15 Best Strategy Games For Android Phones, Ranked

The last decade has seen a huge rise in mobile gaming as more and more people get access to smartphones increasingly capable of playing complex games. The success of the market has even seen the likes of Nintendo try and get a slice of the action as digital app stores are filled with hundreds of thousands of games from established developers and indie studios.

Android owners can find many of these titles at their fingertips in the Google Play Store, which is home to plenty of brilliant games. A good portion of these are strategy titles, which are now more accessible and intuitive than ever before. Without the need for a keyboard and mouse to navigate clunky menus, strategy games are more playable on mobile devices than they are on some consoles.

Some of these great Android strategy games are titles that have successfully made the jump from PC or console, while others have been developed with smartphones specifically in mind. Whatever the case, they are all worthy of checking out and are a great way to pass the time when you are on the go.

15. Clash of Clans

A small village being built in Clash of Clans

“Clash of Clans” may not seem like a great choice for strategy purists, but the long-running mobile title has established itself as a powerhouse on both Android and iOS. It has years of fine-tuning and a huge player base that has been going strong since the game launched in 2012. The free-to-play title is set in a fantasy world where players act as the chief of a village. Attacking other players grants rewards in the form of valuable resources that can be used to upgrade villages and produce better troops.

“Clash of Clans” was released to largely positive reviews from critics and received plaudits for the way it offers comprehensive customization options for players to make their village their own — all of which sits on top of an extremely satisfying gameplay loop. As well as the primary multiplayer offerings, “Clash of Clans” also contains a single-player campaign that gives players the opportunity to earn extra resources by carrying out attacks on pre-set villages. Meanwhile, there’s a constant stream of new content in the form of units, buildings, and game modes that are constantly being introduced to keep things fresh.

14. The Battle of Polytopia

Players expanding their territory in The Battle of Polytopia
Midjiwan AB

Developed by Midjiwan AB, “The Battle of Polytopia” is a turn-based 4K strategy game where players are tasked with building their own civilization. Much of the gameplay revolves around exploring the wider world and establishing new cities while building an army to defend your territories and attack other players. It also memorably presents all of this action with simplistic graphics and an easy-to-follow user interface.

There are no complex tech trees and the game is missing some of the more advanced features you might expect to see in games like the “Civilization” series, a smart approach for mobile devices with less screen space. The fast-paced approach also fits well as it is more easily enjoyed in multiple short play sessions compared to the more extended sessions typical of console and PC strategy games.

With both single-player and multiplayer modes available to players, “The Battle of Polytopia” also offers gamers the ability to test their skills against AI or human opponents. Since millions of players have downloaded the game, there should be no shortage of available matches either. Thanks to its fun gameplay and lack of intrusive microtransactions, it remains a highly-rated game on the Google Play Store.

13. Command & Conquer: Rivals

Players attacking a base in Command & Conquer: Rivals
Electronic Arts

EA’s popular real-time strategy series has long been a force to be reckoned with on PC, and in 2018 the publisher released a mobile version of the game in the form of “Command & Conquer: Rivals.” Unlike most installments in the franchise, which typically featured elaborate single-player campaigns, this mobile game is a PvP-focused experience that pits one player against another in online multiplayer matches. Before each round, players choose a Commander with their own unique talents and skills before customizing an army with units such as fighter jets and tanks.

As is common with mobile versions of established series, this particular game has been redesigned from the ground up to ensure that it is easy to play with a touch screen rather than with a keyboard and mouse. The PvP gameplay also gives it a fast-paced feel that makes it more action-focused than most strategy games.

One criticism that has been leveled at the game is its strong focus on microtransactions, as players can use real money to level up their units to give them an edge in battles. Outside of this minor gripe, though, “Command & Conquer: Rivals” remains an accessible and surprisingly deep strategic mobile experience.

12. The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War

Gandalf fighting against a series of orcs with his allies
Exptional Global/YouTube

There have been many “The Lord of the Rings” games released over the years, but they haven’t all been great. Thankfully, the mobile game “The Lord of The Rings: Rise to War” is among the better releases based on the series. Featuring characters from Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, the game sees players control one of Middle-earth’s factions — such as Gondor, Rohan, Isengard, and Mordor — as they attempt to build up an unstoppable army and dominate the entire land.

The ultimate aim of “The Lord of The Rings: Rise to War” is to take control of the One Ring by capturing the Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. This can be achieved by moving to tiles on the map and capturing them, which in turn provide resources to further upgrade your army and heroes, including Gandalf, Aragorn, and Saruman. With each season lasting for around three months, the action extends over a long time but can be easily played in shorter sessions. A unique feature of the app is that after each season, the map is reset and progression removed, although players do get rewards based on their performance in the previous season.

