How To Play Wingspan Board Game?

Wingspan Board Game is a popular tabletop game known for its engaging and beautifully illustrated cards featuring various bird species. In this game, players take on the roles of bird enthusiasts, each striving to attract and care for a diverse array of birds in their personal wildlife preserves.

Are you curious about how to play Wingspan Board Game? This captivating game invites you to explore the world of birds in an exciting and engaging way. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the hobby, learning the rules and strategies of Wingspan will open up a world of ornithological discovery and competition..

Playing Wingspan Board Game is a dynamic and immersive experience. As you learn the rules and strategies, you’ll discover the unique characteristics of the birds, habitats, and food sources, making each game a fresh and exciting challenge. With every turn, you’ll make decisions that impact your bird sanctuary and ultimately determine your success in attracting a variety of feathered friends. 

Components and Setup

In Wingspan Board Game, the components and setup are essential to get the game started. The game includes a beautiful game board representing different habitats, player boards, bird cards featuring a wide variety of avian species, food tokens, and action cubes.

To set up the game, players place the game board in the center of the table and provide each player with a player board. Bird cards are shuffled and placed in their respective decks, while food tokens and action cubes are distributed. This step ensures that everyone is ready to embark on their birdwatching journey.

Game BoardCentral playing area depicting different habitats
Player BoardsIndividual boards for each player, used for managing resources
Bird CardsA variety of avian species with unique abilities
Food TokensResources used for feeding birds and meeting their requirements
Action CubesTokens for taking various in-game actions
Shuffled Bird DecksDecks of bird cards ready to be drawn during the game
Distribution of ItemsDistribute player boards, bird cards, food tokens, and action cubes
Set-Up SequencePlace game board in the center, distribute components, and prepare

Wingspan Board Game Objective

The primary objective in Wingspan is to build the most successful bird sanctuary by attracting a diverse array of bird species. Players aim to earn points by strategically selecting bird cards with varying abilities, creating habitats to house these birds, and gathering food resources.

The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. This objective sets the stage for players to engage in a mix of strategy, resource management, and ornithological discovery as they compete to become the ultimate bird enthusiast.

Turn Structure

Understanding the turn structure is crucial in Wingspan. Each player’s turn consists of multiple phases. They can choose to place an action cube, take an action, and then draw new bird cards. These actions may involve obtaining food, laying eggs, or playing bird cards to their habitats.

A well planned sequence of actions is key to maximizing your bird sanctuary’s potential and accumulating points efficiently. The turn structure keeps the game engaging and provides opportunities for strategic decision making.

Bird Cards and Habitats

Bird Cards and Habitats

Bird cards and habitats are the heart of Wingspan. The bird cards represent various species with unique abilities and requirements. Players must carefully select and play these cards to their habitats, making sure they match the habitat’s criteria.

Each bird contributes to the player’s overall strategy, offering a fascinating exploration of avian diversity. Balancing the types of habitats and bird cards is essential to a successful sanctuary and winning the game.

Food and Resource Management of Wingspan Board Game

Managing food resources is a vital aspect of the game. Food tokens are used to feed the birds in your habitats, and different species have specific food requirements. Players must gather and spend their food tokens wisely to ensure their birds are well-fed and active. Efficient resource management is key to maintaining a thriving bird sanctuary.

Special Abilities and End of Round Scoring

Bird cards come with special abilities that provide unique advantages to players. These abilities can impact resource gathering, egg-laying, or other game aspects. At the end of each round, players score points based on specific criteria, such as the number of eggs in their habitats or the birds with specific nest types. Understanding these special abilities and scoring mechanisms is essential for strategic gameplay.

Wingspan Board Game Rules and Strategies

While the basic rules provide a solid foundation, Wingspan as compared to other games like taboo board game offers advanced and optional rules for seasoned players looking to add depth to their experience. Understanding these additional rules and developing strategies to optimize your gameplay can provide a competitive edge in the game. Players may explore various tactics, including focusing on specific types of birds or habitats, to excel in their birdwatching efforts.

Game End and Final Scoring

The game concludes once a set number of rounds is completed. At this point, players tally their points based on various criteria, such as the birds in their habitats, eggs laid, and bonus cards. The player with the most points emerges as the winner, having demonstrated their birdwatching prowess and strategic acumen. Final scoring is the moment of truth that determines who has built the most impressive bird sanctuary.


Can I play Wingspan with just two players?

Yes, you can enjoy Wingspan with two players by using a slightly adjusted setup and special rules provided in the rulebook.

Are there expansions available for Wingspan?

Yes, there are expansions like Wingspan: European Expansion that add new bird species and features to the game, enhancing the experience.

How long does a typical game of Wingspan take to play?

The game duration can vary but usually takes around 40 minutes per player. Familiarity with the rules can make games faster.

Do I need to be a bird expert to play Wingspan?

No, Wingspan is designed to be enjoyable for all players, whether you’re a bird enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of ornithology.

What’s the minimum age recommendation for playing Wingspan?

The game is generally suitable for players aged 10 and up, but younger players with an interest in strategy games can also enjoy it with guidance.


Wingspan is a captivating and educational board game that offers players a unique blend of strategy and ornithological exploration. Mastering the components and setup, understanding the game’s objective, turn structure, bird cards, and habitats, as well as efficiently managing resources and utilizing special abilities, are key to success.

Players can further enhance their skills by delving into additional rules and strategies. The game concludes with a thrilling final scoring, where the player with the most points is crowned the ultimate bird enthusiast. Wingspan is a delightful journey into the world of avian diversity, making it a must-try game for enthusiasts of all ages.

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