I recently obtained the Traders and Barbarians expansion for Settlers and in the rules for each sub-expansion there was a little addendum about possible combinations with other sub expansions. But really, how many expansions could you theoretically combine without creating rule conflicts?

An example of a rule conflict would be if two expansions each use their own development cards, or if they each require specific incompatible board shapes.

Of course, if a third rule exists that describes how to handle these rule conflicts, then there is no conflict.

  • I don't know of the possible combinations, but we have played Seafarers with Cities and Knights together. May 1, 2015 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


There are 4 official expansions; which can legally all be used at the same time.

3 of them, Seaside, Cities & Knights, and Traders & Barbarians can all be combined with any number of them being used or not used.

The 4th, Explorers and Pirates, does not combine as well, because it changes things more than the others in ways that conflict with the other expansions. The rules allow you to combine it with others, but the game's publisher recommends only using it as an independent expansion.

Cities & Knights comes with its own mechanic to replace development cards, so you simply do not use the development cards from the base game. The official FAQ has clarifications on how to handle things that only come up when combining expansions.

Note that both Explorers & Pirates and Traders & Barbarians are modular expansions, each with several different scenarios that use different mechanics. Some scenarios combine better with the other expansions than others. Catan.com lists each of the scenarios and how they work with the other expansions:

Traders & Barbarians combinations

Explorers & Pirates combinations

  • Sorry but your answer is confusing (the first 2 sentences), you say 4 but then provide 3 specific ones. Could you please rewrite this for us noobs. Is it? 4 can be combined but the forth one is tricky to combine and has conflicts??? Sep 28, 2023 at 9:52
  • I updated the wording for clarity. Basically the 4th one can be combined, but the publisher recommends not doing so.
    – GendoIkari
    Sep 28, 2023 at 13:35

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