Card Games To Play By Yourself

While card games and board games are a great way to bring friends together, sometimes, you just want to play something by yourself. It may surprise you, but there are plenty of card games that are made to be – or can be adapted to be – played by a single player. By either playing with multiple decks yourself, reducing the number of cards, or tweaking the ruleset a bit, you can play plenty of popular card games solo.


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These single-player capable card games come in all kinds of forms and genres. From narrative-driven adventures, to puzzle based game, and even role playing game. There’s something for everyone who wants to play a card game by themselves. We’ve listed down some of our favourites for the next time you want to play.

Updated on September 25, 2023 by Vaspaan Dastoor: Just because you don’t have company, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good card game. There are plenty of card games that can be played solo, so we’ve decided to update this list and add in just a few more. So, whether it’s a night in, or you’re travelling by yourself, these card games will keep you entertained.

Arkham Horror card game box

Arkham Horror

Best Role Playing Card Game

Things get scarier when you’re alone.

Arkham Horror uses role playing game features and perfectly applies them to a card game format. And, since the game is narrative-focussed, it’s a great one to play by yourself and take in the story. Additionally, the RPG mechanics are a bit complicated, so you won’t be bothering anyone if you take some time to figure them out.

Pros

  • Great story elements.
  • You can take your time considering your choices and specs.
  • Multiple editions.
Cons

  • Price is a little steep.
  • Solo games tend to be a bit short
  • Highly advanced ruleset.

Arkham Horror is an extremely versatile card game, ranking among the best in the market right now. It has intricate RPG elements, while also following a mystery inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s works; that means it’s a perfect card game to play solo if you want to pass a few hours. While solo campaigns are a bit shorter, they are by no means less intriguing. You might have trouble sleeping after your playthrough, though.

Marvel Champions The Card Game box

Marvel Champions

Best Superhero Card Game

Avengers Assemble, your deck.

Marvel Champions is a great card game to scratch that superhero itch. It has great art and features popular names. The best part about it, though, is that you can set up your own encounters. It also features expansion packs based on specific superheroes.

Pros

  • Great art.
  • Features popular marvel heroes and villains.
  • High replayability value.
Cons

  • Spending on multiple expansion packs can get expensive.
  • Highly complex ruleset.
  • You’ll be playing with the same characters constantly in the base game.

There are some superheroes that work as a team, and some that work alone. If you’re the kind that works alone, Marvel Champions works perfectly as a single-player card game. Nothing beats the thrill of defeating a supervillain by yourself, but if you ever need backup, you can always get an expansion pack of whichever superhero you prefer. Just make sure Spider-Man pays his rent.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Card Game box

The Lord Of The Rings: The Card Game

Best Live Card Game

Who needs a fellowship?

As a live card game, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game has an almost infinite amount of source content, thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings. You will travel through iconic places and meet familiar faces on your adventures. If you choose not to go forth as a fellowship, this card game can be perfectly enjoyed as a lone ranger.

Pros

  • Iconic places and faces from J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium.
  • A number of expansion packs.
  • Reliving events from LOTR.
Cons

  • Ruleset is a bit tough to understand.
  • Ends up being pretty expensive with expansion packs.
  • Requires a large playing surface.

Have you ever wished you could go on an adventure across Middle-earth? The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game not only takes you across the fabled lands, but will also make you meet some iconic characters from LOTR. And, if you’re not quite ready to sail away to the Undying lands just yet, there are a number of expansion packs you can pick up.

Aeon's End card game box

Aeon’s End

Best Deck Building Game

Save the city!

Aeon’s End makes players take on the role of mages who are the last line of defense for the city. This deck building game can be played with up to four players, or with just one, if you want all the glory for yourself.

Pros

  • Highly customizable.
  • Multiple classes to choose from.
  • Does not rely on luck.
Cons

  • Gets a bit tedious with more than two players.
  • Wildcard mechanic feels completely out of touch.

