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Step by Step Catan Set Up Guide

Learn how to play Catan (aka Settlers of Catan) with our fast and easy to reference Catan Rules and Setup guide.

Players: 3 to 4 | Game duration from: 60 mins | Game Complexity: EASY How to play Catan rules in simple steps | Play Catan Online Link 1

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Step by Step on how to setup Catan

Step by step guide on how to set up Catan.

Arrange the Catan Board Island

Catan Set up the iisland

Set up larger hexagon blue sea tiles and the island with terrain tiles.
Place the 19 hexagon terrain tiles randomly in the larger hexagon.

Place Catan pieces on the island

Catan - Setup 1

Place robber piece on Desert Tile.
Randomly placing the harbour pieces on top of each harbour on the sea frame.

Place 18 number tokens

Set up Catan 18 numbered tokens

Sort tokens letter side up. Starting at the corner of the island, place 1 token on each terrain hex in alphabetical order (printed on the other side), proceeding counter-clockwise toward the center. Skip the desert.

Setup Catan Resource, Development and Special cards

Set up Catan resource, development and special cards

Shuffle each type of resource cards and place each stack next to the board
Place development cards next to stack of resource cards
Place special cards “Longest Road” and “Largest Army” beside gameboard.

Players take their Catan pieces

Catan - Setup 2

Each player will select a colour and take corresponding building cost card and 5 Settlements, 4 Cities, 15 roads.

Players build 1st Catan settlements

The player with highest dice roll starts the round. The player builds a settlement by placing the piece on empty intersection on terrain tiles and builds a road by placing piece adjacent to the settlement. Next player sitting clockwise starts to build. The distance rule applies where you can only build on an open intersection and none of the 3 adjacent intersections contains a settlement or city.

Build 2nd Catan Settlements

Player who went last in 1st round begins round 2 by building 2nd settlement and adjacent road. Next player counter clockwise does the same till everyone has built their 2nd set.

Collect Catan resource cards

Collect Catan resources

Each player collects the relevant resource cards for each terrain hex tile surrounding a player’s settlement on the game board.
Hills Terrain = Brick Resource Card
Pasture Terrain = Wool Resource Card
Mountains Terrain = Coal Resource Card
Fields Terrain = Grain Resource Card
Forest Terrain = Lumber Resource Card
Desert Terrain = no resource card

Catan Setup FAQs

How do I set up the numbers for Catan?

Sort number tokens letter side up. Start at the corner of the Catan board, place 1 token on each hex in alphabetical order , proceed counter-clockwise toward the center. Skip the desert. Turn over the tokens to the number side.

What pieces do you start with Catan?

Each player will select a colour and take corresponding building cost card and 5 Settlements, 4 Cities, 15 roads.

How to Play Catan and Review Videos

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