Catan - what are the rules?

If you have already tried many strategy board games, Catan will be a great addition to your collection. The game can be played by beginners and advanced players alike. Depending on how well you know the rules and the strategic aspects of the game, you can arrange the squares on the island of Catan. During your turns, you will fill the island with personal roads, settlements and towns to collect victory points.

Game set

  • 19 different location cards:
    • 4 forests;
    • 4 pastures;
    • 3 clays;
    • 4 fields;
    • 3 mountains;
    • 1 desert;
    • 6 sea frames;
  • 95 raw material cards (wood, wool, grain, clay, ore);
  • 25 development cards:
    • 14 knights;
    • 6 progress cards;
    • 5 victory point cards;
  • 4 construction cost cards;
  • 2 special cards (longest road and largest army);
  • 2 card cases;
  • Game pieces in four colours:
    • 16 cities;
    • 20 settlements;
    • 60 roads;
    • 1 robber;
  • 18 circles with the numbers 1 to 18 on them;
  • 2 dice.

Frequently asked questions

❓ How many people can play Catan?

Catan adapted 3-4 people.

❓ From what age can I play Catan?

According to the official Catan rules, you can play from 10 years age.

❓ What is the length of the Catan game?

A game of Catan usually lasts about 75 minutes.

About the game

  • The Katana board consists of a sea and 19 land cards;
  • Before the game starts, each player receives two settlements and two roads;
  • To get victory points, you need to build roads, build Settlements and cities in those settlements;
  • The first person to collect 10 victory points;
  • Getting the raw materials: you roll the dice and observe the total sum of their eyes. The area marked with the number of eyes is producing at that time raw materials. Players whose towns or settlements are adjacent to these areas receive the corresponding raw materials produced during that turn;
  • It is important to remember that a single settlement may be bordered by several fields. The amount of raw materials that settlement receives during the game depends on how many eyes have been cast;
  • Throughout the game, you need to collect raw materials and use them to build settlements, cities or roads. If you're missing something and another player has it, you can simply exchange with each other;
  • You will only be able to build new settlements on crossroads that are available. It is important that the player's path leads to that place and that other settlements are at least two paths away;
  • When building settlements, we need to think carefully about where they will be located. According to mathematical probabilities, some numbers fall out more often than others (these are in larger font). The more often the right eyes fall, the more raw materials you will collect.

Catan game - rules

Layout of the island plan

For beginners It is recommended that the initial plan is set up as shown in the following figure.

Catan - Laying out an island plan for beginners

When Catan is played Advanced, then the island is arranged differently before each game.

  1. 6 frames are joined together to form a game board;
  2. all land squares are mixed and randomly placed on the board;
  3. Placing circles with numbers:
    • all numbers, letter side up, are placed next to the game board;
    • Starting from the outermost box. The circles are arranged alphabetically as shown in the picture. The desert box is left blank;
    • Once everything is arranged, the circles are flipped upwards.
Laying out an island plan for advanced users

Preparation for beginners

  • Players choose which colour they will play. They get 5 Settlements, 4 cities and 15 roads. When there are three players, all red pieces must be removed from the game board;
  • The special cards and dice are placed next to the game board;
  • Raw materials the cards are sorted by colour and placed in the card trays. This will be called a bank;
  • Development cards are turned over, shuffled and placed face down in the empty card tray compartment;
  • The Looter is built on a desert field;
  • Players receive their first raw materials. These are obtained for settlements marked with a star. See image of the island plan. The player receives a resource card of the corresponding type for the squares adjacent to these settlements.

Catan - the game

The dice are rolled in turn to choose who will start the game. This privilege goes to the person who rolls the most eyes.

Walking involves the following actions:

  1. Dice are rolled. Whichever number of eyes is rolled, the boxes marked with that number will produce raw materials.
  2. The player can exchange raw materials with other players. This is trading phase.
  3. The player can build roads, settlements and cities and/or buy development cards. Alternatively, an existing development card can be used. This action is called - during the betting phase.

Production of raw materials

  • The number of dropped meshes indicates which box will produce the raw materials;
  • All players whose settlement is located on a crossroads that connects to a raw material producing field receive one corresponding raw material card. If a square is adjacent to more than one settlement, the player receives raw material cards for all of them.
Catan game - 1 example

Example: if an 8 is rolled, the red player receives 2 ore cards. White player receives 1 ore card.

If 10 comes up, white player receives 1 wool card. If White has a town instead of a settlement, if 10 is drawn, White receives 2 wool cards.


