Race for the Galaxy (abbreviated “RftG” or simply Race) is a card game designed by Thomas Lehmann that was released in 2007 by Rio Grande Games. The game’s theme is to build galactic civilizations via game cards that represent worlds or technical and social developments. It accommodates 2-4 players by default although expansions allow for up to 6 players, as well as solo play.

Game Components

1. Five start world cards
2. 109 game cards (59 worlds, 50 developments)
3. Four sets of 7 player action cards
4. Eight duplicate action cards for experienced 2-player games
5. Four summary sheets
6. 28 Victory Point chips

Setup of the Game

First, place twelve victory point chips per player and in one and five VP chips nearby. Then, set aside the ten VP chips (and any leftover chips) for use during the final round of play.

Then, each player should take a set of seven diverse action cards.

Then, you will have to find and shuffle the five start worlds. Each player is dealt with one world face-up. These worlds form each player’s starting card tableau.

Your first game: For two players, you have to use start worlds 1 and 2. For three, you have to use start worlds from 1 to 3. Lastly, for four players, you have to use start worlds from 1 to 4.


Then, you have to shuffle the unused start worlds along with the game cards. Next, deal six face-down cards to each player. Each player then checks these cards and discards two cards face-down to the discard pile. The remaining cards make the initial card supply.

Your first game: Each of the players uses the four numbered game cards matching their start world’s number as their initial hand. After finding these preset hand cards, you will have to shuffle all the remaining game cards, including any leftover start worlds and preset hand cards, together.

The printer has already presorted the start worlds, preset hands, and action card sets for your very first game. If Alpha Centauri is being played, you will have to place a card from the card supply face-down on top of it.

Game Play

A game is played over several rounds. At the beginning of a round, each player secretly and simultaneously chooses one action card, placing it face-down in front of himself/herself.

Once all the players have done this, they turn these action cards face-up. Then, the players perform the phases in order (Explore, Develop, Settle, Consume, Produce), and omit every phase not chosen by at least one of the players.

Each of the phases have an action, which is performed by all players. Also, the players who chose that particular phase get a bonus.

Important: If more than one player chooses the same phase, the action is still performed but only once (all the players who selected that phase receive a bonus). The bonus for an action either modifies it or is in addition to it.