CATAN Basisspiel Header
CATAN Basisspiel Header
Base Game


Picture yourself in the era of discoveries: after a long voyage of great deprivation, your ships have finally reached the coast of an uncharted island.

Its name shall be Catan! But you are not the only discoverer. Other fearless seafarers have also landed on the shores of Catan - the race to settle the island has begun!

CATAN Basegame
60-90 min.

About the Game

The women and men of your expedition build the first two settlements. Fortunately, the yet uninhabited land is rich in natural resources. You build roads and new settlements that eventually become cities. Will you succeed in gaining supremacy on Catan? Barter trade dominates the scene. Some resources you have in abundance, other resources are scarce. Ore for wool, brick for lumber - you trade according to what is needed for your current building projects. Proceed strategically! If you found your settlements in the right places and skillfully trade your resources, then the odds will be in your favor. But your opponents are smart too.

First published in Germany in 1995 as Die Siedler von CATAN, then in English as The Settlers of CATAN in 1996, CATAN celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020.

To begin the game, you build the game board using hexagonal terrain tiles. Catan is born - a beautiful island with mountains, pastures, hills, fields, and forests, surrounded by the sea.

CATAN - Base Game - Game Components

Each of you places two small houses on spaces where three terrain hexes meet. They are your starting settlements.

And so it begins. The starting player rolls two dice. An “11!” Each terrain hex is marked with a number. Each player who owns a settlement adjacent to a terrain hex marked with the number rolled receives a resource produced by this hex. Hills produce brick, forests produce lumber, mountains produce ore, fields produce grain, and pastures produce wool.

You use these resources to expand across Catan: you build roads and new settlements or upgrade your existing settlements to cities. For example, a road costs 1 brick and 1 lumber. If you do not have the necessary resources, you can acquire them by trading with your opponents.

Each settlement is worth 1 victory point and each city is worth 2 victory points. If you expand cleverly, you may be the first player to reach 10 victory points and thus win the game!

CATAN Base Game Game Components

Playing Tips

I lost my first game of CATAN resoundingly. Well, nobody had told me that with two dice the numbers 6 and 8 are rolled much more frequently than the numbers 2 and 12. As you can imagine, I hardly received any resources for the settlement I had placed between terrain hexes marked with the numbers 2, 12, and 3. I wrote down a couple of tips for you, so you can avoid having a similar experience. I'll also give you a description of two variants I like to play.

1. Probability of Rolling Certain Numbers

If you roll 2 dice 36 times, the statistical distribution of the results is as follows:

2,12 - 1x each
3,11 - 2x each
4,10 - 3x each
5,9 - 4x each
6,8 - 5x each
7 - 6x

This shows that the closer the numbers are to 7, the more frequently they are rolled. Therefore, at least at the beginning of the game you should build settlements adjacent to terrain hexes marked with numbers close to 7.

2. Diversity of Terrain Hexes

You should make sure that your first two settlements are adjacent to all terrain types if possible. This is the only way to receive as many different resources as possible, thus avoiding expensive trades with the bank.

3. Diversity of Numbers

A broad distribution of numbers is also beneficial. For example, owning a settlement adjacent to two terrain hexes marked with a 6 and an 8, respectively, is more favorable than owning a settlement adjacent to two terrain hexes each of which is marked with an 8.

4. Harbors

Harbors are of particular importance if you can expect a good production of a particular resource.
For example, if you have settlements adjacent to pasture hexes marked with good numbers, you should, as soon as possible, build a settlement on a coastal intersection next to the 2:1 wool harbor. Then you can trade 2 wool for any 1 other resource of your choice.

5. Trading

If you trade cleverly, you improve your chances to win the game. Trading with an opponent gives you and your opponent an advantage over the other players. The less you trade, the more advantages you are giving away.

6. Complaining

A little bit of complaining at the right time often works wonders. The likelihood of receiving better trade offers increases, and the robber avoids your terrain hexes. But don't overdo it!



The following variants are highly recommended:

1. "Three Victory Points" Rule

It is not allowed to place the robber on a terrain hex marked with a number if a player who has less than 3 victory points owns a settlement adjacent to this hex. At the beginning of the game, when all players still have less than 3 victory points, the robber must thus be placed on a hex that doesn't have a settlement adjacent to it. If this isn't possible, the robber stays in the desert.

