Best free Android games 2022

The best Strategy & Card games

Sometimes you need to flex those brain wrinkles and really sink your teeth into a deep, complex strategy game. From tower defense to player-versus-player, resource and economy, real-time, turn-based and so much more, strategy games are immensely multifaceted and they'll put your planning and management skills to the test.

Card games can also often be strategic, but they are just as likely to have chance added to the mix. Card games have come a long way from your basic solitaire and poker apps, with some of the best games to come out in the past few years hailing from card-based design. Here are just a few of the best free strategy and card games.

Clash Royale

Grown tired of Clash of Clans gameplay but still love the characters and world that the folks at Supercell have created? Clash Royale is for you! You get to unlock and upgrade classic troops, build your battle deck, and take on real-life opponents in real-time battles.

Join or create a clan and share cards and strategies with friends from around the world. You'll need to employ quick thinking and genuine strategy to win, so you'll be compelled to keep tweaking your decks by working in new cards. This game's been around for a few years now, so there's a ton of grinding and chest unlocks ahead for newer players to rank up and unlock all the best troop cards and whatnot.

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Clash Royale

A new game from the Clash of Clans universe, Clash Royale asks you to build your deck of battle cards and take on other players in 1v1 combat.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Gwent

If we're talking about my personal favorites, Gwent is there at the top. This card game spawned from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, one of the best games of the last decade. Fans of The Witcher universe are probably already aware of Gwent, but if you haven't tried it out yet and you love Sapkowski's world, then Gwent is a must.

Unlike Hearthstone, you win a game of Gwent by winning two out of three rounds. You do this by having the most points when the dust settles, and you earn points by playing cards. Each card has a point value, but it can be nullified or destroyed by the opposing player. Gwent can get pretty intense at higher skill levels.

This is the full Gwent experience with cross-play. If you liked the mini-game in The Witcher 3, then you'll like the expanded version. It has many more cards to collect (with stellar art, I might add). Just keep in mind that Gwent is a massive install, so make sure you have plenty of storage and bandwidth before downloading it.

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Gwent

Gwent is a fun, free-to-play card game set in The Witcher universe. Score the best two out of three to win.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Legends of Runeterra

Legends of Runeterra is League of Legends' attempt at creating a Hearthstone equivalent. It's much of the same as its Warcraft counterpart, but Legends of Runeterra has a few tricks up its sleeve.

In Legends of Runeterra, you're fighting to deplete your opponent's health pool before they smash yours by playing cards that have different attributes, like attack or defense. However, each round sees an attack and defense section. If you're attacking, your opponent has a chance to defend themselves from your onslaught. Whoever comes out victorious in that instance depends on the plays made up to that point.

It feels quite similar to Hearthstone, but if League of Legends is more your jam than Warcraft, then give Legends of Runeterra a try.

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Legends of Runeterra

Legends of Runeterra is the League of Legends counterpart to Warcraft's Hearthstone. It's just as over-the-top and sports a similar formula.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Nova Island

Nova Island is a newer deck-builder with a lot of potential to become a truly great game. With vibrant colors, a bright aesthetic, and user-friendly gameplay, Nova Island is likely going to be most appealing to genre newcomers. The game plays out in 1v1 matches that can either be versus AI or online PvP. 

Each player uses a deck they've built themselves powered by one of five trainers, who each have a set of three special moves that are meant to synergize well with specific card types. New cards are discovered by battling against someone who plays them and you can then purchase them using the in-game currency called Novas. 

Nova Island is 100% free with no ads and optional in-app purchases for cosmetics to dress up your favorite cards. Cards can only be purchased with the in-game currency known as Novas, which you earn by playing, so you'll have to save up Novas through your matches to be able to buy new cards and trainers. 

The game currently has a pretty heavy element of randomness, which can occasionally make for very frustrating games, but overall it's a fun experience that you can spend 5-10 minutes or hours at a time in.

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Nova Island

A unique, sleek deck-building mobile game that is completely free and has no ads or iAPs? Dreams really do come true.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Vainglory

Vainglory is one of the best multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games for mobile that offers cross-platform support. The game looks stunning and offers 120FPS for devices that support it. There are game modes for both casual and competitive play, with Blitz 3-vs-3 games available for fast five-minute matches and a robust 5-vs-5 mode that typically lasts up to 25 minutes.

Featuring an ever-growing roster of heroes to choose from and exciting action that you can play on the go, Vainglory is a solid game that's free to play and supported by in-app purchases. In my experience, Vainglory's biggest problems are its server stability, its slow, unrewarding progression system, and terrible matchmaking. It's a crapshoot if you're going to land on a solid team or get stomped before you can even blink.

Still, Vainglory is the best MOBA on Android, and it's a blast to play when things work right. I've never stepped into the competitive environment since MOBAs have never been my forte, but the casual mode is just fine for me.

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Vainglory

Vainglory is the MOBA experience on Android, offering good gameplay for casuals and sweaty players alike.

Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)

Rachel Mogan
Mobile Games Writer

A lifelong gamer, Mogan has had a controller in hand since the PlayStation 1 ruled the world and Neopets seemed eternal. She loves to play new and old games alike, especially if it's something weird and charming. Puzzlers, JRPGs, adventure, and rhythm games are her favorites. 

With contributions from