How To Play: Mansions of Madness: Second Edition – Setup, rule summary and strategy

In this comprehensive strategy guide for Mansions of Madness: Second Edition, we have explored the rules, mechanics, and best strategies to conquer the eerie mysteries of Lovecraftian horror. From setting up the game to coordinating teamwork, exploring the dark corners of haunted mansions, managing items, engaging in combat, and uncovering hidden clues, we have provided you with essential insights to increase your chances of victory.

Understanding the importance of effective communication, teamwork, and coordination is vital for success. Careful exploration, thorough clue gathering, and strategic item management will serve you well during your encounters with nightmarish creatures. Combat tactics, including employing defensive strategies, calculated attacks, and leveraging investigator abilities, are crucial for survival.

Let the integrated companion app guide you through immersive narratives, events, and chilling encounters that form the core of your investigations. Remember, solving scenarios requires fulfilling specific objectives and adapting rapidly to unforeseen challenges, making critical decisions along the way.

Armed with expert knowledge and your team's resourcefulness, navigate through the Lovecraftian mysteries, uncover hidden truths, and emerge victoriously against all odds. May the courage inspire you, as you traverse the dark corridors of Mansions of Madness and face the terrifying forces clawing at the fabric of reality.


Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Mansions of Madness: Second Edition! Whether you are a novice investigator stepping into the world of Lovecraftian horrors for the first time or a seasoned player seeking to sharpen your strategies, this guide will provide you with invaluable insights into mastering this thrilling cooperative board game.

In this guide, we will not only provide an outline of the game rules but also delve deep into the most effective strategies and tactics to achieve victory. From character selection and abilities to item management, combat tactics, and clue gathering, we will cover all the aspects that contribute to a successful exploration of the haunting mysteries that await you.

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition offers an immersive and atmospheric experience, where players must work together, unraveling the secrets of foreboding mansions while battling unspeakable horrors. With a combination of strategic thinking, efficient teamwork, and careful planning, you can enhance your chances of survival and emerge triumphant against eldritch forces.

Join us on this adventure as we navigate the eerie hallways, solve perplexing puzzles, uncover hidden clues, and confront malevolent entities. Let this guide serve as your companion, providing you with the knowledge and expertise you need to conquer the mysteries and delve into the heart of darkness lurking within the Mansions of Madness: Second Edition.

What’s in the Box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 34 Plastic Figures
  • 24 Double-sided Map Tiles
  • 8 Investigator Cards
  • 24 Common Item Cards
  • 19 Unique Item Cards
  • 18 Spell Cards
  • 30 Starting Item Cards
  • 40 Damage Tokens
  • 40 Horror Tokens
  • 24 Clue Tokens
  • 8 Person Tokens
  • 2 Sealed Envelope Tokens
  • 24 Interact Tokens
  • 4 Barricade Tokens
  • 1 Mystery Token
  • 1 Room Tiles Sticker Sheet
  • 16 Plastic Stands
  • 14 Dice
  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Scenario Guide

How To Play Mansions of Madness: Second Edition: Rules Summary


  1. Set up the game board by placing the starting room tile and arranging additional room tiles based on the scenario.
  2. Distribute investigator cards, matching miniatures, and corresponding actions markers to each player.
  3. Place clue, damage, horror, obstacle, and interact tokens nearby for easy access.
  4. Prepare item decks – common, unique, and starting items – and spell cards.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the specific scenario instructions and place the required monsters, items, and cards as indicated.

Turn Order

  1. Each round, players take turns clockwise, starting with the first player.
  2. The active investigator performs two actions, such as moving, interacting, searching for items, or attacking.
  3. Resolve any actions that have an immediate effect, including combat or triggered effects.
  4. When the active investigator finishes their actions, play proceeds to the next investigator.

Action Resolution

  1. Determine the target number for action tests based on the skill being tested.
  2. Roll a number of dice equal to the investigator’s skill.
  3. Count the number of successes (numbers equal to or greater than the target number).
  4. Compare the number of successes to the difficulty of the test to determine success or failure.
  5. Apply the results of the action accordingly, such as dealing damage in combat or discovering clues.


  1. To engage in combat, declare the location and creature being attacked.
  2. Roll the number of dice equal to the attacker’s combat value.
  3. Compare the number of successes to the defender’s armor and toughness, applying damage accordingly.
  4. Resolve any combat damage or special effects, considering items or abilities that may modify the outcome.
  5. Continuing attacking and resolve the creature’s retaliation until one side is defeated.

