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How To Play - Catan

by Mithu Mondal on May 17, 2024

How To Play - Catan


Catan, formerly known as The Settlers of Catan, is a beloved board game that has captivated players around the world since its release in 1995. With its blend of strategy, resource management, and negotiation, Catan offers a unique and engaging experience that keeps players coming back for more. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to board games, this guide will help you understand the rules and strategies of Catan, ensuring you’re ready to build, trade, and settle with confidence.


The goal of Catan is to be the first player to reach 10 victory points. Points are earned by building settlements and cities, having the longest road or largest army, and drawing certain development cards.


  1. Assemble the Board: Arrange the sea frame pieces to form the island’s boundary, then place the terrain hexes within the frame. Randomly distribute the number tokens on the hexes.
  2. Place Harbors: Randomly place the harbor pieces around the island.
  3. Distribute Resources: Shuffle the resource cards and place them nearby.
  4. Set Up Player Pieces: Each player chooses a color and takes their corresponding roads, settlements, and cities.
  5. Determine Starting Player: Roll the dice to see who goes first.


Catan is played in turns with each turn consisting of the following phases

1. Resource Production

  • Roll the Dice: At the beginning of each turn, the active player rolls two dice.
  • Produce Resources: The number rolled corresponds to the number tokens on the board. Any hex with that number produces resources for players with settlements or cities adjacent to it.
  • Robber Activated: If a 7 is rolled, the robber is moved to a new hex, blocking resource production from that hex. Additionally, players with more than 7 resource cards must discard half of their cards.

2. Trading

  • Trade with Players: The active player can trade resources with other players.
  • Maritime Trade: Players can trade with the bank at a 4:1 ratio or use harbors for better rates (3:1 or 2:1 for specific resources).

3. Building

  • Build Roads, Settlements, and Cities: Players use their resources to build and expand their network. Roads cost lumber and brick, settlements cost lumber, brick, grain, and wool, and cities cost grain and ore.
  • Buy Development Cards: Players can also spend resources to buy development cards, which can provide knights, progress cards, or victory points.

    Victory Points

    Players earn victory points through:

    • Settlements: 1 point each.
    • Cities: 2 points each.
    • Longest Road: 2 points for the player with the longest continuous road of at least five segments.
    • Largest Army: 2 points for the player with the most knights played (minimum of three knights).
    • Development Cards: Some cards grant victory points.


    Catan is a game of endless possibilities, where strategic planning, resource management, and negotiation are key to victory. By understanding the rules and employing effective strategies, you can navigate the island of Catan with confidence and skill. Whether you’re building roads, negotiating trades, or outmaneuvering your opponents, each game of Catan promises a unique and exciting experience. So gather your friends, roll the dice, and embark on the journey to become the master of Catan. Happy settling!

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