Suggestions for RTS games with easy learning curve

Staples

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2001
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I have played a few strategy games over the years (warcraft 2, 3, CoH) but I have always hated how long of an investment of time it takes to not only feel comfortable in these games but actually be decent at. I have always liked RPG and tower defense games because there is a strategy to them but the learning curve is quite easy and it can be learned in half an hour.

In the end I liked the RTS games I have put time into in the past but it seems the learning curve on modern RTS games is higher to a lot higher than it used to be in games from 5-15 years ago. Am I wrong about this?

I am looking for suggestions on RTS games that are comparatively easier to get into than say Starcraft 2 (at least I have heard the learning curve is pretty high).
 

xSkyDrAx

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2003
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are you talking about single player or multi. most rpgs in single player are pretty forgiving. If you intend to do multi though you're probably going to get your ass handed to you if you don't invest much time into figuring out the right tactics and what not.
 

xXx orange

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Jun 30, 2013
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Rome 2: Total War is coming out soon. Right now there is a TW sale on Steam (it might have ended today). The series is awesome. Pretty easy to learn but tons of stuff in there.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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Rome 2: Total War is coming out soon. Right now there is a TW sale on Steam (it might have ended today). The series is awesome. Pretty easy to learn but tons of stuff in there.
They are great games, but I never thought they were particularly easy. Not sure what I would recommend for easy to learn rts games though. Maybe some of the command and conquer series, Battle for Middle Earth, Age of Empires???
 

Staples

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Oct 28, 2001
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are you talking about single player or multi.
I never play multi in RTS games. I used to play Warcraft 2 mp (yes, long ago) and I was terrible. Actually, think I played CoH a game or two and got my ass handed to me. I stick with SP.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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Most RTS games seem in the same ballpark of how hard to play; you can enjoy them, but multiplayer offers a lot hard playing, especially say Starcraft.

I think I've run across some more 'casual' RTS games easier to play, but they are smaller, I don't know any names. Try googling 'casual RTS'?
 

xXx orange

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Jun 30, 2013
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Command and conquer is up for 1 dollar on humble bundle as well as lots of other games. I got the humble bundle but haven't had time to play it. Age of Empires and better yet age of mythology are pretty easy to learn. Staples I recommend the Total War games. After a few hours they are very easy. Awesome games and all of them hold up to the test of time (except the first two because they were 2d....) Rome one often goes on sale for one dollar. All of the games are amazing. With Rome 2 coming out which seems to take all the other games and make perfection I think it is a good time to get into TW games.
 

xXx orange

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Oh BTW Total War games are much better in single player campaign or Coop campaign. Not many people bother with the multiplayer. I have spent around 600 hours in total over all the games in single player but like 6 hours in multiplayer.
 

Staples

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Oct 28, 2001
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Casual RTS. I will look for them. Good idea.

Steam has Rome Total War Collection for $13. I think I will bite since it has been recommended more than once.
 

xXx orange

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Jun 30, 2013
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I wouldn't buy it. The sale has ended. They go on sale all the time. I wouldn't get Rome unless you could get it cheaper as that game is 9 years old (although still a great game it might turn you off TW games forever as it has dated graphics, runs badly and it just feels old).
 

turn_pike

Senior member
Mar 4, 2012
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In the end I liked the RTS games I have put time into in the past but it seems the learning curve on modern RTS games is higher to a lot higher than it used to be in games from 5-15 years ago. Am I wrong about this?
If that were true then RTS would be an anomaly.
After all gamers have been complaining very loudly about how easy games are these days.

Personally I disagree. If you cant handle the normal difficulty then just drop down to easy. If you've played the likes of Warcraft 2 then I think SC2 campaign should be fairly easy to you (havent played HOTS though).

On the other hand the level of competitiveness in multiplayer games have increased by leaps and bounds. Expect to get crushed if you dont know build orders or the map or how to counter specific units. In SC2 that means watching progamers, watching something like Day9 daily (a popular SC2 learning/casting channel), read articles and go on a wiki walk in Liqupedia.
 

xSkyDrAx

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Sep 14, 2003
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TBH the total war series has a fairly moderate to difficult learning curve as there is a lot of information presented to you at once as you go between planning your cities, building, diplomacy, etc and then you have the waring aspect which there are formations and match ups and what not. I find they're more like civilization lite with more in depth combat.

Definitely not a 'casual' RTS. I would recommend the Command and Conquerer series as they are fairly straight forward. If you don't mind slightly older games, the first dawn of war series is pretty good excellent and can be found for cheap.

DOW II is also very good but it's based off the COH system so you may not like it though it is more simplistic than a traditional RTS as there's no base building and it's pretty easy if you turn it to easy/normal mode.
 

xXx orange

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Yeah I also recommend Dawn of War. You should pick up Dawn of War complete pack on Steam (the one that comes with the original game with its expansions). DOW 2 is good but I found multiplayer sucked.
 

clok1966

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Jul 6, 2004
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While im sure most of us RTS players feel the learning curve is small in most. I dont know if any of them are really "easy" in any way. The "play on easy" is the best advice. I'm not sur te TOTAL war stuff is a good idea, while its one of the BEST tactical rts games outy there, it adds the overland maps, and a CIV/RISK like board-game to the mix. Again, EXCELLENT games and easy to recommend for anybody who loves strategy RTS.. but easy learning curve, I'm not so sure. Most the standard RTS are pretty much the same, the only learning curve is how to react to specific units.. and how to use yours.. If Ihad to pick.

