Tsuro Rules (Gameplay Instructions)

Tsuro, the “Game of the path,” is a simple yet elegant game for 2-8 players. By reading these Tsuro rules, you will learn to play this simplistic game of strategy and chance.

On the game board, you will see both a Dragon and Phoenix who guard the paths of life and help maintain the balance between choice and destiny. No matter which path you choose, sometimes destiny has other plans!

Roughly translated as “route” in Japanese, Tsuro, by Calliope Games, will win you over the first time you play, thanks to its straightforward instructions and gameplay. 

Try staying on the path as long as possible, but watch out for path tiles placed by others that can alter your plans!

Choose your path wisely and enjoy the journey along the way.

Learn how to play Tsuro below!

What is Tsuro?

Tsuro Board Game Info image

Tsuro is an easy, family-friendly game driven by a combination of strategy and chance. By placing path tiles on the board, you create a path not only for yourself but for the other players, as well.

Choose your tile placement wisely and be the last player remaining on the game board to win the game!

Number of players: 2-8

Ages: 8+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of play: 15-20min

Category: Family, Strategy, Tile Placement, Player Elimination, Abstract, Competitive

Similar to: Patchwork, Terra Mystica, Forbidden Sky

Main Objective: Be the last player remaining on a path that does not lead you off the game board!

Why We Love It: The simplicity of this game cannot be beaten! Every game will play differently, and there are no two path tiles alike.

What You’ll Need to Play Tsuro

Everything you need to play Tsuro is provided in the box:

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The following components can be found in each base game of Tsuro:

  • 1 Game Board
  • 35 path Tiles
  • 8 Marker Stones
  • 1 Dragon Tile

Tsuro Rules

Game Setup

Setting up a game of Tsuro is just as simple as its gameplay:

  1. Remove the game board from the box, unfold it, and place it in the middle of your play area.
  2. Every player chooses which colored stone marker they would like to play with.
  3. Look for the Dragon tile amongst all the path tiles found in the box and set it aside.
  4. Shuffle all path tiles and provide 3 tiles (face down) to each player. These tiles create a player’s “hand.” Players can look at their own tiles at any time but should never reveal them to other players.
  5. Place all of the remaining path tiles in a pile within reach of all players. This becomes the draw pile for the remainder of the game.
Tsuro Overview Image

How to Play Tsuro

Every player’s goal in Tsuro is to be the last player remaining on the game board. Therefore, throughout the game, you will place path tiles that create paths for you and other players to travel along.

If either of these path tiles leads a player off of the game board, that player is eliminated for the remainder of the game!

At the start of the game, decide which player will go first. Tsuro suggests that the oldest player takes the first turn.

The first player takes their stone marker and places it on one of the starting marks (beige dashes) along the edge of the game board. Then, each player in clockwise order will do the same until each player’s marker is on the board.

On a player’s turn, they will perform the following 3 actions:

1. Place a Path Tile

The active player chooses one of the path tiles in their hand to place in front of their marker on the game board. Each path tile contains lines (paths) that will connect to the beige starting lines where each player’s marker stands.

Your goal is to remain on the game board as long as possible, so choose wisely! Make sure that the path lined up with your marker doesn’t lead too close to the edge of the game board.

2. Move Their Marker

Once a tile has been placed, that player will move their marker to the end of the path that their marker is currently connected to. This path could be multiple tiles long, depending on how many tiles the path is connected to.

If another player’s marker touches this newly placed tile on the active player’s turn, they must also move their marker towards the end of the new tile’s path that was created.

If a player’s marker moves off of the game board, they are eliminated from the game! Once a player is eliminated, they must shuffle any path tiles from their hand into the path tile draw pile.

Tsuro Markers Image

3. Draw Path Tiles

At the end of the active player’s turn, they will draw a path tile from the draw pile and place it in their hand, replacing the tile that was just played.

Towards the end of the game, if a player attempts to draw a path tile, but there are none left in the draw pile, they will obtain the Dragon tile.

The purpose of the Dragon tile is to determine who the first player will be to draw a new path tile once any become available (from a player being eliminated). 

Once additional path tiles are available, the owner of the Dragon tile will draw first. Then, in clockwise order, each player with less than 3 path tiles in hand will also draw a tile for themselves until all players have 3 tiles in their hand or there are no tiles left in the draw pile.

After players have drawn their tiles, players will continue their turns in clockwise order.

NOTE: The Dragon tile is not used in a 2 player game!

How to Win Tsuro

To win a game of Tsuro, you simply have to keep your stone marker on the game board at all times and be the last player remaining on the game board!

Alternative Ways to Play

Tsuro has developed alternate ways to play the game so that it can be played in various ways, even in solo mode!

Check out all the different gameplay variants for Tsuro, which you can find here!

Tsuro Video Tutorial 

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to the Dragon tile if the owner of it becomes eliminated?

The Dragon tile will be passed to the next player in clockwise order, only if they have less than 3 path tiles in hand.

What happens if two players run into each other on the same path?

Both players are eliminated from the game!

What if you run out of path tiles to play with and players are still on the board?

All remaining players are tied for the win!

What will happen if all of the remaining players get eliminated on the same turn?

Those players will end up being tied for the win!

Are there any other versions of Tsuro?

Yes! There are a few other games in the Tsuro family:

Tsuro: Phoenix Rising

Tsuro of the Seas

Tsuro: Veterans of the Seas Expansion (for Tsuro of the Seas only)

Other Similar Games to Tsuro (Our Guides)

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