How to play Terraforming Mars Dice Game

How to Play Terraforming Mars Dice Game Rules 

How to Play Terraforming Mars Dice Game rules and instructions to get your game started quickly with minimal hassle.

Players: 1 to 4 | Game duration from: 45 mins | Game Complexity: EASY How to play Terraforming Mars: Dice Game rules in simple steps Terraforming Mars: Dice Game rules pdf / rulebook


What is the goal?

Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game is a card-driven dice game where players develop corporations and terraform Mars. Use special dice as resources to play cards and take actions. Increase production, terraform the planet, and gain bonuses. Earn Victory Points by terraforming, placing tiles, playing cards, and winning Awards and Milestones. The game ends when 2 of the 3 global parameters are completed. The player with the most VP wins!

Setup of Terraforming Mars Dice Game

Place the game board at the center of the table. Put a transparent cube on 0% Oxygen and another on -32°C temperature. Stack 7 ocean tiles on the ocean symbol on the board. Each player selects a player cube and puts it at the start of the VP track (0 VP).

Put the dice next to the game board. Place the wild tokens and tiles next to it.

Shuffle the Project cards and put the deck face down next to the gameboard, leaving room for a discard pile beside it.

Shuffle the Bonus cards and randomly choose:

  • 4 cards (1-2 players),
  • 6 cards (3 players), or
  • 8 cards (4 players).

Place them face down next to the game board and put the rest of the bonus cards back in the box. Players will receive a bonus card when they reach the bonus steps on the VP track (at 5 VP and 12 VP).

Take 1 dice of each color from the Dice Pool, randomly select 3, roll them, and place them on the 3 award spots on the game board. Players compete to have the most of these symbols on their played cards by the end of the game.

Randomly select 3 milestone tiles and place them on the game board. Return the rest to the box. The first player to reach a milestone goal receives the tile for free. Each milestone tile is worth 4 VP at the end of the game.

Randomly pick a player to go first and start the game. Turns proceed clockwise around the table.

Deal 5 Project cards to each player. Shuffle the corporation cards and deal 2 to each player. Choose 1 corporation to keep as your own. Unused corporations are returned to the box.

In player order, place your chosen corporation face up in front of you. Gain the starting bonus shown in the red box (e.g., 3 wild tokens).

Take the production indicated in thebrown box (in this case 2 yellow dice and 1 red dice). Thedice are rolled and stored in front of you. They are now your
. Throughout the game, you can gain more resourcesby performing a production turn.
The first player chooses one of their resources and gives it to the last player (skip if playing solo). Then, the first player starts the game.

Terraforming Mars Dice Gameplay in Simple Steps

Players take turns around the table in a game until two out of three global parameters are completed. The game ends when this happens.

During your turn, you can either produce new resources (Production Turn) or perform actions (Action Turn).

  1. Keep up to 3 resource dice (wild tokens not included), and return the remaining dice from the pool.
  2. Discard any number of cards from your hand.
  3. If you have fewer than 5 cards, draw until you have 5.
  4. Produce new resources: Roll the dice in the brown boxes on your corporation card and green project cards in play. If there aren’t enough dice in the pool, take as many as you can and gain 1 wild token.
  5. Flip back blue project cards. They can now be reused.
An action turn consists of 1 support action followed by 1 main action

Support action (Perform one of the following):

  • Roll 1 dice of your choice from the Dice Pool.
  • Discard a resource to change a dice to any side.
  • Discard any resource to draw 2 card.
  • Use a support action on one of your unused blue cards and then flip it sideways to indicate it is used.

Main action (Perform 1 of the following):

  • Pay 3 heat resources to increase temperature by 1 step.
  • Pay 3 water resources to add 1 ocean tile.
  • Pay 4 plant resources to place 1 greenery tile (and increase oxygen 1 step). 
  • Pay 3 city resources to place 1 city tile. 
  • Pay 3 MegaCredit resources to immediately gain 2 VP.
  • Play a card from hand (see playing a card), paying its cost.
  • Use a main action on one of your unused blue cards. Then flip it sideways.
  •  Perform a second support action.

Free action

Certain blue cards offer free actions that can be taken before or after your support or main action, or even at the start or end of a production turn.
Perform the effect and flip the card sideways.
All used blue action cards are restored during a Production Turn.


Playing a Card

  • When taking your action turn, perform your support action first before playing a card.
  • To play a card, pay the exact resources shown at the top, returning them to the Dice Pool. Use Wild tokens as any resource.
  • After payment, perform the card’s effects in any order. Ignore effects that can’t be performed.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game Green Cards
GREEN CARDS have a brown production box in their upper right corner. When you play these cards, nothing happens. Stack them with the card cost and the brown production box visible. Gain and roll all dice in brown boxes during each Production turn.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game 7
When you play a RED CARD, its effects are resolved instantly. Any gained dice are immediately rolled into resources. Stack red cards face up in a pile, showing the cost at all times (they may help you win Awards later!).
Terraforming Mars Blue Card Example
When you play a BLUE CARD, nothing happens – just place it separately. These cards have actions (support, main, or free) that only you can use. Pay the cost (if any) before the arrow, gain the benefit after the arrow, and flip the card sideways to mark it as used. All used blue cards are unflipped during your Production turn, so they can be reused.

