The 12 Best Android Strategy Games of 2023

Mobile titles that will test your tactical acumen

Mobile games are no longer restricted to simple puzzlers and platformers, as developers are now making console-quality RPGs exclusively for mobile devices. If you're craving something more challenging than Candy Crush, consider this list of the best Android strategy games.

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Best Card Based Strategy Game: Plants vs Zombies Heroes

Plant vs Zombies: Heroes for Android
What We Like
  • New characters and bosses add intrigue to the PvZ lore.

  • Intro battles teach you how to play the game.

  • Cute and colorful graphics.

What We Don't Like
  • Fans of the original titles might be turned off by the new gameplay style.

  • Some games can be quite long.

The unending battle between vegetation and the undead roars on in Plant Vs. Zombies Heroes, a collectible card game based on the PvZ series. The rules are similar to Hearthstone, another popular card game inspired by World of Warcraft, but Heroes is more welcoming to casual gamers who've never played card based RPGs.

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Best Retro Strategy Game: Old School RuneScape

Screenshot of Old School RuneScape for Android
What We Like
  • Old School RuneScape is easier to pick up and play than most modern online RPGs.

  • Users can vote on proposed new features before they're implemented.

  • Tutorial helps you get familiar with game play and the interface.

What We Don't Like
  • The graphics look a little rough, but that's part of the game's charm.

  • Difficulty entering a character name due to keyboard layout on smartphones.

Are you tired of today's MMORPG scene? Take a trip back to simpler times by downloading Old School RuneScape; this free mobile port of the 2007 version of RuneScape includes some improvements to streamline gameplay. Old School RuneScape is a great entry point for newer MMORPG fans and a welcome respite for old school gamers.

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Best Final Fantasy Game: Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions

Final Fantasy Tactics: war of the Lions for Android
What We Like
  • A complex job system allows endless options for character customization.

  • A newly translated story features realistic characters dealing with themes of war, loyalty, and faith.

What We Don't Like
  • The game wasn't originally designed for touch controls, so navigating menus and rotating the camera can feel tedious.

  • Game isn't free.

There are dozens of Final Fantasy knockoffs in the Google Play store, but Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions isn't one of them; it's a full port of the Playstation Portable remake of the classic 1998 Playstation title. Console quality graphics, music, and overall presentation make this game well worth the price tag, even if you've played the original.

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Best Post-Apocalyptic Strategy Game: Fallout Shelter

Screenshot of Fallout Shelter for Android
What We Like
  • Gameplay is similar to the much loved Civilization series.

  • Also available for iOS, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

  • Useful tutorial shows you the ropes.

  • Handy tips are provided to improve game play.

What We Don't Like
  • Fallout fans may be disappointed by how little the game relates to other titles in the series.

  • Game play can get a bit tedious.

You don't have to play the Fallout series to enjoy Fallout Shelter. All you need to know is the nuclear apocalypse is upon us, and it's your job to ensure humanity survives. In this simulation game, you must manage a team of fellow survivors to grow food, produce energy, and rebuild society.

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Best Nintendo Strategy Game: Fire Emblem Heroes

Screenshot from Fire Emblem Heroes for Android
What We Like
  • Features familiar characters, spells, and locations from various Fire Emblem titles.

  • Game is rather simple to play.

What We Don't Like
  • Fire Emblem purists may find the game too easy.

  • Rather large file downloads and updates.

The fabled Fire Emblem series takes place in a classic medieval fantasy world where humans and dragons coexist. You must command an army of sword-bearers and magic wielders in a form of tactical warfare resembling a complex game of chess. Download Fire Emblem Heroes for free and challenge other players in blade-to-staff combat.

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Best 4X Strategy Game: Battle of Polytopia

Polytopia for Android
What We Like
  • Asynchronous multiplayer allows you to play with friends throughout the day.

  • No advertisements or "pay-to-win" elements.

What We Don't Like
  • A lack of in-game tutorials means you'll often have to learn through trial and error.

  • Can't see the bottom icons on smaller screens. No available scroll.

