Why to waste tons of money on scrappy games when you can have access to free-to-play great games? Our list of best free strategy games for PC will surely satisfy you.

1. World of Warships

World of Warships is an amazing MMO game you must try
World of Warships is an amazing MMO game you must try
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genres: MMO, TPS
  • Mode: Multiplayer

In World of Warships, players are invited to become commanders of their very own warship and amass a great naval fleet of 200+ recreated vessels from the first half of the 20th Century, including the most iconic warships of both World Wars.

This game is an intense epic-battle action game that focusses on the player choosing which naval power they would like to play as before being thrust into the oceans for tactical warfare. The game is an intense experience that every player needs to have!

You can control a naval fleet of Battleships, Destroyers, Cruisers and Aircraft Carriers as you rage war against your enemies and try to protect yourself. Tactical gameplay is a must, because you can really hone in on a particular nation’s weaknesses and exploit them for ultimate destruction!

World of Warships gameplay
World of Warships gameplay on PC

This game is updated regularly with new additions that make the whole experience even more streamlined. From realistic weather at sea to beautifully crafted warships, World of Warships focusses on creating an immersive experience for the player – and it’s something that really pays off.

World of Warships also has an active community with fans of the game posting in the online forums regularly. You can make new friends or recruit old ones to come and join you as you conquer the seas together. However you choose to play, this game is guaranteed to provide you with hours of fun and heart stopping action!

In this free-to-play game, new players will have a great starting offer when registering via the link below (not for mobile), which includes:

  • American Tier III cruiser St. Louis
  • German promo premium Tier II cruiser Emden
  • 7 days of premium account
  • 200 doubloons
  • 20X camouflage restless fire
  • 2,5 million credits

So why not give it a try today?

2. Dota 2

dota 2 gameplay
DOTA 2 gameplay
  • Platforms: PC, Linux, OS X
  • Game genre: Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA)
  • Game modes: Single player, multiplayer

The franchise originates from a mod of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos under the name “Defense of the Ancients” or Dota for short. But the game has quickly surpassed its predecessor in terms of popularity. On top of that, Dota has set a new set of standards for the new MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games. Dota 2 is an upgrade of the original version with lots of updates on gameplay and graphics.

There will be two teams competing with each other in certain maps. Each team consists of five players that play in different roles, such as supporter, tanker, fighter, archer, etc. Depending on the team composition of your opponents, you and your teammates can select a counteractive formation in order to gain the upper hand during the game.

Players can also upgrade their in-game characters by earning experiences to level up their stats. Along with that, you can purchase different items to power up your character.

3. Starcraft 2

Starcraft 2 is one of the best free strategy games on PC
Starcraft 2 is one of the best free strategy games on PC
  • Platforms: MacOS, Microsoft Windows
  • Game genre: Real-time strategy
  • Game modes: Single player, multiplayer

Blizzard was generous enough to make this excellent AAA real-time strategy game free for everyone back in 2017. You still have to pay money for the two expansion packs, but the free game has enough content that you won’t get bored of it for a long time.

Starcraft 2 does not seem dated today, and one could argue that it is still the best real-time strategy game ever made. The three races are equally powerful but completely different. The humans, high-tech Protoss, and insect-like zerg fight it out over many interesting maps with countless strategies.

It is a fast-paced game, even if the matches are not always over quickly. There are usually a few good fights in the middle of a match – it is not a game where players build up a large army for a long time and then end the match in a single fight. While starcraft has always been known mostly for its multiplayer matches, the single-player campaign is also worth playing.

4. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone gameplay
Hearthstone gameplay. Image by mrwynd via Flickr, released under Creative Commons License
  • Platforms: Android, PC, Mac, iOS
  • Game genre: Collectible card game
  • Game modes: Single player, multiplayer

The game is an online free-to-play version of Magic the Gathering from Blizzard. Unlike other card games where you’ll have to spend countless hours studying the gameplay, Hearthstone takes little time for you to familiarize with. On top of that, it features a simple set of rules and a casual visual approach for beginners.

