Strategy video games are a genre of video game that emphasize skillful thinking and planning to achieve victory. Specifically, a player must plan a series of actions against one or more opponents, and the reduction of enemy forces is usually a goal. Victory is achieved through superior planning, and the element of chance takes a smaller role. In most strategy video games, the player is given a godlike view of the game world, and indirectly controls game units under their command. Thus, most strategy games involve elements of warfare to varying degrees, and feature a combination of tactical and strategic considerations. In addition to combat, these games often challenge the player's ability to explore, or manage an economy.
Relationship to other genres
Even though there are many action games that involve strategic thinking, they are seldom classified as strategy games. A strategy game is typically larger in scope, and their main emphasis is on the player's ability to outthink their opponent. Strategy games rarely involve a physical challenge, and tend to annoy strategically minded players when they do. Compared to other genres such as action or adventure games where one player takes on many enemies, strategy games usually involve some level of symmetry between sides. Each side generally has access to similar resources and actions, with the strengths and weaknesses of each side being generally balanced.
Although strategy games involve strategic, tactical, and sometimes logistical challenges, they are distinct from puzzle games. A strategy game calls for planning around a conflict between players, whereas puzzle games call for planning in isolation. Strategy games are also distinct from construction and management simulations, which include economic challenges without any fighting. These games may incorporate some amount of conflict, but are different from strategy games because they do not emphasize the need for direct action upon an opponent.
Although strategy games are similar to role-playing video games in that the player must manage units with a variety of numeric attributes, RPGs tend to be about a smaller number of unique characters, while strategy games focus on larger numbers of fairly similar units.