Star Realms is a space-themed deck building game which we highly recommend. While a whole lot of fun, it can be quite challenging for beginners. Fret not, we’ve put together a handy guide so you can take down your opponents.
In Star Realms there are four factions: the Trade Federation, The Blobs, the Star Empire and the Machine Cult. The colour of the symbol in the top-left corner of each card indicates which faction, if any, it belongs to. You can read all the details about what differentiates the factions on the Star Realms website.
The important thing to note is that when you play cards from the same faction, you often receive a benefit. For example, if you play a Blob Fighter along with another card from The Blobs, then you will get to draw another card.
I therefore recommend that you try to collect cards from only one or two factions, but don’t be so focused that you ignore very powerful cards. It’s also worth considering that any card that enables you to you draw another card essentially takes up no space in your deck.
Note: Having an active base from a faction will trigger ally benefits when you play cards from the same faction.
Your strategy must evolve during the match
The next thing you need to understand about Star Realms is that you cannot follow the same approach throughout a match.
Early-game (Authority >40)
In the early-game (i.e. before your and your opponent’s Authority drops to approximately 40), you must focus on getting rid of your opening cards. You start each match with 10 ships: eight Scouts and two Vipers. These are poor cards, which you need to dispose of as quickly as possible.
The only way to permanently remove cards from your hand is to “scrap” them. This means acquiring cards which grant you the ability to “scrap” (e.g. Supply Bot).
When there are no cards with the “scrap” ability available, you should aim to acquire cards that will generate Trade (e.g. Trade Pod).
As you make progress scrapping and collecting cards that generate Trade, keep track of the factions of all the cards you’re acquiring. As noted above, seek to maximise your chances of triggering ally abilities.
Mid-game (Authority >30 and <40)
In the mid-game, when your and your enemy’s Authority is between 30 and 40, you should switch your attention to obtaining bases. You should also give greater focus to collecting ships in your target factions and buying expensive combat ships.
Late-game (Authority <30)
When you’re in the late stages of a game, you need to focus on dealing damage, while limiting damage taken. This means you should seek to acquire cards that:
- Prevent your enemy from attacking (e.g. “discard card” ability)
- Give you Authority
- Force the enemy to attack a base instead of you (i.e. Outposts)
- Deal substantial damage to your enemy and/or destroy bases.
No matter where you are in a match, even though the game will keep reminding you that you haven’t spent all your Trade, don’t feel pressured to actually do it. It’s better to leave Trade unspent, than to put poor cards into your hand that don’t contribute to your strategy.
That’s all for this beginner’s guide folks. Have fun taking down your enemies!