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Best strategy games in 2024

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Best strategy games in 2024

The range of strategy games on Android is so extensive you can lose yourself for hours no matter what kind of games you enjoy. From the economic simulator Sid Meier’s Railroads to the fast-paced action of Rusted Warfare, there really is something for everyone.

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We’ve rounded up the best strategy games on the Play Store, so you don’t need to waste time scrolling. While you can play these games on any Android phone, we recommend a budget Android tablet to fit all those menus and UI elements. But planning out your next move can be tiring, so relax after a few rounds of Defense Derby with one of our favorite casual games.

1 Sid Meier’s Railroads!

Sid Meier’s Railroads might be one of the best simulation games, but the competitive and strategic gameplay earns it a place on this list. You’ll compete against the AI, posing as a historical railroad baron to make the most profit by connecting towns and industries by rail. While some elements feel dated (the original game was released in 2003), it still has the strategic depth to match any game on this list.

Sid Meier’s Railroads is the perfect game to play if you prefer a subtler form of strategy game. Unfortunately, there’s no online play, but the AI is more than capable of providing a challenging experience.

2 Defense Derby

Defense Derby is part tower defense, part auto-battler. You’ll compete against other players online to be the last one standing against successive waves of monsters. While you won’t battle directly against other players, you’ll bid against each other to draw new characters. You’ll need an excellent grasp of the game’s concepts and a willingness to take risks to succeed.

Defense Derby is an excellent addition to the auto-battler genre thanks to its multi-layered strategy. Just be aware that it has a steep learning curve.

  • In-app purchases
    : $0.99 – $99.99

3 The Queen’s Gambit Chess

Chess is the ultimate strategy game, but its popularity means it can be tough to choose from the variety of chess games on the Play Store. We like the Queen’s Gambit Chess as it’s got a little bit for everyone. Newcomers will appreciate the gentle introduction to chess, while experts can sink their teeth into the competitive ranked mode.

The Queen’s Gambit Chess is geared towards newcomers, but we think it’s perfect for all levels of players. Don’t worry if you haven’t watched the titular show; the story merely serves as a framework for teaching you new mechanics.

  • In-app purchases
    : None

  • Netflix Games exclusive

4 Worms W.M.D: Mobilize

Worms W.M.D is inspired by the classic Worms Armageddon game from the 90s but packs in plenty of new features and quality-of-life changes that make this one of the best Worms games ever. It’s still the same turn-based platformer you love, but with a massive amount of content to sink your teeth into.

Best of all, Worms W.M.D has local and online multiplayer, so you can compete with your friends wherever they are.

5 Honkai: Star Rail

Yes, it’s a gacha game; it’s riddled with gambling and microtransactions, but Honkai: Star Rail offers some of the most spectacular turn-based combat we’ve seen in a mobile game. While there are some flaws, Honkai: Star Rail offers straightforward strategy battles that will suit those who don’t want to spend hours fiddling with the perfect team composition.

We recommend playing Honkai: Star Rail for a strategy game that doesn’t waste your time. The gameplay is fast-paced, the visuals are spectacular, and it’s packed with interesting characters.

  • In-app purchases
    : $0.99 – $99.99 per item

6 Civilization VI

The Civilization name needs no introduction; the venerable franchise has won the hearts of strategy lovers for decades, and now the latest installment is on mobile. It’s the same experience you can expect on a desktop, but with enough UI tweaks to make it comfortable to play on a touchscreen. (Although we recommend playing it on an Android tablet for the best experience).

Civilization VI puts you in command of a civilization of your choosing, from England to the Huns. You must shepherd them through history while defeating rivals, researching technology, and spreading your religion. It’s a fantastic experience that’ll suck you in for hours. Just note that older devices may encounter performance issues late game.