Battle of Polytopia distills the essential elements of the 4X genre (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) into a free-to-play mobile package. Similar to games like Rise of Civilization, players compete over territory and resources on a variety of maps; however, gameplay is turn-based, and each session is limited to 30 rounds.

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Most Original Strategy Game: Reigns: Her Majesty

Screenshot of Reigns: Her Majesty for Android
What We Like
  • A quirky story with multiple outcomes makes the game highly replayable.

  • An inventory system adds an extra layer of depth to the decision making process.

What We Don't Like
  • The gameplay may feel too simplistic for hardcore RPG fans.

  • Not free.

More of an interactive storybook than a game, Reigns: Her Majesty is a choose-your-own adventure app that puts players in control of a queen about to be deposed. You must make critical decisions by swiping left or right to maintain control of your throne. Say the wrong thing to the wrong person and it's off with your head.

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Best Tower Defense Game: Clash Royale

Clash Royale for Android
What We Like
  • Expands on the Clash of Clans universe with new troops.

  • Training sessions teaches you how to play the game.

  • Can earn chests with useful upgrades.

What We Don't Like
  • In-app purchases give players a substantial advantage, sometimes making multiplayer battles feel unfair.

From the makers of Clash of Clans comes a card-based, multiplayer, tower defense strategy game set in the same universe. While that may sound like an odd combination of genres, Clash Royale blends them together surprisingly well. Battles consist of intense three-minute rounds, yet the real strategy comes in preparing for combat.

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Best Sci-Fi Strategy Game: Strike Team Hydra

Strike Team Hydra for Android
What We Like
  • A diverse group of characters and creative monster designs make combat especially enjoyable to watch.

  • A unique action point system requires players to carefully juggle movements and attacks each turn.

What We Don't Like
  • There's no free trial version, but you can find it at a reasonable price.

  • Turns move slowly.

If you prefer more action in your strategy games, Strike Team Hydra will surely hit the mark. Set in the distant future, the game pits players against an army of cyborg mutants. It's a tried-and-true premise, but you'll have to think outside the box and use terrain to your advantage to succeed.

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Best Hack and Slash Strategy Game: Eternium

Screenshot of Eternium for Android
What We Like
  • Multiplayer mode lets you fight with or against other players from around the world.

  • Free to download with no ads or pay walls.

  • Unique attacks can be used with various screen draws.

  • Small tutorial introduces you to game play.

What We Don't Like
  • The story, characters, and gameplay are unapologetically unoriginal.

If you like classic arcade dungeon crawlers like Gauntlet, then Eternium was made for you. Collect items to forge weapons and spells, then use your fingers to slay hordes of demons with devastating magical attacks. Tight controls, impressive graphics, and multiple gameplay modes make Eternium worth a look.

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Best Simulator Game for Android: Hades' Star

Hades Star for Android
What We Like
  • Engage with thousands of players at once in a giant online community.

  • Can zoom in or out for better viewing.

What We Don't Like
  • Many of the planets and character models look the same.

  • Some controls may overlap onscreen Android home menu.

Hades' Star propels the sim genre to new heights. Gameplay takes place in one massive virtual universe where players colonize planets and build fleets of spacecraft to support their intergalactic empires. Unlike other MMO games, Hades' Star places a greater emphasis on collaboration over competition, making for a more laid back experience.

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Best Board Game for Android: Stormbound: Kingdom Wars

Stormbound: Kingdom Wars for Android
What We Like
  • A beautiful mix of 2D and 3D graphics make the fantasy world come to life.

  • Each kingdom has its own strategic advantages, which adds diversity to gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • Although Stormbound is free to download, in-app purchases give players a substantial advantage in combat.

  • The game randomly pairs players together, which sometimes feels unfair to newer players.

Part board game, part collectible card game, Stormbound: Kingdom Wars has all the makings of an epic RPG, including a backstory about warring royal families in an immersive fantasy setting. Carefully choose which side you're on, because you'll have to win battles against other players to obtain new units. 

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