10 Best Android Real-Time Strategy Games
You will find plenty of real-time strategy (RTS) games for the PC, but are there any good RTS games for the mobile platform? Well, not many; it seems the mouse-keyboard combination still gives the ultimate RTS gaming experience. However, mobile RTS gaming is becoming more popular, thanks to some amazing touch-intuitive real-time strategy games available for mobile phones and tablet PCs.
Taking advantage of the touchscreen, RTS games make mobile warfare fun and interesting. A gentle swipe, a tap, and simple finger gestures will let you manage your base, control your troops, and invade enemy territory. Not all games are military-themed. Some are inspired by multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games like Defense of the Ancients (DotA), whereas others boast gameplay features similar to Clash of Clans. Here’s a rundown of some of the best real-time strategy games on Android.
1. Total War Battles: Kingdom
Total War Battles: Kingdom is for those who are bored playing Clash of Clans and its clones. The game’s base-building and battle elements are unique, especially for a person who hasn’t played a Total War game before.
The game’s small-scale battles can’t be compared to massive Total War battles on PC, but they are still playable and offer some great tactical opportunities to gamers. Battles take place on separate battlegrounds, where two rival factions deploy their most able troops, command their units and use special abilities and tactics to seal victory for their army. You will need to train and order units to attack, make the most of special “church orders” and employ standard tactics to win battles.
Kingdom’s base-building elements will force you to make changes to your stronghold according to the map’s terrain and strict building rules. It’s tough to manage your kingdom in this game, but once you know the rules, weather and terrain types, it will become a bit easy for you to construct the right buildings, fortify your base and build a strong army. The game is bit on the harder side and so it will definitely appeal to hardcore strategy fans.
2. Tropical Stormfront
A military-themed RTS title, Tropical Stormfront brings land, air, and sea battles right to your mobile device. The epic fight between two powerful alliances takes place on historic islands of the Pacific. You will be siding with the good faction against the all-powerful entity ODO, which intends to rule the world.
In Tropical Stormfront, there are 25 missions consisting of intense skirmishes and large maps. Mission objectives are diverse, ranging from base defense to invading enemy territory. The focus is more on battles than on tedious resource management, which in my opinion is good.
The game also lets you team up with your friends in co-op multiplayer battles, including popular game modes like capture-the-flag, as well as exciting tank skirmishes and sea/air battles.
Units are neatly categorized into foot soldiers, land units, air fighters and sea units. Tanks play a major role in this game, inflicting maximum damage to enemy units. The only drawback is the visuals, quite dated when compared to current RTS titles. Nevertheless, Tropical Stormfront offers fine gameplay and is an excellent real-time strategy title.
Dominations combines Clash of Clans’ fast-paced battle elements with Civilization’s notable features such as research tree and age advancement. Players can advance through the ages, researching new technologies, forging alliances, inventing advanced weapons and battling rival nations. The game has splendid visuals, but the base design and layouts will remind you of CoC’s isometric bases. Still, there are lots to discover and players won’t be disappointed by research tree, different types of troops, weapons and technologies.
The game lets players choose a nation from 8 mighty nations. Each nation and a special ability that can help you build a powerful army and special units. Like Civilization, Dominations also lets you build historic wonders like the Coliseum and the pyramids of Egypt. If you have played Civ and love the fast-paced battles of CoC, then you should download this game to your Android device.
4. Machines at War 3
One of the best real-time strategy games can now be played on your Android device. The third game of the MaW series provides better random map skirmishes, more than 100 unique units and technologies, 7 mega units and 20 challenging missions. There’s also an online multiplayer battle mode that lets you fight 3 more friends and use your most advanced units to defeat them.
Story-based missions are intense and extremely well-connected. You are on a mission to search and rescue missing scientists. You will have to locate top-secret research files. Your mission is to come to the aid of the Omicron Initiative and protect research files from enemies.
The game has stunning top-down visuals. You get a bird’s eye view of the map, which helps you manage and command your units better. Animated battles are pretty good and every unit has a unique action. If you love Command and Conquer type of games, then you should download Machines at War 3 to your Android device. It’s available on the Google Play store and is priced at $7.
5. Rusted Warfare
If you have played Total Annihilation, then you shouldn’t miss Rusted Warfare. With fascinating retro visuals, this game brings old school RTS gaming to your mobile device. It features campaign missions that take place on large maps. There are also fun skirmishes with each mission giving you an opportunity to take control of land, air, and sea units. But it’s the tower-defense survival mode that ups the gameplay value.