Investigation Phase and App Integration

  1. Explore additional rooms and interact with items and objects by tapping into the integrated companion app.
  2. The app provides room descriptions, events, puzzles, and hidden threats based on the investigated areas.
  3. Follow the app’s instructions, read the narrative sections aloud, and resolve encounters accordingly.
  4. The app also manages time limits, limited actions, hidden information, and provides guidance throughout the game.

Scenario Completion and Victory Conditions

  1. Each scenario has unique victory conditions that must be achieved to win the game.
  2. Work together as a team, collaborate, and strategize to fulfill the objectives before running out of time or suffering fatal consequences.
  3. Overcome obstacles, collect clues, solve puzzles, defeat monsters, and make critical decisions to uncover the truth and emerge victorious.

By following these summarized rules and understanding the basics of Mansions of Madness: Second Edition, you are now prepared to embark on a thrilling journey filled with mystery, horror, and cooperative gameplay. Immerse yourself in the arcane world of Lovecraftian horrors and face the unimaginable in this exceptional board game experience.

Best Mansions Of Madness Second Edition Strategies

Character Selection and Abilities

Choosing the right characters and utilizing their unique abilities is crucial for success when playing Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. Each investigator possesses distinct strengths and weaknesses that can greatly impact the outcome of the game. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:

Familiarize Yourself with the Investigators

  1. Read the investigator’s description and backstory to understand their motivations and specialties.
  2. Pay attention to their attributes and abilities, such as strength, agility, and intelligence, as these will determine their effectiveness in various situations.

Create a Balanced Team

  1. Assemble a team with complementary skills. Include investigators with a mix of combat prowess, investigative abilities, and supportive talents.
  2. Ensure your team covers a wide range of necessary skills, such as lockpicking, medical expertise, or occult knowledge.

Strategically Utilize Abilities

  1. Familiarize yourself with the abilities of each investigator and identify how to make the most of them.
  2. Coordinate actions and abilities with other players to maximize efficiency and overcome obstacles more effectively.

Adapt to the Scenario

  1. Consider the requirements and challenges of the scenario when selecting characters. Certain abilities may be more valuable in specific situations.
  2. Assess the scenario’s objectives and adjust your team composition accordingly. Be prepared for challenges that require specific skills or attributes.

By selecting and utilizing characters and their abilities wisely, you can greatly improve your chances of success in Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. Transitioning seamlessly between investigation, combat, and supporting roles will ensure that your team is well-equipped to face each dark and treacherous mystery that awaits.

Effective Teamwork and Communication

To achieve victory in Mansions of Madness: Second Edition, effective teamwork and communication are key. Teaming up with your fellow investigators and coordinating your actions is vital for success in the face of chilling horrors. Here are some strategies to enhance your teamwork and communication:

Establish Open Lines of Communication

  1. Regularly communicate with your teammates to share information, discuss strategies, and coordinate actions.
  2. Encourage open dialogue and active listening to ensure that everyone is on the same page and aligned with the group’s goals.

Assign Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Assign specific roles to each investigator, based on their abilities and the requirements of the scenario.
  2. Designate someone as the team leader, if necessary, to make decisive decisions during critical moments.

Coordinate Actions and Resources

  1. Plan your moves in conjunction with your teammates, taking into account each investigator’s abilities and the current objectives.
  2. Coordinate items and resources to ensure they are used efficiently and distributed to the investigator who can make the most use of them.

Offer Help and Support

  1. Be ready to assist your teammates whenever needed, whether it’s by providing aid in combat, sharing clues, or offering strategic insights.
  2. Collaborate on challenges and puzzles, pooling the collective brainpower of your team to overcome difficult obstacles.

Effective teamwork and communication will greatly increase your odds of survival in the face of eldritch horrors. By working together, coordinating your actions, and supporting each other, you can unravel the mysteries and overcome the challenges that lie within the foreboding walls of the Mansions of Madness.

Exploration and Clue Gathering Strategies

In Mansions of Madness: Second Edition, thorough exploration and clever clue gathering are crucial to solving the mysteries that lay hidden within sinister mansions. By following these strategies, investigators can uncover hidden truths and edge closer to victory:

Systematic Room Search

  1. Begin by thoroughly searching each room before moving on. Leave no stone unturned.
  2. Examine objects and interact with elements within the surroundings to unveil hidden clues and valuable information.
  3. Coordinate with fellow investigators to divide the task and cover more ground efficiently.