Being the last line of defense for an entire city is pretty badass, especially if you’re going to do it all by yourself. Aeon’s End uses deck building mechanics, along with highly customizable gameplay to ensure that each playthrough of the game feels different, even if it’s just you. Save the city and take all the glory for yourself.

The 7th Continent card game box

The 7th Continent

Best Survival Based Card Game

Exploring is always more fun alone.

If you prefer to have things a bit more randomised, The 7th Continent throws encounters at you, after which you need to decide how your character will react. It’s a great card game to play solo, if you like roguelite elements in video games.

Pros

  • Gameplay structure is similar to roguelite video games.
  • Each session is completely different.

The 7th Continent is a survival and exploration based card game. And, while nobody would want to do that alone in real life, the tabletop game is a completely different matter. This game throws encounters at your selected character, who must use all their skills, resources, and the in-game Satchel mechanic to survive. It plays like a roguelite video game, so you’ll never know what’s coming up next. All you have are your wits and whatever you picked up along the way.

Cartographers card game box

Cartographers

Unique Gameplay Mechanics

Get your pencils out

Cartographers can be played by up to 100 players, if you have the paper, but can also be modified to be played by one person. The puzzle element of the game is fun, regardless of the number of players. The points system needs to be altered a bit if you’re playing solo, but who’s really playing to win, anyway?

Pros

  • Unique drawing-based gameplay.
  • Extremely versatile playercount.
  • Can be played over multiple sessions.
Cons

  • Requires a lot of paper.
  • Large scope for making mistakes.

Cartographers is a great puzzle based card game for those who like playing solo. Mostly because, you have peace of mind while figuring out which boxes to fill in, and no one is rushing you. All you need to do is tweak the scoring system a little bit, and you’re free to play the game at your own leisure. However, the solo play takes away from the fun Ambush mechanic. The best part is that once you run out of the game’s cartography paper, pretty much any sort of graph paper will work fine.

Eldritch Horror

Eldritch Horror

A sleeping Cthulhu is a happy Cthulhu

Another card game inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Eldritch Horror tasks players to travel all over the world in order to solve mysteries and ensure that Cthulhu remains asleep. Despite featuring a board, the game presents situations via cards and also gives you cards for abilities and various other actions.

Pros

  • Great design and artwork.
  • Features an engaging endgame.
  • Solo gameplay is as good as with other people.

Eldritch Horror may seem like a board game because of the map it provides. However, all actions and resolutions are performed via beautifully illustrated cards. All items, weapons, and abilities are on cards too. Just make sure you place them lightly, for fear of an ancient evil awakening. Based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft Eldritch Horror will place you in a precarious position, as the fate of the world is in your hands. Of course, you’ll also have to fend of Cthulhu’s nightmarish minions, who will try to stop you every step of the way.

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

Legendary is a great deck building game to see which heroes can actually work well together. Featuring iconic heroes, villains and locations from the marvel universe, Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is pretty easy to pick up, and features a great layer of strategy under the mask.

Pros

  • Features iconic heroes and villains.
  • Numerous expansions.
  • Great artwork.

The second marvel game to feature on this list; however, as the name suggests, Legendary is a deck building game. It’s also a great way to realize some of the dream team-ups that may have never occurred in the comics or on-screen. For instance, you’d be able to make Cyclops and Captain America team-up, which is a rarity, as both of them are the leaders of their own super groups. Besides that, you’ll also be able to make heroes clash against villains who they’ve never personally encountered. For instance, It would be fun to see what happenst when Iron Man faces off against Magneto.


FAQ

Are card games good for older adults?

Card games are a good way to spend time with people and stimulate mental health as well.

This is dependent on the cared game. Most adult card games are fine for kids above 16 years of age.

What is the most complex card game?

Magic: The Gathering has an in-depth ruleset, a massive collection of cards, and regular rule updates, making it widely accepted as one of the most complex card games.

NEXT: The Best Adult Card Games Of 2023

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