Catan vs Ticket To Ride: Which board game you should buy?

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Bored of being locked down in the house and want something interesting that is both fun and requires critical thinking? Playing board games might help you out. But there are a lot of options to try. And if you are already an avid fan of Catan as well Ticket to ride, then this decision will be even harder. Both Catan and Ticket to Ride are the two most popular and one of the big names among board games. The question is: Which one to go for?

You can easily get engrossed in a merry time with both family and friends while playing these two games and get lost in their gateways. And with a little bit of luck, you can either reach your destination or set up a beautiful empire for you to ultimately claim victory. 

Both these games are similar in a way while miles apart in some different aspects. To make your decision making easier, we’ve prepared a comparative analysis of both board games. It all depends upon your personal preference, in the end, to give how much value to a particular factor in deciding which game to play. Here are the factors differentiating Catan from Ticket to ride.

Catan vs Ticket To Ride: Gameplay

Ticket to ride is perfect for the travel enthusiast, as this game involves reaching your destination by connecting to cities with trains. Each player needs to collect tickets and form connections. The player with the most number of successful connections secures points and ultimately win. 

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catan Gameplay
ticket to ride play with alexa gameplay
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While ticket to ride is all about moving, Catan is all about settling. Each player settles down and builds their empire with building, roads, and by other means. Players can barter among themselves to reach a colony of ten points. The player to do so first wins. 

Based on the gaming experience and the theme, Catan is a total standout concerning strategic board games. 

Catan vs Ticket To Ride: Complexity of the Rules

Ticket to Ride requires you to decide in each round for 3 different purposes, whether you want to build trains, take a ticket, or pick a card. You get more points for building trains on longer routes and also by connecting two tickets properly. Those with more successful tickets and longer train routes win. 

Catan requires a lot more strategic thinking. It requires you to make proper barter decisions, the proper way to build your empire, the role of Robber, how to deploy your cards, and more. You might require more than just one round to completely understand the rules. 

Thus, from complexity of rules standpoint, Ticket to Ride clearly stands a winner. 

Catan vs Ticket TO Ride: Number of Players

Catan can be played by 2-4 players at a time. What sets Catan apart from Ticket to Ride is that it can be expanded up to a maximum of 2 players. However, there is a downside to this expansion, the base rules might get changed. 

Ticket to Ride can be played 2-5 players. Playing with 5 players can seem to be a bit crowded, but this also provides the best gaming experience. 

Thus, in terms of gaming experience for an average of 4-5 players, Ticket to Ride surpasses Catan.

Catan vs Ticket TO Ride: Randomizers

The randomizer in Catan is solely dice-oriented. On the other hand, the Tickets to Ride randomizer depends on two stacks of cards, where the first deck denotes the “tickets” and the second deck helps you to build train routes. 

So, if the deck of cards is not shuffled properly, the randomizer content of Ticket to Ride can be lost. This aspect of the gameplay makes players a bit more comfortable playing Catan over Ticket to ride.

Catan vs Ticket TO Ride: Re-playability

Replayability is probably the most important aspect of choosing a board game. You don’t just want to buy a board game only to be declared it among the abandon list after the first play. So it becomes important to look up into this factor as well. Based on the level of randomization, the re-playability of both games can be differentiated. 

Catan is played with several hexagonal tiles all of which are different. These tiles can be organized in a different manner during each play, thereby resulting in a new variant of board game every time. Also, these tiles are labelled that corresponds to a number on the dice each time it is rolled. So, having thousands of probable combinations both in terms of board layout and corresponding labelling to dice, this board game offers numerous re-playabilities. 

On the other hand, as stated, Ticket to Ride has only 2 sets of randomizers, that can moderately change the gameplay. The moderate changes moderately affect the uniqueness of the gameplay. And thus, Catan wins to Ticket to Ride in terms of re-playability. 

Catan vs Ticket TO Ride: Player engagement

Player engagement is the most important factor to decide which game to play. More the games require player engagement, less likely it to get monotonous in playing it long term.

The mechanics of both the game is also different. Catan is more concentrated on trading and network building. This requires a lot of strategy-oriented and requires more interactive sessions with other players. Whereas, in comparison to Catan, Ticket to Ride requires little to moderate player interactions or engagement. 

There is no clear winner, as in some cases, the lack of player engagement can restrict your feeling of other players ganging up on you, which might be liked by some. 

Catan vs Ticket TO Ride: How to win? 

For most logical board games, there are multiple ways to secure a win. Both the games have their own unique way of winning the board.

The primary strategy to win Catan is to build proper settlements and colonies. However, there are other ways, like building long roads, creating armies, and other secondary strategies that can get you closure to 10 points win. 

Strategies like the longest train route and the greatest number of completed tickets can help you to win Ticket to Ride, but basically, all these acts as bonus points. There is only one primary strategy, that is, to make points by completing the connection. So, Ticket to Ride has fair chances of winning whereas, Catan has innumerable ways. 


Ticket to Ride offers a moderate to a fair degree of complexity and also the rules are easy to follow. So, if you are new to the experience of strategic board games and want to experience a laid-back afternoon with your family and friends, then this is your call.  

Catan on the other hand is a lot more strategic and requires a lot of competitive spirits. Also, because of its randomizer, the game is unique with every roll of the dice. Based on these features, we prefer Catan over Tickets to Ride. 

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