Settlers of Catan for Two – Capitols Game Variation

My wife and I have been playing Settlers of Catan constantly for the last couple weeks. Problem is, the Settlers of Catan board game is made for 3-4 players. We think we have a solution, though …

Nerdatron’s advanced compumetrics were able to help us out. Let us know what you think!

Settlers of Catan for Two – Basic Instructions

The basic problem is that a two-person Settlers of Catan game goes too fast. Our solution was to make it longer by increasing the complexity a bit.

Here are the main differences between regular Settlers of Catan and our Settlers of Catan for Two game variation:

  • Use the two extra colors to upgrade out Cities into Capitols
  • Play to 20 Victory Points, instead of the regular 10 Victory Points
  • Two tiers of Victory

Settlers of Catan for Two – Upgrade Cities to Capitols

The basic Settlers of Catan has four colors. We use the two extra colors as upgrade pieces. I use red and upgrade with orange. My wife uses blue and upgrades with white. Warm colors versus cool colors.

How to upgrade from City to Capitol?

We use the same Settlers of Catan combination for upgrading a Settlement to a City, as City to Capitol. Upgrading from City to Capitol takes two Wheat and three Ore (2W+3O). We just consider 2W+3O as the “Upgrade Cost”.

What’s the benefit of upgrading from City to Capitol?

A Capitol has a 3 for both production and Victory Points. Production really starts to escalate. This really increases and prolongs the excitement of the building phase.

I had originally forgot to mention this crucial element – a big thanks to Reddit user PheeChad for the feedback!

Is this too much production? Does it create a runaway chain reaction … the China Syndrome of production?

We did impose some limitations on this to moderate the escalation of production. First, you can only use the buildings from one additional color. Second, you can only break into your second color after you have built all your original color’s buildings.

Want to go from State Capitol to National Capitol?

Use multiple pieces with the same Upgrade Cost.

Settlers of Catan for Two – Multiple Victory Levels

You win Settlers of Catan when you reach 10 Victory Points. That goes really fast with just two players. The game ends right just when you are reaching a high production level. I can finally afford upgrades and building projects and BOOM. The game is over.

Just increase the number of Victory Points, right? That’s the easy fix. It is, but we wanted to “take it to the next level”, literally.

Settlers of Catan – The Two Victory Levels

There are two Victory Levels:

  • Victory Level 1 – 12 Victory Points
  • Victory Level 2 – 20 Victory Points

There can be Split Champions or a Grand Champion. The Grand Champion wins at both levels. With the Expanded Settlers of Catan set-up, you can take it to Victory Level 3, too, if you want.

Settlers of Catan for Two – Improvements? Comments?

What do you think? Does this improve the Settlers of Catan experience? Or, is this Catan blasphemy?

Let Nerdatron know in the comments below. Your input will help improve Nerdatron’s advanced compumetrics … until the point he comes self-aware!


  1. Do you have more detailed instructions for this two-player version? A lot of what you’ve described needs more explanation.

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