Top 8 Best Free Strategy Games for PC You Must Try

Why you must waste your money on scrappy games when you can have access to great games which are free-to-play. Our list of best free strategy games for PC will surely satisfy you. You can find links to download these free games at the end of this post.

Links to download are placed at the end of this post.

1. Dota 2

dota 2 gameplay
Dota 2 gameplay. Image by Sergey Galyonkin via Flickr, released under Creative Commons license.

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.

2. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone gameplay
Hearthstone gameplay. Image by mrwynd via Flickr, released under Creative Commons License

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.

3. Total War Arena

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.

4. League of Legends

league of legends gameplay
League of Legends gameplay. Image by via Flickr, released under Creative Commons License.

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.

The game 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.

5. 0 A.D.

Gaul Civilization in 0 A.D strategy games
Screenshot of the Gaul Civilization in 0 A.D. By 0 A.D. Team, CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

6. World of Tanks

world of tanks gameplay
World of Tanks gameplay. Image by BagoGames via Flickr, released under Creative Commons License.

It’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.

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.

7. Total War Battles: Kingdom

total war battles kingdom strategy free to play game
Total War Battles: Kingdom gameplay. Image by Total War Battles Kingdom Fandom Wiki.

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.

8. BONUS: Paladins

Paladins gameplay video trailer:

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

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.

Summary: Top 8 free strategy games on PC:

  1. Dota 2 | Download on Steam
  2. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft | Play on Blizzard website
  3. Total War Arena | Download from Total War Area website
  4. League of Legends | Download from LoL website
  5. 0 A.D. | Download from official website
  6. World of Tanks | Download from official WoT website
  7. Total War Battles: Kingdom | Download on Steam
  8. Paladins | Download on Steam
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