Investigate Anomalies

  1. Pay attention to anomalies or anything that stands out from the ordinary within a room or its contents.
  2. Approach suspicious objects, areas, or marks with caution, as they could potentially yield vital clues or triggers.

Utilize Investigator Abilities

  1. Use the unique abilities of investigators to your advantage when exploring. Some may have specific skills that aid in finding and interpreting clues.
  2. Strategically deploy investigators to areas where their skills are most valuable, ensuring a better outcome for clue gathering.

Follow Threads of the Narrative

  1. Carefully follow the narrative cues provided by the app and scenario, searching for clues and probing deeper into the story.
  2. Consider the context of each clue and how it may relate to other information received, piecing together the larger puzzle.

Through methodical exploration, attentive observation, and diligent clue gathering, investigators can uncover secrets and unravel the mysteries that lurk in the shadows of Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. Remember to communicate and share information with your team to piece together the fragmented truth and emerge victorious.

Optimal Item Management

Proper item management is essential for success in Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. Strategic allocation and efficient use of items can greatly improve your chances of surviving the horrors that await. Consider the following strategies:

Prioritize Essential Items

  1. Identify key items required to achieve the scenario’s objectives and prioritize obtaining them.
  2. If an investigator possesses an ability that synergizes with a specific item, ensure they acquire and use it effectively.

Coordinate Item Distribution

  1. Collaborate with your team to evenly distribute items, considering the strengths and abilities of each investigator.
  2. Ensure that investigators who frequently engage in combat have access to powerful weapons and protective gear.

Plan for Contingencies

  1. Keep a backup supply of healing items and other consumables to address emergencies.
  2. Coordinate with others to create item reserves that can be shared when critical situations arise.

Strategic Item Use

  1. Judge the appropriate time to use items, taking into account the action economy and the potential effectiveness of each use.
  2. Consider combining items with investigator abilities or events to maximize their impact and increase the chances of success.

By managing items efficiently, coordinating their distribution, and using them wisely, investigators can be better prepared to overcome the challenges within Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. Clever item management can mean the difference between success and failure in the dark and treacherous world of Lovecraftian horrors.

Combat Tactics and Strategies

Combat in Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is a pivotal aspect of survival. Engaging in effective combat requires strategic thinking, coordination, and the utilization of resources. Consider the following strategies to come out victorious in battle:

Analyze Enemy Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy, observing their attack patterns and abilities.
  2. Determine which investigator is better equipped to face certain foes based on their combat abilities and available weapons.

Coordinate Team Attacks

  1. Collaborate with your team to coordinate joint attacks and overwhelm formidable opponents.
  2. Consider using abilities and items that hinder the enemy’s movement or actions, providing an advantage in combat.

Emphasize Defense and Protection

  1. Prioritize defensive strategies, such as utilizing protective items or abilities to reduce damage received.
  2. Position investigators strategically to minimize the chances of being attacked or surrounded on all sides.

Manage Limited Resources

  1. Use weapons sparingly and judiciously assess when to attack using them.
  2. Take into account the effectiveness and durability of each weapon and melee versus ranged combat options.

By employing smart combat tactics, clear communication, and efficient resource management, investigators can navigate the treacherous battles in Mansions of Madness: Second Edition with a greater chance of success. Remember, collaboration, adaptability, and quick thinking are key components to survive the nightmarish encounters that await within the darkness.


As we conclude this comprehensive strategy guide for Mansions of Madness: Second Edition, we hope you now have a solid understanding of the game’s rules, mechanics, and best strategies for achieving victory. With every step into the foreboding mansions and every encounter with unspeakable horrors, keep in mind the importance of effective teamwork, careful exploration, optimal item management, combat prowess, and deciphering challenging mysteries.

Remember to communicate openly with your fellow investigators, coordinate actions, and utilize each investigator’s unique abilities to your advantage. Adaptability and quick thinking are key as you navigate the dark corridors, solve intricate puzzles, unearth hidden clues, and confront the true terrors lurking within.

Whether you are a seasoned investigator or a newcomer to the game, we hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and strategies to enhance your playing experience and increase your chances of emerging victorious. Enter the Mansions of Madness with confidence, prepared to face the eldritch unknown and uncover the truth that awaits.

Stay vigilant, stay united, and may your endeavors in the twisted realm of Lovecraftian horror bring both thrills and triumphs. Best of luck on your journey!

Want to know what we think of Mansions of Madness: Second Edition? Read our detailed review of Mansions of Madness: Second Edition 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.