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Strategy and Tactics Games: Understanding the Key Differences

Strategy and tactics games are two popular genres of video games that require different skills and approaches from players. Both terms are often used interchangeably, but fundamentally they refer to different aspects of gameplay. In this article, we will explore the key differences between strategy and tactics games.

1. Scope

In strategy games, the player typically takes on the role of a leader, such as a ruler, general, or president, and may call for overseeing entire nations or civilizations, building and managing numerous infrastructures, conducting various researches and developments, and waging multiple wars. Strategy games customarily place more attention on long-term planning and resource management, demanding players to think ahead and consider the overall picture of their empire, army, or civilization.

In contrast, tactics games have a narrower scope and usually stress on short-term decision-making and individual battles or skirmishes. The emphasis is on achieving imminent objectives and using tactical maneuvers to outmaneuver and defeat opponents. Players may control a smaller group of units, specifically a squad of soldiers or a team of characters, and are tasked with directing their actions in battle.

2. Scale

Strategy games generally feature a larger scale than tactics games, and they also need players to manage larger and more complex systems. Contrarily, tactics games usually have a smaller scale, placing a greater weight on the development of individual units and commanding them in battles.

3. Pace

The pace of gameplay can vary widely depending on the specific game and its mechanics. Generally speaking, strategy games have a slower pace of gameplay because they oblige players to consider the lasting consequences of their decisions. Tactics games, on the other hand, are typically more fast-paced, as they demand that players think on their feet and make instantaneous decisions in response to rapidly changing circumstances.

4. Micromanagement vs Macromanagement

In strategy/tactics games, micromanagement is a more attentive skill that involves performing small, precise adjustments to detailed gameplay elements. Contrastingly, macromanagement consists of making high-level decisions that could affect the overall course of the game.

Closing remarks

Understanding the key differences between strategy and tactics games can help players choose games that align with their preferences and play styles. Games that focus more on strategic gameplays will centre on long-term planning and complex deliberations, while games that place more weight on tactical elements will offer gameplays that require immediate, on-the-ground decision-making.


1. What are some examples of strategy games?
– Civilization, Crusader Kings III, and Stellaris are all examples of strategy games.

2. What are some examples of tactics games?
– Fire Emblem and the Total War series are examples of tactics games.

3. Can a game incorporate elements of both strategy and tactics?
– Yes, most games may incorporate elements of both genres.

4. What skills are needed for strategy games?
– Players must have strong macromanagement skills to effectively manage the economy, infrastructure, and military forces of their empire.

5. What skills are needed for tactics games?
– Players should develop strong micromanagement skills to position their units, use cover effectively, and make the most of their abilities in order to achieve victory.

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