11. Motorsport Manager

A race taking place on a circuit
Playsport Games

“Motorsport Manager” is unique among the many strategy games available on Android in that it doesn’t pit rivals against each other in battles or fantasy worlds but rather focuses entirely on a real-world sport. As a team boss, players lead a Formula 1 team by managing every aspect of the organization. This ranges from picking drivers, assigning engineers, and designing the car before taking control of the strategy in races to get the best out of the vehicle. With a set budget, the challenge comes from carefully balancing out the various needs of the different sections of the team to create a competitive racing outfit.

Along with its rather realistic simulation of motorsport races, the mobile game includes a vast array of game modes ranging from weekly challenges to full seasons. The gameplay mostly involves taking part in online matches against up to nine other racers. “Motorsport Manager” even includes licensed likenesses of a selection of drivers, car manufacturers, and tracks from the world of Formula E and beyond. All of this combines to create a compelling and exciting sports management simulator that is largely unmatched on Android.

10. Pocket CityA city built in Pocket City

Codebrew Games

“Pocket City” is, in many ways, the mobile version of the popular PC city-building simulator “SimCity” that fans have always wanted. “Pocket City” features many of the same gameplay elements as the famous city building game by giving players the chance to build their very own town and manage almost every aspect of it. This includes setting different zones for different types of buildings, providing recreational spaces for citizens, and managing resources. Players will also have to deal with natural disasters as well as other problems in the city, such as fires and crime.

While it lacks some of the complexity of its PC counterparts — such as the excellent “Cities: Skyline” — “Pocket City” gets enough right to be a fun and engaging city builder that is actually remarkably easy to navigate and play. “Pocket City” comes in two varieties. There’s a free version as well as a premium edition of the game, which includes a sandbox mode and some extra features not available in the free version. However, neither release has any microtransactions — unlike EA’s own “Sim City Buildit.”

9. Plague Inc.

A virus being designed in Plague Inc
Ndemic Creations

Growing in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Plague Inc.” is a simulation game that is all about the spread of deadly diseases. Players choose one of several different types of disease, from viruses to parasites, as they try to evolve and maximize the infectiousness of the illness while developing deadly symptoms to increase the mortality rate. Challenges arise as governments enact various measures to try and control the plague in order to keep it from wiping out humanity.

“Plague Inc.” stands out with its relatively realistic simulation, which portrays how diseases can transform to become a pandemic and the effects it would have on the world. The sheer amount of options available to players also makes it possible to succeed with a wide array of strategies. That stops the action from getting stale, especially as there are many different situations to tackle. Throw in the various upgrade options — including a “The Cure” mode developed during the real-world pandemic — and “Plague Inc.” proves to be an interesting game filled with replay value.

8. Clash Royale

Clash Royale battlefield

The success of “Clash of Clans” led developer Supercell to create a number of spin-offs. The most popular of these is “Clash Royale,” a real-time strategy game that includes card collecting mechanics and tower defense elements. With less focus on building and customization, “Clash Royale” largely revolves around attacking an opponent team in an attempt to destroy their tower. Matches involve teams of one or two individuals working together, utilizing the cards they have collected to send units onto the battlefield.

With rounds typically only lasting a few minutes, this mobile title is the perfect game to be played on the go and in short bursts. The large amount of cards available to players also offers many strategic options, increasing the number of ways you can overcome enemies. Additionally, “Clash Royale” has seen constant updates since its original launch, expanding the roster of cards from a few dozen to more than 100. Since hitting the Play Store in 2016 the game has seen millions of downloads and an even stronger reception from critics than its predecessor.

7. Star Trek: Fleet Command

An Enterprise flying through space

“Star Trek: Fleet Command” is a 4X strategy game that has been available on mobile devices since 2018. The game sees players take control of a space station and a single ship as they begin their journey to set up their very own fleet. By mining resources, completing missions, and battling with other players, it is possible to earn rewards and upgrade the space station or buy additional ships.

By allowing fans of the franchise to explore a familiar galaxy, players can interact with their favorite characters and locations from the various “Star Trek” television shows and movies. There’s a rich history available to players and “Star Trek: Fleet Command” will appeal to anyone who loves the franchise. Social elements, such as the ability to build alliances and compete in tournaments, as well as the frequent update to add characters from the likes of “Star Trek: Discovery” and “Star Trek: Lower Decks” make this one of the more interesting licensed strategy titles available on Android.

6. Civilization VI

The overall map in Civilization VI
Aspyr Media, Inc.

The “Civilization” franchise has always been at the forefront of the strategy genre and has become one of the most influential and popular 4X games ever made. The sixth installment of the legendary Firaxis series was ported to Android by Aspyr Media in 2020 following its initial release on PC. As is the case with previous entries in the series, players choose a primitive civilization and then build it up to become an important world power by increasing military strength and researching new technology.

