Android: Netrunner: Box Cover Front
Android: Netrunner - First-time deckbuilding, for Shaper. - Credit: asgood23
Android: Netrunner - mumbad cycle cards - Credit: CristiQ
Android: Netrunner - A core-only Noise (Anarch) deck in action! - Credit: kilroy_locke
Android: Netrunner - Android: Netrunner (revised core set), Fantasy Flight Games, 2017 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin
  1. Android: Netrunner: Box Cover Front
  2. Android: Netrunner - First-time deckbuilding, for Shaper. - Credit: asgood23
  3. Android: Netrunner - mumbad cycle cards - Credit: CristiQ
  4. Android: Netrunner - A core-only Noise (Anarch) deck in action! - Credit: kilroy_locke
  5. Android: Netrunner - Android: Netrunner (revised core set), Fantasy Flight Games, 2017 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin

Android: Netrunner Review

Android: Netrunner offers captivating gameplay with its unique asymmetrical mechanics, diverse card variety, and smooth learning curve, making it a must-have for board game enthusiasts.
  • Game Mechanics
  • Card Variety
  • Learning Curve
  • Replayability
4.5/5Overall Score

Quick Summary

In this review of Android: Netrunner, we explored the captivating world of this highly acclaimed board game. With its fast-paced gameplay, unique asymmetrical mechanics, and diverse card variety, it offers endless strategic possibilities. The game's smooth learning curve accommodates both newcomers and experienced players, while its exceptional replayability ensures every match is exciting and unpredictable. With its immersive gameplay and ever-expanding meta, Android: Netrunner is a must-have for board game enthusiasts looking for a thrilling and strategic gaming experience that will continue to challenge and delight players for years to come.

  • Number of Players: 2
  • Playing Time: 45-60 minutes
  • Recommended Player Age: 14 and up
  • Game Genre: Deck-building, Asymmetrical
  • Designer: Richard Garfield
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
  • Engaging gameplay
  • Diverse card variety
  • Smooth learning curve
  • High replayability
  • Complex for beginners
  • Expensive expansions
  • Requires regular rule updates
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Welcome to the review of Android: Netrunner, where we delve into the exciting world of this highly acclaimed board game. In this review, we will explore the game mechanics, card variety, learning curve, and replayability of Android: Netrunner. Known for its fast-paced gameplay and unique asymmetrical mechanics, this game has captivated players from all walks of life. So, let’s dive into the world of Android: Netrunner and discover what makes it a standout choice in the world of board games.

How It Plays

Setting Up

To set up a game of Android: Netrunner, players begin by choosing their role as either the corporation or the runner. Each player then builds their own deck, selecting cards from their chosen faction and adhering to deck-building guidelines. The corporation player sets up their servers with face-down cards, while the runner player prepares their hand and starting resources. Once the decks are shuffled and each player draws an initial hand, the game is ready to begin.


During the game, the corporation player tries to protect their assets and agendas by building a maze of ice cards to defend their servers from the runner’s attempts to gain access. The runner player, on the other hand, strives to bypass the corporation’s defenses by making successful runs on the servers. The gameplay is filled with tough decisions, as players allocate their limited actions and resources to strategically build their decks and make runs, all while trying to outsmart and outmaneuver their opponents. The dynamic and interactive gameplay ensures intense and engaging sessions.

Winning the Game

To win the game, both the corporation and the runner player have specific goals. The corporation player aims to score seven agenda points by advancing and protecting their agendas. Meanwhile, the runner player attempts to steal the corporation’s agendas or force them to deplete their deck entirely. The first player to complete their goal is declared the winner of the game. Android: Netrunner balances the asymmetrical play and provides opportunities for victory for both the corporation and the runner, making each match an exhilarating contest.

In summary, setting up Android: Netrunner involves selecting roles, building decks, and arranging the game components. The gameplay revolves around corporations defending their assets and runners attempting to bypass the defenses. The game concludes when one player scores enough agenda points or forces their opponent to deplete their deck. With these mechanics in mind, players can dive into the immersive and strategic world of Android: Netrunner.

Want to know more? Read our extensive strategy guide for Android: Netrunner.

Game mechanics are the backbone of any board game, and Android: Netrunner certainly delivers in this regard. The mechanics of this game are fast-paced, interactive, and thoroughly engaging, keeping players on their toes from start to finish. With its unique asymmetrical gameplay, one player assumes the role of the powerful corporation trying to protect their assets while the other player takes on the role of the crafty runner trying to exploit any weaknesses. This dynamic, along with the multitude of actions and choices available to each player, keeps the gameplay fresh and exciting.

