Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common Star Realms rules questions answered. Have a particular rules question you don’t see answered here? Use our contact form!


Q: Is there a Star Realms Facebook Page?
A: Yes! We have an official Star Realms Facebook Page and there is also an awesome community created group called A Star Realms Fan Created Community Page.

Q: Is there a Star Realms podcast?
A: Yes! We highly recommend the Megahaulin Podcast and Megahaulin Blog. Tons of great interviews, tips and news for both new and advanced players.

Q: Are there any competitive leagues for Star Realms?
A: Oh yeah, definitely! You can find tournament details both in A Star Realms Fan Created Community Page and there is a Board Game Geek Star Realms League.

Standard Rules

Q: Can I go above my starting Authority total?
A: Yes! There is no limit to the amount of Authority you can gain.

Q: When do players discard cards as the result of discard effects (like on Imperial Fighter)?
A: In the digital game, players discard cards at the beginning of their turns, though in the physical game players should discard as soon as the ability is triggered.

Q: Do players get to choose which cards to discard, or is it random?
A: If an ability forces a player to discard a card, they choose which card to discard.

Q: When do my cards’ ally abilities become active?
A: You may use the ally ability of a card so long as you have another card of the same faction in play. The order in which you play your cards does not matter for ally abilities (if you play two cards with ally abilities, both will become active, regardless of which entered play first).

Q: Does damage dealt to a base carry over to players if more damage is dealt than the base’s defense?
A: In Star Realms, cards which grant combat add that combat to an imaginary combat stack, which you can distribute as you please. So, if your cards have given you a total of ten combat, you could use six combat to destroy a Mech World and use the remaining four combat to attack your opponent.

Q: If I use a card like Trade Bot to scrap a card from my hand or discard pile, will I get the scrap ability of the card that I scrapped?
A: No. Scrapping a card from your hand or discard pile does not trigger scrap abilities.

Q: Before I use the scrap ability of a card, can I use its other abilities (primary, ally) as well?
A: Yes! Put the card into play, use its abilities, then trigger the scrap ability last.

Q: If a card has two icons as one of its abilities (like Cutter), do I have to choose which one I want?
A: No, on a card like Cutter, you get both (2 Trade and 4 Authority). The only time you have to choose is if there is an “or” clause separating the two icons (like on Patrol Mech).

Q: When a base is destroyed, is it gone forever (scrapped)?
A: No, it goes to the discard pile.

Q: When do I get to use a United Heroes’ primary ability? Do I get to use it every turn the Hero is in play?
A: When a Hero from the United expansion is acquired, you do what is listed as their primary ability (the top-most text box). You only use the primary ability at that moment, so you do not get to use it every turn.

Multiplayer Rules

Q: How do I play with more than 2 players?
A: Each copy of the Star Realms base game supports up to 2 players. If you want to play with 3-4 players, you’ll need two copies. For 5-6, you’ll need three copies. Shuffle the trade deck cards together to maintain the game’s balance.

Q: How do I separate the trade decks after playing?
A: We recommend sleeving one set upside-down, or using different colored card sleeves for each copy of the game, to make them easier to separate afterwards. For reference, each copy of the base game contains the following cards:

Basic Cards

  • (10) Explorer
  • (16) Scout
  • (4) Viper

Score Cards

  • (12) Authority 1/5
  • (6) Authority 10/20

Star Empire

  • (3) Imperial Fighter
  • (2) Corvette
  • (3) Imperial Frigate
  • (3) Survey Ship
  • (1) Battlecruiser
  • (1) Dreadnaught
  • (2) Recycling Station
  • (2) Space Station
  • (1)War World
  • (1) Royal Redoubt
  • (1) Fleet HQ

Trade Federation

  • (3) Federation Shuttle
  • (3) Cutter
  • (2) Embassy Yacht
  • (2) Freighter
  • (1) Trade Escort
  • (1) Flagship
  • (1) Command Ship
  • (2) Trading Post
  • (2) Barter World
  • (1) Defense Center
  • (1) Port of Call
  • (1) Central Office

The Blob

  • (3) Blob Fighter
  • (2) Battle Pod
  • (3) Trade Pod
  • (2) Ram
  • (2) Blob Destroyer
  • (1) Battle Blob
  • (1) Blob Carrier
  • (1) Mothership
  • (3) Blob Wheel
  • (1) The Hive
  • (1) Blob World

Machine Cult

  • (3) Trade Bot
  • (3) Missile Bot
  • (3) Supply Bot
  • (2) Patrol Mech
  • (1) Stealth Needle
  • (1) Battle Mech
  • (1) Missile Mech
  • (2) Battle Station
  • (1) Mech World
  • (1) Junkyard
  • (1) Machine Base
  • (1) Brain World

Digital Game

Q: I purchased the full game but some features are still unavailable. What’s wrong?
A: To access the full features of the digital game, you must navigate to your user profile (within the “Play Online” section), then click “Restore Purchases.” That should unlock all content on your device.

