4 min read

Learn How to Hive Rules for those who hate rulebooks

I hate the hassle of reading rulebooks and wish they could get straight to the point. I wrote this guide with the aim of helping you learn how to play Hive quickly.
Looking for a quick overview of what Hive is about, click here.

Players: 2 to 2 | Game duration from: 20 mins | Game Complexity: EASY

If you are looking for the offical Hive rules pdf / rulebook, click here | You can also visit this link to Play Hive Online

What is the goal?

Surround your opponent’s Queen Bee with pieces and prevent them from doing the same to you.


Hive is a 2 player game that is similar to Chess. Using pieces that represent grasshoppers, spiders and the Queen, players take turns placing pieces and compete to engulf their opponent’s queen piece.

Total Time: 20 minutes

Setting up your Hive Game

Each player takes all 11 pieces of one colour and puts them face up in front of them. Select a player to go first.

Take turn placing or moving tiles

The game starts with one player placing their piece in the table.
Next player joins their own piece to it.
The players take turns placing or moving their pieces (you can only move after the Queen Bee has been placed).

Placing a tile

Placing pieces in Hive Board game

You can introduce new pieces at any time.
Except for the first piece placed by each player, you cannot place your piece next to an opponent’s coloured piece.
Once a piece is placed, it cannot be removed.
Pieces on the playing surface are called Hives.

Placing the Queen Bee

Hive - placing queen bee

Place your Queen Bee between turns one to four. Once it is placed, you have the
option of moving your pieces or placing another tile in future turns.
It is possible to move pieces to positions where they touch one or more of your opponent’s tiles, as each creature tile has its own unique way of moving.

Moving Tiles

After placing your Queen Bee (but not before), you have the option of placing another tile or moving one of the pieces that has already been placed.
The creatures move differently around the Hive, and it is possible to move pieces so that they touch your opponent’s tiles.
Each piece must always touch at least one other piece.
If a piece is the only connection between two parts of the Hive, it may not be moved.

Winning in Hive Board Game

Game ends when the Queen Bee is completely surrounded by pieces of any colour (your pieces as well as opponent’s pieces)
The person whose Queen Bee is surrounded loses the game, unless the last piece to surround their Queen Bee also surrounds the other Queen Bee. In that case, the game is a draw.
Both players may also agree to a draw if they are forced to move the same two pieces over and over again without any chance of resolving the stalemate.

Key Hive Rules and Restrictions

One hive rule

Hive pieces must:

  • always be linked at all times (it can be linked to an opponents piece)
  • NOT be left stranded (not attached to the hive) or separated from the Hive. This restriction can be used to block the opponent’s pieces so that they cannot be used.

Freedom to move

  • The creatures are only move by sliding.
  • If a piece is surrounded and cannot physically slide out of its position, it may not be moved.
  • Grasshoppers and beetles are the only exceptions due to their ability to jump and climb into or out of spaces.
  • It is not possible for a piece to move into a space it cannot physically slide into.

Unable to move or place

  • If you can’t place a new piece nor move an existing piece, pass your turn to your opponent.
  • The game continues until the player is able to move or place one of their pieces, or until the Queen Bee surrounds them and the game ends.

Hive Creature Tiles and Abilities

Queen Bee

Hive 1

Moves only one space per turn.


Hive 2

Moves one space per turn

Hive 3

Can also move on top of other creatures. 

Pieces with a beetle on top cannot move and also act as the beetle’s colour. The only way to stop a beetle from moving is to place another one on top of it.
You can stack all 4 beetles on top of one another.


Hive 4

Grasshoppers can jump over any number of creatures to reach another space in one direction. Moving it, however, requires it to jump over at least one creature.


Hive 5

Each turn, the spider can move only three spaces and can’t move any less. Backtracking is not allowed and it can only move around pieces it directly touches.

Soldier Ant

Hive 6

The soldier ant can move any number of spaces unless it bypasses a rule.

How to Play Hive and Review Videos

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