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15 best strategy games for Android
Strategy is among the oldest game types in human history. Whether it’s chess, board games, or even some card games, we’ve been playing strategy games since long before there was ever a computer. Strategy games have come a long way, but the basic premise of using your brain to beat your opponents remains true even to this day. It’s a fantastic way to test yourself to see how creative you can be. Here are the best strategy games on Android.
We’d like to give an honorable mention to Machines at War 3 (Google Play) along with Pocket City (Google Play) and Bad North: Jotunn Edition (Google Play). They are excellent strategy games but don’t get consistent updates in the Play Store anymore.
The best strategy games for Android
The Battle of Polytopia
Price: Free / Up to $4.49
The Battle of Polytopia is a turn-based civilization game. It has a lot of the same elements as most strategy games. You must control the map, fight off enemies, discover new lands, and increase your firepower through upgrades. The game features single and multiplayer experiences. We especially appreciate the matchmaking choices, like being able to fight someone with the same tribe as you.
Some other features include offline play, pass-and-play local multiplayer, leaderboards, and low-poly graphics that should work well with most phones. Additionally, the controls are pretty easy, and everything does what it should. It’s a surprisingly competent game in the genre despite its looks. Even the in-app purchases aren’t offensive, which we like.
Bloons TD 6
Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases
Bloons TD 6 is the latest tower defense game in the long-running series. It features a lot of elements from prior titles. You play as monkeys, and you defend from the bad guys. The game includes 19 towers, three upgrade paths per tower, and tons of mini-upgrades. The game also supports offline play, new game modes, various difficulties, and a lot more. This is easily the best tower defense release in 2018 (aside from possibly Defend the Cake), and it’s a must-try for strategy enthusiasts.
It runs for $4.99 with additional in-app purchases if you choose to pay for them. The Kingdom Rush series of games are also quite good if you like tower defense strategy.
Price: Free / $1.99
Card Thief is one of the more unique strategy games. It’s a mix between strategy and a card game. Your goal is to move around to avoid detection. You’ll have equipment, stealth points, and more to help you avoid the guards and finish the level. It boasts a play time of two to three minutes per play. That makes it great for casual gamers. You can can download the game for free and unlock the full version for $1.99. It’s also available via Google Play Pass if you have it.
Chess by AI Factory Limited
Chess is one of the oldest strategy games. Chess Free is probably the best chess game on mobile. The graphics aren’t a lot to look at. However, you’ll have 12 difficulty levels across two game modes, ELO Ratings, save and load games, local multiplayer, a chess tutor, and a bunch of other cool stuff. It’s about as complete of a chess game as you can find. It utilizes the Treebeard Chess Engine. It’s the same one from MSN Chess. AI Factory Limited has a bunch of other simple board games like Checkers, GO, and several others.
Dungeon Warfare 2
Dungeon Warfare 2 is a tower defense strategy game. It’s also a premium game so that means no in-app purchases or free-to-play mechanics to ruin your good time. The game features 33 traps for your to employ and each one has eight upgrades. There are also 30 enemies, 60 levels, five boss fights, player skills, and even an equipment system to level yourself up.
What we think is neat, though, are the procedurally generated dungeons that give the game an almost endless appeal. You can also mix and match your difficulty modes for more challenges. There is just very little wrong with this game, and that makes it an easy recommendation.
More games here:
Price: Free to play / Varies
Kairosoft is a developer on Google Play with several criminally underrated strategy games. Some examples include Game Dev Story, Pocket Harvest, Grand Prix Story 2, Cafeteria Nipponica, Ninja Village, and many others. Many of the games blend strategy and simulation elements, but they’re all pretty good games that cover a variety of topics. Meanwhile, the games are either free to play, others are premium. It depends on the title. In any case, Kairosoft has a lot of good games and many of them are strategy games.
Legends of Runeterra
Price: Free to play
Legends of Runeterra is a card dueling game with some strategy elements. The developers say that your wins are determined more by skill and less on luck like many other card collectors. Players unlock cards, use them in combat against other players, and try to win as many matches as possible. Unlike more predatory titles, it doesn’t take that long to unlock all of the cards and the matches are fairly even once you get there. There is a PvE mode where you can hone your skills and, obviously, an online PvP mode where you can test them.
It’s free-to-play, but not offensively so. It’s definitely among the best games in its genre and it actually does require some strategy to do well.
Motorsport Manager Racing
Price: Free to play
Motorsport Manager Racing is a simulator, strategy game, and online PvP game. You take on the role of building a race team, designing a car, and racing it against other players online. It features a decent roster of drivers, including some real ones from the 2019-20 Formula E driver roster. There are leaderboards to see how well you’re doing and the races are pretty entertaining.
