According to author, J. Anthony Torino, a vast comet will strike the earth in 2022, funneling millions of pounds of ash into the atmosphere and sending the world into a decade-long winter that will extinguish every living thing on the planet. To be fair to our more skeptical readers, he leverages Nostradamus’ mystical and abstract musing as proof. Still, a grim forecast to be sure. But not to worry, intrepid reader. As with all things, Hardcore Droid has got you covered. Because at the end of the day, there can be no better way to prepare for the apocalypse then employing your best stratagems on your smart phone of choice. To that end, we present to you the best Android strategy games 2022. You’re welcome.
If you’re a strategy gamer who likes to tap away at your phone, Tropico is not to be missed. Released for PC way back in 2001, Gathering of Developer’s superb city-builder remains one of the best of its kind. While you could argue that it is not the most user-friendly experience, especially by mobile standards, it proves one of the deeper and more compelling strategy games on Android. Once you get passed the title’s touch controls, you will revel in the title’s richness and complexity. On that note, you should likely fool around with sandbox mode before jumping into a proper campaign. Once you’ve gotten a bead on the game’s various systems, however, you’ll find yourself in banana-republic city-building heaven.
9. Plague Inc.
While playing Ndemic Creations’ Plague Inc. in the time of Covid may be a little twisted, the game must offer some sort of catharsis. The global pandemic simulator saw a huge resurgence in the spring of last year. In Plague Inc. you guide a virus’ evolution from relatively benign microorganism to an apocalyptic super bug. Scientifically accurate, Plague Inc. demonstrates how diseases develop and evolve. At the same time, it is a brilliant and elegant simulator. One that not only illustrates the dynamics of a pandemic, but inadvertently presents a fair argument for listening to the people responsible for things like heart transplants over, say, political pundits.
8. Conquest of Elysium 3
Responsible for some of the deepest strategy games ever devised, Illlwinter has developed a considerable rep in strategy circles. Sacrificing high-end graphics for enthralling complexity, Illlwinter titles invariably deliver strategy gaming goodness. Not only is Conquest of Elysium 3 the only Illlwinter Android title, it also seems, at first glance to be in another category than the bulk of the company’s games. You don’t need a manual to play it, for example, and you can pretty much jump right in and start playing. However, as you play you will find that there is considerable depth under the hood.
Elysium 3 sees you gathering an army of units from the game world’s arrays of high fantasy forces. You wrestle with a veritable throng of game elements: hero units, varieties of fantasy-themed forces, races and skill sets unique to each hero and unit type. Once you’re playing and you get it, you’ll find yourself engrossed by the title’s richness and depth. The graphics are nothing to write home about but if you love playing strategy games on your phone, by no means pass this one up.
7. Kingdom Rush Series
What is this cartoonish, made-for-mobile, tower defense game doing on a list of strategy stalwarts like this, you ask. It’s childish and corny looking, you say. While all of the above may be true, Ironhide Game’s Kingdom Rush series represents the finest tower defense title to be had on Android. All of the games in the series are basically the same game with a different coat of paint. All of them are also fast-paced, elegantly designed and a blast to play. Play a couple of missions and you will likely find the cartoonish aesthetic charming and the game play enthralling.
6. Civilization VI
While at press the game works on like one and a half devices, it’s Civilization VI, a sublime strategy game on any platform. We listed it at number six here in part because touch controls leave a bit to be desired. That is, however, the price you pay for classic ports of core video games.
While the above is abundantly true, Feral Interactive port of Firaxis’ Civ VI remains a landmark strategy game. Firaxis’ civilization builder is at once challenging, difficult to master and as addictive as purified cocaine. For those of you raised in a tool shed, Civilization sees you shepherding a nascent civilization from the caveman days to the space age. Amidst this process you’ll research technologies, arms, ideologies, wrangle an array of resource types and ally with, conquer and subjugate your neighbors. In short, it is a game for which terms like richness and complexity fall short.
5. Door Kickers
Killhouse games’ cross-platform title proved an ideal port to mobile. Offering solid real-time tactics and a unique premise, Door Kickers is at once a smartly-designed, well-balanced and challenging tactical strategy game. Mostly you invade the bases of bad guys. Combat takes place via a pausable waypoint system that plays out in real-time. Missions are rated by way of a three point star system. A decent system in which you gain more rewards depending on how many stars you earn. As the game progresses you’ll find you’ll need the extra resources as the game’ waxes difficult in the later missions. Yet, the steep difficulty curve is an afterthought with a game as rich and compelling as this.
