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As the game clearly states the game is designed for 2-5 players. This is based on the game mechanic and resource level of the namesake kitten. Once you draw an exploding kitten and cannot defuse it, you are out and then the last remaining player winds. Since there are only 4 exploding kittens you can only have 5 players or there would be multiple winners.

Would it be possible to combine two whole game sets to allow for up to a maximum of 9 players (since there are now 8 exploding kittens)? Would this change cause any other game mechanics to break or be unfair?

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    I would honestly play 2 games at that point so people are more involved in the game. When you add more players you increase the downtime for each player between moves, this would just make the game take longer and less actions for each player. – Styxsksu Jan 7 at 17:44
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    What @Styxsksu said is true. But, no, nothing breaks if you combine two decks. As you note: the deck construction (of including N exploding kittens) is what limits you to N+1. That nothing breaks when you go from 4 to 5 is evidence that nothing will break when you go to 6. – L. Scott Johnson Jan 7 at 18:16
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Absolutely. From the website, Exploding Kittens is a:

Party game for 2-5 players (up to 9 players with 2 decks)

I often combine the Original and NSFW versions, to play with more than 4 players. You just have to make sure that there is always exactly 1 Exploding Kitten card less than the number of players.

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Technically, you wouldn't need to if you made it so that the Exploding Kitten cards were replaced back into the deck even when they're not diffused.

This is how my friends and I play it by default, and it's still a lot of fun. It even feels like it's more fun, as it causes the game to ramp up in difficulty over time, putting more value on conserving resources from the early-game.

The only real caveat is the number of diffuse cards you'd have available, as there are only 6 to a deck, and each player is required to start with one in hand.

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