*Review of the best according to the editorial board. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, not an advertisement, and does not serve as a guide to purchase. Get expert advice before you buy.
Historically, the first computer games for many gamers were strategy. Titles such as Heroes of Might and Magic, Command Conquer, Civi
Today, in order to find an opponent in a strategy game, no need to go to the “computer club” or build a local network at home. Internet access is enough. And for those who want to really intellectual battles, we have collected 14 of the best online strategy games on PC.
Rating of online-strategies on PC – the best strategy games
|Rating of online-strategies on PC – the best strategy games||1||Kingdom Under Fire 2||5.0|
|2||Vikings: War of Clans||4.9|
|3||Total War: Arena||4.8|
|5||Forge of Empires||4.7|
|7||Battle for the Galaxy||4.6|
|9||Throne: Kingdom at War||4.5|
|12||Game of Thrones: Winter is Near||4.3|
Kingdom Under Fire 2
In a nutshell: Mix of MMORPG, RTS and slasher in a fantasy setting. No Russian localization.
Kingdom Under Fire 2 is a Korean multiplayer game with three levels of gameplay: strategic, role-playing and combat. In fact, it is quite capable of adjusting to your favorite style. Want to rule huge armies? You’re always welcome. Want, on the contrary, to rock a single epic character that is quite capable of dispersing huge armies? You can do that too.
The strategic level is quite simple and is a classic RTS. Under the control of the player comes a small base on which you can build a relatively small number of buildings. Virtually every building serves a single purpose – to produce units. At entry level, five types of armies (heavily armored cavalry, mages, archers, shamans and ogres) are pumped in PvE mode. Later you can face live opponents in PvP.
Kingdom Under Fire 2 turns into a full-fledged MMORPG on a role-playing level. Your hero warlord can belong to one of five classes:
- Warrior – wields swords and pistols for melee and ranged combat;
- Battle Mage – creates attacking and healing spells;
- Berserk is a classic tank, well armed and well armored;
- Pathfinder – a class for fans of long-range combat and stealth;
- A mystic is an elemental mage who summons creature helpers.
Of course, the game encourages grouping. You can switch from role-playing to strategy mode at any time. The hero you pumped up becomes a warlord.
Finally, on the combat level Kingdom Under Fire 2 turns into a slasher. Winning in PvE or PvP one-on-one battles depends not only on the character class, but also on the skill of the gamer. Sophisticated combo punch does far more damage than a simple attack, albeit from a pumped up hero.
Kingdom Under Fire 2 is distributed by buy-to-play methodology. Need to buy the game itself. In addition, it has a premium subscription, which gives more experience and other pleasant things, as well as a store where you can buy, for example, epic character.
Vikings: War of Clans
In short: Browser-based MMORTS with an emphasis on participation in clans with a setting in the style of Scandinavian mythology.
Vikings: War of Clans is probably the only person who has no internet. This browser-based MMORTS with a client for mobile devices is very actively advertised on websites and by various bloggers. And, unfortunately, it has already gained a not too pleasant reputation as a “donation money vacuum cleaner.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to play Vikings: War of Clans without investing pounds of money. And in terms of gameplay it is a classic MMORTS with an emphasis on social component. A Jarl, a Scandinavian warlord, with his own castle and a small army, comes under the player’s control.
In the future, this castle must be improved by building different structures. Some of them mine resources, others protect you from raids, and still others produce new units for your army and unlock technology to create more powerful soldiers. It’s all in the ancient Scandinavian style. After gaining enough armies, you can go to war against other yarl players.
In Vikings: War of Clans there is a very strong social component. Yarls unite into clans, which number up to 100 or even more players. Joining this “faction” allows you to make more effective raids or better defend against attacks.
Speaking of donations – they are here, and there are a lot of them. For example, the buildings are constructed in real-time, and it may take a few hours or even days to construct some of them. But the process can be sped up if you pay a little. Similarly, when you create units or lack of resources. Nevertheless, if you have a certain assiduity and patience, you can play Vikings: War of Clans without donations.
Vikings: War of Clans is distributed on the method of free-to-play. The game is free to play and runs on both browsers and mobile devices. In the first case, you do not need to install the client. Monetization is done through in-game purchases.
Total War: Arena
In short: MMORTS with an emphasis on truly large-scale combat and realistic historical setting. No Russian localization.
