Best Catan Scenarios
What are the best Settlers of Catan scenarios of 2023?
Starting back in 2021, we began compiling a list of the best Catan scenarios, expansions and variants with links to rules, downloads, and purchase pages. This list continues to evolve each year.
Before we get to the scenario list, it's important you know what a scenario is and the difference between a Catan expansion, Catan extensions, Catan standalone spin-offs, variants, and Catan scenarios.
1. What is a Catan Expansion?
First on our list, expansions. A Settlers of Catan expansion is an add-on to the base Catan game that changes how the players earn victory points and play the game. For example, Seafarers is probably the most known expansion for Catan.
Seafarer comes with additional hexes, new wooden ship pieces, additional ways to earn victory points, and even a mini-scenario featuring World Wonders. Because Seafarers is an expansion and not a complete game, you must have at least the base Settlers of Catan game to use the Seafarers expansion.
Catan makes expansions for the base game and many of their spin-off products, such as Federation Space for Star Trek Catan.
2. What is a Catan Extension?
Next is the Settlers of Catan extension. In contrast to expansions, Catan extensions extend the game’s playability without changing the general rules. Generally, when you refer to a Catan extension, you are talking about the Catan 5-6 player add-ons. An extension may include additional hexes, water borders or sea hexes, and additional player pieces. Catan makes 5-6 player extensions for the base Catan game and many of their expansions. However, there are few, if any, official extensions available for Catan spin-offs. While Catan may not make official spin-off extensions, Tabletop Monthly provides an extension for Star Trek Catan that makes the playing board larger and offers scenarios to change up the gameplay.
3. What is a Catan Scenario?
A Settlers of Catan scenario is also an expansion but would usually be considered a less advanced one. While scenarios change the gameplay by adding new rules and often additional pieces, they won’t radically change the overall game. Similar to an expansion, scenarios will require the base game and sometimes other expansions to play.
Within the Seafarers of Catan expansion, there is the World Wonders scenario. This scenario consists of cards that change how players earn victory points and alter the overall play strategy when used in the game. Additional scenarios include Tabletop Monthly’s Disasters and Plagues, a Robber Scenario compatible with the Catan Robber in Catan’s Settlers of Catan. In this scenario, the robber no longer steals resources and instead prevents a specific resource from being produced until a player uses a knight or rolls another seven.
4. What is a Catan Addon?
If scenarios are the light version of an expansion, addons are the light version of a scenario. Examples of addons include the Most Developed, Longest Turn, and Port of Call bonus cards by Tabletop Monthly. These single additions don’t change the rules but may alter the winning strategy.
5. What is a Settlers of Catan Standalone Spin-Off?
A standalone version of Catan is any complete game that uses Catan’s general rules and mechanics. These Catan spin-offs will often feature popular brands licensed by Catan, such as the Game of Thrones Catan or Star Trek Catan.
6. What is a Catan Variant?
Lastly, Catan Variants are completely different games that use the Catan brand. These include card games such as Rivals of Catan and Struggle for Catan, as well as the creatively named Catan Dice Game.
42 Best Catan Scenarios in Alphabetical Order
Now, for our Best of the Best Settlers of Catan Scenario list. We’ve included official and fan-created Catan scenarios for this list. Just an FYI, some of these mini-expansions require additional pieces to play. If the scenario is available to purchase or download, we’ve included a link.
If there is Catan scenario that you love that isn’t included in this list, let me know! Email me at email@example.com or use the contact form link in the footer of the site.
Best Catan Scenarios (A-F)
- Awaken the Dragon [PDF Rules]
- Barbarian Attack (Included in Traders and Barbarians) [Amazon Link]
- Barbarian Islands [Rules PDF]
- Borderlands and King’s Court [Free Printable]
- Catakatoa (2005) from Game Trade Magazine [Free Printable]
- Catakatoa (2007) from Mayfair Games’ 2007 scenario design contest [PDF Rules]
- Christmas Town [Product Page]
- Community Treasure Chest [Product Page]
- Desert Raiders [DOC Rules]
- Disasters and Plagues: A Robber Scenario [Product Page]
- Elemental Golem Scenario [Product Page]
- Explorers and Pirates [Amazon Link]
- Firestorm / Feuersturm / Wildfire Scenario [Product Page]
- Fishermen of Catan (Included in Traders and Barbarians) [Amazon Link]
- Forgotten Tribe (Included in Seafarers) [Amazon Link]
- Frenemies [Amazon Link]
- Friendly Robber [Rules @ World of Catan Wiki]
Best Catan Scenarios (G-R)
- Gamblers of Catan [Free Printable]
- Global Warming [Free Printable]
- Great Caravan (Included in Traders and Barbarians) [Amazon Link]
- Great River (Included in Traders and Barbarians) [Amazon Link]
- Helpers of Catan [Catanshop.com Product Page]
- Icebergs (Requires Seafarers) [Product Page]
- Industrialist: A Factory and Wealth Expansion [Free Printable]
- Lost Jungle [Product Page]
- Lucky Chance [Etsy Link]
- Mysterious Portals [Product Page]
- Oil Springs [Catanshop.com Product Page]
- Plantation [Product Page]
- Revenge of the Robber [DOCX Rules]
- Robin Hood of Catan [Reddit Post with Rules]
Best Catan Scenarios (S-Z)
- Santa Claus [Amazon Link]
- Settlers Against Humanity [DOCX Rules]
- Thar Be Dragons Seafarer Scenario [PDF Rules]
- Thieves Guild [Product Page]
- Treasure, Dragons and Adventurers [Amazon Link]
- Two Players [Rules Page and PDF]
- Volcano (Single Volcano Scenario) [PDF Rules]
- Volcano Island (Multiple Volcano Scenario) [PDF Rules]
- Wedding Chapel [Product Page]
- Wizard’s Castle [Product Page]
- World Wonders (Requires Seafarers) [Product Page]
- Zombies of Catan [PDF Rules]