Star Wars: Unlimited is a trading card game in which each player takes on the role of a leader—an iconic Star Wars character—who rallies their forces into battle to defeat their opponent’s base. These forces are represented by a 50-card deck containing units, events, and upgrades. The game is played over a series of rounds. During the action phase of each round, you’ll play cards from your hand and use these cards to attack your opponent’s base and units. Then in the regroup phase, you’ll draw cards, build up your resources, and ready your units for the next round of battle. Early in the game your leader will affect the battle passively, but eventually they’ll join the fray as a powerful unit.


Each base starts the game with 30 HP (hit points). If you deal enough damage to the enemy base to reduce it to 0 HP, you win the game!


Using the two-player starter: The starter contains two decks: Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Each player chooses 1 of those decks to play. Separate the double-sided leader, base, and token cards from the other 50 cards (with the Star Wars:Unlimited card back). Take the 2 playmats and set them up facing each other—they contain helpful rules reminders and indicate how to lay out your cards.

Follow these steps to set up the game: 

  1. Put your base into play, facing your opponent’s. 
  2. Put your leader into play below your base, horizontal (non-unit) side faceup.
  3. Randomly determine which player starts the game with the initiative, and give the initiative counter to that player. Set aside all other counters and token cards, out of play. 
  4. Shuffle your deck. Draw 6 cards from your deck to form your hand.
  5. You may take a mulligan by shuffling your entire hand into your deck, then drawing a new hand of 6 cards. You must keep the new hand.
    Strategy Tip: We recommend taking a mulligan if your hand contains no units that cost 1 or 2 to play on the first round.
  6. Choose 2 cards from your hand and put them into play facedown near your base. They are now resources—you will use resources to pay for cards you play during the game.

When both players are ready, start the game with the first action phase.



Most of the gameplay happens during the action phase. During this phase, players go back and forth taking 1 action at a time. The player with the initiative counter takes the first action, then their opponent takes an action, and so on until both players have passed. 

The actions available to a player are:

  • Play a card
  • Attack with a unit
  • Use an action ability
  • Take the initiative
  • Pass


Cards have a cost in the upper left corner. To play a card, reveal it from your hand and pay its cost by exhausting that many resources (see “Ready & Exhausted” on the next page). For example, to play a card that costs 2, you must exhaust 2 of your resources.

There are 3 types of cards that you can play: Units, Events, and Upgrades. Each card type has different rules when played, as described in the following pages.


Units and resources enter play exhausted (turned sideways), then become ready (turned upright) at the end of the regroup phase each round. Many cards must exhaust in order to be used. Resources exhaust to pay for the cards you play from your hand. Units exhaust to attack or use certain abilities (indicated by an icon). An exhausted card can’t exhaust again until it’s ready.

Some leaders (including both Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader) exhaust to use their action ability. When you deploy your leader as a unit, ready it, even if it was exhausted before. This means it can attack the same round it’s deployed. 


Units enter play exhausted and remain in play until defeated. Units have a power and HP value. Power indicates how much damage a unit deals in combat. If a unit ever has damage on it greater than or equal to its HP, it’s defeated and put in its owner’s discard pile. Many units also have abilities in their text box that are active while that unit is in play (see “Card Abilities” on page 19).


Combat is divided into 2 separate arenas: ground and space. Each unit is either a ground or space unit, as indicated at the top of the card. All ground units are played into the ground arena on one side of the players’ bases, and all space units are played into the space arena on the other side. In combat, ground units can’t attack space units, and vice versa.


Events have an ability in their text box. When you play an event, use its ability and put the event in your discard pile.


Upgrades enter play attached to a unit and remain in play until that unit is defeated. Upgrades provide increased power, HP, and/or abilities to the attached unit. To attach an upgrade to a unit, slide the upgrade partially underneath that unit so that the upgrade’s power, HP, and abilities are visible. If the unit an upgrade is attached to leaves play, defeat that upgrade (put it in its owner’s discard pile).


Attacking is the primary way to deal damage to the opponent’s base and win the game. You can also attack enemy units. A unit must be ready in order to attack. Only 1 unit can attack in a single action.

To attack, follow these steps in order: 

  1. Exhaust the attacker and choose what to attack. You may attack any enemy unit in the same arena (ground or space) as the attacker, or you may attack the opponent’s base directly.
    1. If an enemy unit in the same arena as the attacker has Sentinel, it must be chosen as the defender unless the attacker has Saboteur. (For more details on red keyword abilities, see page 24.)
    2. Any abilities that are active while the unit is attacking, including Raid, become active at this time.
  2. If the attacker has Saboteur, defeat all Shields on the defender. 
  3. If the attacker has Restore, heal damage from your base equal to its Restore value. 
  4. If the attacker has any On Attack abilities, use them now. 
  5. Deal damage. If your unit is attacking:
    1. a base, it deals damage equal to its power to that base.
    2. a unit, the attacker and defender simultaneously deal damage equal to their power to each other. If either unit has damage on it greater than or equal to its HP, it is immediately defeated.


After learning the basics of the game, the next step is to start building your own custom deck. Additional cards to customize your deck can be found in Star Wars: Unlimited booster packs.

Your deck must include:

  • 1 leader
  • 1 base
  • At least 50 other cards, consisting of units, events, and upgrades

Your deck can’t include more than 3 copies of any card.

Your leader and base each provide aspect icons that dictate the colors of your deck. Your leader provides 2 icons and your base provides 1, giving you 3 apect icons total.

Most cards in your deck have 1 or more aspect icons near their cost. You can include cards of any aspect in your deck, but when playing a card with icons that are not provided by your leader or base, you must pay 2 extra resources for each missing icon.

This additional cost is called the aspect penalty. In general, you should try to only put cards in your deck that match the aspect icons provided by your leader and base.