How To Play: Mars

In our Mars strategy guide, you'll find smart tips for resource management, building strategies, and terraforming. We covered rule summaries, game components, and winning tips. All the essentials for mastering the game, including 'How To Play Mars'. Join us for clear, concise advice that’s both fun and informative!

So, you’ve got the game Mars and you’re ready to conquer the red planet, huh? Well, you’re in luck! This guide will outline the game rules and highlight the best strategies for winning. Whether you’re managing resources or plotting your next big move, we’ve got the tips to help you dominate Mars.


What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 208 Project Cards
  • 17 Corporation Cards
  • 8 Reference Cards
  • 200 Player Markers
  • 200 Resource Markers
  • 1 First Player Token
  • 9 Ocean Tiles
  • 60 Greenery/City Tiles
  • 11 Special Tiles
  • 1 Rulebook

How To Play Mars: Rules Summary


  1. Firstly, place the game board in the center of the table. Ensure everyone can see it.

  2. Secondly, shuffle the deck of project cards and distribute 10 cards to each player. Discard the remaining deck.

  3. Thirdly, give each player their starting resources: 1 player board, markers for resources, and a set of colored cubes.

  4. Finally, determine the starting player and give them the first player token.


  1. Turns go clockwise. Play continues until all players pass or meet specific game conditions.

  2. On your turn, you can perform 1-2 actions. Actions include playing cards, using standard projects, expanding cities, or activating card abilities.

  3. Monitor your resources. You’ll need them to perform most actions. Collect income and produce resources during the production phase.

  4. Remember, you can trade resources for others you need. Save some for later use.


  1. To win, keep an eye on the game’s end conditions. The game ends when the global parameters (oxygen, temperature, and water) reach their target levels.

  2. Once conditions are met, count your victory points. These come from card points, milestones, awards, and tiles on the board.

  3. The player with the highest points wins. Ties are broken by the most remaining resources.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Firstly, some cards have special conditions. Read each card carefully to understand its impact.

  2. Next, certain milestones and awards can alter gameplay. Compete to achieve these first for bonus points.

  3. Remember collaboration. Some actions may require cooperation with other players. Strategize together or against each other for the win.

  4. Finally, always keep an eye out for the How To Play mars guide for more tips and strategies.

By following these rules, you’ll be ready to terraform Mars and lead your colony to victory! Have fun and watch out for those pesky oxygen levels!

Best Mars Strategies

Mastering Resource Management on Mars

Winning on Mars requires smart resource management. Use these strategies to make the most of your resources.

Prioritize Initial Resources
  1. First, focus on gathering essentials like water and oxygen.
  2. Always consider immediate needs over future plans.
  3. Then, stockpile resources for unexpected events.
Trade Wisely
  1. Trade with other players only when necessary.
  2. Think about long-term gains over short-term benefits.
  3. Leverage your resources for strategic advantages.
Build Efficiently
  1. Plan your buildings to maximize resource production.
  2. Use efficient building layouts to save on costs.
  3. Upgrade buildings to improve resource output.
Monitor Supply and Demand
  1. Keep a close eye on your resource levels.
  2. Adjust your strategy based on supply and demand.
  3. Stay flexible to react to changing conditions.

Mastering Building Strategy on Mars

Winning on Mars depends on smart building strategies. Here are some tips to keep you on top:

Focus on Key Structures

  1. Build Terraforming Stations early.
  2. Construct Energy Plants for a steady power supply.
  3. Don’t forget Research Facilities.

Balance Expansion

  1. Expand wisely, not too fast.
  2. Ensure resources keep up with growth.

Prioritize Upgrades

  1. Upgrade your buildings often.
  2. Focus on those giving the best return.

Keep an Eye on Opponents

  1. Watch opponents’ building strategies.
  2. Plan your moves accordingly.

Trade Efficiently

  1. Trade resources to boost your buildings.
  2. Optimize trades for maximum gain.

Mastering Terraforming Priorities for Victory

Focus on Oxygen Levels

First, I always prioritize raising oxygen levels. Plants and microbes become more efficient, giving you an early advantage. Follow these steps:

  1. Plant initial forests strategically.
  2. Use microbes wisely.
  3. Monitor opponents’ oxygen progress.

Increase Temperature Gradually

Next, focus on temperature. A warmer planet opens up more options. Here’s my approach:

  1. Invest in heat-producing projects.
  2. Use cities for warmth bonuses.
  3. Balance spending on temperature and other needs.

Maximize Water Coverage

Water is key for survival. I always ensure we have enough lakes and oceans. My steps:

  1. Build oceans in clusters for bonus points.
  2. Invest in aquifers early.
  3. Avoid spreading water too thin.

Balance All Elements

Finally, balance all elements. Keep a steady pace and watch your opponents closely. I follow this:

  1. Regularly check all terraform metrics.
  2. Adjust strategy based on opponents’ actions.
  3. Don’t neglect one element for another.

## Conquer Mars with Confidence!

So there you have it, folks! With these tips and strategies, you’ll be a Mars master in no time. Remember, it’s all about smart resource management, clever building strategies, and proper prioritizing of your terraforming tasks. Keep an eye on your friends too – they might be smiling, but they’re playing to win. Last game night, I barely managed to outwit Sam’s sneaky moves, but the sweet taste of victory was worth it! Now go forth and create your own Mars masterpiece. And when someone asks you ‘How To Play Mars’, you’ll have all the answers. Happy gaming!

Want to know what we think of Mars? Read our detailed review of Mars 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.