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Official Terraforming Mars Board Game Rules

Terraforming Mars is an award-winning strategic board game where players take on the role of corporations vying to transform the Red Planet into a habitable world. Through careful resource management, project selection, and engine building, players compete to raise Mars' temperature, oxygen level, and ocean coverage, making it suitable for human life.


Players take on the roles of corporations tasked with terraforming Mars. The goal is to increase the planet's temperature, oxygen level, and ocean coverage to make it habitable while earning the most Terraforming Rating (TR) points to win the game.


  • Game Board: Mars with tracks for temperature, oxygen, and ocean placement areas.

  • Player Boards: Track individual player resources, production, and projects.

  • Resource Tokens: MegaCredits (MC), steel, titanium, plants, energy, and heat.

  • Project Cards: Represent various terraforming projects and actions.

  • Corporation Cards: Provide unique abilities and starting resources.

  • Ocean Tiles: Placed on the game board as players create bodies of water.

  • City and Greenery Tiles: Represent cities and forests players build on Mars.

  • Milestones and Awards: Objectives for bonus points.

  • Player Markers: To track progress on various tracks and to claim milestones.

  • TR Markers: Track each player’s Terraforming Rating.


  1. Game Board Setup:

    • Place the game board in the center.

    • Set the temperature marker at -30°C.

    • Set the oxygen level marker at 0%.

    • Place ocean tiles aside, ready for use.

  2. Player Setup:

    • Each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding player board, markers, and starting resource tokens.

    • Deal two corporation cards to each player; each player selects one to keep and discards the other.

    • Each player draws 10 project cards and decides which to keep, paying 3 MC per card they wish to retain.

  3. Starting Resources:

    • Players receive starting resources as specified by their chosen corporation card.

Game Phases

The game consists of generations (rounds), each containing the following phases:

  1. Research Phase:

    • Players draw 4 project cards, keep any number of them by paying 3 MC per card, and discard the rest.

  2. Action Phase:

    • Players take turns performing 1 or 2 actions until all players pass. Actions include:

      • Play Project Card: Pay the cost to use a project card from hand, applying its effects.

      • Use Standard Project: Spend resources for standard actions like increasing temperature, placing ocean tiles, or building cities.

      • Activate Blue Card: Use an action on a blue project card already in play.

      • Convert Plants to Greenery: Spend 8 plant resources to place a greenery tile, increasing oxygen by 1%.

      • Convert Heat to Temperature: Spend 8 heat resources to increase temperature by 1°C.

      • Claim Milestone: Pay 8 MC and claim a milestone if conditions are met (first come, first served).

      • Fund Award: Pay 8 MC to fund an award, which will be scored at the end of the game.

  3. Production Phase:

    • Players produce resources based on their production levels indicated on their player boards.

    • Convert all remaining energy into heat.

Milestones and Awards

  • Milestones: Achievements that players can claim once they meet specific conditions. First three milestones claimed cost 8 MC each.

  • Awards: Funded by players during the game and scored at the end. First player to fund an award pays 8 MC, the second pays 14 MC, and the third pays 20 MC.

Ending the Game

The game ends at the end of the generation when all three global parameters (temperature, oxygen level, and all ocean tiles placed) have reached their goals.


  1. TR Points: Each player's TR value.

  2. Milestone Points: 5 points for each milestone claimed.

  3. Award Points: Points awarded based on funded awards (1st place: 5 points, 2nd place: 2 points).

  4. Tiles: 1 point for each greenery tile and 1 point for each city tile adjacent to a greenery tile.

  5. Cards: Points from project cards played, as indicated on the cards.

Winning the Game

The player with the highest total points at the end of the game wins. In case of a tie, the player with the most remaining MegaCredits wins.

Additional Rules

  • Card Effects: Project cards have various effects, including one-time actions, ongoing benefits, or resource generation.

  • Resource Conversion: Efficient management of resources and conversion between them is crucial.

  • Interaction: Players can strategically place tiles to gain bonuses or block opponents.

This structured rule set provides a comprehensive guide for playing the Terraforming Mars board game, focusing on strategy, resource management, and competitive play.

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