Find out about Wingspan

Learn how to play Wingspan the board game

Easy and fast way to learn the Wingspan rules. We cover the essential instructions and get your game started quickly.

Suitable for 1 – 5 players | 40 – 70 mins duration | Recommended age 10+ | Game complexity: EASY Genre: Animals,Card Games,Educational Solo game mode: Yes Co-op: No Online Version: Yes
Click here for the official rulebook

What is the goal? #

  • 1 to 5 player game which revolves around bird collecting and growing your habitat
  • Compete to discover and attract the best birds to your habitat
  • Birds contribute to powerful growth combinations in your habitat
  • You grow your habitat by:
    • Gaining food
    • Laying eggs
    • Expanding your bird collection
  • The winner is the player with most points collected from birds, bonus cards, end-of-round goals, eggs, food and tucked birds

Game setup  #

  1. Bird Cards – Shuffle bird cards, place deck to the bird tray and put 3 face-up bird cards onto the tray
    Wingspan bird cards
  2. Supply – Place all food and egg tokens in the supply
    Place bird cards on Wingspan Bird Tray
  3. Birdfeeder – Put food dice into the birdfeeder dice tower
    Wingspan goal board
  4. Goal Board – Choose the type of goals you wish to play with and place on table with side facing up
    • Green: More competitive game – Choose side that has 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each goal
    • Blue:  Less competitive game – choose side that awards 1 point for each targeted item
      Wingspan 1

  5. Goal Tiles: Shuffle tiles without looking. Place 1 tile (random side up) on each of the 4 blank spaces on the goal board
    Wingspan goal tiles
  6. Bonus Cards: Shuffle bonus cards and place deck on table

Player Setup #

A) Each player gets:

    •  1 player mat
    • 8 action cubes of each colour
    • 2 random bonus cards
    • 5 random bird cards
    • 5 food tokens one of each type
    • Keep your hands hidden or public throughout the game

B) Keep up to 5 bird cards and discard others:

    • Each bird card you keep, discard 1 food token (we suggest to keep the food token types that suit your bird card)

C) Choose 1 bird card to keep, discard the rest – you can look at your bonus and bird cards when deciding which to keep

D) Randomly select 1st player and give player 1st player token

How to play Wingspan - Learn how to setup Wingspan the board game

Gameplay #

  • Wingspan the board game is played over 4 rounds
  • In a round, each player take turns clockwise to use all available action cubes
  • On your turn, take 1 out of 4 actions shown on left side of mat:
    • Play a bird from your hand
    • Gain food and activate forest bird powers
    • Lay eggs and activate grassland bird powers
    • Draw bird cards and activate wetland bird powers

    Gain food, Lay eggs and Draw Bid cards have following 3 steps:

    1. Choose habitat on your mat and place action cube on leftmost  empty slot in row. Gain benefit of that slot
    2. Move action cube right to left to next slot, activating any birds on that slot with \’WHEN ACTIVATED\’ power in that row (power is optional)
    3.  When action cube reaches far left, leave it there. Turn is over

Turn Action Option 1: Play a bird from your hand #

On your turn, take 1 out of 4 actions shown on left side of mat:

  • Play a bird from your hand
    When playing a bird:
    • place action cube on Play a Bird spot above where you will play the bird (there are 5 columns)
    • pay egg cost (if any), Column 1 has no cost, Column 2 and 3 have 1 cost and so on

Wingspan the board game - play a bird spot

  • Pay the bird\’s food cost: Discard food tokens to the supply
  • If a bird\’s food requirement is a WILD icon, you can use any 5 types of food for i

Wingspan type of food

  • Any 2 food tokens can be used as any 1 food token
  • Place bird on leftmost explosed slot in related habitat (each row on the mat represents a habitat) – see habitats below

how to play Wingspan the board game - different habitats

  • Move action cube to left side of Play A Bird row
  • If multiple habitat symbols shown on bird card, choose which habitat (row) to place it in
  • If bird has power “WHEN PLAYED”, you may use the power.

Activate forest bird power

Turn Action Option 2: Gain Food and Activate Forest Bird Powers #

Food is used to play Bird Cards. The dice in the birdfeeder shows which food you can gain.

Gaining food:

  1. Place action cube in the leftmost exposed slot in GAIN FOOD row on your player mat
    • gain amount of food show on dice you choose from  the birdfeeder
    • remove die from birdfeeder and put on the table
    • Gain a food token matching icon on the die and place next to your mat
    • You always gain 1 food token per die
  2. Gaining extra food on Card to Food bonus slot:
    • If the slot where you placed action cube shows Card to Food bonus conversion, you may discard only 1 bird card from hand to gain food.  When gaining extra food, choose among dice remaining in the birdfeeder.
  3.  Activate any brown powers on your forest birds, right to left

Wingspan 2

Activate forest bird

Turn Action Option 3: Lay Eggs and Activate Grassland Bird Powers #

To play bird cards, you need eggs. Each egg on bird cards on you player mat is worth 1 point at the end of the game.

Laying Eggs:

  1. Place action cube in the leftmost exposed slot in Lay Eggs row on your player mat
    • lay amount of eggs shown on the mat and gain egg tokens
    • place tokens on bird card that has not exceeded egg limit (shown on card)
    • the egg stays there for the rest of the game till discarded
    • eggs can be laid on any combination of birds or on 1 bird but each bird has egg limits, excess eggs are lost
  2. Food-egg-bonus conversion slot: if you place action cube on this slot, you may convert 1 food token to an additional egg
  3.  Activate any brown powers on your grassland birds, right to left

Types of nests:

  • Each bird has a nest icon and is important for end-of-round goals and bonus cards.
  • Star nests can match any other nest type of goals, bonus cards and bird powers

bird nests wingspan board game

Star nest wing span board game

Nest type and Egg limit on bird card - Wingspan

Turn Action Option 4: Draw bird cards and Activate Wetland bird powers #

Drawing cards:

  1. Place action cube in the leftmost exposed slot in Draw Cards row on your player mat
    • draw number of cards shown on the slot
  2. Egg-to-card bonus conversion slot: if you place action cube on this slot, you may convert 1 egg token from a bird on your mat to an additional  card
  3.  Activate any brown powers on your wetland birds, right to left

Managing bird deck:

  • Face up cards on bird tray are not immediately refilled. Wait till the end of your turn before refilling
  • If bird deck is empty, reshuffle all discarded bird cards to form a new deck
  • End of each round, discard remaining face-up cards and replenish 3 new bird cards

Draw bird card row - Wingspan board game

Round complete: all actions are taken #

The round is over when all players have placed their action cubes.

On completion of the round:

  1. Remove action cubes from your mat
  2. Score end of round goal for most recent completed round
    • Use 1 of your action cubes to mark score on the end-of-round goal
    • You will have 1 few action cube to use the next round
  3. Discard all face-up bird cards on bird tray and restock bird cards from the deck
  4. Next player (clockwise) takes 1st player token

How do you win? #

When Round 4 ends, the game ends.

Use scorepad to tabulate the following:

  • Points for each face-up bird card on your mat (points on card)
  • Points for each bonus card (points on card)
  • Points for end-of-round goals (shown on goal board)
  • 1 point for each:
    • egg on a bird card
    • food token on a bird card
    • card tucked under a bird

The player with most points wins. In cases of a tie, the player with most unused food tokens wins.

How to score in Wingspan the board game

Video Walkthrough #

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