Top 25 best strategy games for Android in 2023
For all of you Android generals, here are some strategy games that will wake a Ceasar in you.
Updated on May 18, 2023 - added a new title. Original article by Jon Mundy, updated by Ivan Spasojevic.
Scan down the following best strategy games for Android, and you'll find several sharp ports of top-notch PC titles. And they play really well on the small screen. There's a reason for that and most of the time it comes down to two things: UI and controls. The user interface is totally the core of the experience of most strategy games out there - the genre is synonymous with complicated menus.
But, pivoting these things to use the touchscreen of mobile and controls means that planning and navigation can feel much more natural.
Some of the greatest strategy games on AndroidJust ten years ago, the very idea of playing a strategy game on your mobile phone would have seemed ridiculous. Even in the early days of the smartphone era, phones lacked the power and the pixels to encompass all the complexity that strategy games bring to tablets.
But what's interesting about the Android strategy scene is the sheer variety that's on offer. You'll find all manner of genre hybrids that serve to add an extra dose of excitement and immediacy to this deeply cerebral form of a game. Now click on the big blue button below and go through the list!
XCOM: Enemy Within
Part base-builder, part international diplomacy, a part tactical battler. XCOM's got it all, and this updated version adds psionic powers, crazy mech suits, and a stack more content. In other words, it's exceptional! The story might be a cliche, as you're leading the resistance after the planet was attacked by alien forces. Still, the tactical bit, both on the world map and on the battleground is done so masterfully, it's easy to get sucked into the world and feel the realism of war where you'll have to sacrifice someone willingly for the greater goal.
If you're much into tactical conundrums and the like, the entire XCOM series delivers pretty hearty gameplay and more than enough planning to deserve a landing spot on our list of best strategy games for Android. Definitely worth giving this one a shot!Download XCOM: Enemy Within ($4.99)
Banner Saga 2
This beautiful Norse fantasy, along with its predecessor, pitches you into tactical turn-based battles, but it also asks you to make tough decisions about the makeup of your travelling party and whether to intervene in key events. The story continues from the first part of the saga, so there are no real surprises. You can even transfer the save and progress from the first one and continue there. Your story choices will make an impact on the world, and the battle grid is exactly the same as it was.
Its exceptional gameplay and rich narrative are only topped up by stunning graphics and rich strategy. All of these elements make it a title worth a play (and a re-play afterwards).Download Banner Saga 2 ($9.99)
We still don't have an Android version of FTL yet, but Crying Suns is arguably the best alternative yet. This tactical rogue-lite has the star maps and event systems of that classic but with an absorbing story and compelling flight-squadron combat. It has a procedurally-generated universe with a lot of story events, and as the developers stated, it was inspired by Dune and Battlestar Galactica.
Set in outer space, the narrative of Crying Suns is not exactly out-of-this-world. However, the gameplay and grand strategy that it features are more than enough to earn it a spot on this list. It is a premium strategy game that fans of sci-fi should not miss.Download Crying Suns ($8.99)
The maker of the peerless Kingdom Rush series proves that it can do classic RTS as well as it does tower defence. Iron Marines is brilliantly balanced, great to look at, and generally quite special. You'll defend from the alien hordes using the Napalm Rockets, Defense Drones and a few units like space marines, or a sniper. There is no - one approach that fits all here, you'll have to adapt your strategy to the current level depending on the foes you'll be facing, so don't be afraid to test different tactics.
Just don't let the cutesy cartoonish graphics make you believe it's a shallow game. In fact, it's the complete opposite. You will encounter stages that you might not be able to figure out unless you really start to think (and re-think) your strategy. Oh, and it is offline!Download Iron Marines ($2.99)
The Escapists 2
This pixel-perfect game is all about strategy, as much as it is about prison escaping. Yep, you heard it right. You'll need to put all those brain muscles to work into figuring out a way to avoid guards (or simply beat them up!) and escape the prison. You can dress as guards, dig and scheme to try to get the right items for your escape. There is no end to the creativity of what you can and will do to get out to loving freedom.
You can craft, scheme and plan ahead as much as you like, all in order to carry out your plan to greater success. Note that this is a premium title, so you'll have to dish out a bit of your cash to play it.Download The Escapists 2 ($6.99)
Bad North: Jotunn Edition
Bad North: Jotunn Edition is a fusion of the strategy, roguelike and tactics genres - combining all the strengths of Faster Than Light with a tight troop management system. You'll lead a collection of heroes who you can level up between islands, but if they die then they're gone, so you'll have to make sure that you focus and specialise as you island-hop to avoid invaders. Bad North Jotunn Edition oozes style, with beautiful, minimalist levels which are procedurally generated each time. You'll defend these islands, moving your units from tile to tile and then watching as they dynamically battle to defend the space.
It's all incredibly clever though, each unit acts and reacts independently, even if you are moving the squad as a whole. Alongside that, there's a light twist on the standard rock-paper-scissors of spear, sword, and bow, enough so that combat doesn't get tiring. Especially as new enemies are introduced which require a bit more planning and thinking outside of the box. There's nothing quite like the moment when you outwit an entire enemy fleet, positioning perfectly so that not a single enemy makes it up to the huts you are defending.
Much like the already-cited FTL, Bad North: Jotunn Edition is one of the must-have strategy games on Android, an investment that I doubt even a single person regrets.Download Bad North: Jotunn Edition ($3.99)
If XCOM somehow failed to sate your tactical strategy lust, Templar Battleforce should be your next stop. Build up a team of armour-clad bad-asses, before sending them off into glorious grid-based battles. While it is advertised as an RPG, you shouldn't let that fool you into thinking it's some simple turn-based battler.
It's actually highly strategic and requires plenty of tactically planned battles and deploying. All that is only enhanced by the graphics that take us back decades. It's nostalgic, and really one of the finest mobile strategy games. There is a demo version that you can try for free, and in case you like it, you can upgrade to premium.Download Templar Battleforce ($9.99)
Dungeon Warfare 2
You could well make the argument that Dungeon Warfare 2 is a tower defence. But constructing the ultimate death-filled dungeon here proves to be so much more strategic and nuanced than your average lane runner. It is a worthy sequel that improved a few aspects, making it a definitive edition.
Much like Templar Battleforce, it will take you on a trip down memory lane with its classic-looking graphics and colour scheme. However, the gameplay is much more elevated than it used to be back in the day. We definitely recommend giving it a shot.Download Dungeon Warfare 2 ($4.99)
Set in an 8-bit universe, Pixel Starships follows all the guidelines of a great game. It's got management, simulation, building and aliens. What else is there to ask for?
It revolves around building the best starships and populating them with the best crewmates. It's fun, and it puts a fun retro twist to the classical strategy genre. Note that Pixel Starships is fairly deep and complicated, so it's dedicated to niche audiences. However, if you love managing the ships, trade, handling your crew and fighting space battles, we are quite sure you'll love it.Download Pixel Starships (free)
State of Survival
State of Survival is a combination of survival, tower defence and a strategy game, all in one. As was suggested in the title, the country has been run over by zombies. It's your job to set things straight and survive the undead hordes. You'll need to rescue survivors that you can recruit as there is strength in numbers and every soul counts.
Create and maintain your own hub, or a base if you prefer to call it that, where you'll be mostly safe from those nasty pests. The gameplay is a mix of tower defence and standard mobile strategy games. That means that you need to constantly upgrade your base, defend it and collect more resources to grow. For those of you eager to try it, we have State of Survival codes that you can use and get a nice headstart.Download State of Survival (free)
Easily one of the best city builders on the market, Tropico is a richly detailed, responsive, engaging, and fun PC port that feels perfectly at home on your tablet. It looks and sounds beautiful, too. It also has a strategic factor where you'll have to combat the rebels, so you'll have to keep a tight grip on your security as El Presidente or those nasty rebels will overthrow you! Taking care of the whole island state is not as easy as it seems, and there are always loose ends that you'll struggle with.
If you've played the PC version and you'd like the more hands-on approach (that you can carry around in your pocket) it's definitely worth buying. It's not often a port is well-done, but this one is a winner. You can test the free version before buying the premium one, which is quite fair.Download Tropico ($11.99)
Crush Your Enemies
A retro-style adventure, but with feisty minutes-long battles. It's not just a sharply-made RTS, but also a fun title filled with foul-mouthed, half-drunk barbarians. What is there not to like? If you love to loot and pillage (I mean, who doesn't), you'll feel right at home, leading the uncontrollable mob of bloodthirsty and half-naked berserkers.
The highly strategic battles are all the more fun when your units are as bad as those barbarians. And while we're at it, keep in mind that beer is not a weapon you can use against your opponents!Download Crush Your Enemies (free)
A brilliant turn-based strategy set within Pixelbite's tense sci-fi Xenowerk universe. There's more than a hint of XCOM to its tight squad maneuvering, but with a slightly more arcadey edge. That's not bad though, and if you've played the former, you know that there's much to enjoy. One of the major differences is that it's not turn-based, and you'll lead your team in real time. You can still pause when you feel like it to pick the right skill and rest a bit.
