I'm prototyping a game, but I'm not very schooled on board games. I'm looking for a list of game mechanics so that I can

  1. Describe my game in terms of mechanics
  2. Find other uses of the mechanics to learn from
  3. Pick and choose what mechanics I want to have in my game.

(If there are any books about this sort of thing it would be freaking awesome!)

This is similar to some other questions, but with some differences:

  • Welcome to the site! I've reworded your question a bit to not directly ask for the list, but to ask how to find it. We'd rather not host endless lists here at stack exchange but prefer hosting information that specifically solves problems. Thanks! – Pat Ludwig Dec 26 '11 at 8:12

You probably should go looking at the various mechanic lists on boardgamegeek.com.

Examine the various reviews, and find where people talke about the mechanics, as well.

It's a concentrated resource for doing exactly the kind of research you probably should be doing.


There is also a list at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_mechanics.

  • When I started to build my game over 1.5y ago, that wikipedia page almost didn't exist! :) – Peteter Dec 27 '11 at 6:15
  • Is it worth posting a few examples you think are good? – Pureferret Dec 27 '11 at 18:36
  • 1
    I'm kinda taking note of what Pat Ludwig said when he edited my post. – Peteter Dec 28 '11 at 6:24

There is a fairly notable site Three Hundred Mechanics which you can visit for some inspiration, although it doesn't quite have 300 yet and is not specific to boardgames.

  • Thanks prusswan much. The squidi.net/three/index.php is very helpful – user2424 Feb 2 '12 at 10:46
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    That's a great page, but what are listed are not game mechanics. (Game mechanics describe the actions players can take, gameboard constraints, and token values and interactions, among other things, but in no universe are "sniper buddies" or "sim game engine" game mechanics;) – DukeZhou Aug 15 '17 at 1:04

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