Total War: Arena is a classic MMORTS inspired by traditional real-time strategy games. A key feature of the game is some “historical authenticity. So, most locations represent real places of the Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman Empires, and among the characters you can meet King Leonidas of the Spartans, Julius Caesar and other personalities familiar from school textbooks.
Total War: Arena gameplay can be divided into two parts – the creation of an army and battles. The first stage is classic RTS. Build structures, develop a base, hire fighters. Depending on the faction you choose (Barbarians, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Chinese) up to five types of units are available:
- Infantry – the classic melee soldiers, rather weak, but numerous and inexpensive;
- Archers – ranged soldiers, also not too strong, poorly armored, but also inexpensive and therefore numerous;
- Cavalry – large, strong soldiers in close combat, which are also very mobile. But it’s difficult to hire a whole army of cavalry – the high price of a unit does not allow you to recruit them in large numbers;
- Artillery – powerful and strong ranged units. The disadvantage is the same as with the cavalry – the high price;
- Battlehounds are small, extremely mobile, but relatively weak. “Takes numbers, not skills. Kind of like the Zerglings of StarCraft.
But when the battle begins, Total War: Arena reveals its full potential. Two armies, each consisting of 10 players, converge on the same battlefield. In turn, each player can have up to 3 units under his control. Lastly, each squad can have up to 100 units. So there are 6,000 soldiers converging on the battlefield – and so the battle looks really epic.
Total War: Arena is distributed on a free-to-play. But it’s also monetized – if you want your army to be led by Alexander the Great, Barbarian queen Boudicca, or Chinese general Zhuge Liang (among other personalities listed on Wikipedia), you’ll have to pay to buy them. The commander gives passive and active bonuses to the army.
In brief: MMORTS with elements of urban planning simulator and global strategy.
Forge of Empires is a major competitor to Imperia On
So, initially a small tribe of primitive people from the Stone Age comes under the player’s control in Forge of Empires. As it develops it goes through other stages of socio-political system – feudalism, empires, modernity… Eventually the civilization enters space and begins to explore neighboring Venus.
The gameplay in Forge of Empires is built on the 4X principle with social elements. These mechanics include:
- Explore. In the process of developing a civilization you need to discover new technologies and social concepts that allow you to bring your people to the next stage of the system;
- Expand. If a primitive tribe from the Stone Age has enough territory to live on, a large empire will need to spread out over a large part of the map;
- Exploit. Every civilization needs resources. They can be mined from local mines, forests, and other sources.
- Exterminate. The development of a civilization, even an incredibly peaceful one, is impossible without wars. If you don’t attack other players – no one guarantees that those same “other players” won’t attack you. In addition, the development of civilization will require the conquest of new territories.
The social component is implemented through the association of players in guilds and alliances. This not only increases the total military power, but also gives a few “bonuses”. Guilds can take daily and weekly PvE Challenges, and if successful, receive additional resources or strategy points.
vP is also there, and quite “natural”. The player can take over cities, territories, and locations belonging to other gamers. You need it to expand your empire. Civilization also gains strategic points for participating in military operations, which are used to advance to the next level of development.
Forge of Empires is a free browser-based game with mobile clients. Method of monetization – optional purchase of in-game resources such as coins, diamonds, gold, and special items. Without donations your civilization will progress much slower than you would like it to, but you can still do without spending money.
In a nutshell: Traditional Medieval MMORTS with a tough economic model and interesting knightly concepts.
Stronghold Kingdoms looks like a pretty traditional real-time multiplayer strategy game at first glance. Under the control of the player comes the castle with its surrounding village. Inside the fortress is his “base,” where he can create new units for his army. Surrounding Village – A Source of Resources. When you have amassed a large enough army, you can go to war with your neighbors to get resources and buildings from them.
However, Stronghold Kingdoms begins to fully reveal itself as a political strategy when the player notices indicators such as “popularity” and “honor”. The fact that the whole game is the story of a knight, who controls his fortress and army. If he follows the honor code, more units will join him. If he rules his village wisely and fairly, he will get more resources. This simple mechanic changes the gameplay significantly, as the player is required to think several times before sending his army to wage war on a neighboring kingdom. Suddenly loses – and the knight will be disgraced?
Stronghold Kingdoms differs from other strategies by the mechanics of battles. Here they take place without direct player involvement. Requires only a choice of tactics battles, and units will be controlled by artificial intelligence. By the way, the army in Stronghold Kingdoms is not as diverse as in the desktop strategies of the Stronghold line, it has only five types of soldiers:
- Peasants. Weak, low on offense and defense, but many.
