There is a common misconception that PC gaming is inferior than gaming on a console. This discussion may go on for days, but there is one category in which PC gaming is unquestionably superior: strategy games. They were, after all, designed to be played with a mouse and keyboard. Normally, Mac gamers must accept that some of the most popular games are only available on Windows, but strategy games are an exception. macOS is compatible with all of the main choices.
The finest strategy games for Mac have always been superb, but have improved significantly in recent years. Whether you like fast-paced real-time strategy (RTS) games, intricate turn-based games, or more casual MacBook options, this list offers something for everyone.
1. Civilization 6
Civilization 6 is the latest instalment in a series that I considered to be near-perfect. I was convinced that Civilization 5 couldn’t be enhanced any more, but developer Firaxis proved me wrong.
Civ 6 allows you to take control of a civilisation and guide it through history. You get to conduct research, develop a religion, establish trade lines and armies, and much more. The opportunities and techniques are limitless, which adds to the game’s addictive nature. Every one of us has been there. You’re just about to go to bed and it’s suddenly 3 a.m. and you need to finish that final tank.
Civilization 6 also pioneered the concept of city planning, with districts and specialised structures that may be developed inside cities. And if that wasn’t enough, the Gathering Storm expansion adds new units, civilizations, and mechanisms to the game.
Civ 6 offers surprisingly outstanding visuals for a turn-based strategy game, and Aspyr did an excellent job creating a bug-free MacOS adaptation. Having saying that, this is still a difficult game that need a strong machine. The 2016 MacBook Pro is barely capable of handling it.
Best Fit : Gamers in search of the greatest turn-based strategy games. After all, this is the greatest Civilization game currently available.
System requirements: macOS 10.8.5, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4 GB RAM, 256 MB ATI Radeon HD 2600, Intel HD 3000 or better, 13 GB hard drive space.
2. Crusader Kings 3
Crusader Kings 3 is best defined as a political life simulator, similar to The Sims 4, but with a strong focus on politics.
While that description may initially appear lacklustre, CK3 is one of those weirdly addictive games. Confront your neighbours, establish alliances, marry the wrong people, and participate in pagan ceremonies. Your kingdom is your oyster, at least as long as you can keep it.
Additionally, CK3 is regarded as one of the greatest role-playing strategy games, with character customisation and daily events emulating mediaeval life. With so many ways to administer your country, this game has an enormous replay potential.
It’s one of those games where you expect to retire to bed after allying with France, only to remain up until dawn waging war against the Byzantine Empire.
3. Starcraft 2
StarCraft 2, the sequel to one of the most famous real-time strategy games of all time, should require no introduction.
This space-based real-time strategy game shows an enthralling conflict between the Terrans, Zerg, and Protoss. However, the gameplay is what sets this game different. StarCraft 2 is a lightning-fast game with wonderfully balanced sides. The game is really simple to pick up and play, yet ridiculously difficult to master. I gave up on attempting to become “excellent” at it a long time ago, but I still love playing the narrative, co-op missions, and the odd skirmish against the AI.
StarCraft 2 could have been our first choice. The only reason it wasn’t was that no other game fit the budget better. StarCraft 2 is as budget-friendly as they come: the majority of the game, including online battles, co-op objectives, and the Terran narrative, is available for free.
Additionally, StarCraft 2 offers attractive visuals that endure the test of time and low system requirements. Our 2013 MBP effortlessly runs it at 33 frames per second.
A Good Match On: Gamers seeking just the greatest real-time strategy games for Mac. StarCraft created the genre, and StarCraft 2 continues to push the genre’s boundaries.
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4. Into the Breach
Into the Breach is a tactical strategy game developed by the team behind FTL: Faster than Light. Set in the distant future, you’ll take control of massive mechs and battle hordes of monstrous creatures to preserve the world.
While this may seem similar to Pacific Rim, the game has a twist: rescuing towns and humans takes precedence above destroying monsters. Therefore, be prepared to make some difficult decisions, since this game might seem similar to chess, and you’ll frequently be forced to cut your losses and accept minor setbacks.
