Top 25 best Switch strategy games
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Into the Breach, and more Switch strategy games to wake a general in you
We typically associate the strategy genre with PC and even mobile platforms. But Switch? That's all kart racers and platformers, isn't it? Well, it's not and we are going to prove it by presenting you with the best Switch Strategy games!
This misconception is why'd we feel the need to make a tactical intervention. Because there's a formidably strong roster of strategy games available on the eShop.
As you'd expect, that includes a number of Advance Wars-style games, not to mention representation by Nintendo's own Fire Emblem series. But there are also a fair few indie roguelikes, some particularly deep management simulators, and even a few of those hardcore PC series.
The one thing all of these games share in common is that they place tactical play at their core. You'll need to engage your brains for all of these games - button mashers and action fiends need not apply.
We're constantly updating and reappraising these lists, so do share if your own favourite Switch strategy game isn't on the list. We'll figure out a tactic for cramming it on in future.Original story by Ric Cowley, updated by Pocket Gamer Staff.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Nintendo's flagship Switch strategy game, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the most ambitious and technically impressive game in the series. Interspersing its finely honed turn-based fantasy tactics with fully voiced story scenes, there's nothing else that quite matches it.
If you've already played any Fire Emblem game, you know this is going to be extraordinary and rather timeless - so even if you pick it in 2021, it's still going to be one of the best Switch strategy games out there. Easily a game worthy of your time.Download Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Into the Breach
From the maker of FTL: Faster Than Light comes this astonishingly good follow-up. It's a dark take on turn-based strategy, where survival is your main aim above such quaintly noble concepts as 'victory'. You have pixelated isometric tiles that just scream strategy no matter how you look at it.
Aside from that, you can plan ahead and work for the objectives ahead, while having a goal in mind. At the end of each enemy turn, you can make your move and hope for the best. Read our Into the Breach review if you're curious to learn more about the game!Download Into the Breach
Sid Meier's Civilization VI
The first time you realise you can play Civilization VI on your ickle Switch is one of those what a time to be alive moments. The daddy of 4X strategy games plays really well on Nintendo's console, too. If you are unaware of the Civilization series, you take the role of a ruler in a certain country and become one of its greatest historical leaders. For example Cleopatra in Egypt, Caesar in Rome, or Alexander the Great, well, you get the point. Then you start developing every aspect of your country, including scientific research, culture, military, and urban development.
Of course, there is a lot of diplomacy involved, and it gets spiced up with religion as well as natural disasters. It's a wonderful blob, making it one of the best strategy games for Switch and the rest of the platforms as well.Download Sid Meier's Civilization VI
A bit of an Intelligent Systems tribute, this one. Take Fire Emblem's fantasy setting and political wrangling, mix in the pep and charm of Advance Wars, and you have Wargroove - a delightful turn-based strategy megamix.
The game looks fantastic and if you are a fan of the classical turn-based genre, this game's a gem. Oh, and it's worth mentioning it has multiplayer too! So if you're eager to show your friends just how good of a Commander you are, make sure to check this one out. We even have a Wargroove review for you to read.Download Wargroove
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
It's an unlikely match-up, Nintendo's mascot and Ubisoft's... rabitty... creatures. And in a strategy game, of all things. But this team-based team up really works, with a surprisingly tactical edge and adorable presentation.
The game is as great as any other Mario game (no surprise there, right?), but this one has an edge over the others through its sheer amount of fun and tactical puzzles that sprinkle the way. It's brilliant, and it's one of the top strategy games for Switch only. Absolutely worth it if you love Mario! Oh, and don't forget to read our Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle review either!Download Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Bad North is one of the best things to happen to the genre in a while, taking the real-time strategy basics and honing them for intuitive play. There's a little tower defence here too, as you defend your islands from the Viking hordes.
We have a bunch of Bad North tips and tricks at your disposal, so make sure to check them out if you're willing to adventure into this roguelite masterpiece. All in all, it's a game well worth your time that takes tactics and strategy to the next level through its beauty and simple approach. It's not only one of the best strategy games on Switch, but on any mobile platform for that matter.Download Bad North
XCOM 2 Collection
One of the finest team-based strategy games comes to Switch. XCOM 2 Collection gives you an incredibly generous package filled with lavish 3D tactical battles, even if the graphics have had to be scaled back a few notches.
If you are not familiar with the setting of XCOM, let go through it swiftly. Aliens are invading the Earth, and as the governments fall they are looking to seal the fate of all humanity. You are leading the last remaining resistance that won't give up so easily, trying to drive the aliens back while barely surviving their constant attacks and pressure. Although it looks like a twist of a bad movie and a total cliché it's not.
