10 Games Like Anno 1800 for Strategy Fans

games like anno 1800

Anno 1800 is a gem of a game that has captured the hearts of countless strategy enthusiasts with its immersive world-building, intricate economic systems, and historical charm. So, what’s a dedicated city-builder to do when looking for a fresh challenge? 

I’ve compiled a list of 10 games like Anno 1800 that’ll scratch that itch like nothing else!

Let’s take a moment to appreciate what makes Anno 1800 such a masterpiece. Set against the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution, this game is all about balancing the needs of your growing city with the ever-evolving demands of trade and diplomacy. It’s a beautiful dance between progress and sustainability, and we absolutely love it.

In our quest to find the most engaging and rewarding games like Anno 1800, I’ve carefully crafted a set of criteria that will ensure our selections are not only top-notch but also capture the spirit of what makes Anno 1800 so exceptional. 

Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • City-building and management mechanics: One of the core aspects of Anno 1800 is constructing and managing a thriving city. Our chosen games should have a strong focus on developing cities or settlements, optimizing layouts, and creating an infrastructure that’ll stand the test of time.
  • Economic and trade simulation: Anno 1800 wouldn’t be the same without its intricate economic systems and trade networks. Our contenders should challenge players to create, maintain, and expand trade relations, manage resources efficiently, and navigate the complexities of supply and demand.
  • Historical or alternate settings: Anno 1800’s charm partly comes from its vivid historical backdrop. We’re on the hunt for games that transport players to other time periods, alternate histories, or even entirely new worlds, all while offering rich, immersive settings that beg to be explored.
  • Strategic depth and replayability: Lastly, the games on our list should challenge players with deep strategic elements and decision-making. A high replay value is essential, as it keeps us coming back for more, eager to experiment with different approaches and conquer new challenges.

With these criteria in mind, I’m confident we’ll find some real gems that’ll make any Anno 1800 fan feel right at home. 

Tropico Series

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This classic city-building series transports you to the sun-soaked Caribbean islands, where you’ll don the mantle of “El Presidente” and rule over your very own tropical paradise. With a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and a political twist, Tropico offers a unique spin on the genre.

What sets Tropico apart is its focus on governance and diplomacy. You’ll need to appease various factions, both local and international, while dealing with issues like corruption, crime, and even the occasional coup. The game’s distinct soundtrack and vibrant visuals add to its charm, immersing you in a world of sun, sand, and strategic decisions.

When it comes to similarities with Anno 1800, Tropico shares the city-building and management mechanics, along with a complex economic system. The trading aspect may not be as intricate, but you’ll still need to strike a balance between imports, exports, and domestic production to keep your economy thriving.


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Banished offers a more intimate take on the city-building genre. In this game, you’ll guide a group of exiles as they attempt to create a new home in a harsh, unforgiving wilderness. Survival is the name of the game here, with resource management and careful planning being the keys to success.

The game’s unique features include a dynamic ecosystem, changing seasons, and a procedurally generated map that ensures no two playthroughs are the same. The lack of technology and military aspects might be a departure from Anno 1800, but Banished compensates with its focus on community, sustainability, and the challenge of overcoming adversity.

Like Anno 1800, Banished emphasizes city-building and economic management, requiring players to make strategic decisions about resource allocation, workforce distribution, and infrastructure development. Its distinct setting and survival-focused gameplay make it a compelling alternative for fans of Anno 1800.

Cities: Skylines

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Cities: Skylines is a modern city-building masterpiece, offering unparalleled freedom and creativity in designing your dream metropolis. This game is all about urban planning, infrastructure, and public services, as you work to create a bustling city that caters to the needs of its diverse population.

One of the standout features in Cities: Skylines is its extensive modding community, which has given birth to countless custom assets, maps, and gameplay enhancements. From intricate road networks to stunning parks and landmarks, the sky’s the limit when it comes to building the city of your dreams.

While the setting is more contemporary than Anno 1800, Cities: Skylines shares the core city-building mechanics and the challenge of managing complex systems. The game doesn’t delve as deeply into trade or diplomacy, but the sheer scope and flexibility it offers make it a must-try for any city-building enthusiast.

Civilization Series

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The Civilization series is a titan in the world of strategy games, offering players the chance to lead their chosen civilization from the dawn of humanity to the space age. It masterfully combines city-building, research, culture, and warfare, while challenging you to navigate the ebb and flow of history.

A key feature of the Civilization series is its turn-based gameplay, which allows for strategic decision-making and in-depth planning. The game also boasts an impressive array of real-world leaders, each with their unique abilities and playstyles, adding depth and replayability to the experience.

Though the city-building aspect of Civilization might not be as detailed as Anno 1800, it shares a strong focus on economic management, diplomacy, and expansion. The historical setting and the ability to shape the course of human history make it an appealing option for Anno 1800 fans seeking a broader strategy experience.


