Mobile gaming has come a long way, and strategy games have found a comfortable home on smartphones and tablets. From real-time strategy with epic battles to turn-based civilization builders, there’s a strategy game on mobile to suit every armchair general and meticulous planner. In this article, we’ll delve into the top 20 mobile strategy games that will put your decision-making skills to the test and provide hours of engaging gameplay.

Top 20 mobile strategy games

1. Civilization VI

  • Developer: Aspyr Media
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Turn-based Strategy, 4X

A mobile port of the legendary PC title, Civilization VI delivers a rich and complex experience for any history buff or strategy fan. Guide your civilization through the ages, from ancient times to the space age. Research technologies, build wonders, engage in diplomacy, wage war, and shape the course of history. Though there may be a slight learning curve, Civilization VI is one of the most rewarding strategy experiences you’ll find on mobile.

2. XCOM 2 Collection

  • Developer: Feral Interactive
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Turn-based Tactics

The critically acclaimed XCOM 2 brings its gripping turn-based tactical battles to mobile. Lead a resistance against alien invaders, commanding your squad of soldiers in tense firefights. Engage in deep soldier customization, research, and development of new technologies, and build a base of operations, all while taking on a relentless enemy.

3. The Battle of Polytopia

  • Developer: Midjiwan AB
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Turn-based Strategy, 4X

This charming civilization builder features a colorful low-poly aesthetic and surprisingly deep gameplay. Choose a tribe, explore the procedurally generated world, develop your civilization, research technologies and take on rival tribes in conquest. Each tribe possesses unique abilities and the procedurally generated maps ensure a fresh experience in every playthrough.

4. Rome: Total War

  • Developer: Feral Interactive
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Real-time Strategy, Turn-based Strategy

Bringing the classic PC experience to mobile devices, Rome: Total War lets you relive epic battles of the Roman Empire. Command massive legions on the battlefield in real-time, while engaging in a turn-based campaign map to manage your empire, diplomacy and economy.

5. Bad North: Jotunn Edition

  • Developer: Raw Fury
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Real-time Strategy, Roguelite

Bad North delivers a fast-paced and accessible strategy with a beautiful, minimalist design. Defend your island kingdom against Viking invaders, commanding your troops with simple controls and clever positioning. The rogue-lite elements ensure that each island’s defense is different, and upgrades keep the action engaging.

6. Plague Inc.

  • Developer: Ndemic Creations
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Simulation, Strategy

In a unique spin on strategy, Plague Inc. tasks you with creating and evolving a deadly pathogen to wipe out humanity. Strategically choose your disease’s traits, modes of transmission, and counter the evolving defenses of countries across the globe. A dark but strangely addictive strategy experience.

7. Northgard

  • Developer: Playdigious
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Real-time Strategy, Base Building

Inspired by Norse mythology, Northgard tasks you with leading a Viking clan to explore and settle untamed lands. Build thriving villages, assign roles to your Vikings, defend against mythical creatures and harsh winters, and expand your territory through trading or conquest.

8. Rusted Warfare

  • Developer: Corroding Games
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Real-time Strategy

Rusted Warfare offers a classic RTS experience on mobile, inspired by games like Command & Conquer and Total Annihilation. Produce units, build bases, manage resources, and battle against a variety of AI opponents or other players online. The plethora of units, maps, and modes offers near-endless strategic depth.

9. Total War: MEDIEVAL II

  • Developer: Feral Interactive
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Real-time Strategy, Turn-based Strategy

Delve into the conflicts of medieval Europe in this mobile port of Total War: MEDIEVAL II. Command massive armies in real-time battles, featuring siege warfare, cavalry charges, and period-accurate units. The turn-based campaign map lets you build your empire, engage in religion and diplomacy, and conquer your foes.

10. Clash Royale

  • Developer: Supercell
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Card-based, Real-time Strategy, Tower Defense

Clash Royale is a fast-paced and addictive real-time strategy game where you build a deck of cards representing units and spells. Battle online against other players, deploying your units strategically to destroy your opponent’s towers. The combination of collectible cards and real-time tactical gameplay makes it a uniquely engaging mobile experience.

11. Into the Breach

  • Developer: Subset Games
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Turn-based Strategy, Roguelike

Defend humanity from giant insect-like creatures in this tactical gem. Control powerful mechs in tight, turn-based encounters. Each mech possesses unique abilities, forcing you to make clever use of positioning and environmental effects. The roguelike elements add replayability and ensure that no two campaigns will be the same.

12. Rebel Inc: Escalation

  • Developer: Ndemic Creations
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Simulation, Strategy

From the creators of Plague Inc. comes a realistic and challenging simulation about stabilizing war-torn regions. Balance military and civilian needs, fund development projects, combat insurgents, and build political support—all while trying to prevent the region from plunging further into chaos.