The game will bring up the constant unease as you always lack something and your decisions can have dire consequences, leaving you with the game over screen before you know it. Try the XCOM 2 if you are a fan of tactical strategy games for Switch. Or read our XCOM 2 Collection review if you're not sure yet.Download XCOM 2 Collection
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
With the Pikmin series, Nintendo has essentially tried its hand at the real-time strategy genre, with predictably charming results. Marshal teams of industrious sentient plants, sending them into battle and recovering exotic bric-a-brac.
It's an absolutely adorable game that you can never get bored with. You have to save the planet, after all, so nothing is too extreme when it comes to your actions. Really though, this game looks fantastic, and while it might not as strategy-heavy as other titles on this list, a good tactic always makes things a lot easier.Download Pikmin 3 Deluxe
SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition
Showing that turn-based strategy doesn't have to be dry and remote, SteamWorld Heist gives you up-close side-scrolling battles between a memorable cast of clanking automatons. As funny as it is tense.
With quirky characters and a dark futuristic approach, you can enjoy both high-quality visuals and gameplay at any moment. You should really check it out, especially if you love 2D platformers with strategic elements and fun interactions. We highly recommend it!Download SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden - Deluxe Edition
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden - Deluxe Edition brings a little twist of something different to the team-based strategy genre. The game's Swedish role-playing game origins give a little extra flavour to some solid XCOM-like battles.
In the post-apocalyptic world of the game, you will encounter a bunch of interesting friends and foes, and that will give you a lot of room for freedom. You can assemble a team however you like, and try to carry out various battles depending on your needs. It's really unique in that approach and the fact that you can skill up each character on your team gives you a plethora of choices.Download Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden - Deluxe Edition
The Banner Saga 2
You can play the entire Banner Saga series on Switch, and we'd encourage you to start from the beginning. But narrative adventure, part team-based strategy game, and with a memorable Nordic fantasy art style, it's a thing of hardbitten beauty.
In all three parts of this beautiful saga, you'll follow the stories of different characters in the potential Ragnarok setting. Each of them has its own goal, personality and skills. Your choices will have a meaningful impact on the rest of the game, so choose wisely.
A strategic part of the game will set you on the battle grid as figures, as well as your opponents. Every character can take up a different space, has its own speed, defence - you get the point. It's a real chess game in a way. Real fans of RPG strategy games shouldn't miss out on this wonderful story on Switch.
Did you know we have a Banner Saga 2 review? Make sure to read it if you're curious just how good the gameplay is.Download The Banner Saga 2
An epic PC city builder that's been expertly shrink-wrapped for Nintendo's console, with thoughtfully rejigged menus and streamlined systems. It's the ultimate way to build and run your very own banana republic on Switch.
As in any other Tropico title you'll take the role of a ruler of the tropical paradise island and decide what are you going to make out of it. Whether you'll rule as a dictator and try to repress any form of freedom to try and have a firm grip over every citizen, or will you be revered as the avatar of freedom and give them a choice to live their life as they like and prefer is up to you. Either way, prepare for riots, management of the economy, freedom (or repression), diplomacy, and a lot of funny random events and comments from random citizens and your right hand, Penultimo!
Tropico is a simulation strategy game for Switch that will give you a lot of fun playtime! We have a Tropico 6 review too - don't miss it!
In Crying Suns you have to explore the space from your very own ship, deal with various anomalies and try to forge your very own story. The game looks fantastic, and its pixelated but highly detailed approach makes it one of our favourites of all time.
From hundreds of possible events and countless interactions, the procedurally-generated encounters make this game not only one of the best strategy games on Switch right now, but probably of all time. And can you blame us? After playing this game for just a few minutes, you can easily realise it has so much replay potential.Download Crying Suns
An RTS game with a Scandinavian tinge, Northgard is an altogether smaller scale, more personal 4X experience. And the best part of it all? It works well on Switch.
This game is full of challenges, fires, destruction, and wild animals attacking you, so even if you're not about to die from a lack of food just yet, you might get killed in the process of getting it. Northgard is truly strategy-focused, and every small - and big decision plays a role in your survival long-term. Read our Northgard review to get a better idea of that, but make sure to give it a try if you want one of the most strategy-focused and challenging Switch games.Download Northgard
A cute turn-based strategy game in the Advance Wars style, with chunky futuristic tanks and outlandish anime characters. And all with the kind of appealing 3D graphics Advance Wars never quite got around to.
In our Tiny Metal review we've mentioned all about that, as well as the war tactics required to beat the rust out of this game. To be fair, it's a fun game that looks adorable although it might be a tad weird given the mix of 2D and 3D graphics approach. Can't be mad at it though!Download Tiny Metal
Isometric stealth par excellence, with a memorable comic book sci-fi universe and a pronounced focus on stealth. Invisible, Inc looks and plays a little bit different.
