by Goran Damnjanovic, Gaming Columnist
Published in Gaming on 16th December, 2019
There's a ton of solid idle and clicker games, especially on smartphone platforms. We also included best idle games available for the PC, in case you're not a smartphone gamer.
Idle and clicker games lurked in dark corners of Congregate for years until the genre exploded in popularity when smartphones took over the world. Today these games are some of the most popular titles on mobile devices, the most popular ones are played by hundreds of millions of players.
The genre evolved massively, spreading the idle mania to RPG, action, and strategy titles. Luckily, PC gamers also have an impressive pool of idle and clicker games to pick from, in case they don't like mobile gaming.
The genre proved that hardcore, complex gameplay isn't needed for a game, even a whole genre, to be super fun and addictive. All it needs is a constantly rewarding progression system with a virtually endless stream of upgrades, pretty, colorful visuals, attractive UI, and lots of clicks.
The biggest problem with the clicker and idle games is that there are so many great titles and picking your next one can be a struggle. There're literally dozens of amazing games just waiting for you to download and play them.
Luckily, we've got you covered since we scoured the internet for the best idle and clicker games, picked the best ten at the moment, and arranged them in this neat list that features the best idle and clicker games available for PC and smartphones. Heck, some of them can be played on the PS4 or Xbox One so even if you're a console gamer you should find a couple of neat titles to play.
You can check platforms available for each game, shown just below a game's title. And yes, the list is fresh and steamy, including just the games that are super popular in 2019. Let's begin.
The game that started it all, the granddaddy of the clicker genre, the village elder of the idle industry. Cookie Clicker is here for more than half a decade but the game still has the clicking magic capable of keeping you glued to the screen for about half a day during the first playing session. The formula is super simple yet extremely addictive.
You start with a single cookie and in order to produce more of the sweet brown wonders, you have to click on the big cookie. You then proceed harassing your mouse until there're enough cookies for you to buy mouse pointers capable of clicking the cookie for you. What follows is a wave of incremental upgrades that soon turns the game into a cookie fabrication simulator.
You start growing whole fields of cookies, build cookie factories, use alchemy powers to create cookies out of thin air and ultimately invent time travel just to be able to produce even more cookies. After a while the game offers you to demolish your whole cookie empire to start again but this time with some upgrades and with more cool upgrades that what was available the first time you clicked on that cookie. And then the saga continues, into infinity.
Another old school idle clicking game, AdVenture Capitalist lets you live a capitalist dream. You start by selling lemons and work your way through various businesses, each one being more and more lucrative than the last one.
As it goes with all clicker games the start is a harsh time for your mouse or your smartphone screen since you have to do all the clicking. After a while, you open up various upgrades the most important ones being the managers, who will click those lemons (and other businesses) for you.
The game doesn't stop there since it also features other upgrades that either increase the income of each business or give you various things that make the game easier.
After a while, you can restart the game and start anew with lots of money and some upgrades. From then on you will work your way until you build the ultimate capitalist utopia, which requires lots of time and lots of game restarts. The great thing about AdVenture Capitalist is that this one can be played on the PS4.
Yes, this is the idle game for all Dungeons and Dragons fans. You get plenty of heroes to unlock, with lots of favorites for fans of the Forgotten Realms. The game starts simple enough, with you having a small party of wanderers and the goal of raiding some bosses. But before you know it your party is huge and ready to tackle serious dungeons filled with tricky to kill mobs and seriously deadly bosses.
Once you've played the game for a while and collected a formidable party, things get serious. You now have to worry about formations and strategy, always trying to combine heroes so they become the best versions of themselves while also shuffling the position of each hero until you place them all on positions that make them deadly to the max. And once you exit the game you will grind money and monsters, but at a slower pace, like in all other idle games.
The game's still in early access but it already has enough content to guarantee hundreds of hours of fun. New levels and new events are added regularly along with new heroes, some of which are free but for others you'll have to spend real money before they can be added to your team. Nevertheless, the game is perfectly playable even without shelling out cash and is at the moment one of the best idle games on the market. And this one's not only available on the PS4 but also the Xbox One.
Clicker Heroes is all about getting those upgrades. After all, the game's tagline is "Ever Wondered What One Quadrillion Damage Per Second Feels Like?" Well, if you want to find out get this one, it's another title available for the PS4 and Xbox One. While Clicker Heroes puts the focus on upgrades that doesn't mean it lacks in content.
There are 35 heroes to pick from, each one with unique powers and highly original looks. They range from generic ones such as the creatively named Beastlord to mythic gods such as Athena, Amenhotep, and Aphrodite.
There's a virtually unlimited number of dungeons hosting endless hordes of mobs and thousands of bosses, each carrying lots of powerful loot. Download Clicker Heroes and get ready to click the hell out of your mouse, smartphone screen, or the X (or A if playing on the Xbox One) button on the controller.
And like every other idle game Clicker Heroes will work in the background whenever you exit the game, farming gold and new gear until you enter the game again. There's a sequel for the game available on Steam but it will cost you a considerable amount of money.
Realm Grinder is a bit different clicker idle game. It's an RPG but instead going all-in on heroes, their upgrades, and a never-ending stream of dungeons populated by gazillions of monsters Realm Grinder is more akin to the mobile strategy games, at least in the start.