13. Kingdom Rush Series

  • Developer: Ironhide Games
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Tower Defense

The Kingdom Rush series sets the standard for the tower defense genre on mobile. Build defensive towers, command heroes, and unleash mighty spells to defend your kingdom against hordes of orcs, goblins, and other creatures. Each game in the series boasts beautiful visuals, charming themes, and increasingly challenging levels.

14. Crying Suns

  • Developer: Humble Games
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Space Roguelike, Tactical RPG

Inspired by classics like Dune and Foundation, Crying Suns offers a thrilling strategy experience in a procedurally generated space setting. Command a battleship, explore star systems, engage in tactical ship-to-ship combat, and unravel a captivating story as you attempt to restore a fallen empire.

15. Mindustry

  • Developer: Anuke
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Tower Defense, Factory Building, Resource Management

Mindustry combines elements of tower defense with complex resource management and factory building. Construct elaborate conveyor belts and production chains to supply your turrets with ammunition and fend off waves of enemies. Its sandbox nature and open-ended design offer a surprising level of depth for fans of automation and optimization.

16. Plants vs. Zombies

  • Developer: PopCap Games
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Tower Defense

One of the original and most beloved mobile strategy games, Plants vs Zombies tasks you with defending your house against a relentless horde of comical zombies. Plant a variety of defensive plants, each with unique abilities, to stop the zombies from reaching your doorstep. Its charming visuals and addictive gameplay have made it a long-standing favorite.

17. Mini Metro

  • Developer: Dinosaur Polo Club
  • Platform: Android, iOS,
  • Genre: Puzzle, Simulation

Mini Metro is an elegant and minimalist puzzle about designing subway lines for a growing city. Connect stations with lines, manage passenger flow, and adapt your network as new demands arise. It’s deceptively simple yet surprisingly challenging, providing a highly satisfying strategic experience.

18. Out There: Chronicles

  • Developer: Mi-Clos Studio
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Space Exploration, Roguelike, Interactive Fiction

Embark on an epic space voyage in this narrative-driven strategy adventure. Manage your spaceship’s resources, encounter alien civilizations, make difficult decisions, and try to survive the hazards of space exploration. Out There: Chronicles combines elements of resource management with a branching storyline for a truly unique space adventure.

19. Door Kickers

  • Developer: KillHouse Games
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Real-time Tactics, Simulation

Plan tactical raids and lead a SWAT team in tense top-down scenarios. Analyze the situation, carefully plan your squad’s movements, breach entry ways, and neutralize the hostiles. Door Kickers puts an emphasis on realism and strategic planning, providing a satisfying test of your tactical acumen.

20. The Banner Saga

  • Developer: Stoic Studio
  • Platform: Android, iOS
  • Genre: Tactical RPG, Turn-based Strategy,

The Banner Saga blends Viking-inspired storytelling with tactical, turn-based combat. Manage a caravan of survivors in a harsh world, make impactful choices that shape the narrative, and engage in challenging battles where your decisions have lasting consequences. Its stunning hand-drawn art and poignant storyline make it a truly special experience.

Choosing Your Path to Mobile Domination

There’s truly something for everyone within the vast world of mobile strategy games, so consider these factors when selecting your next tactical conquest:

  • Complexity: Do you prefer streamlined mechanics or deep systems with tons of customization? Games like The Battle of Polytopia offer easy-to-learn yet deceptively strategic gameplay, while Civilization VI provides a massive depth of choices.
  • Theme: From historical battles to futuristic space empires, find a setting that piques your interest. There’s a strategy title for virtually every setting imaginable.
  • Real-time vs. Turn-based: Do you thrive on the pressure of fast-paced decisions, or prefer a more methodical, thoughtful approach? Many strategy games offer both flavors.
  • Online or Offline Focus: Some titles deliver primarily single-player experiences with campaigns or AI opponents, while others put the emphasis on multiplayer and online competition.
  • Free-to-play or Premium: Mobile games utilize a variety of monetization models. Some offer the full experience upfront with a price tag, while others are free to play but might feature in-app purchases or advertisements.

The Future of Mobile Strategy

The strategy genre on mobile is constantly evolving. Here are some exciting trends to keep an eye out for:

  • More Console & PC Ports: We’re seeing an increasing number of beloved PC strategy titles making their way to mobile, bringing deeper experiences to our phones and tablets.
  • Cloud Gaming: Services like Xbox Game Pass and GeForce NOW are paving the way for streaming complex strategy titles, expanding the library of experiences you can access on the go.
  • Hybrid Genres: Mobile developers are getting more creative with mixing strategy elements into other genres, creating new and exciting experiences.

Whether you’re a seasoned strategy veteran or a newcomer exploring the genre, the world of mobile strategy games has a wealth of experiences to offer. Get out there, conquer new lands, and strategize your way to victory!