Real-Time Strategy Games
A Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game is a time-based game which typically focuses on finding resources, managing resources, and building an empire. You can engage other players and make alliances, and find different ways to conquer foes. This type of game puts you in control of a personal army. There are no turns to take, everything takes place continuously, with players issuing commands at any time.
RTS games have a large fan base since their inception. This game genre requires cunning, creativity, and the ability to devise innovative strategies to usurp your opponents. Some of the best known proprietary RTS series are Warcraft, Starcraft, Command & Conquer, and Age of Empires.
Before delving into our pick of fun open source RTS game, we’ll pay tribute to Spring. We’re not referring to the season, the mechanical device that stores energy, or a natural source of water, or even a geometric surface in the shape of a helically coiled tube. No, we mean the Spring RTS engine. It’s a fantastically versatile 3D engine for developing RTS games. It uses Lua for scripting game-specific code to make almost all aspects of the engine customizable, from GUI, to unit AI, to pathfinding. There’s many RTS games that owe their existence to Spring.
All of the games featured below are highly addictive, immersive, fascinating, and hugely satisfying. Attractive graphics are an important element to any RTS game. But these games also have great gameplay coupled with the urge of always having just one more play. And as the source code is freely available, anyone can pick up, modify, and expand upon the games.
Only open source games are eligible to be recommended here. And we give preference to games that run on multiple operating systems. We’ve excluded many excellent free-to-play RTS games. This is on purpose. We have nothing against proprietary free-to-play games, but they don’t always promote a community helping the project develop further.
|0 A.D.||Gather the resources to raise a military force and dominate your enemies|
|MegaGlest||Sports a very strong AI|
|Open Imperium Galactica||Java re-implementation of the Digital Reality game Imperium Galactica|
|OpenRA||Classic strategy games, rebuilt for the modern era|
|Spring: 1944||WW II themed game based on the open source Spring Engine|
|Warzone 2100||3D real-time strategy set on a future Earth|
|Glest||Set in a Medieval Fantasy World with Two Factions|
|netPanzer||Multiplayer tactical warfare game for fast action combat|
|Globulation 2||Innovative Take On Micro-Management|
|Zero-K||Massive robot armies fighting in an endless conflict|
|Annex: Conquer the World||Fast paced combat with a diverse arsena|
|Seven Kingdoms: AA||Brings a mix of RTS like Warcraft 2 and turn-based strategy of Civilization|
|Evolution RTS||Fast thinking and micro-management as well as macro-management gameplay|
The games are not listed by any sort of ranking. They are all worth downloading and free in every sense.
This feature is not an exhaustive list of recommended open source RTS games. We admire many other games that use the Spring engine such as Conflict Terra, Metal Factions, The Cursed, and On The Edge.