How To Play: Blue Skies – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Mastering Blue Skies demands a keen focus on airport control, astute passenger flow management, and predicting opponents' moves. By selecting high-traffic airports, expanding gates wisely, and planning for long-term growth, players can navigate their way to victory. Implementing these strategies will garner success in the competitive skies.

Hey, fellow gamers! If you’re itching to master the skies and leave your opponents in the dust, you’ve landed at the right spot. I’ve clocked in more hours than I’d like to admit playing Blue Skies, and let me tell you, it’s a wild ride. In this guide, I’m spilling all my secrets, starting with the nuts and bolts of how to play Blue Skies, to strategizing your way to the top. Buckle up, because we’re about to take off!


What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 5 Airline Score Markers
  • 45 Airplanes (9 in each of 5 colors)
  • 112 Passenger Pawns
  • 5 Score Boards
  • 30 Airport Cards
  • 20 Hub Cards
  • 5 Reference Cards
  • 1 First Player Marker
  • 90 Route Markers (18 in each of 5 colors)
  • 1 Bag

How To Play Blue Skies: Rules Summary

If you’re looking to conquer the skies and beat your friends at Blue Skies, you’re in the right place. Grab your captains hat, and let’s jump right into how you can become the ultimate airline mogul. Trust me, after a few game nights with my crew, I’ve got some insights that might just make you the master of the skies.


  1. Place the game board in the center of the table.
  2. Distribute airplanes and score markers to each player, matching their chosen color.
  3. Shuffle the passenger cards and place them face down near the board.
  4. Put the route markers and passengers into the bag, shaking it to mix them up.
  5. Draw and place passengers on the airport terminals indicated by the game setup guide.


  1. On your turn, draw passengers from the bag and place them on their corresponding airports.
  2. Choose to expand your airline by adding planes to airports, hoping to attract more passengers.
  3. Draw a passenger card for special actions or bonuses, following the card instructions.
  4. End your turn by checking for any majority control at airports to score points.


  1. The game ends once the last passenger is placed on the board.
  2. Calculate points from airport control, passenger majority, and special cards.
  3. The player with the highest score is declared the master of the skies!

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. If two players tie for control of an airport, neither gets the control bonus.
  2. Some passenger cards disrupt normal gameplay, follow the card instructions.
  3. Strategic placement of your airplanes can block other players from gaining control.
  4. Keep an eye on your opponents’ moves to anticipate and counter their strategies.

Honestly, Blue Skies is not just about placing passengers and hoping for the best. It’s a strategic ballet, where each move could lead to your victory or your downfall. After several plays, I’ve learned that anticipation and adaptability are your best allies. So, gather your friends, set up the game, and let the best airline win!

Best Blue Skies Strategies

Mastering Airport Control in Blue Skies

Winning at Blue Skies hinges on smart airport control. Let’s break down how to dominate the skies.

Securing Key Airports Early

  1. Focus on airports with high passenger traffic. They’re gold mines.
  2. Spread out. Don’t cluster your gates in one spot. It makes you less vulnerable.

Managing Gate Expansion

  1. Watch your cash. Expanding too fast can bankrupt you.
  2. Target airports where opponents are weak. It’s easier to establish a foothold.

Playing the Long Game

  1. Invest in airports with long-term growth potential. They pay off over time.
  2. Keep an eye on your opponents’ moves. Block them if they’re getting too strong in an area.

Mastering Passenger Flow to Dominate the Skies

Winning at Blue Skies means getting savvy with your passengers. Here’s how you make every seat count and keep those planes full.

Identify High-Demand Routes

  1. Look for airports that connect to many cities. They’re passenger magnets.
  2. Keep an eye on your opponents’ moves. If they’re ignoring a busy airport, swoop in.

Optimize Your Gate Choices

  1. Pick gates in airports where you can foresee a constant flow of passengers. It pays off.
  2. Don’t spread too thin. Concentrate your gates to create strongholds.

Keep Adapting

  1. As the game progresses, new opportunities will pop up. Stay flexible.
  2. React to your opponents’ strategies. Block or bypass them to keep your passenger flow high.

Mastering the Game: Anticipate Your Opponents’ Moves in Blue Skies

Winning at Blue Skies isn’t just about managing your own airports; it’s also about predicting what your rivals will do. Let’s dive into the strategies that can help you stay one step ahead.

Understand Your Opponents

  1. Watch their past moves closely. This gives clues about their future actions.
  2. Notice their airport preferences. Players often have a pattern.

Block and Counter

  1. Place your gates in airports they’re eyeing to disrupt their plans.
  2. Invest in regions they lack presence to limit their options.

Strategic Expansion

  1. Expand in a way that complicates their next moves. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
  2. Always have a backup plan. If you think they might block you, be ready to pivot quickly.

## Master the Skies: Your Ticket to Victory
In wrapping up this strategy guide for Blue Skies, remember, the key to dominating the board isn’t just about snagging the busiest airports or flooding them with passengers. It’s about being two steps ahead of your friends, anticipating their moves, and always, always adapting your strategy to the ever-changing skies. This game is a thrilling ride through the clouds, where only the most cunning and adaptable players will see their airlines soar. So, gather your crew, rev up those engines, and get ready to claim your place among the stars of the aviation world. See you in the skies!

Want to know what we think of Blue Skies? Read our detailed review of Blue Skies here

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.