4. Company of Heroes
Without a doubt the finest real-time strategy game available for Android devices, Feral Interactive once again outdid themselves with their port of Relic Entertainment’s World War II-themed classic RTS.
If you are looking to engage with a game that possesses all of the detail, nuance of a bona fide real-time strategy game, Company of Heroes is the beginning and the end. In the early missions you’ll find yourself battling in the Invasion of Normandy. The latter half sees you fighting in engagements like the Battle for the Buldge. The game boasts superb production values, dynamic animations and superb AI. What’s more the game’s underpinnings offer up detailed, balanced and nuanced minutiae that make for some truly compelling battles. The misisons themselves offer up historical accuracy, nuance and considerable scope. If you’re a fan of WW II-themed games or RTSs, this is the first title on your hit list.
3. XCOM Enemy Within
Without a doubt one of the finest games to ever hit the Google Play store, XCOM Enemy Within is not to be missed by any serious Android gamer. By way of the title’s strategic layer you head up XCOM, Earth’s last defense against a world-wide alien invasion. Here you manage an international defense against alien incursions. You manage your XCOM base, soldiers and international relationships while doing research and development on the cool alien loot you retrieve from your battles with ETs.
The title’s tactical layer however is where the game really shines. XCOM’s tactical combat represents the gold standard of tactical combat. The title is so well detailed that its randomized missions create emergent narratives. Once you have faced a sectopod after skulking through the dank hull of and alien mothership, and downed it deftly by way of team effort and armor shredding rockets, you’ll know of whence I speak. And you will know true happiness again.
2. The Banner Saga 1 and 2
At once beautiful, storied, unique and a lot of fun to play, Stoic Studio’s The Banner Saga duo often find their way into the penultimate spot of our strategy lists. While it offers some RPG elements, by way of loot and character progression, the title is at the end of the day a tactical masterpiece of an indie game.
The Banner Saga games take place in a wickedly cool fantasy setting, where faux Vikings share the civilized world with horn-crested giants known as Varls. In terms of aesthetics and premise, the title offers a highly immersive game world. If that were not enough the game also boasts an elegantly designed and deceptively simple tactical combat system. Your units have only two main stats strength and armor. Strength acts as both its namesake and as hit points. As a units strength declines so do both its health and its ability to inflict damage. Under the hood, exists a host of other finely balanced stats that add nuance to the game’s tactical combat.
An Oregon Trail mechanic that has you managing events and units as the game’s story unfolds makes up the rest of the game. The game’s narrative here plays out like an interactive novel as you try to keep your band human and Varls survivors alive and you traverse The Banner Saga’s war torn world. It’s this last element that makes The Banner Saga so conducive to mobile devices, as playing a session of The Banner Saga is like curling up in bed with a good book.
1. XCOM 2 Collection
Some mobile strategy fans said silent prayers of thanks, others purportedly kissed the ground where they stood, while still others hugged themselves and rolled around the ground when news came down the pike that Feral Interactive was porting the XCOM 2 Collection to Android.
Outside of a few minor bugs, the game is everything it was expected to be. That is Firaxes’ tactical masterpiece, replete with all of the major DLCs in one handsome package.
XCOM 2 plays in most way like XCOM Enemy Within above, but with much improved graphics, procedurally generated maps and objectives, as well as the ability to carry units off the battlefield and extract your team mid-mission anytime. That last bit though is strictly for lightweights.
Perhaps the biggest change to the game comes via the title’s strategic layer. In XCOM 2 the Aliens have taken over the world and you muster up a resistance to their rule by way of a mobile ship. In many respects you spend the first half of the game trying to restore XCOM‘s capabilities, as you search for scientists, engineers, new units and ally yourself a with fractured resistance.
While all of this makes for compelling gameplay, the meat of XCOM 2 resides in the tactical combat which because of a host of changes to the game’s mechanics is even more nuanced and engaging than its predecessor. Add to this milieu the fabulous DLC and you have a veritable smorgasbord of tactical gaming goodness. We placed this in the number one slot for a reason. If you have read this far, pony up the cash and get this game.
Enjoyed our list of the Best Android Strategy Games of 2022? Be sure to check out our list of the Best Offline Strategy Games for Android.