In Catan (formerly The Settlers of Catan), players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resource cards to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.

A turn can be: playing a development card; rolling the dice and collecting resource cards; turning in resource cards for improvements; trading cards at a port; or trading resource cards with other players.

Points are accumulated by building settlements and cities, having the longest road and the largest army, and gathering development cards that award victory points. When a player has 10 points, they announce their total and claim the win.