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Frostpunk transports players to a grim, frozen world where humanity clings to survival in the face of an endless winter. This city-building survival game tasks you with managing a steam-powered city, making tough choices, and facing the harsh consequences of your decisions.

What sets Frostpunk apart is its morally ambiguous decision-making and the tension between the needs of the individual and the survival of the community. The game’s bleak atmosphere and challenging survival mechanics make it a thrilling, albeit unforgiving, experience.

Like Anno 1800, Frostpunk features city-building and economic management, but it introduces a fresh twist with its focus on survival and the weighty ethical dilemmas that come with it. The distinct setting and compelling narrative make Frostpunk a fascinating alternative for fans of Anno 1800 looking for a darker, more challenging experience.

Age of Empires Series

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The Age of Empires series is a beloved classic in the realm of real-time strategy games. It invites players to guide their chosen civilization through the ages, expanding their territory, developing technologies, and engaging in epic battles along the way.

One of the unique features of the Age of Empires series is its blend of base-building, resource management, and real-time combat. Each civilization offers distinctive units, technologies, and playstyles, allowing for varied and engaging gameplay experiences.

While the focus on warfare might be a departure from Anno 1800’s more peaceful city-building, the Age of Empires series shares elements like resource management, trade, and technological progression. Its historical setting and rich strategy make it a great choice for fans of Anno 1800 seeking a more combat-oriented experience.

Crusader Kings Series

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The Crusader Kings series offers a deep and engrossing grand strategy experience, putting players in the shoes of a medieval ruler as they navigate the treacherous world of politics, intrigue, and warfare. With a focus on character-driven gameplay and dynastic management, Crusader Kings stands out in the strategy genre.

A unique aspect of the Crusader Kings series is its blend of role-playing elements and emergent storytelling, allowing players to create their own narratives as they steer their dynasty through history. The game’s complex systems, from managing vassals to plotting assassinations, make for an engaging and immersive experience.

Though Crusader Kings lacks the city-building mechanics of Anno 1800, it shares a strong emphasis on economic management, diplomacy, and strategic decision-making. The historical setting and character-driven gameplay make it an intriguing alternative for fans of Anno 1800 looking for a more narrative-focused strategy game.

Surviving Mars

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Surviving Mars takes the city-building genre to the final frontier, tasking players with colonizing the Red Planet and creating a self-sustaining Martian society. This sci-fi strategy game combines city-building with survival mechanics, as players must contend with the harsh Martian environment and limited resources.

One of the game’s standout features is its tech tree, which encourages players to research and develop new technologies to improve their colony’s infrastructure and survivability. The game also offers a variety of sponsors and mission types, adding to its replayability and strategic depth.

While the setting is vastly different from Anno 1800, Surviving Mars shares core elements like city-building, resource management, and infrastructure optimization. The unique challenges of colonizing Mars and the game’s rich strategic elements make it an enticing option for fans of Anno 1800 seeking a futuristic adventure.

Rise of Nations

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Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy game that blends elements of city-building and empire management, allowing players to lead their civilization from ancient times to the modern age. With a unique blend of military, economic, and technological development, Rise of Nations offers a deep and engaging strategy experience.

One of the game’s standout features is its territory-based system, which encourages players to expand their borders and secure valuable resources. Additionally, the game’s diverse array of civilizations and units provides ample opportunities for strategic experimentation and replayability.

Though Rise of Nations leans more towards military strategy, it shares several key aspects with Anno 1800, such as city-building, trade, and resource management. The historical setting and the opportunity to guide a civilization through the ages make it an appealing choice for fans of Anno 1800 who enjoy a more combat-focused experience.

Stronghold Series

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The Stronghold series offers a medieval castle-building experience like no other, blending city-building, economic management, and real-time strategy. Players must construct formidable castles, manage their fiefdoms, and engage in epic sieges to protect their lands from rival lords.

A unique feature of the Stronghold series is its focus on castle design and defense, with players given a wide array of fortifications, traps, and defensive measures to fend off enemy attacks. The game also offers a robust economic system that requires players to balance resource production, trade, and infrastructure development.

While the Stronghold series leans more towards military strategy, it shares core elements with Anno 1800, such as city-building, resource management, and economic simulation. The medieval setting and emphasis on castle-building make the Stronghold series a captivating option for fans of Anno 1800 seeking a more combat-oriented experience with a historical twist.

And that’s it — a handpicked selection of 10 fantastic games that capture the essence of what we love about Anno 1800. From tropical paradises and frozen wastelands to Martian colonies and medieval castles, this diverse lineup offers a wide array of experiences, each with its own unique challenges, strategic depth, and immersive settings.

While each game on this list differs in certain aspects, they all share key elements with Anno 1800 that’ll make you feel right at home. So, whether you’re a seasoned city-builder or a strategy newbie, I’m confident you’ll find a game you’ll enjoy on from this list. Happy gaming!

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