The greatest strategy games for Android phones, perfect if you love tactics and planning
Updated August 1st, 2021. Added some fresh Android strategy games
Scan down the following 25 best strategy games for 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 the 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.
Can you enjoy playing strategy games on your Android phone?
Just ten years ago, the very idea of playing a strategy game on your Android 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 games favourites in the comments below.
Original List by Jon Mundy, updated by Cristina Mesesan
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. In other words, this game has it all!
If you're much into tactical games and the like, the entire XCOM series delivers pretty hearty gameplay and more than enough planning to deserve a landing spot on our best strategy games for Android list. Definitely worth giving this game a shot!
Read the whole XCOM: Enemy Within review |
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.
There are simply not enough words to describe how nicely done this game is, from every single point of view. The exceptional gameplay and rich narrative are only topped up by the stunning graphics and rich strategy. All of these elements make it a game worth a play (and a re-play afterwards).
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.
Set in outer space, the narrative of the game is not exactly out-of-this-world. However, the gameplay and rich strategy of the Crying Suns are more than enough to earn it a spot on this list.
The maker of the peerless Kingdom Rush series proves that it can do classic RTS as well as its does tower defence. Iron Marines is brilliantly balanced, great to look at, and generally quite special. 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. It's brilliant. Oh, and it is offline!
This pixel-perfect game is all about strategy, as much as it is 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 craft, scheme and plan ahead as much as you like, all in order to carry out your plan to greater success. It's one of the best mobile strategy games you can play even in 2021!
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 one of the must-have strategy games for Android, an investment that I doubt even a single person regrets.
If XCOM somehow failed to sate your strategy list, 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 the game 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 best strategy games for Android.
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.
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. If you're much into strategy games and you haven't played this one, you're missing out.
You might argue that The Lords of Midnight is an RPG, but it has a hefty strategic element as you work to amass a fantasy army. While it's not out of this world in the visual department, it more than makes up for it with high-quality strategic battles that actually need detailed planning and aggressive campaigns.
One could argue that LOM is a game that must be in every strategy enthusiast's inventory, and we easily stand by that. Make sure you give it a shot - it's a free game after all!
Easily the best city builder 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 strategy game 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!
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.
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 about such a game.
While you can get a taste of the game for free, you can decide later if you'd like to purchase it or not. It's one of the best Android strategy games on the market, so it easily gets a spot on our list.
Text-based games used to be all the rave time ago, but now they tend to get outdone by games with amazingly realistic graphics and whatnot. However, that's not the case for Seedship. This game is a clever one that gives a much more hands-on approach to the genre, and even makes it appealing to players who like to have a visual of their work.
It's a piece of work this game, and if you are looking for something to challenge you on a whole new level, try out Seedship.
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.
You will also have two variants to the game - 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.
A side-scrolling micro 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.
The beautiful 8-bit graphics that you'll see in this game are definitely something to behold, and if you ever thought a fairly simple and story-rich game could have no strategy 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.
But there's no denying that Clash has done something super interesting with the strategy genre, making it truly social and making defence as important as an all-out attack. There are millions of players still active in this game 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.
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 game 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.
A true strategy game 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. We couldn't really say any bad things about Warhammer 40k, because there is not much in that department.
The graphics are stunning, the gameplay and objectives are clean and the player base is only growing. One of the latest strategy games for Android to make it to the top list, but a truly worthy one!
Can you class the biggest MOBA in the business as a strategy game? Given the MOBA genre's RTS roots, we think so. Besides, League of Legends: Wild Rift is an online tactical masterpiece. Even if it's not a classic RTS, Wild Rift is certainly one of the best strategy games on Android.
While it is highly dependant on your teammates too, there is no doubt that a deeper manoeuvring is at the very core. It's also worth noting that on mobile it's even more important than on PC (in the classical League of Legends). That is, because the map is much smaller, and there is a lack of inhibitors (in-game buildings) to stall the game.
It's got elements of tower defence, MOBA, and even card battling. But at heart Clash Royale is just a really enjoyable, supremely slick mobile 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.
There's also no shortage of players, so if an online tactics game is something on your list, make sure you go for this one.
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. This massive game is fun, it's colourful and it's packed full of strategy at literally every corner.
There are vast levels, and towers and Monkey Knowledge and whatever else you can imagine. It's one of those games that you really feel like the premium price is a fit for because it's just that good, from every point of view!
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.
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! Definitely, a game to behold.
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. And yes, while it's not as colourful as the abovementioned Bloons, it's a standalone title that deserves its spot.
The real-time battles are spot on, and the action is as good as it gets. One underrated game to match some of the best Android strategy games already at the top? Maybe!