Constant Decision-Making

One of the key aspects of the game mechanics in Android: Netrunner is the constant decision-making that players have to make. Every turn presents players with a variety of options, from installing powerful cards to planning devious attacks. The game requires strategic thinking and careful planning, as every move can have a profound impact on the outcome of the game. This constant decision-making keeps players engaged and invested in the game, making for a truly immersive experience.

Dynamic Action Economy

Another notable aspect of the game mechanics is the dynamic action economy. In Android: Netrunner, players have a limited number of actions they can take during their turn, such as drawing cards, playing cards, or making runs on the corporation’s servers. However, the game introduces the concept of clicks, which represent the resources a player has available to them. This creates a delicate balance between spending actions efficiently and conserving them for crucial moments. Managing this dynamic action economy adds an extra layer of strategy to the game.

Hidden Information and Bluffing

Android: Netrunner is known for its clever use of hidden information and bluffing mechanics. The corporation player builds servers with face-down cards, creating an air of mystery as to what lies behind each server. The runner player must carefully assess the risks and rewards of making a run on a server, as the face-down cards could be anything from worthless traps to invaluable resources. This element of hidden information adds a thrilling and suspenseful aspect to the game, as both players try to outwit and outplay each other.

Moreover, Android: Netrunner incorporates an element of bluffing, allowing players to deceive their opponents and manipulate their expectations. The runner player can make fake runs on servers, forcing the corporation player to reveal and waste resources defending against nonexistent threats. Similarly, the corporation player can create enticing traps, luring the runner player into making costly mistakes. The bluffing mechanics in Android: Netrunner add an exciting layer of mind games to the already thrilling gameplay experience.

With its captivating game mechanics that emphasize constant decision-making, a dynamic action economy, and elements of hidden information and bluffing, Android: Netrunner undoubtedly keeps players on their toes, eager to outsmart their opponents. The next section will explore the diverse card variety in this game, which further enhances the strategic depth and replayability.

Android: Netrunner - First-time deckbuilding, for Shaper. - Credit: asgood23

A Diverse and Exciting Card Variety

The card variety in Android: Netrunner is nothing short of remarkable. The game offers a vast array of cards, each with unique abilities, allowing players to customize their decks and adopt various strategies. From powerful icebreakers and devious traps to resource-enhancing assets and event cards, there is no shortage of options when it comes to building your perfect deck. This diverse card variety ensures that every game feels fresh and that players can continually explore new strategies and playstyles.

Characterful Faction Cards

One of the standout features of the card variety in Android: Netrunner is the faction-specific cards. Each player has the option to choose from a range of distinctive factions, such as the monolithic Weyland Consortium or the elusive Shaper. Each faction has its own unique set of cards and abilities, reflecting their thematic identities and playstyles. This allows players to immerse themselves in the rich lore of the Android universe while also adding a layer of depth to the gameplay. This faction-specific card variety further enhances replayability, as each faction offers a different experience.

Expansions for Limitless Possibilities

Beyond the base game, Android: Netrunner offers a vast collection of expansions that introduce even more cards into the mix. These expansions not only introduce additional general-use cards but also expand the card variety within each faction. Each expansion brings new mechanics and strategies to the game, providing endless possibilities for deck customization and gameplay experimentation. The expansions breathe fresh life into Android: Netrunner and ensure that it remains a game you can enjoy for years to come.

Regular Releases for Ongoing Excitement

Another aspect that sets Android: Netrunner apart is the regular release of new card packs. This ongoing support from the game’s publisher means that the card variety continues to expand, keeping the game dynamic and exciting. The regular addition of new cards allows players to continuously find new combinations and synergies, adding depth and complexity to their decks and strategies. This continued support serves as a testament to the enduring popularity and longevity of Android: Netrunner.

With its diverse and exciting card variety, Android: Netrunner ensures that no two games are ever the same. The wide range of cards allows for endless customization and strategic depth, while the faction-specific cards and expansions provide a wealth of thematic options. The next section will delve into the learning curve of the game, addressing whether it is easily accessible to newcomers or requires a more experienced approach.

Android: Netrunner - mumbad cycle cards - Credit: CristiQ

A Smooth Learning Curve for Players of All Levels

When it comes to learning Android: Netrunner, players will find a smooth learning curve that accommodates both newcomers and experienced players alike. The game is designed to gradually introduce the mechanics and concepts, allowing players to grasp the fundamentals before diving into the more complex strategies. Whether you are new to the world of deck-building games or a seasoned player looking for a new challenge, Android: Netrunner offers a satisfying learning experience.