While you can get a taste of Xenowerk Tactics for free, you can decide later if you'd like to purchase it or not. It's one of the best strategy games on Android, so it easily gets a spot on our list.Download Xenowerk Tactics (free)
Kingdom Rush - Tower Defense Game
It's probably the best-acclaimed tower defence ever when it comes to mobiles. Kingdom Rush was made years ago, but its gameplay and attractive cartoonish 2D graphics will suck you in so hard you won't be able to drop the phone until you get through every level in every world and max it.
You'll have a mix of different towers at your disposal, and you can upgrade each one after the round which improves their raw stats like shooting speed or area of effect, but it can also unlock a special ability. The abilities that towers possess improve the dept of strategy by a huge margin, as they can be crucial at later levels. There is no 'one for all' tactics that you can employ and get successful with it, as this is a rock-paper-scissors setting where each foe is resistant to one type of attack and weak to some other type, so you'll need to carefully strategize through every level.
Picking the right heroes is not a trivial matter, so we made a list of the best heroes in Kingdom Rush. It should relieve you of the pressure of picking the right one when you're playing for the first time.Download Kingdom Rush - Tower Defense Game (free)
Though it's less viscerally impressive than Tropico, Pocket City remains an absolute treat of a premium city builder. In particular, it manages to combine intuitiveness with strategic depth better than most. Running a city is no trivial matter. We know that Pocket City doesn't employ any military tactics, but it can be still easily listed in this genre, because it has that building-a-base moment.
You will also have two variants of Pocket City - a free one and a premium one. The free version has almost all the features the premium one has, except for some buildings and features, and the sandbox mode. Both of them are fun if city builders are your thing, and there's more than enough replay potential.Download Pocket City (free)
Kingdom: Two Crowns
A side-scrolling micro-game that strips a lot of the fiddly stuff out of the strategy genre. In its place are an intuitive 2D side-scrolling system and a pleasantly accessible learning curve, as you trot back and forth building up your empire. Why Two Crowns? Well, you can play it in co-op with a friend, whether you'd prefer to build a kingdom together or become fierce opponents.
The beautiful 8-bit graphics that you'll see in Kingdom: Two Crowns are definitely something to behold, and if you ever thought a fairly simple and story-rich game could have no tactical elements, you'd be wrong. Kingdom Two Crowns has it all, and it's a beautiful creation that only adds more depth to the genre.Download Kingdom: Two Crowns ($6.99)
Clash of Clans
Oooh, controversial pick!
But there's no denying that Clash has done something super interesting with the Android strategy games genre, making it truly social and making defence as important as an all-out attack. There are millions of players still active worldwide, and there is something that many strategic games lack, except for this one.
The unique element that sets Clash of Clans apart from the rest is the fact that you can come up with a tactic completely unique to you. You can discover something never-before-seen, a setup or a unit formation that can really wreak havoc, and that can all be thanks to attentive planning. For those of you that played CoC, but would like to try out something similar because you got bored of it, here are the games like Clash of Clans.Download Clash of Clans (free)
Another game that really takes the award in terms of strategy is Teamfight Tactics - or TFT. This giant is specifically designed to make your neurons work extra hard for just a little bit of compensation when you defeat an opponent. You have an auto-chess that revolutionized the genre.
If you want to play in real-time with people around the world in a game that is ever-so-changing, you've got a winner here. No two matches are the same, and that only adds to the layers of tactics needed to actually figure it out. It looks exceptionally well, and it's rather colourful, but the turn-based element prevents it from being too aggressive to the eyes and senses in general. If you're a fan of chess, and like playing League of Legends, you won't find a better fit.Download Teamfight Tactics (free)
Warhammer 40,000: Lost Crusade
A true strategy titan which has fascinated us for years. The latest update is as good as one might expect, and the fact that it's on mobile, only makes it more accessible to play. It's a base-building game with real-time combat that's engaging as you'd like it to be because there is an autoplay option. Models look great, and fans of the Warhammer 40,000 universe will grab this one in a blink of an eye.
What is your Duty? To serve Emperor's Will. What is Emperor's Will? That we fight and die.