It is a free-to-play game with no offline mode. That’s why the Play Store rating is a bit lower. For that, we recommend this game’s predecessor, Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 (Google Play). The only beef we have with that game is that it hasn’t been updated in a couple of years.
Northgard is one of the newer strategy games on the list. It launched in 2021 for mobile and is a port of the Steam game from 2018. It’s almost identical to the PC version of the game except this one has touch controls. The game blends survival and strategy elements along with kingdom-building elements. You create a settlement on a newly discovered continent. From there, you manage your resources, train an army, and defend yourself from bad guys and harsh winters. There are several clans in the game, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s a bit expensive and lower-end devices seem to struggle with it quite a bit. We only recommend this one to those with modern, higher-end devices.
Rebel Inc and Plague Inc
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Rebel Inc and Plague Inc are two excellent strategy games. Plague Inc has players creating viruses and trying to infect the entire world. It’s so frighteningly accurate that the CDC once asked the developers to speak about the game. Rebel Inc has players trying to quell rebellions in the region to help ease unrest. Your decisions affect the game story and there are five regions for you to play in. Both games are among the best strategy games for mobile. It’s also worth nothing that Rebel Inc, at least, is actually a very tough game to get through. Don’t get discouraged if it whips you out of the gate.
Rusted Warfare is a retro-style real-time strategy game with a lot going for it. It boasts a more hardcore RTS experience with no in-app purchases, no ads, and no pay-to-win mechanics. It also boasts over 40 player controlled units, various defenses, online and offline multiplayer, and support for mice and keyboards. The graphics aren’t winning any awards, but frankly that’s about the only ding we have on this one. Even then, it’s not bad if you’re into retro games. It even has a custom game mode for practice, fun, and goofing around with the game’s mechanics. This one should probably be more popular.
Seige Up RTS
Price: Free / $1.99 with in-app purchases
Seige Up RTS is one of the better strategy games on Android. There are just so many things to do that it boggles the mind. The base game has 26 missions, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer. The multiplayer includes a spectator mode so you can watch people battle it out, an in-game chat, and more. Mechanically speaking, it’s a fairly standard RTS. You build an army and assault your opponent’s base while they try to do the same to you.
Where this game really shines, though, is the community. There is an in-game library of over 4,000 challenges created by players. You can also build and share your own levels if you want to. The game also includes built-in cheats, modding support, and more. Honestly, we could keep going but the feature list is simply too long. This is one of those really good ones you hear about.
Price: Free to play
Supercell is the developer of four of the most successful and popular strategy games ever. They are Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Brawl Stars, and Boom Beach. Clash of Clans and Boom Beach are RTS strategy games where you build a base, defend it against other players, and then attack other players. Clash Royale is a card game similar in scope to Hearthstone. Brawl Stars is a beat ’em up strategy game with some MOBA elements. Each game boasts a massive player base and that’s good news because they’re all online multiplayer games. There are also plenty of games like Clash of Clans as well as games like Clash Royale if you like the genre but want to try another developer’s spin on it.
Total War series
Total War is a series of strategy games. The series is ported to mobile by Feral Interactive. Tehre are four Total War games on mobile, including ROME: Total War, Rome: Total War – Alexander, ROME: Total War – Barbarian Invasion, and Total War: Medieval II. The games range from $4.99 to $14.99 each. All of the games have similar core mechanics, including real-time battles and a turn-based campaign. The ROME series has a Roman setting while Medieval II takes place in the Middle Ages.
These games are console and PC quality strategy games and that’s supported by the single upfront cost. Canonically speaking, Rome: Total War takes place before Medieval II, in case you want to play them in order.
Unciv is an open-source version of Civilization V. There is a lot to like about this game. It’s quick, works on even low end devices, takes up very little space comparatively, and you can even mod it. It plays offline as well so you don’t need an Internet connection to play it. Basically, this is like the first Civilization. Your goal is world domination. You must grow your empire, take over nearby areas, and continue to grow until you are all that’s left.
It doesn’t look like Civilization V, but the mechanics are there. The developer is actively working on this as well, so it’ll get even better with time. It’s also entirely free and is easily the best entirely free strategy game on mobile.
XCOM 2 Collections
The original mobile release of XCOM was on this list for a long time back in the day and we’re happy to see it return with this release. XCOM is a turn-based strategy game where you take on opponents and try to outmaneuver them in order to beat them. There are also upgrades, customizations, and other decisions you can make to be more successful in the game. The game also includes procedural generation so no two playthroughs are the same along with four DLC packs included with the price tag.
The only downside is that this one requires a somewhat modern phone and won’t work on lower-end devices. Plus, $19.99 is a bit of a steep ask for a mobile game. Still, there are no additional in-app purchases and there is a lot of content to play through.
If we missed any of the best strategy games for Android, tell us about them in the comments. You can also check out our latest Android app and game lists by clicking here.
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