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My top list of must-have strategy games on Linux as of right now

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Are you a new Linux gamer wondering what strategy games we have? Or perhaps you’re just in the mood for something new! Here’s my current top list of Linux strategy games.

My taste is games constantly changes, but this is what I feel is really worth looking into for strategy fans right now.

To preempt the inevitable "you didn't include x game!", this is my personal list I feel people need to look into on Linux. Not that other games aren't good, but you have to cut down a list somewhere.

1: Company of Heroes 2
Honestly right now nothing compares to how engrossed I get when playing Company of Heroes 2 every week.

It has some interesting single-player missions, but the game truly shines when you’re playing online with friends. Trash talking about rolling tanks over their men and through their base, while sending soldiers flying with your mortar fire and watching tanks duke it out is rather intense.

I've done a few 3on3 battles online over the last year and it gets incredibly tense, there's so much destruction going on at times it's crazy.

Having a hidden sniper pick-off enemy soldiers from a distance is really fun, and really annoys the opposing team if you manage to succeed. Especially if you do it when they are preoccupied with another part of the battle.

Each side feels vastly different too, with a big variety in the types of units you can build and how you gain access to them is different with each team too.

2: XCOM 2
I’m actually scared to load XCOM 2, as I know the moment I do the rest of that day will essentially become a write-off.

As a fan of the original XCOM back in the days of the Amiga, XCOM 2 still feels similar in a way while being an evolution. It’s brutally hard and completely unforgiving at times, but due to the nature of it being turn-based the key really is taking your time on each time to minimise your losses. You’re faced with an overwhelming threat, but you have plenty of tricks up your sleeve to fight the alien menace controlling the world.

The single-player campaign is full of surprised, some lovely cut-scenes at specific parts and plenty of customization on offer.

It has a very active modding community too, which will help keep this game alive for many years to come. It currently has well over 2K mods!

3: Stellaris
While it does have an issue with needing more content, Stellaris has one thing completely down—it’s a space sci-fi nerd's wet dream.

You’re controlling a spacefaring race of your choosing, reaching out to the stars to make contact with weird and wonderful creatures. You will come across other civilizations, space-born life forms, dealing with pirates and more.

If you’re not usually a fan of Paradox’s grand strategy games, I would still urge you to think about checking out Stellaris. Their other games confuse me to no end, but Stellaris is a unique beast. It’s rather easy to understand and control and is far more tame in comparison to their previous strategy titles.

The ability to essentially craft your own story for your space faring empire is amazing and damn it’s just beautiful to look at the scenery.

4: OpenRA
OpenRA is the open source game engine that runs Red Alert, Command & Conquer, Dune 2000 in AI and online battles. They are working on supporting the single-player missions too. On top of that they are also working to support Tiberian Sun.

We did a GOL tournament in OpenRA and it was some of the best fun I've ever had gaming on Linux, this game engine is a true gem keeping some classics alive.

EA released some of the games for free years ago, so the open source engine will be able to download them for you. It also added support for installing from the discs too.

5: Planetary Annihilation: TITANS
You guys have no idea how happy I am that Planetary Annihilation is not only still alive, but the developers are still working on it. I played a game recently after the big new multi-threading patch and it performed like an absolute champ.

It's a proper traditional RTS with full base building, resources and plenty of destruction. It doesn't have the spit and polish of a title like Starcraft 2, but for me it's mostly good enough.

If you’re a fan of games like Total Annihilation or Supreme Commander and you still haven’t tried it yet, you might be quite surprised.

With the possibility of having thousands of units, multiple planets and the ability to throw a planet around with massive space engines—it’s certainly a sight to see.

The only thing missing is a campaign, which would have been awesome.

6: Retro-Pixel Castles
I absolutely adore this game. I get serious Settlers 2 vibes from it and the art is just beautiful. I follow the developer closely on Twitter and I’ve been watching the game’s evolution over time and it has made staggering progress.

It’s a mix between a town-building simulator, a strategy game and a god simulator. You’re not just focusing on building up a thriving town, but protecting your citizens from the dangers of Zombies, Skeletons, Slimes and so on. You will also be managing resources like stone, wood, food, crystals and others too.

