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Download and conquer: the best strategy games for Android and iOS

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Tablets and smartphones are the ideal platforms for strategy games. Fortunately, there are many excellent titles from this genre to keep you occupied for hours on end. In this list, we’ll introduce you to a slew of fantastic strategy games for Android and iOS.

Strategy game fans, listen up! Our list of the best strategy games has gone through a purge, and we took this opportunity to remove some of the outdated information while throwing in a bunch of newer titles that are making waves in the gaming market. New to this list are the first five games listed. As with our recent gaming list updates, we have also opened the doors to iOS gamers, listing down the Apple App Store links for your convenience.


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Since gaming preference is a very personal thing, this is a highly subjective list. We are always open to hearing other recommendations from our readers. If you happen to be a strategy game aficionado and are dying to share a title that we have missed out on here, let us know! All right, enough yapping for now, check out our recommendations below.

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Bad North: Jotunn Edition

Bad North: Jotunn Edition is a strategy game where you have to quash evil that is spreading across multiple islands simultaneously. This iOS and Android game will require you to defend islands against the bloodthirsty Viking hordes that arrive in waves from time to time, and it is up to you to use the different terrain on the islands to your advantage.

As with games of this genre, you will have to ensure that your troops get upgraded from time to time, in addition to clever deployment for maximum effect. With the inclusion of unlockable upgrades, even the most inept island inhabitant will eventually end up as a useful warrior.

  • 4.4 stars on Google Play / 3.1 stars on Apple App Store
  • Price: $5.49 (Android), $4.99 (iOS)
  • In-App purchases: No

The graphics are certainly not the best, but it is the strategy part that remains compelling. A tutorial will help you learn everything you need to know before getting started. Your advisors will also help you keep an eye out for any issues or potential problems. It’s up to you whether you take a more moderate approach or decide on a heavy-handed approach!

Strategy game for alien fans: XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within is an impressive title as it proves just how exciting turn-based strategy games can be. The story unfolds around an alien invasion on Earth. The reason why you are rooting for your soldiers is partly due to the challenging enemy AI, which often places you under a lot of pressure. One small mistake can be fatal.

On the other hand, the XCOM fighters grow on you in the course of the extremely very tactical battles, as they collect better equipment and hone their abilities. The gloomy atmosphere of XCOM: Enemy Within pulls you into the game’s universe. The multiplayer mode is also very well executed. Some moves trigger cutscenes – showcasing really excellent graphics on a mobile device.

  • 4.2 stars on Google Play / 4.5 stars on Apple App Store
  • Price: $4.99 (Android), $4.99 (iOS)
  • In-App Purchases: No
xcom enemy within
XCOM: Enemy Within / © Screenshot: NextPit

Battles in Ancient Rome: Rome: Total War

The Total War game library is a well-known strategy series on the PC, famous for immersive combat, historical accuracy, and having large numbers of soldiers flood your screen in engaging, heated battles. Such strategy battles are now possible on Android and iOS devices, sporting new controls that were optimized for touchscreens.

As the name suggests, you’ll find yourself in ancient times, with a strong focus on the Roman Empire and its famous legions. But you’ll also be fighting against/as various other ancient armies from 19 other factions. With fantastic graphics and top-notch gameplay, Rome: Total War is well worth the hefty price tag. However, it is best to get a high-powered smartphone to enjoy this title to the fullest, so make sure you don’t install this on any entry-level smartphones!

  • 4.5 stars on Google Play / 4.8 stars on Apple App Store
  • Price: $9.99 (Android), $9.99 (iOS)
  • In-App Purchases: No

Strategy game for gardeners: Plants vs. Zombies

The Plants vs. Zombies title was already a respectable success on the PC and also happens to be one of the more unique titles to fly the Tower Defense flag on smartphones and tablets. You don’t really defend a tower or castle, but your home, against zombies. Your weapon of choice? Plants and all things green!

On 5 x 9 tiles that resemble a large playing field, you “plant” a diverse range of botanical wonders, from energy-giving sunflowers, pea shooters, and even flesh zombie-eating plants. With these, you try to hold off the oncoming zombie horde that consists of transformed football players, newspaper-reading grandpas, and crazed gardeners. It’s both challenging and fun at the same time.

  • 4.3 stars on Google Play / 4.7 stars on Apple App Store
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: Yes
plants vs zombies ea 02
The zombies are coming! / © EA

Strategy game for fans of isometric puzzles: The Battle of Polytopia

The Battle of Polytopia is a well-made free-to-play game and a welcome challenge; especially when you crank up the difficulty and number of enemies. Not many turn-based strategy games offer such a unique combination while enchanting you with its graphics at the same time.

The story goes like this: you represent one of the many different tribes who sharing a square board, separated into grids. At first, everything is covered in ice and snow, so you can’t immediately tell what’s hiding under the white, soft snow. Each of the playable tribes will have different special abilities at the start. However, these can also be learned from the other tribes, so they are not a limiting factor.

You take turns to explore the board, learn new skills, turn settlements into a part of your empire, and pursue one of the game goals of which you chose earlier on. In Classic mode, the average game lasts up to 30 rounds, where victory will depend on the number of points you picked up through the past 30 actions. Domination mode will see the game go on until only one tribe remains.

There are in-app purchases for additional tribes, which can then compete as your AI opponents. However, this additional variety is not meant to have a significant impact on the game’s fun, but more of a bonus.

  • 4.4 stars on Google Play / 4.7 stars on Apple App Store
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: Yes

Strategy game for war heroes: Epic Little War Game

Epic Little War Game is a game that pays homage to games of the same genre, and does so in a very respectful manner. Not only that, Epic Little War Game builds on the strengths of its predecessors: being a beautifully animated war game whose comic book-style graphics are very much in line with other titles that came before it. Like the other games in the series, it’s a turn-based strategy game.

A single-player campaign is used to learn and master the game mechanics. What is the maximum movement for a particular unit? Which unit is more effective against a particular enemy? This knowledge is useful against the rather placid AI, but it is absolutely indispensable against other players, because Epic Little War Game has a multiplayer mode where you can compete against friends or other players.

  • 4.3 stars on Google Play / 3.7 stars on Apple App Store
  • Price: $5.99 (Android) / $4.99 (iOS)
  • In-App Purchases: No
epic little war game
Best Strategy Games: Epic Little War Game / © Screenshot: NextPit

Strategy game for AoE fans: Forge of Empires

The goal of Forge of Empires is a classic one: build your own city from ground up, starting with the technologically backward Stone Age all the way to the Modern Age – and beyond. By constantly expanding your building area, you can transform a few small huts into a sprawling city complete with pubs, churches, gardens, and of course, the classic industrial buildings like the mill, sawmill, etc.

In the course of the game, you will unlock more and more goods with which you can trade for and further unlock additional technologies. You can also expand or speed up your advancement by going to battle with your units in a turn-based chessboard battle to obtain new resources and bonuses.

It should be said that Forge of Empires, just like other strategy games, is not meant to be played for long stretches at a time. You will have to wait until a certain time is elapsed to gain new resources or have existing ones replenished.

  • 4.3 stars on Google Play / 4.6 stars on Apple App Store
  • Price: Free
  • In-App Purchases: Yes

Those were our recommendations of the best strategy games for Android smartphones and tablets. What are your picks for strategy fans?


As usual, this list is a mix of personal recommendations from the NextPit editorial team, your recommendations, and a look at the app store charts, updated periodically.

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