Top 15 best free strategy games for Android phones and tablets
As one of the most enduringly popular and diverse genres on mobile, we've covered the finest Android strategy games quite often.
But the thing with the biggest and best strategy games is that they tend to be extremely meaty, dare we say 'hardcore' experiences. And those tend to cost money.
So what about those Android strategy games that don't (or needn't) cost you a penny? That's what this list is dedicated to.
Naturally, in-app purchases play a part in the following strategy games. Some will only grant you the full package when you pay up. But all of these strategy gems will provide you with a satisfying strategy experience for no upfront fee.
Is there a free Android strategy game that you feel should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
The Battle of Polytopia
Polytopia ticks all the boxes for the 4X strategy genre - explore, expand, exploit - whilst brilliantly distilling the formula for mobile.
Here you have to pick one of many tribes and develop a civilization. To do that successfully, explore and control the map to gather various resources for upgrades and new technologies that will help you win. And if you are looking for more information about this game, we have a few The Battle of Polytopia guides for you.
Plague Inc. totally flips the usual heroic script of saving lives, and instead asks you to wipe out vast swathes of humanity. It's no psycho-sim, but rather a darkly alluring tactical war room simulator all about forming and spreading viruses.
There are plenty of different ways to wipe out humanity, you can use a virus, parasites, bacteria, etc. Create the most dangerous virus and destroy humanity before it develops medicine. By the way, here we have tips and tricks that will definitely help you eliminate everyone in the world.
An addictive city builder that captures that classic isometric SimCity magic, but with the speed and intuitiveness you'd hope for in a mobile game.
In Pocket City, you can try the role of the mayor and build the most comfortable city. You can complete quests to gain resources for future upgrades, increase your level to unlock new types of buildings, prepare exciting events for your citizens, and many more. Also, if you want to know more about the game, we have created a Pocket City review for you.
Crush Your Enemies
Crush Your Enemies simplifies the RTS essentials almost to the point of ugliness, with its garish dual-toned battlefields. But the delicate push and pull of its territory-based gameplay is almost perfectly judged.
Indeed, the title has everything we need from a strategy game. You can collect resources and create the most powerful army to take the opponent's territory. Your primary task is to control the map to allow your army to move freely and take over even more land. And if that was not enough to convince you to try the game, here we have a Crush Your Enemies review.
Clash of Clans
The very presence of Clash of Clans on this list may make strategy game die-hards vomit with rage. But its brand of casual city building has been hugely influential, and rarely matched. We have talked a lot about hacks in Clash of Clans, and if they are real. Players are really interested in how they can get ahead of their adversaries, so it's only natural. If you've already tried the game, and you liked it, you should really take a peek at the list of games like Clash of Clans.
Guide a pint-sized Spartan warrior through hex-based gridded levels, out-manoeuvring foes with a small but diverse range of abilities. Hoplite is one of the purest strategy games on mobile.
You will learn pretty fast how to play the game, however, as you move forward, each level becomes more and more complex. Therefore, you need to think twice before you make your move, upgrade your abilities, or start fighting. Luckily, we have some tips to help you master this game even faster.
Just like Clash of Clans, Clash Royale rarely gets the purist vote, but it's been hugely influential. Part tower defence, part MOBA, part card battler - all entertaining strategy game.
Players that are interested in the game should first take a look at which cards to collect, so they won't waste any valuable resources. Our Clash Royale tier list will help you pick the right cards that suit your playstyle.
Call of Dragons
One of the newer strategies on mobiles that grabbed a vast audience at once is Call of Dragons. Did we mention that the whole setting is high fantasy? You'll be managing a vast kingdom, training all different sorts of monsters and then using them to defend or attack other players. However, you'll have your alliance buddies, so that should lighten the load a bit. Gameplay is a bit slow-paced later on, but it's not too demanding. Perfect for players that have some free time to relax once or twice a day.
You'll love the colourful artwork for sure, in case you're not one of those goths that only like dark-world settings. It'll remind you of Rise of Kingdoms instantly.
Star Trek: Fleet Command
A 4X mobile strategy game without the hardcore demands on your time, Star Trek: Fleet Command makes brilliant use of its sci-fi license for a deeply immersive tactical experience.
For the fans of Star Trek, this should be a no-brainer. They will find good use of our Star Trek Fleet Command best crew combinations guide, so there will be no mistake of who owns the space!
Mixing tense Rock Paper Scissors battling with a refined JRPG universe and a real time PVP mode, Langrisser Mobile covers a number of bases. It's packed full of tactical content.
The multiplayer is one of the most exciting things about this game. You can face various dangerous bosses together with your friends, join a guild and compete with other players for some incredible rewards, and do many other awesome activities. Also, the game has a pretty interesting upgrade system where each character has a personal upgrade tree.
The stakes might be relatively low on Motorsport Manager - you're managing an F1 team, not conquering a country - but the strategic action is no less tense or cerebral for that fact.
Here you will find all 2022-2023 Formula drivers, as well as many unbelievably fast F1 cars. Pick the best car and compete with other players. Make it to the top of the leaderboard and get some cool rewards. And if you are looking for more on the game, feel free to check out our Motorsport Manager review for additional information.
Command & Conquer: Rivals
OK, so Command & Conquer: Rivals isn't the epic RTS game that you might remember of the brand. But it is a finely honed-for-mobile take on the genre with a deceptive level of depth.
In this game, you will have to pick a commander who will be in charge of your military base. Also, you can use many powerful units to create a strong army and destroy your opponents. And while you're here, why not check out our Command and Conquer: Rivals review to learn more about the game.
The Lord of The Rings: Rise to War
If you're a fan of LOTR, your stomach is already tingling. Yes, this is a free to play Android strategy game, where there are seasons after which all of the progress resets and you get to start over again. We have to state this as an important factor because not everyone looks favourably to the progress resets.
Other than that, you'll pick a starting faction (race) and you won't be able to pick the units from other factions for a while, so pick carefully. Some of the most beloved characters in the franchise are chosen as the army leaders, and each one favours a different playstyle. You'll expand your kingdom and fight monsters as well as other players. You can read more in the Rise of War guide that we made, it covers the essentials perfectly.
Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus
So, you're a fan of Warhammer (I mean, who isn't, just look at Henry Cavill) but sometimes you don't have a few hours to set up the game and play properly. Well, the next best thing would be Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus. A lot of your favourite characters and champions are available, and their models look really vivid and brutal as they should.
The gameplay is turn-based, so you'll have enough time to strategise, like you usually do on the tabletop. Of course, you'll have to demonstrate your tactical superiority in order to win skirmishes, there is no way around it.
It won the GOTY award as the best mobile game of 2022 by player votes, which speaks volumes even if you're not a fan of the Warhammer universe.
Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
Strategy for Android in the best traditions of Clash of Clans, but with a historical twist. The player gets a settlement on the global map, which has to be rebuilt and developed in every possible way. There are no isolated battles on separate maps. In this game, units march and fight in real-time, and the camera moves freely from a bird's eye view to a distance that allows you to distinguish the uniforms of the soldiers.
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