You start off with only a basic town centre as you slowly build up your town and watch it grow. Your citizens will pair up and make babies and nomads will flock to your town if they survive the journey.

Seeing buildings get gradually built as resources are dropped to them is so sweet!

7: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution
While we do have Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II as well as Chaos Rising, Retribution is by far the best out of all three campaigns.

The mixture of six different races which each play through the campaign slightly differently, is one of the best features of the game.

Even if you're not a big Warhammer fan, it's still a thoroughly enjoyable game. I wasn't a Warhammer fan until these games came to Linux and they have swayed me.

I've put plenty of hours into it now and I've enjoyed every moment of it.

Just be aware there are issues with the online multiplayer desyncing at times and Feral are looking into the causes of it.

8: Particle Fleet: Emergence
From the developer of Creeper World, a new strategy game that combines elements of Creeper World with new spaceship battling gameplay.

You will be designing and commanding a small fleet of ships, takes with destroying large swarms of enemies. I was extremely surprised by this one when I played and and I fully plan to 100% complete it as it's so fun.

The game will gradually introduce you to more and more different mechanics through each mission and it's been a pleasing learning it as I go.

Strategy games to keep an eye on
Here are some strategy games that I feel like are worth keeping an eye on:
Earth Liberation - Developers confirmed they have Linux release plans
Cossacks 3 - Finishing touches being done, confirmed to be coming to GOG too
Civilization VI - Aspyr Media sounded positive about the port

I will of course keep you informed of those three above as and when I get new information.

Feel free to share your top games in the comments, I would be interested in seeing what your top strategy titles are as of right now! Article taken from
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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feketenap 25 Nov, 2016
What? No CIV V? I think it is the most addictive of them all.
Liam Dawe 25 Nov, 2016
Quoting: feketenapWhat? No CIV V? I think it is the most addictive of them all.
While I like it, it's not a personal favourite as of right now.
Zlopez 25 Nov, 2016
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I'm missing Total War: Warhammer
TobiSGD 25 Nov, 2016
Age of Wonders 3. Found this little gem on Steam not long ago, and it is incredible.
Asu 25 Nov, 2016
yeah, a list without Civ or Totalwar.... wat
Liam Dawe 25 Nov, 2016
Quoting: Asuyeah, a list without Civ or Totalwar.... wat
Everyone has different preferences, this is my personal list.
Cheeseness 25 Nov, 2016
Have you checked out Overland, Liam? Even in its early state, I am super impressed.

Invisible Inc, and Massive Chalice are still my two favourite strategy titles on Linux at the moment.
Liam Dawe 25 Nov, 2016
Quoting: CheesenessHave you checked out Overland, Liam? Even in its early state, I am super impressed.
Yeah! I actually purchased it when it had the limited access a while back, the progress is good, but I need to go back to it before I can recommend it :)
Tchey 25 Nov, 2016
My opinion on the list :

1: Company of Heroes 2 - I didn't play CoH2, but i loved CoH1 back in time, so, maybe.

2: XCOM 2 - Xenonauts + Mods, or even UFO:AI are much better in my opinion. Less shiny, more depth and attachment to characters.

3: Stellaris - Overrated, empty, boring. Star Ruler 2 is my favorite in this genre.

4: OpenRA - Cool, but with some old UI and mecanisms not so fun in 2016

5: Planetary Annihilation: TITANS - The planetoid maps is a bad good idea, making all hard to read, and the UI is much less functionnal than SupCom. Plus i don't support their behavior with Titans DLC.

6: Retro-Pixel Castles - Fully agree, i love it and its develloper is at hard work making it even greater.

7: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution - I didn't manage to get into yet. I tried it a few hours but without being really attracted.

8: Particle Fleet: Emergence - I play 2 or 3 hours before i get bored. I know i will play it more, a little, but something is not fine. More a puzzle game than a strategy one, maybe ?

+ Currently playing Total War Warhammer, first time i play a TW, it's fine, i need to learn more.
+ Didn't enjoy any CiV since CiV3.
+ You should keep an eye on Shallow Space, a real 3D Homeworld/Nexus like.
emphy 25 Nov, 2016
I'd like to suggest Openxcom as an honorable mention.
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