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How To Play The Catan Board Game

We share the ins and outs of Catan and its expansions in order for you to be victorious over your friends & family on game night when you play the Best Board Game In The World!

What Is Catan?

Catan, also known as Settlers of Catan or just Settlers, is a popular board game invented by Klaus Teuber in 1995. Over 22 million copies have been sold worldwide and it has spawned numerous spin-off games and expansions.

The game includes elements of resource management and trading, making it both strategically and culturally significant. Catan has received numerous awards and expanded into multiple spin-off games and even a card game.

In fact, Catan's popularity has launched it into mainstream culture, inspiring books, television episodes, and even an upcoming feature film adaptation.

Despite its simplicity, the game offers endless possibilities with every move thanks to its dynamic board layout and trading element. Catan is praised for its ability to bring people together and inspire friendly competition.

It's no surprise that Catan remains a popular pastime for gamers around the world. Just be prepared - once you start playing Catan, it can be hard to stop.

So, gather your friends or family and get ready to become the dominant force on Catan Island!

Settler of Catan board game
3 people playing Settlers of Catan

How Many People Can Play Catan?

The original board game of Settlers Of Catan designed and created by Klaus Teuber can be played with 3-4 players. There are different variations and spin-offs of Catan that can be played with 2-6 players. You can check out our Top 5 Best Catan Expansions here.

How To Play Catan Online

There are a few options for players who want to play Settlers Of Catan online. You can play for free on The website has excellent gaming and community features.

 Another user-friendly website to play Settlers of Catan online is Catan Universe. The visuals and graphics are world-class and give the players a fantastic game experience. Both are excellent places to play and hone your Settlers of Catan skills. 

Setting up the Catan Board Game starts with creating the board game frame. The outer pieces connect by matching the small numbers at each end. 

The next step is to shuffle the 19 terrain hexes and place them inside the board game frame.

Next, you'll take the 18 numbered tokens. These tokens have letters on the back. Put the tokens in letter order, then place them on the board starting at the upper left corner of the board with the "a" token, then "b" next, so on a so forth.

Start by circling the outside hexes first then moving inward. The desert hex does NOT get a numbered token. Place the rubber piece on the hex and you're now ready to play.

You can find our in-depth guide on the Catan board setup here.

Would you like a random Catan map created for you at a click of a button? Check out the Top 6 Best Catan Map Generators.

For a visual tutorial on how to set up and start playing Catan, click here.

Catan is a fun and exciting board game, but it can also get competitive. So, how do you beat your opponents and claim victory in Settlers of Catan?

Don't worry, we've all been there. However, fear no, for we are here to share with you some of our tried and true strategies for dominating the game.

Catan Tips & Tricks

Firstly, it's important to have a solid understanding of the basic rules and mechanics of the game. Knowing when it's advantageous to trade or build can give you a leg up on the competition.

Secondly, don't be afraid to negotiate trades with your opponents. Catan is all about building relationships and making deals, so use that to your advantage by trading resources you don't need in exchange for ones that you do

Another important strategy is keeping tabs on your opponents' progress. This way, you can prevent them from gaining too much power by blocking their expansion or cutting off their resources through trades.

Always keep an eye on the development cards. The right card at the right moment can change the entire game in your favour. Put these strategies into action and watch as you become Catan champion among your friends and family.

Finally, try not to get too attached to one particular aspect of your settlement. Don't focus all your efforts on just building cities or amassing wheat - diversify your strategies and be flexible in your tactics so that no matter what throws a wrench into your plans, you'll still come out on top as Catan's ultimate settler.

Check out the in-depth strategy Catan guide here.

Happy Settling!

Tired of playing Catan? Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. It's ok to mix it up.

Below are the top 3 games like Catan that we recommend playing.

If you're looking for more similar games, check out our full list of Best 15 Games Like Catan.

  1.  Ticket to Ride - A beloved classic with strategic gameplay and engaging mechanics.
  2. Stone Age - A prehistoric journey of resource management and development.
  3. Splendor - A riveting game of gemstone collection and nobles' attraction.

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