But the game isn’t that easy to play, especially when you’re up against an opponent who knows how to play his cards right. The exciting and challenging experiences make this game quite addictive.

5. Total War Arena

total war arena gameplay free on pc
Total War Arena gameplay
  • Platform: PC
  • Game genres: Real-time tactics, MMO
  • Game mode: Multiplayer

If you’re already familiar with the franchise and find much joy playing it, then Total War Arena would be a perfect game in your free time. It’s a team-based online strategy game that features two sides competing in an ancient battlefield. You will be a commander who leads your army to victory. There are many factions for you to choose from, such as Romans, Greeks, Barbarians, and more to come in the future.

The massive battle system allows up to 10-vs-10 battle, so you and your friends can all take part in the fighting. There are lots of opportunities to develop different tactics depending on the battlefields and the opponent’s army. Plus, it is also a good chance for you to study a little about human ancient history.

6. League of Legends

league of legends gameplay best free strategy game for pc
  • Platforms: PC, macOS
  • Game genre: MOBA
  • Game mode: Multiplayer

It is one of the best free strategy games for PC in the world with millions of players from different countries. There are tournaments being held all over the world each year with many pro teams participating in.

League of Legends comes with a similar gaming mechanism to Dota but with a slightly different gameplay. It is considered easy to play even for beginners with detailed guides on each character, item builds, and other factors. The pace of the game is also much quicker compared to Dota with minor conflicts even in the very beginning. The longer you’re in the more combats you’ll likely to encounter.

With a diverse cast of champions, fantastic maps, and auto-matching systems, it’s not surprising why League of Legends has been so successful.

7. 0 A.D.

Screenshot of the Gaul Civilization in 0 A.D.
Screenshot of the Gaul Civilization in 0 A.D. By 0 A.D. Team, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Platforms: Linux, PC, Mac
  • Game genre: Real-time strategy
  • Game modes: Single player, multiplayer

If you are in love with the old real-time strategy (RTS) titles like StarCraft and Age of Empires, then 0 A.D would be a perfect game for you with good graphics and gameplay. The best thing is that the game is open-sourced, so it is completely free to play.

You’ll play as ancient empires by building your base and destroy others or playing the campaigns. The best part is that you can play with your friends using local networks or online connections. Although it’s free, 0 A.D. is still under development. So if you love the game, don’t hesitate to deliver a small donation to the developers.

8. Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings II video walkthrough
  • Platforms: Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Genres: Grand strategy wargame, RPG
  • Modes: Single player, multiplayer

While Crusader Kings III came out in the fall of last year, you can still have fun with Crusader Kings II, which some people consider better than its sequel. A match’s scale is massive, so a single-player game goes on for 50 hours and represents hundreds of years worth of medieval war and peace.

Not every game of Crusader Kings is played until you take over the world. You can set your own goals – sometimes conquering a certain part of the world, or defending a certain area is enough to win the game. Crusader Kings II also offers multiplayer for up to 32 players.

9. Bloons TD Battles

Bloons TD Battles gameplay
Bloons TD Battles gameplay
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Android, browser (Flash), iOS, macOS, PlayStation Portable
  • Genres: Tower defense, strategy
  • Mode: Cross platform multiplayer

Anyone who has tried a tower defense game before knows how immediately entertaining they are. Being quick is enough at the early stages, but you need planning and strategy at higher levels.

In Bloons Tower Defence, you build towers, cannons, bombs, and other weapons to prevent balloons (“Bloons”) from reaching the end of the screen and making you lose the game. The longer you last, the more dangerous the balloons become, and the more money you have to buy weapons and upgrades.

What makes Bloons TD Battles stand out from other tower defense games is its player VS player battle mode. When playing against another player, you not only have to defend against balloons but launch balloons against your opponent. The offensive part of the game is just as strategic as the defensive part.