Featuring classic aesthetics, Into the Breach is a cinch to play. And don’t worry if you have an older system that is unable of running it smoothly; the turn-based gameplay will be unaffected.
A Good Fit : MacBook users who appreciate slower-paced turn-based strategy games that demand concentration, patience, and a great deal of thought.
System requirements: macOS 10.7, 1.7 GHz Intel Processor, 1 GB RAM, OpenGL 2.1 support, 400 MB hard drive space.
5. Total War: Warhammer 2
A lot of people didn’t like Total War: Warhammer 2 when it came out at first, but when the game did, it changed the way strategy games worked on Mac OS.
This time, the game is set in the fantasy world of Warhammer. It has all the monsters and flying creatures you’d expect to see. Despite what you thought, this turned out to be more of a change than you thought. Not only do the units look different, but they behave differently and allow new tactics that weren’t possible before, too. There are both turn-based strategy and real-time battle modes in this game, though.
TW: Warhammer 2 is also a very impressive game to look at. It features huge real-time battles with hundreds of units on huge battlefields. Warhammer 2 was the best-looking Total War until the release of Total War: Three Kingdoms. It used Apple’s Metal 2 graphics API, which made it look great.
A perfect fit : Gamers who like fantasy strategy games, as well as those who like the high-level strategy that Total War games have always required.
System requirements: macOS 10.14, 2.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 MX, AMD R9 M290 or 1.5 Intel Iris Graphics 540 graphics.
6. Hearts of Iron 4
Hearts of Iron is a strategy game set in World War 2. It’s set in one of the bloodiest wars in history, and it’s all about how to make the best moves. It can take a few hours to even get used to this very complicated war simulation.
When you play Hearts of Iron, you’ll be in charge of running your country during times of war. You can customise your tanks, train your troops, and protect your borders. Take care of your economy and people back home so they can run munition factories and research new ways to fight. Having an unorganised country means that the army isn’t well-equipped, which can quickly lead to a defeat. While you’re taking care of things at home, you also have to look after your troops in different parts of the world. Good terrain and a good general can make the difference between breaking through enemy lines or fleeing in a hurry.
However, this game is a lot of work to run and can slow down play on Macs.
System requirements: macOS 10.11, Intel Core i5 2.6 GHz or better, 4 GB RAM, 2 GB HD space, ATI Radeon HD 6970M.
Based on Norse mythology, Northgard lets you play as a group of Vikings who are trying to conquer and settle on a new world.
This game reminds me a lot of the best times I had with Age of Empires when it was at its best. Gather resources, build buildings, train soldiers, fishermen, and scouts, and you’ll need to do all of this. So far, there aren’t any more similarities to old-school movies.
A new mechanic called “modern” is used in Northgard to make the game more modern and fun.
For example, you can’t make people. There are people who will move to the area if you keep your clan happy. Then, they can be taught how to be soldiers.
This game is the only strategy game in this list that came out in 2018 and it shows.
Also, Northgard has landscapes and weather effects that are just great. The fact that a MacBook from 2013 can run such a beautiful game makes it our favourite.
A good match for: Mac users who enjoy games like Age of Empires. There are also gamers who want to play the best strategy games that 2018 has to offer.
System requirements: 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, Nvidia 450 GTS / Radeon HD 5750 or better, 400 MB Hard Drive space.
8. XCOM 2
XCOM 2 is a turn-based strategy game that tells the same story as the original XCOM. It’s called XCOM 2. Humans lost the war against the aliens, and the people who stayed have to live under their rule. In the end, the only thing that can save the world is the small resistance army that you’ll lead.
XCOM 2 has very good turn-based combat missions where the use of cover and special abilities is very important. Every time one of your soldiers dies, they are gone for good, making every mission feel very important and tense at the same time Before and after each mission, you can manage your resources, research new technology, train your troops, and decide where to go next.
As is, Vanilla XCOM 2 is a great game. The War of the Chosen expansion makes it even better. In fact, the War of the Chosen is so big that Firaxis thought it would be called XCOM 3. As soon as you try it, you’ll understand why people call it the best XCOM game.