Red Alert II is my all time favorite.
StarCraft with exp is great and one of the best balanced (if you could just skip the easy, but massively boring and slow fixed unit missions)
Warcraft II (not a huge fan of III)
AOE II and Age of Mythology are awsome.
Warhammer DOW is great as mentioned.. and has a boatload of units/races...but it just boils down to whoever can grab the most "points" and the AI is a bit daft once you hold key spots, you cant lose.

KOHAN and KOHAN II are 2 personal favorties that are normally not on anybodies radar, both on STEAM.. use the Hold specific locations (towns) and you don't build single units, you build groups of units .. might be my all time favorite RTS.. SO unit groups are adjustable.. all hav a BASE of 4 units.. lancers, archers, swordmens, etc.. with 2 support (say knights, or archers) and 2 specials.. Clerics, Wizards, Rangers, etc.. so if you did base- Knights (super strong armour- ok DPS) with 2 archers for support and 2 rangers.. you have a tank front and 4 archers raining down on enemies from a distance.. and the RANGERS shoot magic arrows (entangle, etc) and also make any units with them move through forest at normal speed..

if you play it.. (either kohan) kohan one is standard 2d (and damn hard end game) Kohan II is 3D and much easier..
 
Aug 11, 2008
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Another option would be the conquest games like March of Eagles. My grandson, who is a teenager, thinks that game is pretty easy. Some of the more hardcore games in the genre are pretty complex and difficult, but that is supposed to be an easy one. I bought it on Steam for him and went through the tutorial, but never actually started a game. I really wish I could master those type of games, as well as the Total War/Civ 5, but somehow I just seem to always end up in a stalemate where I dont get destroyed, but can never seem to reach victory conditions either.


SCII HoTS single player campaign was actually quite easy, probably one of the easiest RTS campaigns I have played recently. I wimped out and played in on "easy" though, because I had just gotten a new system and wanted to enjoy the graphics and story without getting frustrated.
 
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smackababy

Lifer
Oct 30, 2008
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I wouldn't say SC2 single player is hard to learn. They take you through stuff and it is very easy. HotS is supposed to be much easier than WoL even on the hardest difficulty from what I hear.

The Stronghold series always were fun, at least the 2d isometric ones. I never got into the 3d ones.
 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
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I wouldn't say SC2 single player is hard to learn. They take you through stuff and it is very easy. HotS is supposed to be much easier than WoL even on the hardest difficulty from what I hear.

The Stronghold series always were fun, at least the 2d isometric ones. I never got into the 3d ones.
I found HotS to be very easy, even on the hardest setting. Took me a large number of tries to beat WoL on the hardest setting. It felt like an accomplishment when I won haha
 

RoboChobo

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Jul 20, 2011
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Try Shogun 2 Total War on Multiplayer co-op campaign and play this on normal mode.

One picks Oda Clan and the other Tokugawa so your starting locations will be right next to eachother. Nothing beats conquering Japan with your buddy.

Then try Starcraft 2 single player campaigns on easy-medium. Enjoy the story and the graphics cause I sure did! Then try playing some online custom maps, lots of tower defense and even some MOBA games in there too!
 

Via

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Jan 14, 2009
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The original Age of Empires is RTS 101.

It takes you from the most basic setups to pretty complicated scenarios. I loved Rise of Rome as well.

And if you turtle the AI will come find you. It's a good balance of letting you find your way and not being too cutthroat.
 

thespyder

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Aug 31, 2006
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Not sure if it has been mentioned, but Sins of a Solar Empire is fun and a tactical RTS without being too demanding (provided you don't play multi-player). It is based on the simple 'Rock-paper-scissors' premise where each ship type is designed to be best against a specific other type. It can be fun and consume hours of time in the blink of an eye.

Also, if you just want the strategy, something like GalCiv2 is loads of fun and the turn based action is slow enough so that you can think out each move. The difficulty levels are such that the easy is quite easy. It can get quite challenging if you progress to the higher levels though.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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Not sure if it has been mentioned, but Sins of a Solar Empire is fun and a tactical RTS without being too demanding (provided you don't play multi-player). It is based on the simple 'Rock-paper-scissors' premise where each ship type is designed to be best against a specific other type. It can be fun and consume hours of time in the blink of an eye.

Also, if you just want the strategy, something like GalCiv2 is loads of fun and the turn based action is slow enough so that you can think out each move. The difficulty levels are such that the easy is quite easy. It can get quite challenging if you progress to the higher levels though.
Each has his own play level I guess, but I tried the demo of GalCiv2 and could not even get past one level. Maybe it is not that hard, perhaps I was missing something, but I thought it was brutally difficult.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
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You could also try Rise of Nations (expansion: Thrones and Patriots), Age of Mythology (expansion: The Titans), Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds (expansion: Clone Campaigns), Star Wars: Empire at War (expansion: Forces of Corruption), as well as Universe at War: Earth Assault. And finally I'd also recommend Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (there's three expansions, but just get Dark Crusade at this point, it's the best, in my opinion). There's also Dawn of War II but that one has a bit of a learning curve compared to the first, since DoW II focuses more on small squads and units coordination (in comparison to the original).

All of them are rather easy though, or at least "easy enough" in my opinion.
 

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