Wed. May 22nd, 2024

The question of whether strategy is a game genre is a topic that has been debated by gamers and game designers alike. On one hand, some argue that strategy games are a distinct genre with their own unique gameplay mechanics and features. On the other hand, others argue that strategy is simply a gameplay element that can be incorporated into any genre. In this article, we will explore the definition of the strategy genre and examine the gameplay experience that it offers. We will also consider the various sub-genres of strategy games and how they differ from one another. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, this article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the strategy genre and what it has to offer.

What is the Strategy Genre?

Characteristics of Strategy Games

Resource Management

Resource management is a crucial aspect of strategy games, as players must collect and allocate resources to various tasks and objectives. This can include managing finances, collecting raw materials, or recruiting and training troops. Resource management often requires players to make difficult decisions, such as deciding whether to invest in defensive structures or offensive capabilities.


Strategy games require players to make strategic decisions at every turn, often with limited information and under time pressure. These decisions can range from tactical choices, such as which units to deploy or which building to construct, to higher-level strategic choices, such as which faction to ally with or which territory to prioritize. Successful decision-making often requires players to balance short-term gains with long-term goals.

Planning and Foresight

Strategy games often require players to plan ahead and anticipate potential challenges and opportunities. This can involve constructing buildings or training units in anticipation of future needs, or carefully scouting the map to identify enemy positions and weaknesses. Successful planning and foresight can give players a significant advantage over their opponents.


Strategy games often require players to adapt to changing circumstances and respond to unexpected events. This can include adjusting to new enemy strategies, reacting to unexpected setbacks or victories, or adapting to changing economic or resource conditions. Adaptability is a key skill in strategy games, as it allows players to stay flexible and respond effectively to changing situations.

Examples of Strategy Games

When it comes to defining the strategy genre, it’s important to consider the various games that fall under this category. Some of the most well-known and beloved strategy games include:

  • Risk: This classic board game involves players taking turns rolling dice to move their armies around the board, with the ultimate goal of capturing territories and defeating opponents.
  • Civilization: This popular video game series allows players to build and manage their own civilizations, from the earliest stages of development to the modern era. Players must make strategic decisions about resource management, technology advancement, and military expansion in order to outmaneuver their opponents and achieve victory.
  • XCOM: This tactical game puts players in charge of a military organization tasked with defending the world from an alien invasion. Players must manage resources, train soldiers, and engage in turn-based combat in order to defeat the extraterrestrial threat.
  • Chess: This ancient strategy game involves two players moving their pieces across a board in order to checkmate the opponent’s king. Players must think several moves ahead and strategically plan their attacks in order to emerge victorious.

Is Strategy a Game Genre?

Key takeaway: Strategy games require players to make strategic decisions, manage resources, plan ahead, and adapt to changing circumstances. These games have a distinct history and evolution, and their unique characteristics set them apart from other genres. Examples of strategy games include Risk, Civilization, XCOM, and Chess. The classification of strategy as a separate genre is a topic of debate, but proponents argue that strategy games have distinct characteristics that distinguish them from other genres. Strategy elements can be found in other genres, such as action, role-playing, and simulation games.

Defining Strategy as a Genre

When considering whether strategy is a game genre, it is important to understand that a genre is a classification system that categorizes games based on their gameplay mechanics, themes, and goals. A genre serves as a framework for organizing and defining games in a way that helps players and developers identify and understand the specific characteristics and conventions of a particular type of game.

One of the key elements of defining a genre is identifying the distinct gameplay mechanics that are associated with that genre. In the case of strategy games, these mechanics often include elements such as resource management, base building, unit production, and tactical decision-making. These mechanics are what set strategy games apart from other genres and create the unique gameplay experience that strategy fans enjoy.

Another important factor in defining a genre is identifying common themes and goals that are shared by games within that genre. For example, many strategy games are set in historical or fantasy worlds and involve building and managing a civilization or empire. The goal of these games is often to achieve victory through military conquest, economic dominance, or technological advancement. By understanding these common themes and goals, players and developers can better understand the objectives and motivations of strategy games and create experiences that are consistent with the expectations of the genre.

Finally, a shared audience and community is another key element in defining a genre. Strategy games tend to attract a specific type of player who enjoys the challenges and complexities of the genre. These players often form a community around their shared interests and passions, and they may participate in online forums, social media groups, and other communities where they can discuss and share their experiences with strategy games. By understanding the needs and preferences of this community, developers can create games that meet the expectations of the genre and provide a rewarding experience for strategy fans.

Debates Surrounding the Classification of Strategy

The classification of strategy as a game genre has been a topic of much debate in the gaming industry. While some argue that strategy games have distinct characteristics that make them a separate genre, others contend that they are simply a subgenre of other game types.

Arguing against the classification of strategy as a genre

One argument against classifying strategy as a separate genre is that it encompasses a wide range of gameplay styles, from real-time strategy games to turn-based tactics games. Some argue that this broad range of gameplay styles makes it difficult to define strategy as a distinct genre.

Counterarguments for the classification of strategy as a genre

Counterarguments to this argument suggest that strategy games share common characteristics that distinguish them from other genres. For example, strategy games often require players to make decisions based on limited resources and to anticipate the actions of opponents. These characteristics are not present in other genres, making strategy games distinct.

Additionally, proponents of classifying strategy as a genre argue that it has a unique history and evolution as a game type. Strategy games have been developed since the early days of computer gaming, and they have evolved into a distinct subculture with their own conventions and community.

In conclusion, while there are arguments both for and against classifying strategy as a separate genre, it is clear that strategy games have unique characteristics and a distinct history that set them apart from other game types.

