What kind of game is a shmup?

Shoot 'em up

Gamers may use shmup as shorthand for shoot 'em up. In these types of games, players shoot at swarms of enemies, typically while piloting a spacecraft, airplane, or other type of vehicle.

However, gamers' exact definition of what constitutes a shmup varies. For example, while all gamers would agree that Space Invaders and Asteroids are shmups, they may disagree on whether "on rails" shooters like Time Crisis and Star Wars: Rebel Assault are shmups.


What's your favorite shmup?
I always loved After Burner

Classic shmup gameplay

Related Slang


Updated November 21, 2023

Shmup definition by

This page explains what the abbreviation "Shmup" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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