Catan - 2 Players

How To Play Catan With 2 Players

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Traditionally, the game of Catan is designed to be played with 3-4 players. Although, you can certainly play Catan with 2 people.

Check out one of the 3 great options below for 2-player Catan games.

Top 3 Best Catan 2-Player Games

  1. Firstly, the original game of Catan with a few different variables. (More info on 2-player Catan rules).
  2. Secondly, the Rivals For Catan, a 2-player card game
  3. Thirdly, the Catan Dice Game where players roll, write and settle.

Original Catan For 2-Players

Welcome to our 2 player Catan tutorial where you’ll learn how to play Settlers of Catan with a friend or family member.

This tutorial is presented by a former Canadian National Championship Finalist and will cover how to play Catan with only two people.

Play Catan With 2 Players

Catan Rules & Instructions: Two Players

Two players? Sure, why not!

You can always play with friend or family member when you're stuck at home and don't have any additional guests. (This rule set applies in Traders & Barbarians expansion too!)

To play Catan with only 2 people, you simply need the base game of Catan

To prepare before set-up, you'll place the two sets of game pieces that have not been chosen by the two players to the site of the board game. These two sets will be the game components for the two imaginary neutral players.

Afterwards, place the trade tokens to the side of the board. Note, at the beginning of the 2-player Catan game, each player receives 5 trade tokens, more on this later.

A minor rule needs to be amended when playing: The robbers now provide resources instead of allowing active players' turns and opportunities for theft from one another!

Read on to learn how to set-up and play 2-player Catan.

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How To Set Up Catan For 2 Players?

You'll set up the terrain hexes like you normally would in a 3-4 player game, in the white area inside the outer blue pieces. See illustration below for reference.

For neutral players, place 1 settlement each without a road, on one of the marked hex intersections just like the board game image below.

You and the other player (your opponent) then build your two starting settlements with roads, following the basic set-up rules.

Meaning, once the set-up phase is finished, each player will have 2 settlements and 2 roads on the board, while the other two neutral players have 1 settlement each.

Catan Board Game For 2 Players

How To Play Catan With 2 Players

Generally, the basic 3-4 player rules of Catan apply to this version. The following changes are described in-depth below.

Rolling The Dice For Production

Once it's your turn, the dice need to be rolled twice in a row. It is imperative that both dice roll results are different from one another.

Example: you can NOT roll 11 twice in a row.

In the event the second dice roll has the same result as the first roll, you'll need to roll again until a different total number is rolled. Right after you rolled the dice twice, the two real players earn resources and/or move the robber (when there's a rolled “7” as a result). 

Building For The 2 Neutral Players

At any point, when you build a road or a settlement, you are required to build one road or one settlement (for free), for one of the two neutral players.

When there is no legal settlement location on the board for either of the neutral players, a road must be built for them instead.

This process should NOT be followed when either building a city or buying a development card. In those particular cases, you do nothing for the neutral opponents.

Here are other key points about the two neutral players:

• They DO NOT receive resources at any point during the game.

• They can earn the Longest Road.

How To Use Trade Tokes - Take Actions

Once it's your turn, you have the option to pay one or two trade tokens in order to take one of the actions below:

The “Forced Trade” action: You will pick two random cards from your real-life opponent’s hand. In return, you must give the other real-life player two cards of your choice from your own resources cards.

In the even that your opponent only has one card, you may take it. However, you must still give that player two cards in exchange for his or her one card.

The “Move the Robber” action: You are allowed to move the robber to the desert hex. You must pay one trade token in order to take an action, only if your victory point total is less than or equal to the other player's total. If not, an action will cost you two trade tokens.

You may return everyone's spent trade tokens to the supply.


How To Replenish Trade Tokens

During your turn, you have the option to discard one of your face up knight cards in exchange for two trade tokens.

In the event that you're holding the Largest Army card in addition to discarding a face-up knight card, it's possible you'll have to put the Largest Army card to the side.

Example: If you two face-up knight cards remaining after you've discarded a knight card, kindly set The Largest Army card aside for the time being.

If you and the other player have the same number of face-up knight cards or in the event that your opponent has more after you've discarded a knight card, set it aside.

Afterwards, the player with the most face-up knight cards can claim the Largest Army card (minimum of 3 ).

Once you build a settlement beside the desert hex (if it occurs), take two trade tokens (this also applies during the set-up phase of the game).

When building a settlement on the coast, grab one trade token (this applies during the set-up phase as well).

When building a settlement next to both the desert and the coast, you'll take 3 trade tokens (again, this applies during the set-up phase).

How Many Points To Win Catan - 2 Players

Once a player has at least 10 victory points on their turn, the player can win the game.

Players can only build up to the amount of pieces they have. Development cards can never be traded.

Other 2-player Catan Games

Lastly, check out these two great Catan games below that also allow you to play with 2 players. The Rivals For Catan is a riveting spin-off card game of the original Catan, and it's specifically made for two players. 

Undoubtedly, dice game lovers will want to try this unique game inspired from the original Settlers. The Catan dice game allows you to play up to 4 players.

Watch The Video Tutorial

On How To Play Catan

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