  • In-app purchases
    : $1.99 – $39.99 per item

7 Into the Breach

Into the Breach is a roguelike puzzle game that puts you in command of three mechs to save humanity. You’ll battle the Vek, giant alien monsters set on destroying you and the human cities you’re protecting. Battles consist of five turns, and you’ll only have one chance to reload if you make a mistake. Clever positioning will trap the Vek into attacking each other or burning alive, whereas a mistake can have catastrophic consequences for your battle.

Into the Breach is one of the finest turn-based strategy games available for mobile, but as a Netflix exclusive, you’ll need a subscription to play. Our Netflix Games guide will get you up to speed if you’re unfamiliar with the service.

  • Netflix Games exclusive

  • In-app purchases
    : None

8 Bad North

Bad North is a Viking-themed roguelike that pits your men against waves of fierce marauders set on watering the ground with their blood. You’ll give your soldiers general orders before the battle starts, but they’ll respond to enemy actions intuitively. This allows you to avoid micro-managing and focus on the larger battle. Like Into the Breach, one wrong move can cost you the battle and send you back to the start, so plan carefully.

Bad North is also a visual masterpiece. Fetching cliffs and flowers decorate each procedurally generated island; take a moment to admire the view before the ground is stained red.

9 The Battle of Polytopia

Love Civilization VI but want something a little more relaxed? The Battle of Polytopia has you covered. This isometric strategy game might look quaint, but it’s got everything the more popular 4X games offer. Once you’ve picked your tribe, you’ll engage in warfare, diplomacy, and espionage to achieve victory. There are three ways to achieve success, and each requires an entirely different strategy.

The Battle of Polytopia is the most accessible 4X strategy game available for mobile, but it’ll take some time before you master the game. It’s complex, rewarding, and a must-play.

  • Available on Play Pass

  • In-app purchases
    : $0.99 – $4.49 per item

10 Bloons TD 6

Once a titan of the online flash game world, the Bloons franchise has shifted seamlessly to mobile devices. Bloons TD 6 is the latest entry and is easily the best. It’s a reasonably simple tower defense game at its core; place monkeys to defend against enemies, which are sent out in several waves. The monkey vs. balloon concept might seem silly, but you’ll need to practice with every tool at your disposal to win.

Bloons TD 6 has a colossal amount of game modes and maps; while the standard game mode will keep you occupied for hours, try one of the more challenging modes to see just how well you know your monkeys and balloons. If you don’t want to pay for a Netflix subscription you can buy the standalone version with in-app purchases for $6.99

  • Netflix Games exclusive
    .

  • In-app purchases
    : None

11 Total War: Medieval II

Total War: Medieval II is one of the finest games in the Total War genre, and its Android port doesn’t cut any content from the original game. However, the UI has been completely overhauled for mobile for comfortable play. It takes a little time to get used to controlling massive armies with a touchscreen, but it’s intuitive enough that you’ll win battles in no time. It’s another game that we recommend playing on a tablet.

  • In-app purchases
    : $6.99 per item

12 Northgard

Northgard follows the 4X formula but is trimmed into a smaller RTS package. You’ll grow your economy, research technology, and defeat rivals, but unlike Civilization VI, games of Northgard won’t take longer than an hour or two. It’s perfect for people who love a complex strategy game but don’t have the time to play it over multiple days.

The RTS format of Northgard keeps the action flowing, but don’t worry about getting overwhelmed. The game progresses at your own pace, so you won’t be penalized for taking time to consolidate your position.

  • Available on Play Pass

  • In-app purchases
    : $2.99 – $6.99 per item

13 Rusted Warfare

Rusted Warfare is a fully-fledged RTS game on mobile. Inspired by the RTS games of the 90s, Rusted Warfare gives you access to a staggering amount of units to control, from tiny tanks to massive battleships. While the graphics look dated, this is intentional to help evoke the tone of classic RTS games like Total Annihilation.

The chaotic battles may seem overwhelming initially, but Rusted Warfare is surprisingly easy to learn. The touchscreen controls make it easy to send groups of units off to battle, and the limited number of buildings helps keep your production lines organized.