10. Call of War

Call of War gameplay
Call of War gameplay
  • Platforms: Web browser, iOS, Android, PC, Linux, MacOS
  • Genres: Strategy, Massively Multiplayer, Simulation
  • Mode: Multiplayer

Call of War is one of the best games you can get if you are looking for a large scale multiplayer military strategy game. Call of War is inspired by board games such as risk – but far more complicated, with many different land, sea, and air units to choose from.

The setting is the second world war, and you can choose from many different nations and build everything from submarines to armored trains. You can fight anywhere on the globe, including places where there was not much fighting in WW2, such as South America.

While you can only play a board game with a few others, Call of War lets you play against up to 100 other players, controlling many different large and small countries.

The game is surprisingly realistic – the relative speed at which your boats, foot soldiers, and airplane movie represents real history. How many times faster was a group of tanks than a group of foot soldiers? Real movement speed ratios are used.

The game is partly a technology race, with atom bombs and other war-winning weapons becoming available if the game goes on for long enough. Give it a try if you would enjoy a complicated, slower-paced world war two simulation.

11. World of Tanks

World of Tanks gameplay.
World of Tanks gameplay. Image by BagoGames via Flickr, released under Creative Commons License.
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
  • Game genres: Shooter, MMO
  • Game mode: Multiplayer

World of Tanks’s team-based massively multiplayer online (MMO) games where you can participate in modern battlefields with players from all over the world. There is a large collection of different war machines that you can drive into battles and a professional upgrade system for your tanks.

world of tanks gameplay free game pc
World of Tanks gameplay

While you will only play as one tank, the battlefield is quite large and the enemies are many, so you should co-operate with teammates and come up with suitable strategies to win the battle.

Despite the fact that the game is free-to-play, you will still likely to make some minor in-game purchase in order to get the strongest upgrades for your war machines.

12. Total War Battles: Kingdom

Total War Battles: Kingdom gameplay.
Total War Battles: Kingdom gameplay. Image by Total War Battles Kingdom Fandom Wiki.
  • Platforms: PC, Mac, Android, iOS
  • Game genre: Strategy
  • Game modes: Single player, multiplayer

This cross-platform Total War Battles game allows you to play on different gaming devices. The game is completely free and available on Google Play, App Store, and Steam. So you can manage your empire any time anywhere, even without your PC.

Like other building-based strategy games, you will start by creating your empire from scratch. Explore the land, conquer others to build a prosperous and powerful kingdom. You can also interact with other players no matter what platform you’re playing. On top of that, you can experience the exciting lifelike battles that feature massive armies with different units.

13. Paladins

Paladins gameplay video trailer:

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac
  • Game genre: Shooter
  • Game mode: Multiplayer

Paladins features a different upgrade system based on collectible cards that allow you to upgrade the character’s abilities.

paladins on pc
Paladins gameplay on PC

Another major difference is that Paladins is technically completely free-to-play. You can unlock almost anything throughout the game. The only asset that might cost money is cosmetic items, which aren’t really helping when you’re playing (they just change your character looks). Apart from that, you can earn everything else from completing quests and missions.

14. Imperia Online

imperia online gameplay
Imperia Online gameplay
  • Platforms: PC, Android, Web browser, Windows Phone, SteamOS, iOS
  • Game genre: Medieval strategy game
  • Game mode: Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game (MMORTS)

Imperia Online is a two-dimensional game where you build your empire from scratch. You have to set up wood workshops and iron foundries and allocate your population accordingly. 

You start with a stark and desolate area. Gradually you build up everything that a modern city has. Later you also get to build your army. That helps you raid surrounding areas for resources. 

The next stage is when you enter into alliances with neighboring cities for mutual benefits. This could also lead to trade relations. One of the best free strategy games PC, it will seamlessly allow you to compete with players around the world. It requires you many different skills to reach the final victory.

15. Elvenar

Elvenar gameplay free on PC
Elvenar gameplay
  • Platforms: Android, Web browser, iOS
  • Game genre: Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO), Massively Multiplayer, Role-Playing, Fantasy
  • Game mode: Player vs. Environment (PvE)

Elvenar is a fantasy city built by you, which is populated by elves. It starts as barren land, but as you add structures, it metamorphoses into a bustling city. 

