5 Best Strategy Games for Beginners: Where to Start

  • Mar 09, 2024
  • Sofia Martinez
5 Best Strategy Games for Beginners: Where to Start

Entering the world of strategy games can be a daunting experience, given the genre's complexity and the depth it often involves. However, strategy games are not only about complexity; they are about creativity, planning, and, most importantly, fun. For beginners, the key is to find games that are welcoming without being overly simplistic. This guide introduces five strategy games that are perfect entry points for those looking to dive into this fascinating genre. Each game listed offers a unique blend of accessible gameplay, strategic depth, and the potential to learn and grow as a player.

Civilization VI

Civilization VI stands as a monumental title in the turn-based strategy genre, offering a blend of simplicity for newcomers and depth for seasoned players. Developed by Firaxis Games, Civilization VI invites players to build an empire. From the Stone Age to the Information Age, players choose a civilization and lead it through the annals of history, focusing on expansion, military conquest, diplomacy, and technology.

The game shines with its "Tutorial Mode" designed specifically for beginners. This mode guides new players through the complexities of empire management, from producing resources and building armies to engaging in diplomacy with other civilizations. What’s particularly appealing for newcomers is the game’s ability to scale complexity according to the player's readiness, making it a smooth introduction to strategy games. Moreover, Civilization VI offers a vast array of civilizations with different strengths and playstyles, ensuring that no two games are the same and providing a basis for endless replayability.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

While not a strategy game in the traditional sense, Stardew Valley encompasses strategic elements that make it a suitable and engaging entry for beginners. This indie darling, created by ConcernedApe, combines farming simulation with elements of role-playing and life simulation, offering a serene yet engaging experience. Players inherit an old farm, which they must turn into a thriving homestead by planting crops, raising animals, mining for resources, and mingling with the townsfolk.

The strategic component comes into play through resource management and time management. Players must plan which crops to plant, how to allocate their time each day, and how to spend their hard-earned money. The game’s open-ended nature allows players to approach their farming life in various ways, promoting a gentle introduction to strategic thinking and planning. Furthermore, its charming pixel art style and captivating storyline add layers of enjoyment beyond the strategic gameplay.

Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies by PopCap Games is often heralded as a classic in the tower defense genre, offering an excellent introduction to real-time strategy for beginners. The premise is simple yet captivating: players must defend their home from a horde of comical zombies by placing various types of plants, each with unique defensive abilities, in their garden.

Plants vs. Zombies

The game starts with a gentle learning curve, introducing new types of plants and zombies gradually. This approach allows players to get accustomed to the mechanics and develop strategies without feeling overwhelmed. Plants vs. Zombies encourages creativity and adaptability, urging players to think on their feet and experiment with different plant combinations to counter the ever-evolving zombie threat. With its engaging gameplay, humorous tone, and gradual increase in complexity, Plants vs. Zombies is an accessible yet challenging game that serves as a perfect gateway into the world of strategy games.

Into the Breach

Into the Breach is a brilliant example of a strategy game that combines simplicity with profound strategic depth. Developed by Subset Games, it is a turn-based tactics game where players control a team of mechs fighting off an alien invasion. One of the game’s standout features is its focus on short, tactical battles on an 8x8 grid, making it more approachable for newcomers to the genre.

Into the Breach

Each battle requires careful planning and foresight, pushing players to think about their moves and the potential consequences. Into the Breach offers a unique twist where players can see enemy moves in advance, allowing them to strategize effectively to mitigate or avoid damage. This predictability, paired with the game’s concise battles, makes it less daunting for beginners. Additionally, the game’s roguelike elements, such as permadeath and procedural generation, ensure high replayability, while its minimalistic story and design keep the focus on the tactical gameplay.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition revitalizes the classic real-time strategy game, making it more accessible and enjoyable for today’s audience. Set in the Middle Ages, players choose from a variety of civilizations and lead them through ages, focusing on gathering resources, building towns, and conquering enemies.

For beginners, the game provides comprehensive tutorials that cover the essentials of base building, resource management, and military strategy. These tutorials, coupled with the game’s updated graphics and interface, make Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition a welcoming entry point into real-time strategy. This offers a range of difficulty levels, allowing gamers to start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase the challenge as they become more adept. Its historical themes and diverse civilizations offer additional layers of engagement, making it an intellectually stimulating and enjoyable experience for strategy game newcomers.


Strategy games offer a remarkable blend of challenge, creativity, and fun, appealing to a wide audience of gamers. For beginners, the genre might seem impenetrable, but the games listed above serve as excellent starting points. Whether you're drawn to the empire-building aspects of Civilization VI, the charming farm life in Stardew Valley, the humorous defense tactics of Plants vs. Zombies, the concise battles in Into the Breach, or the historical challenges of Age of Empires II, there’s a strategy game out there to kickstart your tactical journey. Each game presents a unique approach to strategy, allowing newcomers to explore and find the type of strategic gameplay that resonates with them the most. So, pick a game, dive in, and embark on an exciting journey of strategic discovery.

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