Tips for Advancing Your Empire in Race For the Galaxy

Here are some helpful tricks you can use to help you out in the mobile strategy card game

Rio Grande Games' popular card-based board game, Race For the Galaxy, is now available on mobile phones. And like dedicated gamers are wont to do, players are looking for advice on how to play more effectively.  Here are some insightful tips which can help you enhance your play and advance your empire.

How to Advance Your Empire in Race for the Galaxy

Plan Things Out

It's better to have a bad plan than no plan at all. Playing random cards and hoping for the best won't get you anywhere without help from other players. Instead, try to be flexible and adapt to the cards you draw. This provides a much better alternative to just waiting to draw the cards you need to execute a specific plan, which could cause you to lose before you even realize it.

The Goal is to Win, Not to Follow a Strategy Perfectly

The game gives you some advice when it comes to using different strategies, and most of the time following this advice will help you -- in addition to helping you eliminate the lesser options. But you may have to adapt your strategies to different situations and change things up a bit to decide what you feel might be the right move. It's always good to evaluate your options and consider the different possible outcomes when deciding what to do.

Separate Cards as Play and Consume/Trade

Play cards will be those you plan to use, while consume/trade cards are those you don't need or don't really help you much.  Consume/trade cards can help you later on when you may need a more expensive card to help get you out of a tight spot.

As much as having play cards will help you, you should only have about two or three at a time. It's more beneficial to play a helpful card and save a few to play later than it is to keep 5 cards for a future plan which may not even work out depending on what happens. Playing an expensive card which ends up hurting you in the end rather than helping is the worst possible outcome. But as long as you can adapt and analyze future possible outcomes, you should still be fine.

Have Patience -- Plans Will Take Time to Execute

In the beginning of each game, you should be playing cards to set up your position. It may be a bit different from what you might have originally been planning, but it will help you get card flow earlier. If the cards you need for your plan to be successful are expensive, it's safe to assume you'll need more cards to consume/trade in order to obtain and play them.

Getting an Explores or Windfall Worlds card to consume/trade early on can be helpful. After consuming/trading some unneeded cards a few times, you should have at least a few cards you can play quickly -- especially if you need to catch up with your opponent. At this point it should also be easier to generate cards when using a Consume or Produce strategy, or using Military or Develop strategies, which require less card flow.

Consider Different Options and Don't Just Focus on One

Focusing on a strategy which does one thing well -- like getting a high military score or getting all of the Develop boost cards -- can be an appealing method. But beware: it tends to produce unalterable results, which can make it easier for your opponent to create plans based around your strategy and predict your next possible move.

It's better to have a mix of different strategies and keep your opponent guessing, rather than focusing on one solid (yet predictable) strategy. Having a more flexible strategy helps make it easier to adapt to different situations and can help you recover quicker, since being more flexible will give you more options rather than having to wait things out for a single specific card.

A Bad Hand Is Usually Better Than an Empty Hand

Even if you don't have the best hand, you still may have something you can play which may help you in the future. With an outright empty hand, you'll have to focus on regaining your hand while your opponent gets the upper hand. 

If you still have cards in your hand, however, you can use Explore for something that will help you, and at the very least put up a front of working toward something significant (even if that's not the reality). You could also put up a facade to mess with your opponent so they either think you have a plan when you don't, or they believe your plan is different from what it actually is.

Although having an empty hand is bad, there still may be a situation which calls for it. When this happens, make sure you have a way to refill it quickly; within a round at most. Otherwise it could cost you the game.

Be Ready For Anything

It's not a bad idea to have a Development and a World card available when possible. You can structure the cards you save around this, and from there you can develop a more intricate strategy.  If another player chooses to consume and the move would take away a card you need to trade , then consider Consume/Trade as your action choice that round as well. You might have something taken away -- but you also have the chance to get something else good or maybe even better.

We hope these tips helped. What strategies do you like best? Let us know in the comments!


Writer pursuing a career in Games & Entertainment media. Specialties include coverage of non-Pokémon monster taming RPGs, event coverage, indie game coverage, and coverage of various Japanese games.

Published Jun. 6th 2017

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