You can build Universities where research is carried out. That research will allow you to use more efficient tools and weapons. Like any modern economy, you can also trade with other cities. 

You can also build structures that help in spreading culture and entertainment. When you start to play for the first time, a helpful guide will be available. He will take you through your paces.

16. The Company Of Myself

The company of myself strategy game free on PC
The Company of Myself gameplay
  • Platforms: Android, Web browser, iOS
  • Game genre: Adventure, Puzzle and Skill, Platformer
  • Game mode: Single Player

The protagonist of this game is Jack, who is simply not able to socialize. That is the reason for the name of this game. You are to help Jack navigate multiple levels as he tells you more and more about himself. You will love the bright colors of this game. 

What makes The Company Of Myself one of the best free strategy games PC is that you get slowly drawn to Jack. Instead of feeling angry about his whining, you end up feeling one with him. You will need to have Flash Player installed on your PC to be able to play this game.

17. Big Farm

big farm screenplay
Big Farm
  • Platforms: Android, Web browser, iOS
  • Game genre: Farm
  • Game mode: Browser-based casual simulation MMO

Although this game presents you with a vast farm to start with, it is not in excellent shape. It was left to you by a relative who sadly didn’t take great care of it. 

So you need to start planting different types of crops and allocate your farmhands to their respective areas. The people you hire will also need places to stay. 

18. Agar.io

agar.io
  • Platforms: Android, Web browser, iOS
  • Game genre: Action
  • Game mode: Multiplayer

The incredible simplicity of this game belies the immense popularity it has attained. You play as a circle surrounded by smaller and bigger circles. 

The only strategy you need to have in the Agar.io – known to be out of the best free strategy games PC is to grow bigger by eating up the circles around you. At the same time, you need to protect yourself from other circles wanting to eat you. Instead of a dog-eat-dog world, this is a dot-eat-dot world.

19. Transformice

Tranformice gameplay
Transformice gameplay
  • Platforms: Android, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS
  • Game genre: Platform game
  • Game mode: Multiplayer

Transformice will make you laugh and also teach you the power of collaboration.  

The characters of this game are mice. They are looking to grab pieces of cheese. The mice need to line up smartly. This prevents them from plummeting to their deaths. The chief protagonist here is the shaman mouse. 

There are a lot of levels to cross, and each level has increasing complexities. Note that the servers which allow you to play this game free online are in Europe and the USA only.

20. Galaxy Warfare

galaxy warfare
Galaxy Warfare
  • Platforms: Android, Web browser, iOS
  • Game genre: 2D Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi, Strategy
  • Game mode: Multiplayer, MMO

When you first sign up for Galaxy Warfare, you are given a choice of three factions, and you need to join one of them. That screen will also allow you to chat with other online players. So you can use the chat to understand what each faction is about. 

The controls might be a little challenging to master at first. You have the vast frontiers of space to explore and gather resources. At the same time, you need to be careful of enemy attacks.

21. Batheo

batheo gameplay
Batheo gameplay
  • Platforms: Android, Web browser, iOS
  • Game genre: Greek mythology strategy
  • Game mode: MMORTS

In Batheo, players will be transported to ancient Greece with this browser game. You own a city, and you need to progress it to secure your place among the other gamers. 

The player can choose any one of eight possible formations. You can also raise armies and your warrior heroes. The levels are referred to as Prestige. The higher your Prestige, the more powerful your heroes become. 

Apart from the heroes, you can also raise and equip your armies. You have the option of using cavalry as well. The weapons you use are graded by color to tell you their comparative quality.

22. Cardhunter

cardhunter gameplay
Cardhunter gameplay
  • Platforms: Web browser, PC, OS X
  • Game genre: Tactical collectible card game (CCG), Tabletop game hybrid
  • Game mode: Single-player, Multiplayer

Another game on this list should be Cardhunter. It takes away from wars and kingdoms and gives you the thrill of trading cards. You need to assemble a team that will help you reach your goals. 

