Real-time strategy is a genre that’s as old as video gaming itself. For decades, classic titles such as Age of Empires, StarCraft, or Command & Conquer have had huge impacts on the industry, and the genre’s combination of macro and micro-management has inspired many gamers.

With the rise of technology in the past couple of years, the mobile platform has also become home to several awesome RTS games, allowing players to engage in large scale battles wherever and whenever they want. So, let’s check out some of the best real-time strategy games available on Android & iOS:

Bad North (Android, iOS)

The very moment we first laid our eyes on Bad North, we instantly knew it’d make for a perfect fit for mobile. It took a detour, though, launching on PC first before finally making its way to mobile just a couple of months ago. The wait was definitely worth it, though. The PC version went through several adjustments and updates, eventually culminating in the 'Jotunn Edition' that took the experience to a new, more 'definitive' level.

That is what we now have on mobile, and we had a thoroughly great time with it. The game has a minimalistic visual design, which might be a turn off for some, but those who don’t care much about looks and just want raw tactical gameplay will find plenty of that here. And don’t let its simple graphics fool you, Bad North is really challenging – and quite rewarding too. It features roguelike elements where every unit you lose is gone forever, but you can unlock upgrades to help you in future runs. The setting, meanwhile, sees you nurturing and commanding an army to fend off vicious Viking raiders across a series of islands.

Rebel Inc. (Android, iOS)

Now, Rebel Inc. might not share the same slightly sadistic premise with its predecessor Plague Inc., but the excellent design is still there without a doubt. As the newly-appointed governor of a country that's been ravaged by a massive war, your task is to try to rebuild while also keeping local insurgents under control. It's filled with tough decisions and challenging gameplay as you use your tactical geniuses to squash enemy insurgents, preventing them from causing too much damage to your reign.

Reconstruction is not an easy concept to work with, especially considering that the game is inspired by somewhat controversial events in the real world, but developer Ndemic has put the utmost care and attention into this product, going so far as to seek consultant from actual professionals on the subject. The result is a challenging, tense, but highly rewarding experience, definitely one of the best RTS/simulation games of the year.

Dungeon Warfare 2 (Android ,iOS)

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Dungeon Warfare 2 takes everything that's great about the tower defense genre in turns it up to eleven

We were super eager to get our hands on Dungeon Warfare 2 last year, but unfortunately, the game missed its initially planned release date and slipped into 2019. Again, though, the delay was justified. Tower-defense is a genre that has always been prone to bland and designs, but Dungeon Warfare 2 manages to avoid all of that and turns everything up to eleven.

With more than 30 unique traps, this Dungeon Keeper-esque title offers tons of variety and complexity to complete what are still relatively straightforward tower-defense goals. It’s not something that can be described as completely unique, but it’s clearly something that its developer has put a lot of effort and passion into.

Element RTS (iOS)

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Elements RTS is a streamlined and accessible RTS that fits right at home on mobile

Element is yet another port from PC that fits right at home on the mobile platform. It's streamlined and unique design makes it very accessible – your task is to find a balance between resource production and unit construction to either defend yourself from enemy attacks or go on the offense yourself. The matches are short, and the AI offers decent challenges, so there’s no shortage of fun to be had here.

There are a couple of things that draws it back from being a must-buy for RTS fans, though: There’s no multiplayer, and it’s not available for Android. Thankfully, the developer has said that it’s already been working on an Android version for a while now and is currently putting on the finishing touches to prepare for an official release.

Kingdom Rush: Vengeance (Android, iOS)

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Despite the controversies around its IAPs, Kingdom Rush: Vengeance is still a stellar real-time strategy game

The latest addition to the critically acclaimed tower defense franchise Kingdom Rush has found itself at the center of many controversies since its release. Basically, your feeling toward this one depends entirely on how much you are bothered by its somewhat-too-persistent microtransactions. Don’t get me wrong, these IAPs are completely optional and are not P2W at all, they're just a little bit too pushy.

If you can look past that, you’ll find a truly stellar RTS experience underneath, one with tons of humor and content to keep you playing for hours on end (each stage can take as long as half an hour to finish). The way Vengeance handles its structures is pretty fairly unique as well, demanding more consideration and planning on the player’s part. All things considered, unless you microtransactions your absolute worst nemesis, this is an awesome game that you can pick up and enjoy right now. Check out our review for more information.

Auralux: Constellations (Android, iOS)

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Even the simplest of ideas can become a classic title

Auralux is wickedly simple yet brilliant at the same time. Glowing orbs zoom across the vast emptiness of space, battling for domination over planets, which in turn create more orbs for the player in control. Speaking of controls, they couldn’t get any more straightforward: Tap to select, then drag to assign, end of story. There’s only one type of ‘units’ – if you can call it that – and one goal: take control over the entire map. Based on these ideas, the developer of Auralux managed to create some pretty intense, nail-biting levels with overwhelming odds stacked against the players.

The ‘constellations’ here are just series of levels with a similar gimmick that must get a hold of in order to overcome. The game has not aged particularly well admittedly, but it shows how even the simplest of ideas can become a classic title if executed correctly. Another plus is the ability to adjust the in-game speed, which allows you to find the perfect pacing for your playstyle. Local multiplayer is the icing on the cake as well, but the main draw of Auralux is solo play.