A good gameplay aspect is the unit formation feature that lets you form tactical attack and defense patterns to get a strategic edge over enemy units. This feature reminds me of classic RTS titles like Rise of Nations.
With the zoom option, you can zoom out to get a full map view, making it easy to get a bird’s eye view of the current battle scenario and issue commands. The game also features a multiplayer mode which can be played via Internet or Wi-Fi.
Auralux's abstract visuals are totally original, and its gameplay simple yet challenging. You target enemies and capture their “stars,” which are actually bases that spawn units. At the same time you have to make sure your own stars aren’t captured by your opponents.
Auralux is free, but the paid version provides a special speed mode that ensures fast-paced gameplay, forcing you to make split-second decisions. The paid version also lets you download expansion packs with unlockable achievements and includes a tablet-version pack designed for Tegra-powered tablet PCs.
The unique visuals are eye-catching. You will be controlling brightly-lit, colorful objects pulsating on a dark background. The music and sound effects complement the visuals. Auralux is an excellent Android real-time strategy title.
7. Tropical Wars
Probably the best pirate-themed RTS game available for Android right now, Tropical Wars lets you command a large fleet of ships ranging from gunners and sniper ships to artillery. Ship battles occur is real-time. You can move your ships one by one by tapping a ship and dragging your finger to the desired location on your mobile screen. You will need to attack enemy ships in the same way by drawing a line between your ship and enemy’s pirate ship.
Tropical Wars also lets you build and manage your pirate island, where you can build more ships, unlock special ship abilities and research various technologies that can help you collect resources faster. There’s also a fun PvP mode that lets you battle same-level players’ fleet of ships for rankings and rewards. Higher your fleet ranks, more rewards you will receive. Fans of Sid Meier's Pirates will love everything about this game. However, Tropical Wars lacks exploration and focuses on real-time ship battles.
8. World War II: Real Strategy
At first glance, the entire set up and visuals of World War II: Real Strategy will remind you of old Command & Conquer (C&C) games, but soon you realize it’s really like Clash of Clans. There are troops to recruit, defenses to set up, and vehicles to build in order to invade and destroy your enemies. There are also strange super weapons, as in C&C, and other fun stuff to keep you busy tapping and swiping for hours.
The game has a unique “to-do" list which shows a list of tasks that needs to be completed today in order to earn special rewards. Each completed task will earn resources that can be used to build more buildings and recruit troops. Multiplayer mode provides a list of online players in command of enemy territories. You can invade them and earn more rewards after destroying their bases.
The game’s fixed isometric view and vehicle, building, and unit design, resembles late 90s military RTS games, while the gameplay is similar to Clash of Clans. Combining these two, World War II: Real Strategy provides a decent military strategy game for the mobile device.
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9. Heroes of Order and Chaos
One of the most epic multiplayer online battle arena games, Heroes of Order and Chaos offers pure tactical combat à la DoTA. The focus is more on team-play than anything else. Featuring two gorgeous maps, this game offers challenging tactical battles across forests and deserts. The game lets you select a hero and assist your AI minions--mages, archers, and swordsmen--to destroy enemy bases.
Order and Chaos is a real-time tactics game, which means much of your time will be spent making tactical decisions. Should you join your team of ragged heroes and destroy an enemy base, or is all-alone exploration a better idea? Should you choose warrior skills or magical skills to boost your team spirit? Careless decisions can be disastrous.
Those who don’t know how to play MOBA games will want to play the offline tutorial mode to get used to the controls and tactics. Order and Chaos is totally online, although you can hire bots instead of playing online. There may be server issues, the type you expect from online matches, but the game is very impressive, graphics and gameplay-wise.
10. Enemy Lines: RTS
Enemy Lines is another military-themed Clash of Clans-like game. Players construct buildings, collect resources, recruit troops, and set up a strong defense to fend off enemy invasion. As players progress, they can unlock different units and buildings and upgrade current ones to make them stronger. The game has a cool multiplayer mode that lets players search for a random opponent and battle in a timer-based setup.
Although most gameplay aspects of Enemy Lines resemble the current generation of mobile strategy games, its unit animations and artwork don't approach them in quality. The only saving grace is the buildings, which look better than the units. This game is a freemium title, so you have the choice of making app purchases to expedite unit recruitment, upgrades or construction, or ignoring app purchase opportunities and waiting three or four hours for a building to complete.
Although fans of military RTS games will enjoy the overall setting, Enemy Lines does not offer anything new and has indifferent animation and unit design. If you are looking for a military RTS with excellent unit animation, good gameplay, and great visuals, I suggest Battle Command, a futuristic real-time strategy game available free on Google Play.
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