Out of all genres, card games arguably fit the best on mobile. Sliding cards around with your finger is so pleasingly tactile in a way that a controller or mouse just can’t emulate. It feels more like how you play card games in the real world.
It seems that mobile developers agree with us, as there’s no shortage of excellent examples of the genre on iPhone and Android. We’ve got your standard deck builders, TCGs, CCGs, and more alongside innovative and fresh new takes on classic card games and even completely different genres like RTS and roguelikes.
To make it easier for you to find something to play, we thought we’d put together a list of our 25 favourite mobile card games across a variety of different genres. If you can’t find it in this list, it isn’t worth playing.
Hearthstone is the granddaddy of CCGs, kicking off the genre’s current wave of success when it launched back in 2014. It’s still fiercely popular today, with a massive new expansion, Saviors of Uldum, launching in August.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a similar beast to Hearthstone with one difference: it splits the playing field into two lanes. This gives you something different to think about when compared to Hearthstone. It also sees regular updates that generally take place in different regions of Tamriel.
Eternal offers an alternative to Hearthstone that aims to do free to play fairly. You can earn every single card and play every game mode entirely for free, though obviously it will be a lot faster if you outright buy them.
Clash Royale is Supercell doing what it does best: taking a popular genre and streamlining it into its purest and most fun form. This time around, Supercell took what we loved about card games – building a deck and creating strategies – and made it all work in real time with the cards actually playing out their roles as characters. It’s a joy to play.
Pokémon TCG Online
Pokémon TCG is a digital version of the physical trading card game we’ve all played since we were kids. All of your favourite cards are here, and you don’t have to run out to the store every single time you want to purchase a new booster pack. It’s good stuff.
Reigns: Game of Thrones
Reigns took the repetitive swiping action of Tinder and turned it into a genius card game that challenges you to rule a kingdom. You swipe right and left to say yes or no to a series of questions, earning reputation with different factions as you do so. Balancing the needs of these different factions is the key challenge, as your reign depends on keeping everyone happy. The Game of Thrones version takes place in Westeros and allows you to play as your favourite characters from the TV and book series.
This list wouldn’t be right without a Magic: The Gathering title, so we’ve included Magic Duels purely by proxy. It hasn’t received an update since 2017 and its time is numbered but it still offers the, errr, magic of Magic. Hopefully we’ll get Magic the Gathering: Arena at some point.
Get it on the App Store.
Card Thief is arguably the best entry in the extremely talented Arnold Rauers’s portfolio of card games. Using just cards you’ll play the role of thief as you strive to get your hands on a variety of treasure. You’ll pick pockets, avoid guards, and stick to the shadows on your quest for other people’s valuable treasures.
Asmodee Digital has an absolute wealth of card and board games available digitally on mobile, but we’ve picked Ascension for this list. It’s a bonafide deck builder built by three Magic: The Gathering tournament winners, features over 50 different cards, and includes a variety of single and multiplayer modes.
And now for something a little different. Exploding Kittens is basically a card game version of Russian Roulette. You and up to four other players take it in turns pulling cards out of a deck until someone gets an Exploding Kitten card. At this point they explode and are out of the game – unless they have a Defuse card to prevent the explosion. There are numerous other useful cards that can help mitigate explosions too, in this fun and intense card game.
Meteorfall: Journey is a deck builder meets roguelike. You’ll pick from one of four different adventurers and set out to build a mighty deck as you battle enemies and bosses, collect loot, and purchase new cards from random shop keeps. If you die – which you will – the game starts over. There’s so much replayability here.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links is a popular card battler on mobile. It’s based on the anime series and allows you to play as your favourite characters, including Yami Yugi, Seto Kaiba, Jaden Yuki, Yusei Fudo, and many more. If you’re a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh! and card battlers, look no further.
If you’re not a fan of Hearthstone, you’re not spoiled for choice in terms of alternatives. Shadowverse is a solid and popular option, which has a reportedly massive million players logging in every single day. There’s a story mode and real-time multiplayer too, depending on your preference.
Marvel Battle Lines
Marvel Battle Lines is a recent card battler that offers a fresh spin on the usual formula. You collect card versions of your favourite Marvel heroes and villains and create a mighty deck out of them. You then battle other players in real time, with the gameplay taking place on a grid. You’ll receive various effects depending on where your characters are placed on the grid, adding an extra layer of strategy.
Solitairica is a genius card game that combines Solitaire with a roguelike. You’ll battle enemies, collect new gear, and upgrade everything just by playing Solitaire.
Night of the Full Moon
Night of the Full Moon is easily the most polished deck-building roguelike available on mobile right now. You play as Red Riding Hood who battles her way through the forest at night as one of a number of different classes. There’s a ton of cards to collect, loads of awesome decks to uncover, and absolutely wonderful artwork on offer.
Like deckbuilders? Wish you could go to space? Star Realms is the game for you. This awesome card battler is completely free to play, with just a single IAP to unlock the entire experience. Can’t say fairer than that. There’s no pay to win, single player and multiplayer modes, and all of the deck building you’re looking for.
Battlejack is to Blackjack what Solitairica is to Solitaire. This awesome free to play card game turns Blackjack into a battle system, with you striving to get as close to 21 as possible to unleash a variety of powerful attacks. There are dungeons to explore, heroes to unlock, and a whole lot of Blackjack to play in this awesome card battler.
Brave Hand is a card battler that dispenses with the multiplayer and gives you a deep single player game to battle your way through. Unlike many of the games on this list, there’s a full blown story to uncover as you progress throughout the gorgeous, hand-drawn game.
Missile Cards is yet another Solitaire-like card battler that challenges you to defend yourself from a variety of deadly attacks. Using a variety of card-based defences, you’ll fight off nuclear warheads, missiles, and more as you strive to save the world.
Get it on the App Store.
Top Drives is an intriguing entry in this list as it’s a racing game that plays like a card game. You’ll collect over 1,400 different fully licensed vehicles as you build the ultimate racing deck.
Developer Zach Gage is the master of taking age old games and giving them a fresh new spin, and that’s exactly what Flipflop Solitaire does. You can stack up, down, or both ways on a single stack to solve this unique take on Solitaire.
Teppen is a newcomer in the card battling genre, and it aims to shake up the formula by introducing real-time elements to it. You’ll create decks full of cards that represent your favourite characters from various Capcom franchises and battle it out with other players in real-time.
Animation Throwdown brings together five of your favourite animated TV shows in a single collectible card game. You’ll create a deck out of cards from Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, Futurama, American Dad, and King of the Hill and battle other players in multiplayer.
Stormbound provides a fresh new spin on the Clash Royale formula by introducing four different lanes to attack down. You’ll still play cards using an energy system, forming strategies to bring down your opponent. This time though, you’ll have four lanes to manage rather than just two.
South Park: Phone Destroyer
South Park: Phone Destroyer plays a lot like Clash Royale. You’ll create a deck out of South Park characters and spells and battle other players using a very similar energy system as Clash Royale. There’s also a single player for those that don’t just want to play with others.