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Players control competing civilisations exploring space, discovering planets to conquer or settle, building an economy by consuming a planet's goods and building developments. The object of the game is to earn the most victory points from planets and developments played in their tableau, from consuming goods, and from bonuses from special developments.


  • 2players: select two phases per round.
  • 3+players: select one phase per round.
  • Only selected phases are played, in phase order.
  • I Explore: draw explore2 keep draw 1 cards1
  • II Develop: play development by discard equal to its cost.
  • III Settle:
    • play by discard equal to its cost.
    • play with sufficient military force.
    • played gain .
  • IV Consume: exchange for victory point chip using consume consume power powers.
    1. Select / with .
    2. Select with consume power power.
    • consume power powers must be used completely e.g. if 1 is consumed with a consume power×3 power, the power must be used twice more if possible.
  • V Produce: gain on each without .

Phase bonuses

Bonuses for selecting a phase:

  • I Explore: +5 +0 draw +explore5
  • I Explore: +1 +1 draw +explore1 keep +draw 1 cards1
  • II Develop: development-1 cost
  • III Settle: gain draw 1 cards1 for settling
  • IV Consume: $ exchange 1:
    • novelty good trade Novelty
    • rare elements good trade Rare Elements
    • genes good trade Genes
    • alien good trade Alien Technology
  • IV Consume: ×2 gain victory point chip×2
  • V Produce: gain on one without .
  • I Explore: may select both +5 +0 and +1 +1 = draw +explore6 keep +draw 1 cards1.
  • II Develop: may select twice.
  • III Settle: may select twice.
  • IV Consume: may select both $ and ×2 = trade 1 and use all consume power powers.
  • V Produce: may select once only.

  • Most cards have powers for certain phases which can be used from your tableau.
  • A duplicate card may not be played on the same tableau.
  • Discard down to cards in hand10 at round end.

Game end

  • At round end (including discarding) when a tableau has ≥12 cards face up or there are victory point chip0 remaining.
  • Cards in each tableau gain victory point chip equal to the hexagon number 553.
  • The player with the most victory point chip is the winner.


  • Most cards in hand + .

Expansion: The Brink of War


  • Gain prestige1 for placing a card with prestige (next to its cost).
  • Gain prestige from card powers e.g. during IV Consume.
    • Note: IV Consume ×2 does not double prestige.

Prestige leader

  • Gain the Prestige leader tile for the most prestige at phase end or immediately after the leader spends prestige.
  • prestige gained each round is counted as being on the tile and transferred to the leader's personal supply at round end with victory point chip1 + draw 1 cards1.
  • prestige0 on the tile at round end does not gain draw 1 cards1.
  • A tie for Prestige Leader does not gain any prestige at round end.

Prestige bonus

  • Once per game each player may use their prestige bonus for a search or action bonus.


  • Costs prestige0 and happens before any other phase.
  • Select a search category.
  • Either take the first matching card or blindly take the second matching card.
  • 1 military force development or 2 military force development (ignore temporary and specialised military).
  • 11 or 22.
  • 11 or 22.
  • chromosome world.
  • or .
  • consume power for ≥ 2.
  • 5+5+.
  • 6 development.
  • takeover or defence powers (only with takeover rules on).


  • Costs prestige1 for one enhanced phase bonus.
  • 2players: second selected phase is selected as normal.
  • I Explore (+5 +0): draw explore13, combine with cards in hand discard11 (keep +draw 2 cards2).
  • I Explore (+1 +1): draw explore9, combine with cards in hand discard6 (keep +draw 3 cards3).
  • II Develop: development-3 cost.
  • III Settle: -3-3 and +2+2, draw 1 cards1 for settling .
  • IV Consume ($): consume power$draw +3 cards+3 + consume power×2 + discardconsume power×21.
  • IV Consume (×2): consume power×3
  • V Produce: draw 3 cards3 + up to 2.

Game end

  • Each prestige is worth 1.
  • Game end is additionally triggered if any player has ≥ prestige15 at round end.

Expansion: Xeno Invasion (with Invasion)

  • The Xenos are invading! In addition to expanding your empire, you must defend it from the Xenos.
  • Standalone expansion played only with the base game.
  • All Explore phases have the 'mix with hand' power.
  • Settle is already selected in round 1.
  • Xenos attack in round 3.
  • After discarding down to cards in hand10, each player gets an Invasion card with the strength of the attacking Xenos.
  • Players with a higher military vs Xenos get higher values.
  • To defend, military vs Xenos + defence vs Xenos must exceed (not just tie) the Invasion value.
  • Settle powers may be used for extra military force.
  • Each player has a Bunker with discard for +2 defence vs Xenos.
  • Defenders gain 1 or 2 (weaker players get more)
  • Non-defenders select to be damaged damage.
  • Damaged lose , are worth 0, and have no powers or keywords, but still count towards tableau size.

The invasion has 3 waves. Wave 1 and Wave 2 are 2 rounds each (2players: 1 round each). Wave 3 is until the end of the game. Invasion strength is a random value:

  • Wave 1: -1 - 4
  • Wave 2: 0 - 7
  • Wave 3: 3 - 9, your base military + 3/4/5

Produce changes

  • At the start of Produce, each player may contribute to the war effort to gain 1 / and reduce the Xeno repulse value by 1.
  • Repair with damage by discard2, 2 or using a repair power.
  • V Produce: Repair: Instead of gaining on , repair 2 with damage.

Game end

5 awarded to:

  • Greatest Admiral: largest military vs Xenos.
  • Greatest Contributor: most contributed to the war effort.

Additional game end conditions:

  • Xenos are defeated: the combined military vs Xenos of all players matches or exceeds the Xeno repulse value. No final invasion happens.
  • All players fail to defend twice.
    • No player gains Greatest Admiral or Greatest Contributor.


  • Military vs Xenos: for settling worlds with Xeno, contributes to defeating Xenos, counts when determining strength for invasion cards.
  • Defence vs Xenos: only counted when defending each round.

New worlds

Race for the Galaxy: New Worlds Promo adds 6 new start worlds that can be added to any game (base game or expansions).

  • 221 Star Nomad Raiders
  • 221 Industrial Robots
  • 221 Galactic Trade Emissaries
  • 221 Terraforming Colonists
  • 220 Abandoned Mine Squatters
  • 221 Gateway Station