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PlayCatan Access Software – Operation

No matter whether you are in the city layout, in a building, or in a game – most of the operating controls of PlayCatan are identical in any of these areas. Even though a game has additional game-specific functions, it also contains the basic elements available everywhere.

City Layout and Building Layout

No matter whether you move around in the city or enter a building, the following operation controls are the same in both areas. Inside a building, you also have access to the building's specific functions. More detailed information is included in the description of the respective building.

The operation mask is divided into the following areas:

General Layout

In the general layout, you can move the figure that represents you. To enter a building, click on it; inside the rooms, you can use certain objects (click on them). In addition, tool tips (small windows) indicate the function of important objects.

If the section visible on your screen does not span the entire visible area, you can use your mouse to scroll. Simply hold down the right mouse key and move the section around.


Here, a map of your home island or the room you're currently in is displayed. Your own figure is represented by a green dot. Figures of other players and buildings are represented by red dots. Your own house is also represented by a red dot. If you click somewhere on the map, you immediately jump to that spot in the general layout. The Zoom function (see below) also allows you a good overview.


In the chat window, you can communicate with other players in real time via text messages. The chat window consists of three areas: text input, text output, and channel selection.

It can be modified in size towards the left and upwards by moving the mouse to the margin of the chat window (mouse cursor changes to arrow symbol) and dragging in the desired direction while holding down the mouse key.

To send a message, please click on the input field and type the desired text. Send the message by pressing the Enter key. In case you are using the install version, you also can copy texts into the input field using the Cut and Paste commands. Select the desired text and copy it via CTRL+C. Then you can insert the text via CTRL+V.

Your sent messages will appear in the text output area, together with the messages of the other players. The sender of a message can be identified by the nickname that precedes it.

Whom you are talking with at a given moment is determined by the channel you have chosen. One could imagine a channel like a room where people can chat. Via the channel selection to the left of the text output area, you can change to other virtual spaces. The “local” channel is always the default option. Which players are present in this channel depends on your own whereabouts:

Building Layout: City Layout: Game Layout:
All players who are in the same city and in the same building. All players who are in the same city and in the city layout. All players who are in the same game.

Further channels can be opened by:

  1. Inviting other avatars to a private chat; the channel then receives the other person’s name. Only this person can read the messages written in this channel. Of course, it is required that this person also be present in this channel. (see Avatar Bar - Language Options)
  2. By entering the command /channel [name of the channel] open in the input field.
  3. Depending on the Tavern / Mode, there are more standard channels:
    1. Board Game Tavern / Free Area: Global (Global Game Connection)
    2. Board Game Tavern / Premium Area: Global-Premium (Global Game Connection for users with Premium Account)
    3. Board Tame Tavern / Official Tournaments: Official Tournament (Tournament Game Connection)
    4. Board Tame Tavern / Community Tournaments: Community Tournament (Community Tournament Game Connection) (see Game Manager)
    5. Card Game Tavern: Kartenspiel-SPV (Card Game Connection)

These channels extend across cities.

With the “Chat Templates” function, you can choose of a variety of pre-defined messages and are able to communicate in your chosen language (English or German), and your opponents see your comments in their chosen language (English or German). If you are in a game where the “Keyboard Chat” option was turned off, the chat templates offer an alternative way to communicate.

Via the “Save Chat” function, all chat messages after the last login can be saved. A saved chat is deposited in your personal section at “My PlayCatan” for 6 weeks. It can be downloaded from there or directly submitted to the service team in case of a abuse. The button to activate this function can be found on the right side of the chat input. For more information about the “Save Chat” function, please click here.

Avatar Bar

In the general layout, you can see the figures of the other players in the city and in the rooms. But only in the Avatar bar you can see important details about the other players. The Avatar bar also offers administrative functions as well as functions for contacting other players.

The Avatar bar consists of three areas: Channel, List of Friends, Ignore List

By using the tabs at the top of the bar, you can switch between the different areas.

Channel (yellow)

Here, all the avatars that are currently in the same Chat channel as you are displayed. Please note: Unless you are using the local channel, this list does not have to include only the avatars present in the room. Rather, the list indicates who included the channel in his/her Channel List and thus is enabled for reading.

List of Friends (green)

Here you can enter any other avatars you would like to maintain contact with. This list remains saved even after logging out.

Ignore List (red)

Here you can enter a player you don’t want to engage in contact with. Players on this list cannot join games you are participating in. They can’t send you messages, and you don’t see chat messages from them either.

On each of these lists, an avatar is displayed with the following info.

  1. Right below the name, the player's current title is displayed, which is the title he/she obtained in the last game period (see Citizen List).
  2. Below the title, the player's avatar as it currently appears is displayed. It will also show whether the player owns a pet, has received medals, is an Active Citizen, or is holding an office (City Council member or Mayor).
  3. The values that describe the status of a player are specified to the right of his/her avatar. They are: selected language, expansion level of the player's house, clothing level, and number of resources.
  4. The box containing the three arrows shows the player's personal game statistics (green arrow - games started / red arrow - games finished/ blue arrow - games finished as a substitute) Only the last 99 games are counted. Card Games and games with “noscoring” option are not included in the statistics (see Game Statistics).
  5. There is also a button for language options (face). Depending on the area displayed, the button opens up different options:
Channel List:
  • Ignore On/Off
    Ignore the selected user temporarily (until the next login)
  • List of Friends
    Put the player on your List of Friends (permanently)
  • Ignore List
    Put the player on your Ignore List (permanently)
  • Chat
    Invite the player to a personal chat
  • Message
    Send the player a personal message
List of Friends / Ignore List:
  • Remove
    An entry is removed.
  • Message
    Send the player a personal message.
  • Chat
    Invite the player to a personal chat.

If you want to put a player on the List of Friends or Ignore List who is currently not on your Channel List, you can do so by right-clicking the tab of the list you want to add the player to. A small menu with the following options appears:


Choose the “Add” function and enter the nickname of the player to be added. Confirm by pressing the Enter key, and the avatar appears on the respective list.


Switch between an open display where each avatar is shown with all the corresponding information, and a compact display that shows only the name. Especially in the Tavern, where many avatars come together, a compact display is much clearer. To get information on a particular avatar, just move the mouse cursor onto its name, and its “index card” will open up showing all the information.

Status Bar

In the Status display, you can find all the important game-relevant information regarding your avatar.

If the numbers next to the resources are red, your storage is full. Spend resources or increase your storage capacity to store more resources.

Lumber Brick Wool Grain Ore Gold
Money Clothing Level House Level
Days until end of game period

Button Bar

In the button bar, you can trigger important functions. Not all functions are available everywhere. In case of unavailability, the respective buttons are inactive.

The functions in detail:

In city or room layout: Directly jump to the Board Game Tavern.
In a game: Open a Tavern channel, e.g., to find a replacement.
Activate the messages window
Write a new message
Switch audio output on/off
Options (in a game: Game Administration)
Zoom in / Zoom out
Directly jump to your own house / the Hostel or the Market Place
Dice or game statistics (only in the Catan Games and variants)
Open Trade menu
Show and hide Avatar bar (in games only)
Exit program (in a game: Exit game)


You don’t always have the right resources at hand. In that case, you can trade with other players. Condition: Both players who wish to trade have to be in the same city and also in the same room or the city layout. Furthermore, in order to be able to view the other player’s offer, the channel should be set to “Local” and the Avatar bar to “Channel.”

Please note:
  1. Gold and coins cannot be traded!
  2. Trade between players can only be performed at a 1:1 rate.

To trade resources with your opponents, click on the Trade button.

  1. Offer (above – red arrow):
    In the offer field, you can click on the resource buttons to set the type and number of resources you want to offer. They are the resources you will deliver to your trading partner when successfully completing the trade.
  2. Request (below – green arrow):
    Just as in the offer field, here you can set the type and number of resources that, in this case, you will receive upon trading successfully.

As soon as you have specified the desired trade offer, click on the green checkmark button for confirmation. Now the offer is being displayed to your opponents.

If one of them accepts your offer, above or next to the corresponding opponent you will see a small Trade box containing your original offer and a hand with the thumb up. Now you can seal the trade by clicking on the Accept button. If the other player rejects the offer, the thumb is down.

Of course, it is also possible that your opponents send you an alternative offer. In this case, above or next to the respective player(s) a Trade box with their offer appears. Now you can click on the Accept button in the other player's Trade box, to accept the offer. After the opponent has accepted the trade on his/her part, the resources are exchanged.

While trading, you can also specify requests in your chat window and send them (just type them in and press the Enter key).