Other Game Genres and Strategy

Strategy Elements in Other Genres

While the strategy genre is often associated with games that focus on planning and decision-making, it is important to note that strategy elements can be found in other genres as well. Here are some examples of how strategy elements are incorporated into action games, role-playing games, and simulation games.

Action Games

In action games, strategy elements are often used to add depth and complexity to the gameplay experience. For example, games like “Metal Gear Solid” and “Half-Life” require players to use stealth and tactical thinking to overcome enemy forces. Players must carefully plan their movements and use their environment to their advantage in order to achieve their objectives.

Role-Playing Games

Role-playing games (RPGs) often incorporate strategy elements into their gameplay as well. In RPGs, players must manage their resources, including money, equipment, and items, in order to progress through the game. They must also make strategic decisions about which skills and abilities to prioritize, as well as how to allocate their points. For example, in the game “Final Fantasy,” players must manage their party members’ stats and equipment in order to ensure their survival and success in battle.

Simulation Games

Simulation games are designed to simulate real-world situations, and they often incorporate strategy elements into their gameplay as well. For example, games like “SimCity” and “Civilization” require players to manage resources, build infrastructure, and make strategic decisions about how to grow and develop their cities or civilizations. These games often require players to think carefully about long-term planning and decision-making in order to achieve their goals.

Overall, while the strategy genre is distinct from other genres, strategy elements can be found in a wide variety of games. Whether it’s stealth and tactical thinking in action games, resource management in RPGs, or city-building in simulation games, strategy elements add depth and complexity to the gameplay experience, challenging players to think critically and make strategic decisions.

Strategy Games that Blur Genre Lines

  • Hybrid games
    • Games that combine elements of different genres, such as action and strategy, to create a unique gameplay experience.
    • Examples: “Total War: Warhammer” series, “Civilization VI”
  • Genre-bending games
    • Games that challenge traditional genre classifications by incorporating strategic elements into a seemingly non-strategic genre.
    • Examples: “Dark Souls” series, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”
  • Examples of games that defy traditional genre classifications
    • Games that incorporate multiple genres and gameplay mechanics, making it difficult to classify them into a single genre.
    • Examples: “Nier: Automata”, “Undertale”

These types of strategy games demonstrate the evolving nature of the strategy genre and the increasing complexity of game design. They challenge players to think strategically in new and innovative ways, while also offering a fresh and exciting gaming experience. By blurring genre lines, these games demonstrate the potential for strategic gameplay in any type of game, and showcase the versatility and adaptability of the strategy genre.

The Significance of Strategy in Gaming

The Enduring Popularity of Strategy Games

Strategy games have been popular for decades, with classic titles such as Dune II and Civilization paving the way for the modern strategy game. Despite advances in technology and changes in gaming trends, strategy games continue to captivate players of all ages and backgrounds. This longevity can be attributed to the inherent challenge and depth of strategy gameplay, which offers a unique experience not found in other genres.

The Impact of Strategy Games on Gaming Culture and Industry

Strategy games have also had a significant impact on gaming culture and the industry as a whole. These games often involve complex mechanics and deep strategic decision-making, leading to a strong sense of accomplishment and mastery for players who invest time in learning and improving their skills. This, in turn, has fostered a community of dedicated players who share tips, strategies, and even create their own content, such as guides and mods, to enhance the gameplay experience for others.

The influence of strategy games can also be seen in the broader gaming industry. Many successful game developers and designers have cited strategy games as an inspiration for their work, and the genre has influenced the development of other game types, such as real-time strategy (RTS) and turn-based strategy (TBS) games. Furthermore, the competitive nature of strategy games has led to the growth of esports, with tournaments and events dedicated to strategy games attracting millions of viewers and players worldwide.

The Future of Strategy Games and Their Evolution

As technology continues to advance and gaming trends evolve, strategy games are poised to remain a prominent force in the industry. The genre is likely to see further innovation and growth, with new mechanics, features, and platforms driving its development. This could include the incorporation of emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, as well as the integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence to create more sophisticated and dynamic gameplay experiences. Additionally, the rise of mobile gaming and the growing popularity of digital distribution platforms will likely result in a wider variety of strategy games being made available to players across multiple platforms.


1. What is the strategy genre?

The strategy genre is a type of video game that focuses on decision-making and planning. Players are required to make strategic decisions to achieve their objectives, whether it be conquering territories, defeating enemies, or managing resources. The strategy genre encompasses a wide range of sub-genres, including real-time strategy, turn-based strategy, and grand strategy.

2. Is strategy a game genre?

Yes, strategy is a game genre. It is a category of video games that prioritize planning, decision-making, and resource management. The strategy genre is characterized by the need for players to think critically and make strategic decisions in order to achieve their objectives.

3. What are some examples of strategy games?

There are many different types of strategy games, including popular titles such as Age of Empires, Civilization, Starcraft, and XCOM. Some other examples of strategy games include Risk, Chess, and Monopoly. These games all require players to make strategic decisions and employ different tactics in order to achieve their goals.

4. What makes a game a strategy game?

A game can be considered a strategy game if it requires players to make strategic decisions and employ tactics in order to achieve their objectives. This can include managing resources, making decisions based on limited information, and adapting to changing circumstances. Strategy games often involve a high degree of complexity and require players to think critically and creatively.

5. Can any game be a strategy game?

Any game can potentially be a strategy game, depending on the level of strategic decision-making required. For example, a game like Super Mario Bros. requires players to plan their movements and use power-ups strategically in order to complete levels. However, not all games are necessarily designed to be strategy games, and some may focus more on action or other gameplay mechanics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *