons may be used to perform other abilities, most often a Smart Bomb, but one joystick to aim and another to shoot are what qualifies a shoot-em-up as this.


  • Robotron 2084 is most likely the Ur-Example of this, inspired by how Eugene Jarvis wished to have the shooting action of Berzerk but with less restrictive controls.
  • Robotron's spiritual successor Smash TV takes this trope to significantly more violent levels.
  • Geometry Wars, in all its incarnations, is this.
  • Resogun (which doesn't have a page currently) is an unusual example in that although it follows this trope's criteria, one can only shoot left and right as opposed to all directions.
  • Super Stardust HD and its other incarnations use this control
    • The game is this to a lesser extent, only allowing for shooting in the 4 cardinal directions, including bombs, usable main items, and a consumable sub-item.
    • The item "Joystick" in the Antibirth mod turns the game into a proper twin stick shooter, allowing full 360 degree shooting.
Community Feedback Replies: 5
  • May 17, 2015
  • March 20, 2017
    • The Binding of Isaac is this to a lesser extent, only allowing for shooting in the 4 cardinal directions
      • the item "Joystick" turns the game into a proper twin stick shooter allowing full 360 degree shooting
  • March 21, 2017
    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
      • Added the word "Examples".
      • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.
      • Corrected illegal Example Indentation in the The Binding Of Isaac examples.
      • Capitalized the first words of sentences.
      • Added punctuation (commas, periods at the ends of sentences).

    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context, such as the fact that the game uses two joysticks, one for movement and one for firing.
  • November 26, 2017
    Tower 57 is a perfect example for this.
  • November 29, 2017
    Genre indexes aren't bound by the same Zero Context Example rules as normal trope pages.