You will have to get your loot from abandoned dungeons to get your rewards. The unique abilities of the protagonists can be added with the help of the special cards.

23. League of Angels III

  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Web browser
  • Game genre: Fantasy
  • Game mode: Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) 

You will love the AutoPlay feature of League of Angels III, where it will progress even if you are not playing. You just need to come in occasionally and give your next set of commands. 

Depending on which weapon you have chosen, you have three special abilities in this game. As you keep on progressing, you reach higher levels. But each new level also brings tougher challenges to overcome.

24. MTG Arena

free pc cards strategy game MTG Arena gameplay
MTG Arena gameplay
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Mac, PC
  • Genre: Digital collectible card game
  • Mode: Multiplayer

Magic: the gathering is the best-known deck-building game in the world, and if you don’t know anyone who plays magic with cards, you can play the game online for free. Unlike earlier versions of online MTG, Arena is free to play.

While it is difficult to get rare cards without spending real money, you can still work your way up by winning matches in MTG Arena. Whenever you win, you earn gems, which you can use to purchase booster packs.

MTG is always changing as new cards are continuously being added to the game. Expert players have to update their strategies to take new cards into account frequently. A deck that was great last year might not be any good now, and old cards can come back into fashion if they work well alongside recently added creatures and spells.

25. Art of War: Red Tides

Art of War: Red Tides gameplay
Art of War: Red Tides gameplay
  • Platforms: Android, PC, Mac
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Modes: PvP, Co-op

Art of War: Red Tides is a gorgeously stylish multiplayer real-time strategy game with many units, terrain types, and structures. The SCI-fi strategy game’s mechs, aircraft, deserts, snowy hills, and alien plant life all look gorgeous.

The game is as deep as it is detailed, as you can choose from 300 different units and three races. No individual player can use all 300 units in a single match. Instead, you have to choose ten of them at the beginning of the match.

Teamwork is important because some players on the other team may have units that are effective against yours. You need to pick units that cover your team’s weaknesses.

While Art of War: Red Tides may sound complicated, it is easy to reach a basic level of competence in the game. It takes a long time to become an expert player, but it does not take long to become a somewhat skilled player that can do very well in some matches.

The game is monetized in a fair way, as it never puts free players up against paid players with better weapons that free players do not have access to. You also cannot use real money to buy in-game currency. Real money can buy you new content, not gameplay advantages over free players.

26. KARDS

free strategy game for PC KARDS gameplay WWII
KARDS gameplay
  • Platforms: PC, Mac
  • Genres: Strategy, card
  • Modes: Single player, multiplayer

Would an online card game with a World War 2 setting work? It works better than you might think, and it is easy to learn but hard to master. Almost all of the information you need to know is on a single screen. You do not have to click through different screens to play KARDS; there is no complicated interface to learn.

The game is fun right from the first time you play it. Before you are finished your first match, you should understand the basics of how the game works, even if it takes a long time to become a great player. It usually does not take many losses before you win your first game of KARDS.

While a card game cannot be realistic, KARDS is still inspired by real WW2 military tactics. Weapons that worked to counter other weapons in World War 2 are effective counters here also.

Best Free Strategy Games for PC: A Summary

  1. World of Warships
  2. Dota 2
  3. Starcraft 2
  4. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  5. Total War Arena
  6. League of Legends
  7. 0 A.D.
  8. Crusader Kings II
  9. Bloons TD Battles
  10. Call of War
  11. World of Tanks
  12. Total War Battles: Kingdom
  13. Paladins
  14. Imperia Online
  15. Elvenar
  16. The Company Of Myself
  17. Big Farm
  18. Agar.io
  19. Transformice
  20. Galaxy Warfare
  21. Batheo
  22. Cardhunter
  23. League of Angels III
  24. MTG Arena
  25. Art of War: Red Tides
  26. KARDS

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