Want to travel to Mars and build everything there? Then this game is just for you. Read our Terraforming Mars guide with some best tips and tricks.

Terraforming Mars is a board game where players represent competing corporations. An array of 61 contiguous hexagons represents the surface of the planet. It is easy to construct oceans, greeneries, cities, and other special tiles onto each hex, which represents about 1% of Mars’ surface area. In order to achieve these goals, participants play cards that depict various ways of terraforming Mars. 

There are several generations in the game, each representing one game round. The game begins with each player drawing a card, then each player performing an action. The next generation begins once all players have finished taking action and have collected their income and resources. But, how will you do all these things? There is a lot more stuff in the game. Do not worry as our Terraforming Mars guide will help you out and guide you with its best tips and tricks.

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Terraforming Mars Guide: Money

Terraforming Mars is a game where you build your own engine. So it’s not a smart idea to skip creating an engine and go straight for the points. To get points, you must build engines; to build engines, you must purchase and build projects; to purchase and build projects, you will need money. Prioritize cards that increase your revenue. It can also increase your metal production to generate more money at the start of the game. Avoid cards that have far-reaching requirements that you can’t meet.

Terraforming Mars Guide: Rare Metals

Now, this is a very important thing in the game and many players sometimes forget about it. The rare metals are sent to Earth and in return you get money. So whenever you feel that you are running out of money, you can just sell these rare metals for some money.

Build many important structures

You will need oxygen tanks, power capacitors, and water towers everywhere. Therefore, you will have to build as many as possible because they will not go to waste. These are very much required, and you will have to place them where they are needed the most. If there is a scarcity of these structures, you will have a lot of problems. So, it is a wise decision to just place them in a large number and be safe from any other difficulties.

Terraforming Mars gameplay
Gameplay (Asmodee Digital)

Plan your turns

The first few turns are all about boosting your economic state. As the game progresses, it becomes more of a race, and you must be prepared. By the time you reach the mid-game, your earnings, whether it’s from plants, or titanium, should be running well. In the final few rounds, it should be shooting on all cylinders. 

If you expect a game to run eight to twelve generations on average, with more players equaling shorter games in terms of turns, you should spend the first half of the game focusing on your economy. After that, you can focus the second half on capturing points.

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Do not bring senior citizens

This may come off as a harsh decision, but it’s the reality. Bringing senior citizens to Mars will not help you that much, as they won’t be getting any jobs. On top of that, they will be expecting pensions from you. It would be like giving them money for free. This will even slow down your work progression. So the best option is to get young and hard-working people so that you can have a fast-paced work atmosphere.

Terraforming Mars Guide: Draft Cards

Draft cards should not be given too much weight. Those are your pricey deck of cards. Only take the best from there and try to improve them using free card engines. 3MC is responsible for practically all of the free cards you receive.

Cards with extra points are beneficial

Obtain cards that provide you with long-term benefits. However, in the end, you must always think about cards that give you some extra points. If you are trying for more points, then remember that it relies on your situation. 

Therefore, consider how far your engine has improved as well as the rest of the factors. It could be the eighth or tenth generation before you decide to start collecting extra points. However, the decision is completely yours. You are free to do it whenever you decide the time is right.

Terraforming Mars gameplay
Gameplay (Asmodee Digital)

Create separate grids

Creating a separate power and life support grid is very important. Suppose you are connecting the power lines and the pipes of water and oxygen to the homes and the drone hub, and they just break. This will cause a lot of trouble. Therefore, it is the best option to keep it separate in order to reduce the breakdown. 

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Build forests 

The greenery will give you the most points. Forest provides you a point and improves oxygen levels if done properly. If your city is close by, it awards you bonus points and provides you with rewards based on the location you choose. You could even get two plants in return, which you can use to start a new forest. 

Additionally, you can receive two credits if you put it near an ocean. This credit is a lot for one forest. You can also build in the map’s corner and grow from there. Building it in the middle of the map is not recommended as it can give points to others.

build forests
Gameplay (Asmodee Digital)
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When you are stable with your economy, you will need to focus on the milestones. They are cheap, and a victory point can give you around five credits. Keeping this in mind, you will get around 25 points for just eight credits. However, there is a limit to it, so you cannot get it every time. The best way is to keep checking and filtering out the best ones for your needs. You will have to be active and grab the opportunity whenever it arrives.

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Published by Omer Khan

Omer has a proven track record in the online media industry as a Content Writer. He holds a bachelor's degree in international journalism and mass communication and enjoys sports and video games.