2. Trade and Build in Any Order

The "first trade, then build" order is no longer observed. The players may trade, then build, trade again, build again, etc.
If you play according to this variant, you also may immediately use a newly built harbor for maritime trade (trade with the bank at an improved rate).

Downloads for the Game

CATAN Basegame Background
CATAN Extension 5-6 player base game

5-6 Player Extension

You can settle Catan with up to 6 players.

If you want to play the CATAN base game with 5 or 6 players, just add this base game extension.


You can play the CATAN base game with various expansions. You can also combine the different expansions.

CATAN Seafarers


CATAN - Cities & Knights

Cities & Knights

CATAN - Traders & Barbarians

Traders & Barbarians

CATAN - Explorers & Pirates

Explorers & Pirates

CATAN Universe
CATAN Universe Icon

Looking for players?

CATAN Universe is the ultimate multi-platform version of CATAN for smartphone, tablet, PC and Mac.

Play the original CATAN adaptation including many expansions online with people from all over the world or compete against clever computer opponents. An account allows you to play on all available platforms.


CATAN Hexatower - Premium Dice Tower

The Hexatower is a premium dice tower in the famous hexagonal shape of CATAN. It has an innovative Nexofyber surface and a soft, silver fabric inner lining. The premium materials ensure a comfortable touch-and-feel experience and dice-rolling is enhanced by a pleasant sound. The surrounding flap, held safely closed by strong magnets, can be removed and sticks to the side of the Hexatower to create a dice-stopper at the gaming table. Of course, this luxe accessory can also carry your CATAN dice.

  • 2-in-1: Premium dice tower and dice storage box
  • Unique: Compact dice tower in the classic CATAN hexagonal shape
  • Removable closing flap converts into a dice stopper
  • 2 inner ramps roll the dice steadily
  • Powerful magnets for a precise and secure self-closing seal
  • Premium materials (Nexofyber surface + silver fabric inner lining)
  • Available in CATAN Red or Yellow in the CATAN Shop
CATAN Hexatower Würfelturm
CATAN Hexatower Würfelturm gelb
CATAN Hexatower Würfelturm red
CATAN Hexatower Würfelturm
CATAN Hexatower Würfelturm
CATAN Hexatower Würfelturm

                                                                                Dice are not included.

CATAN Trading Post - Convertible Card Tray

The Trading Post can be used for card storage and to hold the cards for easy access during gameplay.

  • All-in-one: Premium card tray, storage solution, and integrated dice tray.
  • Case with 6 card compartments, perfect for CATAN English Edition Resource and Development Cards also sleeved in Gamegenic CATAN English Sleeves.Made with premium outer- and inner materials (Nexofyber surface + microfiber inner lining)
  • Hot-stamped and gold color-foiled CATAN logos
  • A hidden mechanism allows seamless sliding of the top row, providing easy access to the cards.
  • REVOLUTIONARY: The cover is completely removable and converts easily into a dice tray.
  • Available in the CATAN Shop


CATAN Trading Post Würfelschale
CATAN Trading Post Kartenhalter
CATAN Trading Post Kartenhalter und Würfelschale

                                                                                 Cards and dice not included.

CATAN Hexadocks

  • Perfectly organizes and displays wooden player pieces
  • Clear protective cover keeps pieces stored securely
  • Docks match player colors
  • Base set includes red, orange, blue and white.
  • Extension set includes brown and green Hexadocks for the 5-6 player extension
  • Available in the CATAN Shop
CATAN Hexadocs Basisset
CATAN Hexadocs Ergänzungsset
CATAN Hexadocs

                                                                                 Game pieces not included.



CATAN - Board Game Sleeves (Matte or Prime)

Designed for the English-language edition of CATAN.

  • Easy shuffling
  • Reinforced Thickness
  • Acid-free. No PVC
  • For card size up to 54x80mm
  • One pack contains 60 sleeves.

Alvailable in the CATAN Shop as

  • Matte: Matte foil averting symptoms of eye fatigue during gameplay
  • Prime: Extra-high clarity, ensuring a genuine visual quality.
CATAN Board Game Sleeves

More Questions?

We have collected important questions and answers about the CATAN base game. Just follow the link.