Since the game is created by Klei Entertainment, you can expect them to know a thing or two about survival and a viable tactical approach, given that they're the creators of Don't Starve. This game, while it might not be a survival per se, it has strategy at its core and that makes it truly awesome.Download Invisible, Inc
A tactical roguelike with a distinctive Lovecraftian aesthetic and a correspondingly dark story. Its turn-based battles are frantically punishing, and the monochromatic approach with red accents make the visuals both dark, beautiful and somehow futuristic?
That's quite a feat, and we found it to be also pretty engaging when it comes to combat. It's a beautiful game that takes the word 'challenge' to a whole new level. Is it the best Switch strategy game? Maybe not, but it's definitely up there among the top.Download Othercide
The Escapists 2
Flipping the script on Prison Architect, The Escapists 2 places you in the crisp boiler suit of the freshly incarcerated, then tasks you with finding a way to escape. Don't let your daily duties slide, though, if you want to avoid attention.
You are trying to escape prison, as you might be able to tell from the start, but it's not all fun and games. You have a rather tactical game ahead, making it pretty tough to just dig your way out without anyone noticing. It's a game that you'll find it easy to fall in love with, and even time and time again after a playthrough you might want to go back and play some more.Download The Escapists 2
This War of Mine: Complete Edition
This War of Mine: Complete Edition is one of the grittier, more downbeat games you'll find on a Nintendo platform. But it's also really good, a side-on slice of survival strategy set in a post-apocalyptic world.
You have to basically survive through hell - that's very simply put, given how many ordeals you have to go through. It's a dark game that isn't really afraid to show its true colours. It will pose existential and moral questions that you as the players have to answer, and based on that you'll be faced with the result of all of your choices. No pressure at all!Download This War of Mine: Complete Edition
Dungeon of the Endless
A unique roguelike that combines dungeon crawling with tower defence elements. Transport a crystal through randomly arranged sci-fi levels, fending off enemy waves. It sounds simple enough, but in reality, it's as close as it can be to the truth.
This game is rather merciless, and you can easily miss the oh-so-obvious-enemy that lies just ahead. That will easily result in your death time and time again if you haven't planned ahead. It's truly something unique and beautiful, and the colourful pixelated graphics work wonders for it.
Even in 2021, Dungeon of the Endless is one of the best strategy games on Switch and not only. It's got all the ingredients to a timeless (or should I say endless?) and successful game. We have a Dungeon of the Endless review for iOS if you're interested in reading more though!Download Dungeon of the Endless
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Valkyria Chronicles was doing 3D turn-based strategy mixed with JRPG melodrama well before Fire Emblem: Three Houses - and with its own steampunk style, too. Number four is one of the best entries yet.
It's essentially an anime unfolding before your very eyes, with hands-on RPG battles and engaging dialogues and visuals. It's beautiful if you love anime and JRPGs, but brilliant if you want one of the best Switch strategy games on the platform.Download Valkyria Chronicles 4
Part card game, part board game, Faeria wins a place on this list through its highly tactical gameplay. Dominate a lushly verdant game board with a series of critters.
You've got hexagonal tiles and cards and it's up to you to come up with the best plan possible in order to reach the goal. It's one of the games that we recommend to TCG fans and board game enthusiasts alike - if you're into something a little challenging, you need to give this one a shot. It might look pretty and cutesy, but it can be quite unforgiving (depending on the opponent).Download Faeria
Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock
It's about that time again, the time where we just start praising Battlestar Galactica once again. If you're not sure what to expect, this is a surprisingly decent (if belated) video game adaptation of the cult noughties show, with suitably tense tactical battles and agonising resource management.
You have a tactical space game that looks beautiful and plays accordingly - essentially, it's similar to EVE and the likes of it, but for Switch. It's great if that's something you enjoy.Download Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock
PixelJunk Monsters 2
You can always trust Q Games and its sprawling PixelJunk series to deliver a quirky take on any genre it turns its hand to. PixelJunk Monsters 2 is a lovely little tower defence game that gives you a singular hero to control and a lovely tilt-shift world to defend.
If you're into games with adorable junk monsters, then this is as good as it gets. It's lovely and charismatic, and you can't really go wrong with such a nifty little TD game. Especially when it looks as good as this one.Download PixelJunk Monsters 2
A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism
A business management simulator that sees you overseeing every last detail of running a Japanese train company. Sounds boring? Surprisingly enough, it really isn't.
Instead, it's a rather brilliant little strategy game involving trains (who doesn't love trains, right?) where you need to plan ahead each track and even customise your own engines and wagons. It's fun and a great Switch strategy game to play at any given time.Download A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism