The average gamer has probably heard of the Civilization series but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to strategy games.
In recent years we’ve been seeing releases of more strategy games on console with Halo Wars and XCOM but PC is still the place to be if you’re a fan of strategy games.
This list will take a look at all the upcoming strategy games coming in 2018 and beyond, including expansions to existing games, and give you a reason as to why they should be worth a look.
Whether you’re a fan of turn-based or real-time strategy you’re sure to find something you like on the horizon. Here’s the list of upcoming new strategy games.
This list will continually be updated over time as more games release or get announced. For this list, we’ve done our best to track down games that should excite a wide variety of people. As a result, we’ve likely missed some games but feel free to drop suggestions in the comments and we’ll give them a look and maybe add them to the list.
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: February 1, 2019
Wargroove is a turn-based strategy that will no doubt look familiar to fans of Advance Wars. Fans received an extended look at the game in the announcement trailer and during a Nintendo Direct.
Even though the Switch seems like it’s the best place for this game given its Advance Wars background it will also find its way to the PS4, Xbox One and PC. The pixel look of the game gives added charm along with making it easy to run on any platform.
Unit placement will be everything in Wargroove as it will affect the damage and resistances of your characters. For example, being in a wooded area will give your units more cover and allow them to have extra defense.
No definitive release date has been locked down for the game but 2018 is what the team is shooting for, and it’s one of our most anticipated new strategy games of 2018.
We now have a definitive release date of February 1 for Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch but the PS4 version is still nowhere in sight.
2. Age of Empires IV
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: TBD
Age of Empires is one of the longest-running real-time strategy franchises out there but it has been practically dormant for over a decade now.
Age of Empires II: HD Edition helped the series reach new audiences but the announcement of Age of Empires IV is what really took fans by surprise. Instead of an in-house Microsoft studio, development of Age of Empires IV is being done by Relic Entertainment, best known for the Company of Heroes games.
No release date has been given for the highly anticipated title, so all we can do is hope for some news at E3 2018. In the meantime, you can check out the recently release Age of Empires: Definitive Edition if you’re looking to relive one of the best strategy games of all-time.
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition are also in the pipeline down the road.
3. Gears Tactics
Developer: The Coalition
Release Date: TBD
Gears of Wars has always been a third-person cover-based shooter but now it is transforming itself into a turn-based strategy game.
Gears Tactics was announced during Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference and will serve as a prequel to the Gears of War franchise. The gameplay is most comparable to the XCOM series so this game should certainly have an audience for itself.
This isn’t the first first-party Microsoft IP to make the jump to a strategy game as we’ve already seen the Halo series do it. No release date has been revealed for Gears Tactics.
4. They Are Billions
Developer: Numantian Games
Publisher: Numantian Games
Release Date: December 12, 2017 (Early Access)
They Are Billions is a game that will feel right at home to RTS veterans. Players are given the task of surviving a given number of days by building up a defense to protect their colony.
The game has the distinct ability to make it seem like things are going well and good before disaster strikes. As the player expands their colony they will run into packs of zombies that are mostly harmless at first but should still be cleared out ASAP.
The easier difficulties give the player more time to build up their defenses which is the best way to learn the ropes. There are many different structures in the game so it’s important to know what each of them does before your base is overrun. Once the zombies begin attacking, all bets are off.
Early waves aren’t too bad but eventually, the player will be tasked with thousands of infected swarming the base at once so you’ll need to make sure your units are indeed prepared for everything.
5. Slay the Spire
Developer: Mega Crit Games
Publisher: Mega Crit Games
Release Date: January 23, 2019
Slay the Spire has been in early access for over half of a year now but it still is improving and getting closer to an official release date.
The game takes the roguelike genre and blends it seamlessly with a deck building card game.
Players are able to create their own deck depending on their playstyle and progress through the game. Since this is a roguelike, get ready to use several different decks as you try and see what works.
6. Depth of Extinction
Developer: HOF Studios
Publisher: HOF Studios
Release Date: September 27, 2018
This isn’t your typical strategy game where you move lots of units around but there are still a lot of strategic elements to pay attention to with this game.
Depth of Extinction seems to be heavily inspired by early XCOM titles where you move your units around to find the strategic positions for your characters to be successful.
Like XCOM, Depth of Extinction features permadeath so you might want to be careful with your units or else you’ll have to say goodbye to them forever. The maps are randomly generated so you don’t know for sure what you’re getting on any given playthrough.
If you’re a fan of XCOM and the pre-3D Fallout games then you might want to keep an eye on this one.
7. Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark
Developer: 6 Eyes Studio
Publisher: 6 Eyes Studio
Release Date: August 16, 2018
Our first tactical-RPG on the list looks to be a good one. If you’re familiar with Final Fantasy Tactics then you’ll likely find this game to be interesting.
Instead of just being about survival like some of the games on this list, Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark is a story-driven game that puts players in control of Arbiter Kyrie as you preserve stability across the land.
There are over 40 story encounters for players to take part in so this appears to be a lengthy game. In case you’re wondering, the terrain and elevation do play a role in combat so there is a strategic advantage to placing your units in specific areas.
No definitive release date has been given for the title but some time in 2018 is still the target.
8. Project Phoenix
Developer: Creative Intelligence Arts
Publisher: Creative Intelligence Arts
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS Vita
Release Date: TBD
Project Phoenix is a squad based RTS game so it might sound a bit like XCOM but instead, it’s in real-time instead of turn-based which sounds pretty interesting.
The game was a Kickstarter project that raised over one million dollars so the funding and interest are definitely there. The game says it has AAA talent but that hasn’t stopped the game from having a variety of issues leading up to its launch.
No definite release date has been locked down and the last Kickstarter update was in August 2017 so we might still be a long way out from the release of this game.
We have a feeling that this is one of the upcoming strategy games PC players will be looking forward to for quite some time, with no real release date in site.
9. Valkyria Chronicles 4
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Valkyria Chronicles is a series known for its strategy and that is not changing for the fourth installment. The game takes place in the same timeframe as the original game but features a whole new set of characters.
Like every new entry in the series, this one will have some new classes and systems. For example, players will be able to look forward to the new Grenadier class in this installment. Also new is the ability to rescue soldiers who lose all HP or become in a critical state with a medic if they are reached within three turns.
The game was recently released in Japan but we still have a wait a little while longer for the rest of the world to see the game. It is still set to come out sometime in 2018.
Developer: Harebrained Schemes
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Another game published by Paradox Interactive makes the list, maybe you should keep an eye on them if you’re a fan of strategy games.
BattleTech has a similar aesthetic to Surviving Mars but instead of colonizing a planet you’re battling it out with mechs. The game features turn-based combat in which you recruit, customize and develop your own unique MechWarriors. There are over 30 BattleMechs to choose from so you can build your team however you want.
The game also features PvP mode so you can take the leap to the online arena and really test your skill. Single player skirmishes will also be available. Right now, we’re looking at an April 2018 release date so you don’t have to wait much longer.
11. Abandon Ship
Developer: Fireblade Software
Publisher: Fireblade Software
Release Date: February 21, 2018 (Early Access)
Abandon Ship is like no other game on this list. This game puts players in command of a ship and its crew and makes them explore the open waters with no idea what lies on the horizon. Like many other games on this list, death is permanent so you need to make sure every move is calculated.
If your ship is destroyed that doesn’t mean you a necessarily dead but you will have an uphill battle to rise back to the top. If you’ve played Faster than Light then this game will likely seem familiar to you.
The early access period has started so be aware there will be bumps in the road as the game approaches an official release.
12. Conan Unconquered
Release Date: Q2 2019
If you’re an avid strategy game player on PC then you might have heard of a Studio called Petroglyph. Perhaps best known for Star Wars: Empire at War, the team is back at it with the first-ever strategy game set in the world of Conan titled Conan Unconquered.
The early descriptions of the game make it sound more like a “There Are Billions” type game rather than a full blown RTS so you might want to temper your expectations a bit until we learn more.
Players have to withstand waves or enemies as they build up their defenses to their city. The enemies grow stronger over time and perhaps the most intriguing aspect is the game can be played cooperatively or solo.
13. Tropico 6
Developer: Limbic Entertainment
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Release Date: January 25, 2019
Instead of being combat-related like many of the games on this list, Tropico 6 is about building cities and staying afloat.
Whether you want to be loved or hated by your people is entirely up to you and Tropico lets you do it. The newest entry introduces large archipelagos for the first time so there is more to manage as you try to keep several islands happy and flourishing.
You can also send your people to other nations to steal their tech and possibly even steal the Statue of Liberty. The world of Tropico is yours to control and that’s abundantly clear in this game. We’re looking at 2018 release date for this game but no definitive date.
14. Jurassic World Evolution
Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Jurassic World revived the Jurassic Park series and introduced it to a whole new generation of fans. This new game will put players in control of developing their own park and attracting people. Frontier Developments is actually pretty well known for titles like Elite: Dangerous and Roller Coaster Tycoon.
Dr. Ian Malcolm makes his return to the series by having Jeff Goldblum voice the character in the game and in the upcoming movie. Malcolm acts as the player’s guide during the game.
This game launched a little barebone but has received updates after launch that have greatly improved on the foundation of this game.
15. Forged Battalion
Publisher: Team17 Digital Ltd
Release Date: January 16, 2018 (Early Access)
Another Early Access title makes the list but don’t let that deter you from trying this one out. Petroglyph, the studio behind this title, made a name for themselves with Star Wars: Empire at War but that’s not all they have done.
This RTS has a lengthy single-player campaign for players to go through and learn the ropes along with 8-player multiplayer matches. There are several different units to build and conquer with including Infantry, Light Vehicle, Heavy Vehicle and Aircraft, which look surprisingly similar to Halo’s Hornets.
By gathering resources in the game, the player can research new projects from the Tech Tree and upgrade their units to their liking. With this being an Early Access game, additions are ongoing so you may find a new thing in the game on any given day.
16. Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War
Developer: Proxy Studios
Publisher: Slitherine Ltd.
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Somehow there has never been 4X strategy game set in the Warhammer universe but that changes with this game.
The four Xs this title lays out are eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate but if you’re a 4X gamer you’ll know what to expect. We don’t have a lot of info to share on the different factions yet, outside of their names, or even a release date but we do know it is coming.
The four factions are Astra Militarum, Space Marines, Orks and Necrons, each with their own unique gameplay, technological tree, units and heroes. There will also be a story to progress through so you’ll get a chance to experience the different factions that way presumably.
Developer: Shiro Games
Publisher: Shiro Games
Release Date: March 7, 2018
Northgard doesn’t quite fit the bill of this list since it has already been released but it’s new enough so it’s worth mentioning. If you’re an RTS fan, you might want to pay attention to this one.
There are 11 chapters in the campaign so if you’re looking for a single-player story Northgard has you covered. There are six different clans to choose from so you’ll have plenty of variety if the clan you try first doesn’t suck you in.
Northgard recently left Early Access but that doesn’t mean the updates are done. Shiro Games will still be fixing bugs and adding content so now is a good time to dive in.
18. Empires Apart
Publisher: Slitherine Ltd.
Release Date: March 29, 2018
Can a game have “empires” in its name and not be a strategy game? We don’t have the answer but Empires Apart is indeed an RTS in this case.
Whether it is meant to be or not, Empires Apart sounds a lot like Age of Empires II. There are six civilizations to choose from: Aztecs, Chinese, French, Mongols, Arabs or Byzantines, which again makes it feel like AoE2 and that’s not a bad thing.
You do select a hero depending on your civilization so it sounds like it adds a new twist into the game. We will certainly learn more about the game in two weeks when it releases.
19. Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare
Developer: KK Game Studio
Publisher: KK Game Studio
Release Date: February 1, 2018 (Early Access)
This game takes strategy and merges it with a first-person shooter and the result is actually pretty cool. This game very recently released into early access and it’s a bit clunky so you’ll have to work around some minor issues.
The gameplay consists of moving your units the same way you would do in any strategy game but instead of watching them fight, you actually get to take part in the fight. It’s a cool concept that is still rough around the edges but the team is definitely onto something here.
The team has been updating the game pretty heavily since the initial release by adding things like a prisoner system and a day and night cycle. More updates are on the way so now is a good time to jump in. Think of it as ARMA on steroids.
20. Ancestors Legacy
Developer: Destructive Creations
Publisher: 1C Company
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Ancestors Legacy features a cinematic action cam that puts a twist on your typical RTS game. We’ve seen it before but never with the Unreal Engine 4, this game uses a cinematic camera that brings you right into the action like never before.
If you’re curious about what all the bloodshed you see in the game looks like, you have a chance to do so. Unlike many strategy games, this one comes with native gamepad support so you can use a controller if you’d like to.
The single player campaign is inspired by true events and you will have four playable nations to choose from. Like other games on this list, terrain does play a role in the combat for this game.
21. Driftland: The Magic Revival
Developer: Star Drifters
Publisher: Star Drifters
Release Date: November 29, 2017 (Early Access)
This title has been out in early access for a little while now so some updates have hit already to improve an already solid game.
Driftland: The Magic Revival is a fantasy-based 4X game, which doesn’t really exist a whole lot out there so it has this going for it. Players are put in control of a castle, tower and a small realm and it is up to you them how they expand from there.
It’s a cool concept that is constantly being updated so now is a good time to jump in. There are still minor nitpicks to be had with the game, such as the UI, but improvements are being made.
22. For the King
Developer: Iron Oak Games
Publisher: Curve Digital
Release Date: February 28, 2018 (Early Access)
For the King is an interesting take on the genre. It is a blend of tabletop RPGs and roguelikes and creates a very intriguing game.
Each playthrough is different so you’ll never know what you’re getting in any given game. The combat is turn-based and will actually feel familiar to anybody who has played a JRPG. There truly is nothing like this on the market right now so it’s worth checking out just for that.
It hasn’t been in early access for too long so there are still improvements that need to come but it definitely has a bright future.
23. The Banner Saga 3
Publisher: Versus Evil
Release Date: Summer 2018
The Banner Saga 3 is the final game in the trilogy and while it’s more of an RPG than a strategy game, there are certainly many strategic elements that make it a worthy addition to the list.
This might be a hard game to jump into if you haven’t played the first two games in the series so you should probably check those out first before jumping into this one.
The story is actually a Viking RPG so if you’re a fan of that time period you might want to give this one a look. New additions to the combat system make this one more strategic than ever before so if you want a challenge this might be up your alley.
24. Age of Civilizations II
Developer: Łukasz Jakowski
Publisher: Łukasz Jakowski
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Age of Civilizations II is a grand strategy war game and with a name like that were you really expecting anything different?
Without actually playing the game, it reminds us a little of Risk but it’s also a lot more than that. There are many different civilizations to play as and it’s all about making treaties and remaining friendly with other players while also actively looking for ways to defeat them.
No definitive release date has been locked down as of yet but it is on track to come this year so that’s something to look forward to in the future.
25. Command and Conquer Rivals
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: iOS, Android
Release Date: 2018
Fans may remember the Command and Conquer series being a popular RTS series on PC that subsequently disappeared without a trace.
The series has made its return on Android and iOS devices and while it’s not going to be the Command and Conquer game you remember, it will still find a way to carve out an audience.
Matches are 1v1 and will only last several minutes, which allows for some fast-paced and frantic gameplay. Players are given a pre-selected team of units as they choose where they want them to go. Surprisingly, there’s a good amount of depth so don’t go into this thinking it’s just another terrible mobile game and you’ll be fine.
Release Date: September 25, 2018 (Early Access)
Here’s a title that’s a lot like Jurassic World: Evolution but with a lot more customization available.
Parkasaurus ditches the realistic graphics found in Jurassic World and replaces them with colorful dinosaurs and lot more management with the park itself. The result is a lot of fun and there are still plenty of updates yet to come to the game.
The developers have shown a lot of love with the game so far so there’s no reason to expect that to slow down any time soon.
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