The graphics are stunning, the gameplay and objectives are clean and the player base is only growing. We also have to say that there is full voice acting covering a story, which is pretty rare in games like this. One of the latest strategy games for Android to make it to the top list, but a truly worthy one! Don't forget to redeem some of the Lost Crusade codes since you'll get a much better headstart!Download Warhammer 40,000: Lost Crusade (free)
Total War: Medieval II
Have you always wanted to restore Byzantium to its former glory? Does it keep you up at night? I mean, of course, you did, who doesn't? Well, Total War: Medieval II will be of assistance in your noble task.
Older players are again looking at the pit of countless sleepless nights, with "just one more turn" haunting the hours between a dream and reality. Jokes aside, Medieval II was, and still is a favourite strategy game to a lot of fans of the genre across the world. It will set you back to medieval Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia where you will, once again tremble before an upcoming invasion of Tatars. This is why you'll need to forge alliances, acquire new territories and train as many capable soldiers as you can, to try to stop the unwavering tide.
Gameplay has two modes, one is played on a grand strategy map, and it's turn-based, while the other is played on a tactical map where you'll lead your army against the enemy in real-time, with an option to pause.
Graphics is the same as you'd remember it, a bit outdated but still more than viable, voice acting and music are essential in raising your adrenaline to the maximum. If you like titles that you can pay for once and have all of the gameplay unlocked and ready for countless hours of play, pick this one.Total War: Medieval II ($14.99)
It's got elements of tower defence, MOBA, and even card battling. But at heart Clash Royale is just a really enjoyable, supremely slick strategy game. The deeply strategic moves you need to pull in some of these scenarios are easily brain-frying, while in others it's as simple as it gets. It's not one of the most popular titles of the genre for no reason, gameplay is smooth and easy to get a hold of.
There's also no shortage of players, so if an online tactics title is something on your list, make sure you go for this one. But don't forget to take a look at our Clash Royale tier list where we've ranked every card.Download Clash Royale (free)
Bloons TD 6
Another tower defence game, but not just any tower defence. Bloons TD 6 is one of the best of the genre, and it's not difficult to see why. It is fun, it's colourful and it's packed full of strategy at literally every corner.
There are vast levels, towers, Monkey Knowledge, and whatever else you can imagine. It's one of those titles that you really feel like the premium price is a fit for because it's just that good, from every point of view!
Of course, if you decide to play this one, we have to suggest at least going through our Bloons TD 6 tier list and checking which are the most appropriate heroes for your gameplay!Download Bloons TD 6 ($6.99)
We're all used to defending life in this genre - Plague Inc. tasks you with destroying as much of it as possible by spreading and mutating a horrible virus. It's dark, man. Especially in the situation that we've found ourselves in - if you are looking for a dreadful Android strategy game that hits close to home with the events that occurred in the last few years, this is one that we can recommend.
There are also multiple other modes to try, such as a vampire one and a simian one (mad Planet of the Apes vibes) which make it so much more fun! Of course, you can't ignore the Covid-19 simulation, if you'd like it to strike truly close to home. That one is included in the basic version, no need to download anything.Download Plague Inc. (free)
Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
This base-building RTS lets you pick one of the twelve nations and turn it into a superpower. Each of the nations is different and has certain bonuses, as well as different commanders to lead your armies. You'll easily recognise Cleopatra, Ragnar Lothbrok, Genghis Khan and many others. You should read more about what civilization you should pick in RoK before you start playing, and find the ones that suit your playstyle best.
As in any other similar strategy game for Android, it's beneficial to have an alliance and friends to help you out. As the battles are real-time you can easily help an ally out, or decimate the attackers' capital because he has left it undefended. Expect long campaigns, as this is the one that has slow progress. But, you know what they say: Rome wasn't built in a day!Download Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade (free)
Star Trek: Fleet Command
Some players are not fans of medieval or modern combat simulations, they prefer something futuristic. Well, it's your lucky day, as Star Trek: Fleet Command is a space saga that features spaceships, futuristic design and a lot of lasers. What kind of space strategy would it be without lasers, right?
And do you know what's the icing on the cake here? That it is featuring characters from the original series as your space crew. There are a bunch of ways to combine them, but if you get stuck looking for the best crew combinations in Star Trek, we have created a guide that should be more than helpful.
Developers are always working on new missions and crew members, so you can never get bored of it, as the new content is abundant. Whether you favour Federation, Klingons or Romulans, you'll feel appreciated as none of them is trailing behind.
If you have anything to add to our list of the best mobile strategy games, feel free to do so in the comments below!Download Star Trek: Fleet Command (free)
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