Strategy games are one of the most popular genres of video games out there. Games such as Warcraft and Starcraft showed us how fun they could be while others like Civilization and the Tycoon series showed us how in-depth these games could be. There are also some great strategy games for iPad so let’s jump right in.

If you’re rocking an Android tablet and somehow got to this page by mistake, check out our best strategy games for Android!


[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
It seems like a given for this genre, but Battleplans puts a lot of emphasis on the “strategy” aspect of gameplay. Besides being able to direct your troops in specific directions during an attack, you can also strategically plan out your defenses. For instance, determine which characters will go where, and how long will it take them to get there. The graphics of this game are stunning, quite frankly. The muted pastel colors give the game a unique feel, and I loved the contrast in character design for good vs. evil.

I can be a little bit critical at times when it comes to dialogue in mobile games, but I was especially bummed that Battleplans didn’t have any voice acting for its characters. Seemed like the perfect game to have that.

Download Battleplans from the App Store

Clash of Clans

[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]

By now I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain to you what Clash of Clans is. But, I can clue you in to why it’s still holding down a spot on this list of best strategy games for iPad.

In essence, Clash of Clans is still the same game you came to love, or maybe hate, back when it was first released. It’s a base defense game with interesting characters, all having their specific strengths, weaknesses and abilities. The goal is pretty straightforward. Build up your base strategically to defend against attackers, and train your army to perform the best attack possible. It’s a game of trial and error. You can try out different combinations of troops to see what works best in your attacks, and you can try out different placements for your defenses to see what stands up the best.

Because of it’s larger screen, Clash of Clans is great to play on the iPad. The further along in the game you progress, the more intricate your base will become, and that’s where the extra real estate comes in handy. It’s also helpful to be able to examine your opponent’s base in greater detail before deciding to attack. Clash of Clans is constantly being updated, having new characters added, new defenses, etc. In the last major update, players were given access to a new world – Builder Base. Here, the premise is the same, but you will discover new troops and buildings, as well as a new Versus game mode.

If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten your Clash on, now’s a good time to jump back in.

Download Clash of Clans from the App Store

Forge of Empires

[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
Forge of Empires is a strategy game for iPad that was adapted from the popular desktop version release a few years back. In the game, players start with nothing, slowly building their way to greatness. This the sort of game that you can easily spend hours in every day, as the number of things you can do is seemingly endless. Some users express frustration at the fact that many of the in-game action take time and that you have to “pay to play,” but joining guilds makes it easier to come by resources and to complete “research” to progress through the game. If you’re looking for a strategy game that allows for lots of little tinkering, this one is for you.

Download Forge of Empires

Plants vs Zombies 2

[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
Plants vs Zombies 2 is a strategy-tower defense game that has managed to stand the test of time. It remains one of the most popular mobile games in history thanks to its simple game mechanics and the wide range of content in the game to enjoy. It’s also free to play which helps a bunch. In this game you plant flowers that attack a hoard of advancing zombies so they don’t reach you. The developers have continued to add content over the last couple of years to help keep the game fresh.

Download Plants vs Zombies 2

Related: Best Tower Defense Games for iPad

Tactile Wars

[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
Tactile Wars is definitely one of the best strategy games for iPad, and one of my favorite too, mainly for it’s friendly gameplay and design aesthetic. As the commander of your squadron, you use simple swipe and drawing gestures to dictate where you attack and where you form strongholds agains the enemy. Want your troops in a line? Draw a line. Want your troops in a big circle, draw a big circle. Depending on where enemies are approaching from, you’ll need to use strategy to create your formations and call in backups.

This is a PVP game, but it’s not real time, so the other element to this game is preparing your own base. Your base is protected by an army, but you can also unlock and purchase buildings and other defense to protect it. Deciding where to place your defenses is crucial in protecting yourself from attackers.

The great thing about this game is that is very suitable for kids. It’s challenging, but the mechanics are very straightforward. It’s not too graphic, either. You could probably convince your kids that the armies are using paintball guns and not real ones. However, if you just want to stick with the free version, you’ll have to deal with ads after each battle.

Download Tactile Wars

SimCity Buildit

[Price: Free/In-App Purchases]
SimCity BuildIt has been a favorite of ours for a while now. Not only does it bring back some 2000’s nostalgia, but it’s an incredible game full of features to keep you hooked for hours. The great thing about this game, though, is that you can also put it down easily if you need to. So if you need something to jump into for a few minutes in between work calls, this a great choice.

Recently, there’s been a huge update that further secures this game a spot on our list of best strategy games for iPad. Outside of being able to build wildly-intricate cities, you can now compete PvP in real-time with the Club Wars update. With this update you can rein down havoc on your opponents city by throwing natural disasters their way and watching the madness ensue. The weapons at your disposal include the Disco Twister and Plant Monster. The more damage you cause, the more rewards such as SimCash you earn. You can use these rewards in your next PvP battle, or to upgrade your city once the chaos has concluded.

If you’ve been a fan of this franchise for a while, it’s definitely worth revisiting this game.

Download SimCity Buildit

War Dragons

[Price: Free]
Base defense is one of the more popular forms of strategy games for iPad. War dragons takes a new approach on the genre, taking gameplay to the skies, and featuring gorgeous 3D imagery. Instead of sending hoards of soldiers into battle, you send dragons, one-by-one, to attack enemy bases. The higher level your dragons, the more destruction you can rain down. Players can breed new dragons which are hatched out of some pretty wicked looking eggs, and can also build up their base with extra defense to defend against attacks.

War Dragons is another one of those games where if you want to avoid spending a penny, you’re going to need to practice your patience.

Download War Dragons

Was this page helpful?