XCOM 2 is the best incarnation of the popular turn-based strategy franchise. Originally released on PC in 2016, the Android port brings the same experience to mobile without cutting any content. It’s also a significantly cheaper way to access the game, as for $19.99, you get XCOM 2 plus all the DLC packs.

Newcomers to the franchise will be hooked by the tight, punishing turn-based combat. Every move counts, and while a wrong step can lead to disaster, pulling off the perfect ambush is a feeling that can’t be beaten. There’s also extensive customization, so you can build a squad that’s unique to you.

15 Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus

Another brilliant turn-based game, Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, echoes the gameplay of XCOM while bringing a unique twist to the formula. Set in the sci-fi universe of Warhammer 40,000, you’ll control a group of cybernetically enhanced humans as they delve into an alien planet. An exotic array of guns, traps, and gadgets are at your disposal as you clear out room after room of creeping horrors.

While the campaign is a little short, Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a must-play for any turn-based fan. Even if you aren’t familiar with the Warhammer 40,000 universe, you won’t have any problem enjoying the brutal combat and unforgiving gameplay.

16 Sigma Theory

Out There is one of the best survival games for Android, and now its developers have turned to the strategy genre. Sigma Theory is an espionage game where you’ll command a team of agents to harness a world-changing scientific discovery. It’s got a distinct XCOM feel, but there are no battles here. Instead, you’ll make critical decisions through dialogue trees. Decisions you make early in the game can come back to haunt you, so be mindful of giving a powerful organization the cold shoulder.

  • In-app purchases
    : $0.99 – $4.49 per item

17 Mini Metro

An arcade-style strategy game, Mini Metro’s apparent simplicity is deceptive. Tasked with designing a subway map for a growing city, you’ll draw lines between stations to ferry your passengers. Unfortunately, you have limited resources, so you’ll have to make hard decisions as you play.

City growth doesn’t slow down. While each game starts relaxed, you’ll have to think three steps ahead to avoid a slight delay turning into a game-ending disaster. It’s challenging, strategic, and addicting.

18 Siege Up!

Sieges are probably the ultimate expression of strategic warfare. Siege Up! presents challenging siege missions in a cheerful cartoon package. A 26-mission campaign has plenty of variety for offline play, but once you wrap it up, there are over 4000 community-created missions for download.

Siege Up! also has online multiplayer so that you can battle friends and strangers. Need a break from destroying castles? Use the level editor to create your own campaign missions, including dialogue and automated triggers. Overall, it’s a brilliantly fun RTS that will scratch that itch for defending against waves of enemies.

  • In-app purchases
    : $1.99 – $89.99 per item

19 Card Thief

Card Thief is the follow-up to Card Crawl, one of the best card games on Android. Card Thief is a solitaire game where you’ll attempt to sneak through cards to collect treasure. Equipment cards can help, but traps can reveal you. It’s a tense experience condensed into just a few short rounds.

Card Thief is a challenging experience, but veterans of Card Crawl must give it a go. It’s also suitable for anyone looking for a rewarding single-player strategy card game that doesn’t forgive mistakes.

  • Available on Play Pass

  • In-app purchases
    : $0.99 – $2.99 per item

20 Crying Suns

Crying Suns is FTL cranked up to 11. You’ll manage a fleet of ships on hex-grid maps, fending off malicious threats to make your way to the center of the empire. The strategy is deeply engaging, and a rich storyline will keep you absorbed.

Crying Suns was initially released on PC, and this mobile port is available for half the price. However, despite a revamped UI for mobile, we recommend playing it on an Android tablet, as the UI can sometimes feel cramped on a smartphone.

  • Available on Play Pass

  • In-app purchases
    : None

Engage your brain with a strategy game

We hope you’ve found something on this list that appeals to you, whether it’s a modern chess game or a port of a classic RTS. But there’s plenty more on the Play Store to explore, so take your time browsing through the best games on Android.

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