Villainous (Rules and Gameplay Instructions)

Toy of the Year award winner for 2019, Disney’s Villainous board game allows gamers to turn the tables and seek to defeat ever-loved Disney heroes such as Aladdin and Peter Pan. 

Gameplay varies based on the specific villain you select, so you’ll never tire of playing Villainous. 

Multiple expansion packs feature different villains, so the fun never ends. 

This Villainous rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Villainous?
  • A brief history of Villainous
  • What you’ll need to play Villainous
  • Villainous Rules
  • How to play Villainous (Video Tutorial)
  • FAQs

Read on to learn how to play Villainous. 

What is Villainous

Villainous Board Game Info image

Villainous is a board game featuring a variety of Disney Villains. Players select a villain to represent and work through multiple actions to see who can complete their individualized objectives first!

Number of Players: 2-6 players

Ages: 10+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 40-120 minutes

Category: Board game, thematic, strategy 

Similar to: Clue, Codenames: Disney Family Edition, Clue: Disney Villains

Main Objective:  The main objective varies for each player based on which villain you portray. Ultimately, the winning villain is the first to complete their specific challenge. 

Why We Love It: What’s not to love about a game that allows you to portray a classic Disney Villain? Will Captain Hook finally capture Peter Pan? You’ll have to play for yourself to find out. 

A Brief History of Villainous

Disney’s Villainous game, initially launched in 2018, has sold over 1 million copies across the globe. The original game box includes six Disney villains, and there are up to 9 additional villains that can be purchased from one of several available expansion packs. 

Located originally in Germany, the Ravensburger Group collaborates with other manufacturers, including Wonder Forge, the publisher of Villainous. 

What You’ll Need to Play Villainous

Everything you need to play is included in this boxed set.

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Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game for Age 10 & Up – 2019 TOTY Game of The Year Award Winner
$39.99 $34.99
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The complete game box contains: 

  • 6 boards
  • 6 villain movers
  • 180 villain cards
  • 90 fate cards
  • 84 tokens
  • 6 reference cards
  • 6 villain guides
  • 1 instruction manual 

Area of Play

Each player selects a villain and gathers all the related game components for that character to set up. Queen of Hearts, Jafar, Maleficent, Prince John, Captain Hook, and Ursula are the six included villain options.

Game components for each villain include a unique villain card deck, gameboard, fate deck, and token. Players also take a reference sheet and villain guide. 

The villain’s board and materials are color-coded and labeled clearly with the corresponding villain. There is a description of the villain’s objective shown on the game board. 

Begin by placing your game board in front of you. Your shuffled villain deck is face-down to the left of your game board, while your white fate deck is face down on the right-hand side of the board. 

The villain deck includes items and effects that your villain can use during the game, whereas the fate deck includes the heroes and situations specific to the Disney hero’s story. 

Playing from left to right on your board, place your token on the first location located in the far left space. 

Place a lock token on any location depicting a lock symbol as well. 

Place the cauldron in the center of the table and fill it with power tokens. The first player does not take any, but the second player will take one. The third and fourth players will need two tokens each. If you have five or six players, they each take three tokens.

Villainous Boards Image

Villainous Rules

All players select four cards from their Villain deck to create their starting hand. Keep your cards hidden from other players. 

Look at your villain guide for complete details outlining the steps you must take to defeat your opponent. For example, a villain may first have to unlock a location before moving on to capture their Disney hero. 


You can use cards from your deck to help complete tasks, such as unlocking locations. If there is a number in the upper right-hand corner, you will have to pay tokens back to the cauldron upon using the card. 

Some cards are effects, which means you can only use them once. Create a discard pile for your cards after completion. 

Ally cards can be placed under any locked location space on your board. 

Item cards can be played beneath any unlocked location space. Items can be helpful and may earn you tokens. 

In some cases, an item needs to be used with an ally to complete the task. The item cannot be used until it is placed with an ally, and if something happens to the ally, the item card goes with it. 

