top of page

Official Arkham Horror Rules

Arkham Horror is a thrilling cooperative board game for 1-4 investigators who work together to prevent an ancient evil from breaking into our world. You'll explore the twisted streets of Arkham, gather clues, fight monsters, and perform rituals to seal the dimensional gate before it's too late.


  • Game board depicting Arkham and surrounding areas

  • Investigator decks (each with unique character cards and skills)

  • Monster decks (with various horrifying creatures)

  • Encounter decks (representing events and locations)

  • Mythos deck (containing narrative twists and challenges)

  • Tokens (for health, sanity, clues, doom, etc.)

  • Dice (for combat and skill checks)

  • Character sheets (track investigator stats and skills)

  • Scenario guide (specific instructions for each game)


Cooperatively work together to complete the objectives outlined in the chosen scenario before the doom track fills up or all investigators succumb to madness or injuries.


  1. Choose a Scenario:  The scenario guide details the specific setup instructions, victory conditions, and special rules for your chosen adventure.

  2. Select Investigators: Each player chooses an investigator and takes their corresponding deck, character sheet, and starting items (based on the scenario).

  3. Assemble the Game Board: Place the game board in the center of the playing area. Add location and encounter decks specific to the scenario.

  4. Doom Track and Mythos Cup: Set up the doom track and place the Mythos cup next to it. This cup will hold encounter cards that add to the overall story and challenges.

  5. Character Setup:  Each player places their investigator token on the starting location (usually Arkham) on the game board. They set their health, sanity, and resource tokens based on their starting values.


The game follows a round structure with four phases:

  • Movement Phase:  Players can move their investigator tokens between connected locations on the board, spending movement points.

  • Encounter Phase:  At each location, players draw an encounter card specific to that area, facing the challenges or engaging in events described on the card.

  • Mythos Phase:  Here, the game throws its narrative twists at you. The first player draws a card from the Mythos deck, resolving its effects. This might involve monster attacks, advancing the doom track, or introducing new story elements.

  • Action Phase:  In this crucial phase, players can take two actions each, such as:

    • Attack Monsters: Use your combat skills and resources to fight off attacking monsters.

    • Gather Clues: Explore locations and spend actions to draw clue tokens, which are vital for completing rituals.

    • Perform Actions: Use your investigator's unique abilities or spend resources to perform various actions like healing, researching, or bartering.

    • Play Events:  Investigators can play event cards from their hand to gain temporary advantages or overcome specific challenges.


When battling monsters, players roll dice and consult their skills to determine success. Defeating monsters earns you experience points for character development.

Campaign Mode:

Arkham Horror offers a campaign mode where you play through a series of linked scenarios, carrying over your characters' experience and developing a deeper narrative arc.

Winning the Game:

The investigators win if they achieve the specific victory conditions outlined in the chosen scenario before the doom track fills up or all investigators are defeated.

Additional Notes:

  • The Arkham Horror rulebook provides detailed explanations of all game components, actions, and card effects.

  • The game offers various difficulty levels by allowing players to choose different scenarios.

  • Communication and teamwork are crucial for success. Discuss strategies, share resources, and utilize your investigators' strengths to overcome the challenges together.

Arkham Horror is a rich and complex game that requires cooperation, strategy, and resource management. Players must work together to solve mysteries, combat monsters, and prevent the Ancient One from awakening.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see our disclosures here.

Browse Related Games!

bottom of page