- Archers. Ranged Soldiers. Good at defending fortresses, worse at open battles, as they have practically zero armor.
- Pikiners. Close Combat Soldiers. Not too strong, but plentiful. Useless in defending fortresses. Only useful in open combat.
- Swordsmen. Close Combat Soldiers. Strong, well armored, but slow and expensive.
- Captains. Close Combat Soldiers. Strong, heavily armored, fast, but very expensive.
The presence of pluses and minuses in each of the groups of soldiers leads to the fact that the player is required to very carefully equip his army. These are standard mechanics in most really good strategies.
Stronghold Kingdoms is free, available on browsers (no installation), mobile devices and Windows computers. Can be monetized too, with various optional purchases. Resources and construction acceleration are purchased with “donations.”.
Battle for the Galaxy
In short: Cajun MMORTS in a sci-fi setting with beautiful graphics.
Battle for the Galaxy is a thoroughly commercial, real-time online multiplayer strategy game. This is evident in the setting, gameplay, and even graphics. Battle for the Galaxy is set in the distant future, when mankind has already begun to colonize space.
Sci-fi setting. Marines, robot tanks, tamed black holes, and laser turrets await. All this is complemented by beautiful graphics – modern, bright, a little “cartoonish”, but still more pleasant than in most other MMORTS.
But in terms of gameplay, Battle for the Galaxy is a “competition of numbers.”. Basically, the game will not let you show your strategic or tactical skills. Who has the most powerful army is the winner. In order to make your soldiers very strong, you need to pump up your base as much as possible by building different futuristic buildings and structures. You will need resources. If they are not – well, there is always an in-game store, where everything is in stock and at an adequate price, just prepare your bank card.
But the commercialization of Battle for the Galaxy has an important and unobvious advantage – the game is very easy to learn. You won’t have tons of information thrown at you like you did in Forge of Empires. You don’t have to learn the mechanics of “strategy points” or “chivalry honor” like in Stronghold Kingdoms. Build a base, assemble an army, join an alliance, and go out to fight! Battle for the Galaxy may well be the first MMORTS to make you want to try something more challenging and interesting (or be disappointed in the genre).
Yes, like many other MMORTS, Battle for the Galaxy has a social component. Clans are called “corporations” and you get different bonuses for joining one of them – except that you can now fight “wall-to-wall”. Create your own if you’re not satisfied with existing technologies.
Battle for the Galaxy is free, there are versions for the browser, mobile devices, and a desktop client on Steam. Monetization – through donations, by purchasing various niceties and resources in the internal store.
In short: MMORTS with an absolutely incredible amount of content and features in sci-fi style.
To get an idea of the Star Federation’s scale, you only need to know one thing – the game has an information book with over a thousand pages. In terms of content, this sci-fi strategy game surpasses most of its competitors.
So it starts simply. You choose one of eight races and go to conquer the space. Build a base, collect your ships, send them out to ply the galaxy, colonize planets, form alliances, destroy alliances, spy, trade, band together against a common enemy, weave political intrigue, become the richest faction, defend against defeated enemies, your empire is about to split… And yes, this is still a browser RTS.
There are seven races to choose from:
- Helions. Warlike, not too fond of trade and diplomacy. If you need resources, they will be taken by force, not bought.
- Tormals. Diplomats and Merchants. Great at negotiating, but not too good at howling. If you need resources – will buy in such a way that the seller will still owe.
- mruns. Enigmatic mystics who excel in arcane knowledge. Capable of extracting resources from almost “nothing”.
- Zekty. Space Dwarfs. Though they are excellent resource gatherers, they also excel at research. Instantly spread throughout the galaxy and start developing mines on every planet they encounter.
- The Velides. Another bellicose race. Unlike Helions, no alliances or diplomacy at all. They are always at war, even if there is no reason to fight.
- Glurgi. Researchers and Scientists. Have the technology that no other race has.
- The Astoks. They present themselves as diplomats. But you shouldn’t believe them – rather they are spies and spies, who under the guise of helping to weave the most intricate political intrigue.
- There is also an eighth – the Borg. They are computer controlled and appear to be a kind of “universal enemy. The Borg are reincarnated from Star Trek into Star Federation. High-tech cyborgs that are unfriendly to non-cybernetic organisms.