You begin with a humble farm and from then on, you're gonna use your clicking skill to grow the farm into a massively powerful realm filled with towns, castles, and all kinds of cool structures.
The game starts a bit slow but after a while, once the whole clicking economy ramps up Realm Grinder becomes a really interesting idle game filled with various choices.
While you progress you will have to pick your faction, select which upgrades you want to research, and of course, there's that sweet restart option that starts the game from the scratch but this time with some upgrades available from the start. One of the best parts of Realm Grinder is its visual style, which is done in the best pixel art fashion making Realm Grinder a surprisingly pretty idle game.
Okay, Endless World is available only on the PC (you can get it on Steam) but the game is a definite recommendation because it looks gorgeous and is one of the new and hot clicker games that will definitely come to Android and iOS at a latter date so in case you don't game on the PC keep a watch on this one, it's great. Endless World has some of the best visuals in the genre, with a full 3D design that isn't too demanding but that looks extremely pretty.
The game features many different environments and they all look gorgeous and unique. And the best of all, each map can be completely destroyed by your party, just click on any object and it will be shattered into tiny pieces.
Next, Endless World is an idle action RPG meaning that you have to do more than simply click on the screen. There are various powers to activate at the right time, making Endless World a bit more engaging than your average idle game.
There are more than 40 heroes to collect and each one can be turned into an unstoppable force. In other words, here you won't find heroes that are extremely weak and lame, each hero can add to your party in meaningful ways. The game features lots of levels, with a huge number of gear to unlock and there's a virtually unlimited number of dungeons to raid. Try this one, you won't regret it.
Hooked Inc. is one of the most original tycoon-style idle game available for mobile devices. The visuals are extremely pretty and over the top cute and the game is extremely generous for those who don't want to spend any money while playing it.
The start is pretty straightforward; you just tap or swipe to catch fish while chilling out in your small and basic boat. Once you catch enough fish it's time to buy some upgrades and Hooked Inc. has tons of those.
You can get a bigger boat and upgrade your fishing rods. After a while, you can hire your own crew and take a step back while they catch the fish for you.
There're also legendary fishes to catch, those will appear from time to time and give you lots of money and other bonuses. And if that's not enough Hooked Inc. is one of rare clicker games that features real multiplayer with regular tournaments that give valuable prizes and that are greatly balanced. You can get valuable prizes even if you didn't spend a dime on the game, making this one a definite recommendation for the casual gaming crowd.
This is another premier idle tycoon game available only for mobile devices. Idle Miner Tycoon is knee-deep in content and will entertain you for months. As with every other idle tycoon game you start as a humble miner that has to click a lot in order to mine some sweet ore and make money. After some time you will gather enough gold and diamonds and then the real fun starts.
Instead of offering just a handful of upgrades and features and relying on the endless increase in profit, which is the usual recipe for idle games, Idle Miner Tycoon will simply shower you with content.
You can hire different miners, each making your life easier and easier. On top of that, there are various managers to hire that bring various bonuses and also motivate miners in different ways to make them more productive.
You can gather more than 15 resources ranging from coal and metal ores to precious gems such as diamond, ruby, and jade. And if that's not enough there are more than 20 mines you can manage, each holding a higher price but also offering more profit.
And of course, Idle Miner Tycoon comes with prestige levels that make you start from scratch but with some bonuses and since the game is teaming with content you won't have to restart it every couple of days.
Finally, this is one of the prettiest idle games on the market with detailed character models and the general visual similarity with Fallout Shelter. The game's gorgeous, filled with content, and fair to casual gamers who don't plan on spending any money on it. If you like this type of games this game has our definite recommendation.
Another idle RPG but this one's extremely friendly to casual players. You get plenty of premium currency and are able to keep pace with those who spend real money.
On top of all that Crush Them All features regular special events that double the amount of premium currency, which is just another plus for this cute idle RPG. Also, a free chest containing a random hero is available on a daily basis, which is another great feature to have. Now, a bit about the actual game.
Crush Them All is an idle RPG that features lots of heroes and over 1000 of various stages filled with mobs and killer bosses. There're hundreds if not thousands of pieces of gear to collect and each one works better with specific heroes, keeping things interesting because you have to change the equipped gear all the time in order to see which heroes work best with which pieces of gear.
The game can be played for about 10 to 15 minutes each day since it's pretty generous with resources when you keep it idling in the background. And after you collect powerful heroes and get bored from the single-player content you can find a guild, partake in guild battles, and enter the whole new, competitive level of Crush Them All.
Nonstop Knight is an idle RPG game for mobile devices that is offline friendly and allows players to enjoy it even without an internet connection.
The game is in turbo mode all the time with your knight killing monsters nonstop, without taking a single minute to chill out, maybe eat and drink something, or heal his wounds. Anyway, the frantic pace is great and the game is really immersive since you have to click like a madman in order to kill mobs and earn new loot.
Instead of collecting new heroes you have only your hyperactive knight, which can be leveled up and upgraded with new weapons and armor. But don't worry, there's plenty of pets to collect here, pets that give your knight various bonuses or help him destroy mobs and bosses.
An excellent idle game that swaps the frantic hero collection with pets and that ditches the always online philosophy in order to allow players to play it wherever they like. There's a sequel available both for Android and iOS but be warry since Nonstop Knight 2 isn't so friendly to players who aren't ready to spend real money on buying premium currency.