Game Concepts

No re-rolls
You never ever re-roll your dice resources in this game!
Terraforming awards 2 VP.
When a player terraforms (places an ocean tile or raises temperature/oxygen), they gain 2 VP and move their player cube up the VP track on the game board.
Keep on terraforming:
If you complete oxygen, temperature, or ocean, you can still terraform these parameters. You gain 1 VP instead of 2 VP.
2 of 3 ends the game
When the second parameter is completed, it triggers the game’s end. All players then get one final turn, including the player who just completed the second parameter.
Immediate VP vs VP at the end of the game
You earn VP instantly through terraforming, tile placement (refer to Placing tiles on the board), and playing cards with a VP symbol featuring a green ribbon. Move your cube up the VP track! Red ribboned VP symbols count at the end of the game. You also earn VP for Milestones and Awards.
Placing tiles on the board
An icon depicting an ocean, greenery, city, or special tile means placing a tile with that symbol on the game board. Only 1 tile may be placed on each area. Place the tile and gain any placement bonus printed on that area.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game Ocean Tile
Place an ocean tile on a blue-marked ocean reserved area. No other tiles can be placed there. Gain 2 VP as it counts for terraforming.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game 8
Place a greenery tile on the board and earn 1 VP for each nearby city.
Increase oxygen by 1 step, gaining 2 VP for terraforming.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game City Tile
Put a city tile on a spot that’s not next to another city. You’ll get 2 VP for placing this tile, plus 1 VP for each greenery nearby.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game 9
Special tiles
Put the brown tile with the matching symbol in the designated area.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game Bonus Parameter
Bonus on parameter
The oxygen and temperature parameters have bonuses along the way. The player who increases a parameter receives a bonus.
Bonus Cards
When you reach the bonus steps on the VP track (5 VP and 12 VP), you gain a bonus card at the end of your turn. Secretly look at all available bonus cards, choose one, play it for free, and return the rest face down. The next player can then take their turn.
Dice and resources:
There are 5 dice colors, each with 3 resource symbols. Each dice has one common resource (on 3 sides), one uncommon resource (2 sides), and one rare resource (1 side).
Terraforming Mars Dice Game 10
Dice Resources
Rotate a dice
If a dice icon has pink arrows, it means you can rotate a resource dice to change it to another of the same color.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game Wild Tokens
Wild tokens
Wild tokens can be used as any resource you want.
Terraforming Mars Dice Game - Red Borders
Red borders on resources
If a resource icon has a red border and a minus symbol, opponents must lose one resource if possible. Opponents may choose resource dice in this case.
No available dice in the dice pool:
If there aren’t enough dice in the Dice Pool for a production turn, gain 1 wild token and your maximum production. In any other situation, missing resources or dice are lost without compensation.

How do you win?

End of Game

The game ends when 2 out of 3 global parameters (ocean/temperature/oxygen) are completed.

All players, including the one who completes the 2nd parameter, get 1 last turn. Note that increasing the 3rd parameter still gives 2 VP, and you still receive 1 VP for raising already completed parameter.

When the last turn is completed, any remaining resources and cards in hand are discarded. Add VP from Awards, Milestones, and cards to determine your final score.

Final Scoring


For each Award, players tally the number of that icon in the costs of their played cards. The player with the highest number of that icon earns 5 VP, and the runner-up earns 3 VP. Ties are friendly: If 2 or more players tie for winning an Award, both players score 5 VP, but no second place is awarded. If 2 or more players tie for second place, both receive 3 VP. In a 2 player game, there are no VP for second place.


Each milestone tile is worth 4 VP. Milestones are earned during the game when a player meets the requirement.

VP from Cards

Each player tallies up the VP from their played cards (medal symbol with red ribbons at the lower right).

The player with the highest score wins the game!
If tied, the player with the highest dice production (count all dice symbols in brown boxes on corporate and green cards) wins. If still tied, then determine the winner by a re-match.

Terraforming Mars Dice Solo Gameplay

In solo play, aim to complete all 3 global parameters (ocean/temperature/oxygen) within 50 turns. Achieving this goal allows you to count your final score. Failure to do so means your score is not counted. Follow normal multiplayer rules with the following changes.

Put 1 city tile on any of the 3 areas with VP-placement bonuses. Then add an ocean tile next to the city tile, and 1 forest tile adjacent to both the city and the ocean. Oxygen begins at 2%, and temperature starts at -28 °C. Note: No bonuses or points are awarded for any of this.

Randomize 3 awards. To win an award, have at least 6, 8, or 10 of the corresponding symbol, based on rarity. Each award grants 5 VP. If you’re one symbol away (5, 7, 9), score 3 VP instead.

Place 3 random milestone tiles on the board. If not claimed in time, they will be removed.

Use 4 bonus cards. After initial production, examine these bonus cards and choose 1 to play right away. During the game, you will acquire 2 more, and the last one will not be used this game.

You have 50 turns to complete the terraforming process. Use a player cube to mark the active turn number, starting at 0 during setup and moving to 1 before your first turn. After each turn, move the cube to the next number.

After reaching 16, remove the topmost unclaimed milestone tile. Remove the middle and bottom milestones at turns 20 and 24, respectively. The game ends at turn 50. Deadlines are marked with dots on the VP track.

Solo game scoring benchmark

<60 – Might as well lose
60-69 – You can do better
70-79 – Getting a hang of it
80-84 – Decent
85-89 – Not bad at all
90-94 – Really good
95-99 – Great
100-109 – Supreme Victory
110+ – Is this even possible?

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