When it comes to forming an army, Star Federation begins to look a bit like EVE On
“Star Federation” is difficult to recommend to beginners – the volume and scale of the game are really impressive. Nevertheless, if you are plodding enough, then – why not give it a try? Moreover, “Star Federation” is free to play, and the donation is so unobtrusive that you won’t even notice it. The only drawback is that the game is only available for desktop browsers.
Throne: Kingdom at War
In short: A very traditional online-RTS on a relatively new engine.
Throne: Kingdom at War, the brainchild of Plarium, which specializes in simple multiplayer games. It belongs to the numerous online strategy (even in this rating is a couple) and MMORPG, which combines the mechanics of distribution of free-to-play and not too intrusive, but still a lot of donation.
Throne: Kingdom at War in terms of gameplay is not much different from other online real-time strategy games. The player takes control of a small castle, which must be developed and upgraded. As your empire grows you must conquer new lands, fight other players, and join mutually beneficial alliances. The gameplay is based on the traditional mechanics of 4X, but very simplified, so that even inexperienced players can quickly immerse themselves in the world of Throne: Kingdom at War.
The advantageous difference between Throne: Kingdom at War and other similar online strategies is a fairly fresh game engine. The game itself came out in 2017, and in those days it was at the peak of technology. That’s why Throne: Kingdom at War looks very beautiful – every unit is well detailed, textures have high resolution, the color scheme is rich and juicy. You can not even say that the action in the story takes place in an alternative Middle Ages.
Throne: Kingdom at War is distributed for free. On computers it is available in the browser, on Android and iOS – through special applications. The game, of course, has a donation, which manifests itself in the purchase of internal currency – for her, in turn, you can buy a variety of improvements for the superiority over the enemies.
In short: MMORTS in sci-fi setting with gameplay with a bias towards the economic model.
A strategy game with the pretentious title “Mars Tomorrow” (or rather, in the full Russian localization – “Mars Tomorrow: Space Pioneer”, which does not sound so epic) only seems to be another MMORTS. This is actually a very complex and confusing economic simulation. However, to build a base, attack enemies and join alliances here, too, will have.
Gameplay begins with a small Martian colony coming under your control. You need to provide it with resources, as well as think about defending the base. But after half an hour of play it becomes clear that there are clearly more than one resource, local harvesters don’t drive well off-road, and the colonists need food and work. Next – more: to develop the base you need to unlock new technologies, your neighbors have valuable materials, but because of their level of pumping you have not to attack, and negotiate, and on Mars there are different natural disasters.
As a result, there isn’t much of a PvP component in Mars Tomorrow. And most of the battles take place in the “guild against guild” format. The bulk of the gameplay is still economics and battles against unfriendly Martian conditions.
Mars Tomorrow is free to download and available for browsers and mobile devices. Monetization – the classic, through the donation. For real money you can buy rare natural resources that are later used for levels and technologies.
In short: an online economic strategy about the railroads – multiplayer taikun for fans of steam locomotives.
In 90’s and 00’s, thanks to efforts of Tycoon studio, a new genre of computer games appeared – “taikun”. These were simple economic strategy-simulators devoted to building railroad networks, highways, air travel, and so on. Taikuns was characterized by a meditative atmosphere and leisurely gameplay. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not extinct. Every few years a new taikun comes out.
The transition of taikuns to online was only a matter of time – and then Rail Nation came out in 2014. This economic strategy game is all about the railroads. The player takes control of a shipping company – and has to “wrap the rails” around America. In achieving this capitalist goal, however, it will be hampered by other gamers. This brings a small competitive element to taikun – but not too much, since the meditative nature is retained.
Rail Nation is a real treat for fans of railroad aesthetics. First, the storyline spans a century and a half, so you will control ancient steam locomotives, mighty diesel locomotives, modern electric locomotives, and even futuristic monorail trains. Secondly, the railroad models are copied from the real prototypes, and quite meticulously. Finally, the locations are also inspired by real maps, so you can’t move from Geneva to New York.
Rail Nation is free to play and is available on computers (in the browser) and mobile devices. The game has a donation, but not too much. Once the developers did introduce full-fledged pay-to-win mechanics, but after that fans started dropping the game. So now the donation is simply aimed at expanding the train fleet with slightly different models of trains from the free ones.
Game of Thrones: Winter is Near
In short: The official licensed MMORTS based on the “Game of Thrones” series. With dragons! No Russian localization.
