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Real-time strategy (RTS) is a genre of computer and video games. In real-time strategy games, every player has an army to attack the other player(s). Every player has a military base and people or vehicles (these are called units). The player also has money to create new units or to build new buildings. These buildings can allow the player to do things, such as creating units or to use new technology.
The player that destroys the base and the units of the other player(s) wins.
In real-time strategy games, everything the player does, happens right away: there's no time between doing something (like telling a unit to move) and seeing it happen. This is different in turn-based strategy where the players take turns to do things.
God game vs. Simulation
Most RTSs are God game, that is, the player does not control a single member or unit while playing, but controls all aspects of the game: direct the units, their tactics, improvements and attacks, and direct the planning and Construction of the base, its improvements and the quantity of resources and production. A great example is Starcraft.
While in simulation, the player controls a member of the faction, being a collector, soldier, spy, producer, diplomat or leader of the faction itself. Example is the Ark: Survival Evolved in its "Hunger Games" mode.