Starcraft sits at the top of the RTS tree for a number of very good reasons. It also isn't on mobile, again, for a number of very good reasons. But that doesn't mean you can't find a way to indulge your sci-fi, competitive, massive, or engaging RTS desires if you know where to look.
Luckily, we do know where to look. Essentially it's our job, so we've trawled the App Store to find the best experiences that we think are going to at least sate your Starcraft cravings before you get back home to your PC where you can play properly.
We've chosen what we think are the finest games, but it's entirely possible that you disagree with us. If that's the case, then feel free to chuck your own suggestions in the comments section and get some discussion going. And if you're interested in content presented in list form, make sure you click this link and check out all the rest of the lists we've written.
Iron Marines - download for iPhone
This is probably the closest you're going to get to Starcraft on your phone. It might not have the multiplayer experience that some SC players crave, but it's got an awful lot going for it all the same.
For one thing it's a brilliantly designed game of tactical violence that challenges you at pretty much every turn. This definitely isn't a midcore game, but it's still presented in an accessible way. Plus it throws in some interesting mobile ideas and keeps things fresh at every turn.
Rome: Total War - download for iPhone
A classic RTS that's made its way to mobile pretty much unchanged. There are a few fiddly bits here and there, especially if you're playing on a phone, but the dev has done a wonderful job of getting one of the deepest games out there onto the App Store without too many alterations.
It might not have the space setting of Starcraft, but it gets everything else pretty much spot on. The battles here are massive, as you might imagine from the name, and there's always something new to do or someone new to fight.
Rymdkapsel - download for iPhone
This one's a bit of a leftfield choice, but it does some really interesting things with the shape of the RTS, while still maintaining that level of challenge that fans of the genre are going to love. It's a little more puzzley, a little more abstract, but still an awful lot of fun.
There's a sci-fi setting, so that ticks at least one of the boxes, and while the game might not have the scope of Starcraft, it's probably the game on this list that's best suited to gaming on the go. Well worth checking out.
Mushroom Wars 2 - download for iPhone
Another mobile-focused RTS, this one doesn't have the shiny polish of Iron Marines, nor the esoteric tinkering of Rymdkapsel, but it's still deserving of its place on this list. In fact, it's the sort of game that any none-RTS fan is going to have a great time with.
Think of Mushroom Wars 2 like a gateway drug. Get to grips with this, and you're not too far away from being able to tackle some of the more complex games out there. Plus the simplicity on show here means you're never too fussed if your grand schemes come to nothing.
Anomaly 2 - download for iPhone
A real-time tower offense game that pulls no punches when it comes to its apocalyptic sci-fi swagger. You're controlling a convoy of death machines that are driving around a ruined map. You choose the direction they head in, and you pick how they attack.
The levels might get a little samey sometimes, but the way the game's built around its different units means even if you're not that inspired by the design, you're still going to have to be thinking carefully about making sure the right weapons are going to make it to the right place at the right time.