Pandemic (2007)

Average Rating: 7.66/10
Board Game Rank: 43
Strategy Game Rank: 53
Family Game Rank: 4

Pandemic: The Board Game

iOS App


Year Published
# of Players
2 − 4
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 4 players
Recommended with 1–4 players
(922 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
8 and up
Playing Time
45 minutes
User Suggested Ages
10 and up
(269 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Some necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(269 voters) [poll]
Reimplemented By
Primary Name
Alternate Names
Pandemia: Una Nuova Sfida
瘟疫危機 (瘟疫危机)
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Description Edit | History

In Pandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.

The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases' activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the "normal" spread of the infections.

Taking a unique role within the team, players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialists' strengths in order to conquer the diseases. For example, the Operations Expert can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases and which allow for greater mobility between cities; the Scientist needs only four cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal five—but the diseases are spreading quickly and time is running out. If one or more diseases spreads beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, the players all lose. If they cure the four diseases, they all win!

The 2013 edition of Pandemic includes two new characters—the Contingency Planner and the Quarantine Specialist—not available in earlier editions of the game.

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More Information Edit | History

Misprinted Boards In some copies of the 2013 edition, the board contains a misprint where the link between Lagos and São Paulo is missing. Z-Man Games will replace the misprinted board with a correct copy. More information: Printing error in some copies of the new edition


2011: Ludoteca Ideale (Italy)
2010: Australian Games Association Game of the Year Winner
2009: BoardGameGeek Golden Geek Family Game Winner
2009: Gouden Ludo, Winner
2009: Nederlandse Spellen Prijs, Nominated
2009: Boardgames Australia Awards Winner, Best International Game
2009: Spiel des Jahres Nominated
2009: Golden Ace Nominated
2008: Origins Awards, Board Game of the Year, Winner
2008: JoTa, Best Cooperative Game, Winner
2008: Games 100 Best Family Game
2008: Meeples Choice Award, Game of the Year, Winner
2008: Recommendation
2008: International Gamers Award Multi-Player Nominee
2008: Tric Trac d'or (France), Game of the Year, Tric Trac d'argent (2nd place)
2008: BoardGameGeek Golden Geek Family Game Finalist


  • 1 8-Page Colour Rulebook
  • 1 Folding single-side Gameboard
  • 7 Role Cards
  • 5 (wooden) Pawns (one colour for each role)
  • 6 (wooden) Research Stations
  • 96 (wooden) Disease Cubes (24 for each colour disease - black, blue, red, yellow)
  • 6 Markers
    • 1 Infection Rate Marker
    • 1 Outbreaks Marker
    • 4 Cure Markers with "Vial" and "Sunset" sides (one for each colour disease)
  • 59 Player Cards
    • 48 City Cards
    • 6 Epidemic Cards
    • 5 Special Event Cards
  • 48 Infection Cards
  • 4 Reference Cards

Card Sleeves

Pandemic uses Standard Card Game sleeves. The following sleeves have been tested and found to fit:

  • Ultra-Pro, Standard Pro-Fit (64mm x 89mm; recommended for a snug fit)
  • Fantasy Flight Supply, Grey Series: Standard Card Game (63.5mm x 88mm)

Free Scenarios

mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb mb – Pandemic fan
mb mb – Pandemic: In the Lab fan
mb – Pandemic: State of Emergency fan
mb – Public Health Professional
mb – Matt Leacock Fan

Online Play

Offline Play

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: I have 2 of the same card but am missing another card!
A: Allegedly during collation of the decks, some of the cards were duplicated or missed. You should have 1 for each city in the Infector deck (48 total) and 1 for each city in the Player deck (48 total). There should also be 6 identical Epidemic cards, 5 distinct Role Cards, 5 distinct Special Event cards, and the 4 Reference cards for a total of 116 cards. If you are missing any cards, contact Z-Man games and they will replace them.

Q: Why is the start city Atlanta?
A: Atlanta is the home of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Q: Can you pass cards when it is not your turn?
A: The active player may spend one action point to give -or- take a city card. Standard passing rules still apply.

Q: Can Special Event Cards really be played at "any" time?
A: (Quoted from game designer Matt Leacock) You can play the cards at any time, however, you can't play them between an event and the representation of the event on the board. Some scenarios may help explain this:

Scenario 1:
Player #1 has a Special Event card for "Resilient Population." During the draw, an Epidemic card is drawn. Since an Epidemic card was drawn, player #1 decides to play their Special Event card to remove a city from the infection discard pile before they are reshuffled. This is legal because the card explicitly states it can be played at this time.
Scenario 2:
A player may use the Forecast card to rearrange the cards on the top of the infection deck before they're drawn - but once a card is drawn, the player can't rearrange the cards.
Scenario 3:
The Red disease has been cured. A player draws the Taipei card which results in the 8th Outbreak. Since no time elapses between the drawing of the Taipei card (resulting in the infection) and the placing of the cubes (representing the infection), the players lose the game. It's not OK to Airlift the medic over to Taipei to cure because the cubes have already been added and the game has already been lost.

Q: Can this game be played with 1 or 5 players? The rules imply I might use all 5 role cards.
A: The game was designed for 2 to 4 players. The comment in the rulebook was a carry over from when the game only had 4 Roles. It was not caught before the rulebook was published. However, you may attempt to play with 1 or 5 players and report your findings in the threads.

Q: Our first game was easy! Are we doing something wrong?
A: Probably. But the game is easier with fewer players and/or fewer Epidemics in the deck. You may also visit this thread to see if you missed something: Common mistakes.

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Brazilian first edition
Publisher: Devir
Artist: Chris Quilliams
Year: 2015
Size: 12.00 x 8.70 x 1.65 inches
Release Date: Apr 1, 2015
Link Image
瘟疫危機 (瘟疫危机)
Chinese edition 2015
Publisher: Jolly Thinkers, Z-Man Games
Year: 2015
Size: 12.00 x 8.70 x 1.65 inches
Release Date:  
Link Image
Greek edition 2015
Publisher: Kaissa Chess & Games
Year: 2015
Product Code: KA111816
Release Date:  
Link Image
Spanish edition 2015
Publisher: Devir
Artist: Chris Quilliams
Year: 2015
Size: 12.00 x 8.70 x 1.65 inches
4.89 pounds
Release Date:  
Link Image
Hungarian edition
Publisher: Gém Klub Kft.
Artist: Chris Quilliams
Year: 2014
Size: 12.00 x 8.70 x 1.65 inches
4.89 pounds
Release Date: Jul 9, 2014
Link Image
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[Browse »]  [Upload File »] Language:
Pg. 1 of 16 »
9 Pandemic Score Sheet
A score sheet I developed for Pandemic
1 Pandemic Reglas en Español Oficial
La version oficial de Homoludicus del manual en Español _____________________________ Official Homoludicus' version of the rulebook in Spanish
5 Pandemic - Complete Variant
This variant combines the most important components of: “Pandemic”, “On the Brink” and “In the Lab” together into one solid game. The “On the Brink” expansion adds more elements to the game and increases the game’s difficulty while maintaining the original game play features of Pandemic. The “In the Lab” expansion makes Pandemic more thematic, while increasing the game’s difficulty. However, the “In the Lab” expansion drastically alters Pandemic’s game play; forcing players to spend more time developing a cure in the lab instead of preventing viral outbreaks from spreading. The complete variant of Pandemic will maintain the original flow of Pandemic while combining the key elements of “On the Brink” and “In the Lab” together. Version 1.0
6 Challenges Matrix
A matrix that lists all challenges up to the State Of Emergency expansion and cross-references with available roles. The matrix also adds the difficulty level for each challenge.
5 Pandemic Reminders
Once, when teaching Lancaster after not having played it in ages, I made a critical error that I didn’t discover until after the game. I said never again and since then I make a “Reminders” sheet for all of my games. The intent was not to cover all the rules but to make note of those little things that can be forgotten. Most of the Reminders start with the set-up and ends with the end of game conditions and scoring. I print them on cardstock and trim away the excess, making an easy to use sheet. They are also a good framework to use when teaching the games. If you click on my user name, then click on Contributions, then go down to Files you can check out my Reminders for all of my games. Enjoy.
2 Pandemic Turn Sheet
This is a tracker sheet to keep track of the events in the game. I made this because my friends and I prefer to play on the hardest difficulty with all of the expansions, which means there's almost no room for error. This sheet helps us keep track of what cities have already been pulled, which ones are most likely to come back, and how many cubes of each color may come up. “Game #” is to record how many attempts you've made. This was simply for fun. M Events refers to mutation events that get shuffled in player cards. I use this to know accurately how many purple cubes may come up on the next turn if we were to pull a mutation event. Once a certain card is pulled I cross it off. “1P on 3” refers to the event where you place one purple cube on 3 cities. “3P on 1” refers...
8 custom paws
custom paws
3 Paper box for cards
Paper box for cards, 7x10 cm, pdf file, v. 1.0. [url=]Full list[/url] of boxes.
1 Bioterrorist Mod For First Edition Of Pandemic
Bioterrorist Mod For First Edition Of Pandemic. There's no reason to miss out if you have the older edition and want to add a bit of competitive play to mix up the co-op. These rules make use of the basic four diseases; and make capture of the bioterrorist a serious affair (in the OTB 2nd edition version the bioterrorist can escape almost immediately, which is silly).
6 Pandemic Setup Quick Reference Cheat Sheet
This is a simple 1 page guide for setting up Pandemic (including On the Brink expansion).
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Board Game Rank: 43
Strategy Game Rank: 53
Family Game Rank: 4
Num Ratings: 44121
Average Rating: 7.66
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