Board Games like Catan

Catan (formerly known as The Settlers of Catan) is an award-winning, multi player strategy board game which remains a classic favorite among game lovers.

Catan Strategy Board Game

Chances are you're already familiar with the game and are looking to expand your horizons with more exciting board games like Catan.

So how do you know which board games are similar to Catan? To answer this question is easier said than done, but don't despair because we have already done the research for you.

After gathering recommendations from the community, together with our own analysis and careful observations, we've identified a list of board games like Catan.

Reference Guide

This infographic summarizes our findings in the form of an easy-to-reference guide to board games like Catan. You will notice the list of games are grouped into 4 different categories, with some overlapping: Map Exploration, Player Interaction, Building and Worker Placement. [Click on infographic to enlarge.]

Board Games like Catan Infographic

Let's take a closer look at how we arrived at this picture.

In the quest to find games like Catan, we first need to ask ourselves:

What makes Catan such an enjoyable board game?


The first thing that comes to mind is that it's a strategy board game. You may enjoy the fact that your decision making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome of a game and that it's not all up to chance.

We made this the foundation for our selection and therefore all of the games mentioned here have elements of strategy built in.

Family friendly

Carcassonne Board Game

The second is that it's a family friendly game. Catan is what is known as a gateway game, meaning it's a great introduction game to get new people into playing board games. It's easy to learn and the theme can be enjoyed by all. For this category, we recommend:

They are likewise considered gateway games and is sure to be enjoyed by all. Find more family friendly games like Catan marked by the green icon in the infographic.

Player interaction

The third aspect is the element of player interaction. You may find that you have a much more enjoyable time if the game play requires engaging with other players. In Catan, this occurs when trading resources. It keeps the game fun and entertaining. For this category we recommend:

Chinatown Board Game

Chinatown contains negotiation, trading and also has elements of building like Catan. In fact, you will notice from the infographic that Chinatown matches the closest to Catan from all the games in our reference guide.

Cosmic Encounter contains negotiation, trading and even bluffing. If you really like the idea of player interaction and want to take it a level up, consider Pandemic. This is a cooperative game which means all players work together to beat the game. It is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!


Concordia Board Game

The fourth aspect is building. If you like the idea of building settlements and empires, there are quite a few other games that are similar to Catan with regards to this building aspect. These games include:

Notice from the infographic that Ticket to Ride mentioned before as a family game also falls under this category. Terra Mystica will be fitting if you are looking for a game more complex and challenging than Catan.

Worker placement

The fifth aspect is the economic theme which has to do with developing and managing systems of production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods.

Stone Age Board Game

More specifically, we looked at certain worker placement games that closely relate to Catan. These include:

    Instead of a map with area movement, these games typically feature a marketplace or piece of land where you place workers to do certain actions.


    Map exploration

    The sixth aspect is map exploration. One of the exciting features of Catan is placing the tiles during setup, creating a new map for each game. Even though map exploration isn't part of the game play itself, the variable map still gives a sense of adventure to the game.

    Tikal Board Game

    We identified more games like Catan that takes this concept further through map exploration. These are:

    Consider Scythe if you are looking for a game more complex and challenging than Catan and notice how it also has elements of building. From the infographic you will see that Carcassonne mentioned before as a family game have elements of both building and map exploration.


    After contemplating about what makes Catan such a great game, we found that its strongest features are that it's a strategy game that is also family friendly; it contains elements of player interaction and building; and finally, it closely relates to economic worker placement themed games and map exploration.

    We hope this guide has given you the insight you need to chose your next board game... or two!

    To see all the games listed, go to the Board Games like Catan Collection.