The greatest strategy games for Android phones, perfect if you love tactics and planning
Updated March 17th, 2021. Original post by Jon Mundy, contributions by Dann Sullivan
Scan down the following 25 best strategy games on Android list, and you'll find several sharp ports of top-notch PC strategy games. 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. UI, user interface, is totally core to 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 plan and navigation can feel much more natural.
We like a good casual palette cleanser as much as the next mobile gamer. But when you really want to get your teeth into something on your phone, there are few better genres to tackle than the strategy genre.
Just 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, Android phones lacked the power and the pixels to encompass all the complexity that the best strategy games bring to the tablet. But what's interesting about the Android strategy game 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 into this deeply cerebral form of game.
Think we've missed something from our list? Share your own Android strategy favourites in the comments below.
Part base-builder, part international diplomacy 'em up, part tactical battler. XCOM's got it all, and this updated version adds psionic powers, crazy mech suits, and a stack more content. You can download it from the Play Store here!
This beautiful Norse fantasy game, along with its predecessor, pitches you into tactical turn-based battles, but it also asks you to make tough decisions about the make-up of your travelling party and whether to intervene in key events.
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 strategy classic, but with an absorbing story and compelling flight-squadron combat.
We don't often praise a game for not being particularly mobile-centric, but in Chaos Reborn's case that's a virtue. This is a deep and involving strategy game that's going to punish your mistakes and reward you for smart thinking.
Bad North: Jotunn Edition is a fusion of the strategy, roguelike and tactics genres - combining all the strengths of FTL: Faster Than Life 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, 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 where 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: Faster Than Light, Bad North: Jotunn Edition is a must-have strategy game for mobile, an investment that I doubt even a single person regrets.
You could well make the argument that Dungeon Warfare 2 is a tower defence game. But constructing the ultimate death-filled dungeon here proves to be so much more strategic and nuanced than your average lane runner.
There's no FTL on Android as yet, but Out There is a fine alternative. It's a succession of tough strategic choices as you hop from star system to star system, scavenging for materials and engaging hostile aliens.
Can you class the biggest MOBA in the business as a strategy game? Given the MOBA genre's real time strategy roots, we think so. Besides, League of Legends: Wild Rift is an online tactical masterpiece. It even won one of our PG awards at the 2020 ceremony! Even if it's not a classic RTS, Wild Rift is certainly one of the best strategy games on Android.
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.
A side-scrolling micro strategy game that strips a lot of the fiddly stuff out of the strategy genre. In its place is an intuitive 2D side-scrolling system and a pleasantly accessible learning curve, as you trot back and forth building up your empire.
We're all used to defending life in our strategy games - 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 strategy game on Android that hits close to home, this is the one that we recommend.
Frozen Synapse Prime is a turn-based strategy game with a twist - both you and the other player move at the same time. As such, it's as much about predicting what your opponent is going to do as responding to their moves.
Battleplans blends elements of RTS, MOBA and base defence together with an appealing cartoon art style. The result is an appealingly accessible strategy game that remains just the right side of casual.