I’d like to say that Game of Thrones: Winter is Near gives some incredible expirience and thrills just like the TV series – with all its political intrigue, murder, oppressive feel and an incredible amount of nudity. But that’s not exactly true. “Game of Thrones: Winter is Near” is just a good browser-based MMORTS, with characters from the series periodically appearing in the story, and monetization is tied to donation. You’ll have to pay almost more than the Lannisters – their debts.
So, under the control of the player comes a small castle of his own. Daenerys Targaryen flies by and hands over a gift – a dragon egg (although after the last episode the arrival of this lady clearly does not bode well). It will have to grow – after some time, quite a long time, from it will hatch a winged lizard, which will provide an advantage in battle. But until then you just need to develop your castle, go to war with neighbors, to pump and level up. During the story campaign you can see the familiar characters in short informative videos. The truth, .
Fortunately, the pumping has a definite purpose. The strongest lords and ladies of Westeros will receive into their armies the houses of the heroes of the series and the book series. But that, again, will require time spent on development, military and political intrigue.
In Game of Thrones: Winter is Near, the main emphasis is on PvP battles. At the same time, you can unite with friends into clans to fight with other alliances, not just some enemies. Then the battles will be much more epic. PvE component is also there, though not as deployed. By the way, the developers periodically launch large-scale in-game events that gamers do not get bored.
The game has an important plus – great graphics. However, it should be understood that it is done on the engine WebGL, so you need at least 4 GB of RAM and a more or less current video card, “office plug” may not be enough. Thanks to excellent graphics PvP battles look impressive.
“Game of Thrones: Winter is Near” is distributed for free. Monetization – through donation, which is spent on the purchase of resources.
In a nutshell: Fantasy-style town-planning strategy with turn-based battles.
Elvenar combines two types of strategy quite harmoniously – real-time and turn-based. The game is a city-building simulator. Actually, at this level everything happens in real time – the gamer erects buildings, hires armies, pumps the technology tree and gradually develops. But as soon as one of the squads meets the enemy (by the way, the absolute majority of battles are devoted to PvE), the game switches to turn-based mode. The battlefield is divided into hexes, reminiscent of HOMM, groups of warriors are tactically distributed across it and begin an unhurried battle.
In Elvenar there are two races available for wagering – humans and elves. They differ in approach and techniques used. If people prefer to use fantasy-medieval technology, the elves are turning to spiritual practices and magic. Sets of warriors also vary. For humans they are lances and paladins, for elves – fairies and dragons.
Elvenar is somewhat “relaxed” and meditative. Here you do not need to panic to pump the castle, because the neighbor’s level has increased sharply. Battles are unhurried and allow you to think through tactics. Even the graphics are fairy tale rather than fantasy.
Elvenar is free, available in your browser and on mobile devices. Monetization – donation, of course. True, it is not necessary in principle – for it you buy various improvements, which you can get anyway, if you just play a little longer. However, it is worth noting that the Elvenar donation is more expensive than many other MMORTS.
In short: Global Military Strategy.
“Princely Wars” has a very deceptive name. It looks like we will have to engage in feuds with Vladimir, Yaropolk and Svyatoslav. But, in fact, there are more than ten different races and civilizations available here – in addition to the Slavs, the global map features Bretons, Goths, Mongols and other Chinese.
The races-civilizations are quite different from each other. Someone is good at warfare and gets a boost to the soldiers’ power and development; someone is an excellent builder and can create in a short time such a castle that all the neighbors begin to enviously bite their elbows; someone improved the economy since ancient times and now brings so many resources that it is more profitable to buy enemies than to conquer. True, at a high level these differences are levelled. When a village which belongs to the player grows into a full-fledged civilization, all this trading and building become secondary – large-scale clan wars begin “wall-to-wall”.
Actually, the battles here are diverse and interesting. The combat engine offers a variety of techniques for gaining superiority over the enemy:
- Variety of units – from lances, which are almost always “expendable”, to the huge knights, alone are able to “kill” a whole army;
- Siege machines – catapults will help break through enemy walls and annex a city without a days-long siege;
- Tactics – You can change the battle order of your troops depending on the terrain and the type of enemy.
- There’s also espionage, and in case of any difficulties you can look in the game encyclopedia.
“Princely Wars” is free, you can play in your browser or install the client on your computer. Of course we couldn’t do without donation – it’s not too obtrusive, but helps to get a boost at initial levels.