There is no limit to the number of cards played per location or items played per ally. 

Condition cards do not need a symbol before use. As described on the card itself, conditions are played based on your opponent’s situation. Discard these cards after use. 

There are a few additional cards, such as curses, which you may find specific to certain villains. 

Cards associated with your villain’s realm will not affect cards in another villain’s domain. 

Use your fate deck to find the opponent card, for instance, Peter Pan. You’ll take turns moving him one location at a time until he arrives at the destination specified by your main objective. 

Your Villain deck includes cards with unique abilities that will aid the villain in his quest for defeat. 

Each villain has different challenges and abilities. For example, Prince John’s objective is to obtain at least 20 power tokens. 

Prince John has cards in his deck allowing him to obtain power specific to him, such as collecting taxes. 

Villainous Cards Image

Starting the Game 

The first player begins by following three steps: 

  1. Move your villain: Place your villain on any unlocked location on your board. 
  2. Consider the actions available based on the symbols shown on your location space on the game board. You can complete any or all of the actions that you wish. The reference key for each action is shown on your reference sheet.
    • The token symbol allows you to collect the specified number of power tokens. 
    • The single card symbol means that you can play a card from your hand.
    • The fate symbol on a location allows you to reveal the top 2 cards of your opponent’s fate deck. You can choose one to play and one to discard.
    • When playing a hero card on your opponent’s board, their villain loses some of the previously available actions. 
    • The movement action symbol allows you to move an ally or item to an adjacent unlocked location on your board.
    • The hero movement card allows players to move any hero to an unlocked adjacent space on the board. If a hero leaves a location, the uncovered actions are now available for utilization again. 
    • Vanquish action symbols give you the power to defeat any heroes at your location by using available allies and adding the strength value shown on the lower corner of the card if the strength is equal to or greater than the hero. 
    • Discard used ally and hero cards. 
    • Some villains, like Jafar, have an activation symbol allowing you to select one item from your realm to help you resolve any abilities, but it may cost you tokens. Activation symbols must be triggered on the board before playing the card. 
    • The discard cards action symbol allows you to discard as many cards from your hand as possible.
  3. The third step of a player’s turn is to draw cards. If you have fewer than four cards in your hand after completing any actions, you may draw cards from your villain deck until you have four cards. 

If you run out of cards in either your Villain or Fate decks, you can shuffle the discard piles and create a new deck. 

Each player follows the same series of steps, taking turns throughout the game. 

Additional Rules

  • Villain cards can lock or unlock locations. Use these cards to open a location or lock a place, keeping a player from utilizing the abilities shown on that location board space. 
  • Depending upon the card, sometimes you are required to show your cards to the other players, while other times, you can view it privately. 
  • If you need to find a specific hero, you can look through the game board locations, the discarded fate deck, or the fate deck until you find the hero needed. 

How to Keep Score in Villainous

The game’s outcome depends on which player is first able to fulfill their villain’s main objective. Each objective is specific to the villain, and the individualized requirements are shown on each player’s card. 

The first player to complete their objective is the winner! 

How to Play Villainous – Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Villainous an excellent 2-player game? 

You can play Disney’s Villainous board game with just two players easily. Each player is working on completing their objective, so it is a great two-player game. Take turns selecting different villains if you want to change the gameplay from time to time. 

How many versions of Villainous are there? 

There are several versions of Disney’s Villainous. You can play the original game or one of the many expansions: Bigger and Badder, Despicable Plots, Wicked to the Core, or Evil Comes Prepared. There are also Marvel Villainous editions and a Star Wars Villainous game. 

Can you play Villainous with just an expansion? 

The nice feature of the Villainous game expansions is that you can use them in conjunction with the original game to allow more players or play it independently. The expansions offer a new selection of characters or villains to choose from. 

Other Games Similar to Villainous (Our Guides)

When you are in the mood to play games from the dark side, be sure to try out these mysterious board games: 

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