Clear and Comprehensive Rulebook

One of the strengths of Android: Netrunner is its clear and comprehensive rulebook. The rulebook outlines the game’s mechanics in a straightforward manner, providing examples and clarifications when needed. This resource ensures that players can quickly reference any rules they may be unsure of, mitigating confusion and facilitating a smoother learning process. The rulebook is particularly beneficial for newcomers who are new to the game’s unique asymmetrical gameplay.

Tutorial and Learning Resources

Android: Netrunner also provides tutorial resources to assist players in their learning journey. The game’s publisher has created video tutorials and online resources that explain the game’s mechanics and strategies in a accessible manner. These resources can be invaluable tools for newcomers to the game, as they provide step-by-step guidance and tips for getting started. Additionally, the game’s active online community is helpful and welcoming, providing guidance and support to new players as they navigate the learning curve.

Increasing Depth and Complexity

While the learning curve is smooth, Android: Netrunner does offer increasing depth and complexity for players seeking a greater challenge. As players become more familiar with the game’s mechanics, they can experiment with more advanced strategies, deck-building techniques, and bluffing tactics. This allows players to gradually expand their skills and understanding of the game, giving them the opportunity to delve deeper into its strategic depth and appreciate its nuances.

With its clear rulebook, tutorial resources, and increasing depth, Android: Netrunner offers a learning curve that caters to both newcomers and experienced players. The game ensures accessibility for those starting out while providing avenues for growth and mastery. The next section will examine the replayability of Android: Netrunner, highlighting the elements that contribute to its longevity and continued enjoyment.

Android: Netrunner - A core-only Noise (Anarch) deck in action! - Credit: kilroy_locke

Endless Possibilities for Endless Fun

Android: Netrunner offers unparalleled replayability, ensuring that every game is a unique and exciting experience. From deck customization to ever-evolving strategies, this game embraces diversity and unpredictability to keep players coming back for more.

Diverse Combination of Cards

One of the key factors that contribute to the game’s replayability is the diverse combination of cards. With thousands of cards available, players can create countless unique decks, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The wide variety of cards allows for an infinite number of possible card combinations, fostering strategic experimentation and creating endless replayability. Whether you prefer a defensive strategy as the corporation player or an aggressive approach as the runner, the multitude of cards ensures there is always something new to explore.

Ever-Changing Meta

In addition to the card variety, the ever-changing meta also adds to the replayability of Android: Netrunner. As new cards are released and strategies emerge, the game’s meta constantly evolves. This means that the optimal strategies and deck compositions may change over time, ensuring that the gameplay remains dynamic and engaging. Players must adapt to the evolving meta, modifying their decks and strategies accordingly. The shifting landscape of competitive play adds an exciting element of unpredictability to each game, making every match a fresh challenge.

Interactive and Adaptable Gameplay

The interactive and adaptable gameplay of Android: Netrunner is another aspect that contributes to its replayability. With its asymmetrical gameplay, the game offers two distinct roles, each with its own set of actions and decisions. This creates countless gameplay possibilities and encourages multiple playthroughs. Additionally, the game promotes interactive gameplay, with players constantly reacting to and countering each other’s moves. This interactivity keeps players engaged and eager to try different approaches and strategies, ensuring that no two games are the same.

In conclusion, Android: Netrunner stands out as a board game that offers exceptional replayability. The game’s diverse combination of cards, ever-changing meta, and interactive gameplay provide endless possibilities and ensure that each game is a fresh and exhilarating experience. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the game, Android: Netrunner offers hours of enjoyment and countless thrilling moments.

Android: Netrunner - Android: Netrunner (revised core set), Fantasy Flight Games, 2017 — front cover (image provided by the publisher) - Credit: W Eric Martin


Android: Netrunner is a standout board game that offers a unique and engaging experience. With its fast-paced gameplay, diverse card variety, smooth learning curve, and exceptional replayability, it captivates players of all levels. The game’s asymmetrical mechanics and suspenseful bluffing elements keep every match thrilling and unpredictable. Whether you are a seasoned player or new to the world of deck-building games, Android: Netrunner offers hours of excitement and strategic depth. With its immersive gameplay, endless possibilities for customization, and the ever-evolving meta, this game is a must-have for any board game enthusiast. Concluding this review, Android: Netrunner undoubtedly deserves the accolades it has received from players worldwide.

4.5/5Overall Score
Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.