Feral Interactive did a great job with the port of the game. In spite of the fact that this game needs a modern computer to run, you would expect it to be even more demanding because it looks so good. If I had a 2016 MacBook Pro, it should not be able to run it, but it does!
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9. Company of Heroes 2
A new game called Company of Heroes (CoH) first came out in 2006, and it changed the world. The graphics, the environments that can be destroyed. First, I was shocked to see a Panzer tank drive through a wall and kill my men. CoH 2 has everything that the first game had!
CoH2 is all about getting resources, building an army, and defeating the enemy, just like the first game did. That’s not how this game is like StarCraft 2. This game isn’t about building the biggest army as quickly as you can, like that game. CoH2 is a game where every unit is important, and you’ll have to use the right mix of units, terrain, and cover to win. This may sound complicated and slow, but don’t worry. It will all work out. In CoH2, there is a lot of destruction and mayhem in this RTS game.
Feral Interactive did a great job with this port, but the game’s complex physics and beautiful graphics make it hard. In our tests, it looks like if you have a computer that has built-in graphics, you will not be able to play this game.
A perfect match: Fans of strategy games about World War II will like this game, too. There are other things that happen during that time, but CoH2 is the best. Also, people who want to play military strategy games.
System requirements: macOS 10.10.3, 1.8 GHz Intel Processor, 4 GB RAM, 512MB Nvidia 640M, 2GB AMD Radeon M290, Intel Iris Pro or better, 35 GB hard drive space.
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Blizzard is very good at making free-to-play games. In Hearthstone, you can see what it looks like to do it right.
Hearthstone is a digital card game based on the popular Warcraft world. You might think you don’t like card games, but this game is great no matter how many times you’ve played them before.
Hearthstone is a lot easier than you think it is. Pull three or four cards out of your deck of 30 cards each time you play. It doesn’t matter who goes first. There are different types of cards (weapons, spells, and minions), but the goal is the same: get your opponent’s health down to 0 points.
It’s a good place for free games. You don’t have to spend a penny to play Hearthstone for hours. Plus, the graphics are cute and simple, which are great for low-powered machines.
A perfect fit : People who like strategy card games will like this game, too. Other games are out there, but Hearthstone is the clear winner in this category.
System requirements: macOS 10.9, 2.4 GHz Intel Core Dual Processor, 2 GB RAM, Intel HD 4000 with 512 MB of dedicated memory, 15 GB hard drive space.
Ever wanted to conquer the world? Stellaris may be your only way out, but it could be a long way down.
The same developer as Europa Universalis IV is Stellaris, a grand strategy 4X game. Instead, it wants to take the formula from that game and put it in space. As soon as it came out, it was clear that this could be the next big grand strategy game. But it wasn’t quite there yet.
Stellaris 2.0 came out for free in 2018. Stellaris 2.0 was a huge hit. It made almost every one of the game’s main features better and better.
A great space strategy game and the Paradox grand strategy game you need to play.
A perfect fit: Fans of space exploration and sci-fi settings will enjoy Stellaris because it has every “specie” and piece of technology you can think of.
System requirements: macOS 10.11, Intel Core i5 Processor, 8 GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M or equivalent AMD card with 1 GB VRAM, 10 GB hard drive space.
12. Total War: Three Kingdoms
Set in 190 AD, Three Kingdoms looks at a beautiful but broken China. You are one of 11 legendary warlords who will fight to unite the country under your rule and build the next great dynasty. The time has come.
As you might expect from a Total War game, Three Kingdoms has both a gripping turn-based campaign of empire-building and stunning real-time fights.
Some people say that Three Kingdoms is the best Total War game ever been made. That’s because it has the right mix of realism and romance.
Total War fans should expect a realistic strategy game that requires smart moves to win, and Three Kingdoms isn’t bad at all. But on top of that, Three Kingdoms also has heroes who are bigger than life and can fight a lot of “normal” soldiers.
A perfect Fit: Total War fans who want the most up-to-date and best game in the series will like this game.
There’s never been a better time to play a strategy game on your Mac than right now. With top games from big-name developers and small-time developers, there’s a game in this genre for everyone.
There are macOS strategy games for every gamer and Mac. They range from fast real-time games to card games that can be played repeatedly.