There are two ways to trade:
  • Trade between players (internal):
    • the player specifies what he needs and what he can offer for it. The other players listen to his position and decide whether it is worth swapping.
  • Trading with a bank (overseas):
    • Cards can be exchanged without other players;
    • You can give 4 of your cards to the bank and get 1 of the cards you need from the bank in return;
    • having a settlement near a port makes trading more profitable.
      • Simple port - 3 cards are given to the bank and one card is received in return;
      • Special Harbour - 2 cards are given and 1 card is needed.

Betting Phase

  • Constructed objects increase the amount of Victory Points;
  • To build something, you need to give the bank the required amount of raw materials (which is shown in the construction cost Catan game - Construction Cost Card card). You also need to have the right amount of roads, cities or settlements with you. You can only build as many objects as you have.
Road construction

Resources needed; clay Clay raw material card and wood Raw Wood Card

  • You can only build a road on your own road, in a town or village;
  • only one track can be built per path;
  • a road cannot be built beyond a crossroads where a rival settlement or town is already there.
Katan - 2 examples

Example: the Orange player can build a road in the blue areas, but cannot build in the red areas.

longest route card When a player builds a continuous path in more than four parts (minimum 5), he receives the longest path card. When another player builds a longer road, he takes over that card and receives two additional victory points.

Catan game and rules - Example 3

Example: the Red player has a continuous path of 6 pieces, so he gets a continuous path card. The orange player has a 7-part road, but it is not continuous because it is separated by a red settlement.

Settlement construction

Resources needed; clay Clay raw material card, timber Raw Wood Card, wool Raw wool card and cereals Raw Cereal Card

  • You can only build a settlement on your own road;
  • Settlements can only be built at crossroads where there are no other settlements or towns within one road;
  • for one settlement, the player receives resources from any adjacent square;
  • each settlement gives one victory point.

Example: an Orange player can build a settlement or a city on a blue site but not on a red site.

Building a city

Resources needed; 3 ores Raw ore card cards and 2 grain cards Raw Cereal Card

  • Cities are built to replace settlements. Remove the settlement figure and place the city;
  • After building a city, players receive twice as many resources from adjacent squares;
  • cities give two victory points each.
Buying a development card

Resources needed; ore Raw ore card, wool Raw wool card and cereals Raw Cereal Card.

  • when this card is purchased, the top card of the development pile is taken;
  • There are three types of development cards: knights, progress cards and victory point cards;
  • Once a development card has been purchased, it cannot be shown to other players.

Special activities

7 eyes fall out
  • when 7 eyes are thrown, then the robber starts his activity and nobody gets any raw materials during this move;
  • Players who have more than 7 raw material cards must give half of them to the bank. In the case of an odd number of cards, the number of cards to be handed over is rounded down to the lower half;
  • Move the robber's figurine to another location according to the following instructions:
    • the robber is immediately moved to another land area;
    • the player who moved the robber takes one resource card from the person whose settlement or city is adjacent to that square. When there are multiple players' cities or settlements around the square, the player chooses from whom to take the raw material. The person being robbed must keep his or her resource cards face down;
  • A player who rolls 7 eyes can continue his building phase.

Important: If a number is subsequently dropped in the square where the robber is located, the surrounding settlements and towns do not receive their share of the resources from that square. The robber remains in the same square.

Using development cards

Important: Development cards cannot be used during the turn in which they are received. Only one development card can be used per turn.

Knight Catan Game - Knight Card
  • when using a Knight, the player immediately moves the robber to another location;
  • the used Knight card is turned over and placed next to you;
  • The first player to collect 3 Knight cards face up receives the highest Army card. This card gives 2 victory points;
  • card of the biggest army when the other player has the most Knight cards used, the card of the largest army passes to him and he receives 2 Victory Points.
Progress Catan Game - Advancement Cards

Once used, this card is removed from the game. There are three types of progress cards:

  • Monopolis - Using this card, you can choose any (not necessarily wood) single type of raw material. All opponents must give all available raw materials of that type to the player using the Monopoly card;
  • Road construction - This card can be used to build two roads for free. It is important to follow the rules for building roads;
  • Invention - Using this card, any two (which can be of different types) raw material cards can be withdrawn from the bank.

Victory points Catan Game - Victory Point Cards

These cards are kept face down to prevent others from seeing how many points you have scored. It is recommended to open them when you know for sure that you have scored 10 victory points.

Catan is finished

When a player scores 10 or more victory points during his turn, Game stopping. That player is declared the winner.