Unlike many PC games that have been ported to mobile devices, “Civilization VI” doesn’t dumb down its gameplay. While there are some tweaks to the UI to make it more accessible on a touchscreen, the majority of the action is left unchanged. This means that “Civilization VI” isn’t as casual of a strategy game as many other Android releases and will require users to spend a lot of time learning the game’s mechanics. However, that also makes it one of the more satisfying and enjoyable examples of the genre available in the Play Store.

5. Bad North

Vikings attacking an island
Raw Fury

“Bad North” is a real-time strategy game created by Plausible Concept that has been available on console and PC since 2018. The Android version arrived in 2019 alongside the iOS port of the game, with the mobile adaptation offering the same gameplay. Players take on the role of a new king who is thrust into power following the death of his father. With Vikings continuing to attack your lands, you must make careful use of the limited forces at your command to repel the invaders.

With a minimalist art design and rather simple gameplay mechanics, you might assume that “Bad North” is on the casual end of the spectrum when it comes to strategy games. However, that is not the case, as it can be a harsh and unforgiving game for those who don’t take it seriously. Each round consists of Vikings attacking a different island, with the player given a very limited number of defenders. The difficulty comes from placing your troops in the right place and choosing the correct type of soldier to keep the island safe from waves of attackers.

4. Total War: Medieval II

Soldiers fighting against each other in Medieval II
Feral Interactive

“Total War: Medieval II” is another high-profile PC strategy game that has been ported to Android. It contains pretty much all of the gameplay from the original 2006 PC game that fans of the series love but with overhauled controls and a fresh UI to help make it easy to play on a smartphone. Depending on which nation players choose to control there are a number of victory conditions, although the main goal is to expand your country diplomatically and militarily.

What makes the mobile port of this game particularly impressive, however, is that the “Total War” series is known for its large real-time battles that often require direct control from the player to give orders to the troops. Fortunately, “Total War: Medieval II” succeeds for the most part in allowing players to navigate the battlefield and direct their forces without too much issue. The game also looks great on the smaller screens of mobile devices and holds up surprisingly well despite being almost two decades old.

3. XCOM 2

An XCOM operative fighting against aliens
Feral Interactive

“XCOM 2” takes place some 20 years after the events of its predecessors, with the alien invaders now subjugating the human race following their successful war with the XCOM organization. Players take control of a commander in the resistance group that is attempting to topple the occupation as they strike back against the alien forces. Like its predecessors, the gameplay in “XCOM 2” is split between turn-based battles and management of the overall operation.

This means that you can take direct control of troops when they are deployed on missions, choosing how they react and move around the procedurally generated levels. These battles can quickly become tense, as one wrong move can be devastating. Meanwhile, the strategy side involves choosing research projects or developing new weapons and gear. Both elements have to be balanced, as they both have an important influence on one another.

The Android port loses none of the brilliance of the original PC release and even features some neat changes to the UI to make it easy to navigate on the smaller screen. Players should have no difficulty in moving troops, giving out orders, or delving into the various tech and research trees, making “XCOM 2” one of the best strategy games for mobile devices.

2. Crying Suns

A command ship flying in Crying Suns
Humble Games
“Crying Suns” takes the basic mechanics of the phenomenal “FLT: Faster Than Light” and expands them into a far larger experience where players take control of a command ship rather than just a small craft. This means players control fighter units, hundreds of crew members, and dozens of ship systems that all must be carefully managed. Doing so is key to beating opponents as every element of the ship has to be kept in good condition, from the amount of fuel a ship has to where its power is allocated. Delicately balancing these resources is vital for keeping your ship undamaged and the crew alive.

What helps set “Crying Suns” apart from many other strategy games for Android is that it contains a proper narrative. Players are thrust into the shoes of an admiral who has awoken years after the collapse of the civilization they were part of. In a quest to find the answers to why this empire has fallen so dramatically, players will explore the galaxy and navigate through a series of story chapters that involve climactic boss battles. This gives it a unique atmosphere and gives you a real reason to keep finding out more.

1. Hoplite

The hex field of Hoplite with enemies
Magma Fortress

As with many Android strategy games, the gameplay in “Hoplite” might seem rather basic at first, but it is this approach that makes it such an engaging strategy title because it is so easy to understand. The game sees players take charge of a soldier from ancient Greece as they move around a small grid filled with enemies and obstacles. The ultimate aim is to regain the golden Fleece of Yendor by venturing through a series of 16 floors.

There are only a few enemies, and how they interact with the player is made clear from the very beginning. However, despite the simple plot and basic mechanics, “Hoplite” is far from a casual game. It requires a methodical and careful approach, with players having to think about every single move they make. One false move will see the soldier in serious trouble, attacked with bombs, arrows, and melee weapons.

With a challenging learning curve, “Hoplite” is a game that is easy to pick up and incredibly hard to master that will easily keep most players engaged for a long time.

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