Q: I purchased an expansion on Steam, but it’s not unlocking on my other devices. What should I do?
A: Please open Star Realms on your Steam device, go to Play Online, and go to the user profile in the bottom left. Click “log out” in the next screen, then go back to Play Online. The app will log you in automatically. Your purchase should be unlocked, and you will be able to use restore purchases to restore it on your other devices after.

Q: How do I remove completed games from my online lobby?
A: Currently, completed games disappear after 24 hours.

Q: What happens if my opponent refuses to take his/her turn?
A: If a player does not take their turn within a 48 hour period in 48 hour games, they automatically forfeit the match. If a player does not take his or her turn within 3 minutes in a a 3 minute game, they automatically forfeit the match as well.

Q: Mission (#) is impossible! What do I do!?
A: We assure you, none of the missions are impossible. Believe in yourself and overcome the odds!

Q: My Wins are not registering! What do I do?
A: Most likely, you are playing Challenge games, where you directly challenged someone, someone challenged you and accepted, or you are playing a “rematch”. In those games, the result doesn’t count towards your wins, nor towards your losses. This was implemented to prevent abuse with dummy accounts.

Q: When do the lifetime/monthly/weekly rankings get calculated?
A:We take the final user rankings at 3:05am UTC time (which is approximately the same time as GMT) to compute if you should get an avatar:

1) If it’s a Monday, you will get your lifetime and weekly avatars.
2) If it’s the 1st of the month, you will get your monthly avatars.


Challenge Rules

Q: If I am playing against a challenge card and flip over a factionless card (like Merc Cruiser), what do I do?
A: The player whom will be directly affected by the card chooses its faction. If multiple players would be affected, they choose among them which faction to declare for the factionless card.

Tournament & Event Play

Q: Can I keep track of my opponent’s purchases by noting them on a piece of paper (or similar?)
A: As this would greatly slow down the pace of the game, note taking is not allowed in official Star Realms events.

Card Rulings / Errata

Fleet HQ – Only ships played while Fleet HQ is in play get the 1 Combat bonus.

Fortress Oblivion – This card was originally printed missing its reminder text. The primary ability should read:
“If you played a base this turn (including this one), you may scrap a card from your hand or discard pile.”

Mech World – Mech World may trigger the Ally ability for any faction, including all of the Ally abilities on Merc Garrison. However, Mech World doesn’t count as any other faction, so cards like Blob World won’t count it.

Stealth Needle/Blob World – If you copy a Blob card with Stealth Needle, it won’t count as a Blob card played for Blob World. This is because Stealth Needle copies a card after it enters play.

Merc Cruiser/Blob World – If you choose Blob for the faction, this will count towards Blob World, since you are naming a faction as you play the card.

Megahauler/Blob Carrier + Emperor’s Dreadnaught/Colony Seed Ship – If you acquire Emperor’s Dreadnaught or Colony Seed Ship with Megahauler or Blob Carrier, it will end up on top of your deck regardless of whether you played a card of the same faction this turn. You cannot resolve half of Megahauler/Blob Carrier’s ability, so if you decide to acquire a card for free, it is acquired to the top of the deck. There is no chance for the “acquire to hand” ability to happen before it’s on top of your deck.

Patience Rewarded – The player whose turn it is scraps and sets aside a card first (so the second player can pick the card that replaces it in the trade row).

Stealth Tower – This will become a copy of another base after it enters play, so it won’t count as a card played of the copied faction. Ally abilities will still trigger as normal.

Stealth copy effects – in a 3+ player game, it’s possible for two Stealth cards to be played. For example, if a Stealth Needle copies another Stealth Needle, it will become a copy of whatever the original Stealth Needle copied (even if the original copy was scrapped.)

Rapid Construction – ERRATA. This ability should read: “The first card a player acquires each turn is placed on top of their deck instead of their discard pile.” This means that a card only goes on top of the deck if it would normally go to the discard pile. Heroes enter play as they normally do.

Cargo Boat – ERRATA: The second row ability is a Trade Federation ally ability and should have a blue icon to the left of the gain-2-authority icon.