The best games with the 4x mechanism 2024

Looking for a really good game with 4x mechanism? Then we have just the thing for you: The list with the best 4X games 2024.

What are 4X (mechanism) games?

In this list you will find games, expansions, promos, etc. that use a 4X mechanism in gameplay, not just in pictures or the theme.

4X games are a growing family of games connected by 4 categories of gameplay, all of which are crucial elements of the game:

  • eXplore
    Exploring the map with units, revealing the terrain of the area or something significant hidden in the area. What is uncovered will affect the game now and/or later.
  • eXpand
    Expand the size of your territory by claiming areas on the map. Gaining or losing territory will affect the game.
  • eXploit
    Exploit the occupied territories by improving them, gaining some/or using the territory to increase your units and/or power. These 3 things (improve, gain, and use) can happen in any order.
  • eXterminate
    Eliminate other players with units (which can also be lost) from the game. It does not have to be very likely that a player can be eliminated from the game - only possible.

If it is impossible to eliminate a player from the game, but everything else (including combat) is like a 4X, the game is called a 3.5X.

The four Xs do not have to happen separately or one after the other.... they can be combined and happen at the same time. However, in a 4X game, all four Xs will enter.

Since all territories will eventually be claimed, attacking and/or eliminating the presence of a rival may be the only way to achieve further expansion.

List with the best games 2024, with 4x mechanism:

This list was last updated on July 8, 2024. We compared 90 board games for this list and selected the top 30. There's also a print version for this list.
  1. Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy

    All details for the board game Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy and similar games

    Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy is an enhanced version of the original Eclipse game, first released in 2011. It's a grand strategy game set in the depths of space, where players lead their own interstellar civilizations to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate.

    Nominated for 2 awards and won 2.

    More details for Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 60 - 200 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn
  2. Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition

    All details for the board game Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition and similar games

    Embark on an epic journey of galactic conquest in Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition. As a leader of one of seventeen unique factions, you'll navigate the vastness of space, striving for dominance through military might, political maneuvering, and economic prowess. The game unfolds around Mecatol Rex, the central planet, where the throne of the galaxy awaits the faction that can skillfully navigate the challenges of a dynamic and strategically constructed universe.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    🔥 Deal: 12% cheaper than the best Geizhals deal, likely for a short time only!

    More details for Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition
    • 3 - 6 Players
    • 240 - 480 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn

    Video reviews for Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition

    • YouTube Review for the game "Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition" by Shut Up & Sit Down
      Video is in English
  3. Rise of Tribes

    All details for the board game Rise of Tribes and similar games

    Rise of Tribes takes players back to a prehistoric era where leading a tribal faction to prosperity is the ultimate goal. Through a modular hex board representing various terrains, players strive to grow their tribe, move across lands, gather resources, and lead their people to victory. The game stands out with its dice-driven mechanism that influences the strength of each action, coupled with strategic decisions on where to place tribe members to either promote growth or avoid conflict.

    More details for Rise of Tribes
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Rise of Tribes

    • YouTube Review for the game "Rise of Tribes" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  4. Barony

    All details for the board game Barony and similar games

    Barony is a strategic board game where players take on the roles of ambitious barons vying to expand their territory and influence to ultimately claim the title of king. The game begins with players randomly creating a board composed of tiles that feature different landscapes like forests, plains, fields, mountains, and lakes. Each player strategically places cities and knights, setting the stage for a contest of cunning and resource management.

    More details for Barony
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 45 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Easy to learn

    Video reviews for Barony

    • YouTube Review for the game "Barony" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  5. Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition

    All details for the board game Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition and similar games

    Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition revitalizes a beloved strategy game with an expansive collection that includes the original Clash of Cultures base game along with the Civilizations and Aztecs expansions. This comprehensive edition invites players on an epic journey through history, where each decision shapes the destiny of their civilization from humble beginnings to glorious zenith.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 180 - 240 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn
  6. Star Trek: Ascendancy

    All details for the board game Star Trek: Ascendancy and similar games

    Star Trek: Ascendancy brings the expansive universe of Star Trek to your tabletop, offering a deep strategy experience that allows you to control the iconic civilizations of the Star Trek universe: the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire. Engage in exploration, expansion, and conflict as you navigate through uncharted territories, interact with new life forms, and decide whether to pursue paths of peace or domination. This game is a must-have for Star Trek fans and strategy enthusiasts alike, featuring over 200 plastic miniatures and an ever-changing galaxy map that ensures every game is a unique adventure.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Star Trek: Ascendancy
    • 3 Players
    • 180 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  7. Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy

    All details for the board game Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy and similar games

    Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy is a grand strategy board game set in a vast, peaceful galaxy that's on the brink of a major interstellar conflict. Players take control of one of the major spacefaring civilizations, navigating through a tense period of growing discord and shifting alliances after a long-lasting peace enforced by the Galactic Council. The game challenges players to expand their civilization's influence through exploration, technological advancement, and warfare, while carefully balancing their strategies against the actions of rival civilizations.

    Nominated for 17 awards and won 7.

    More details for Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 60 - 180 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn
  8. Tiny Epic Kingdoms

    All details for the board game Tiny Epic Kingdoms and similar games

    In Tiny Epic Kingdoms, players are plunged into a world of fantasy and strategy where they lead their tiny kingdoms towards greatness amidst fierce competition.

    Nominated for 1 award and won 1.

    More details for Tiny Epic Kingdoms
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 30 - 45 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  9. Forbidden Stars

    All details for the board game Forbidden Stars and similar games

    Forbidden Stars sets players in the midst of the galactic turmoil surrounding the newly accessible Herakon Cluster. In this strategy game, up to four players command powerful factions, including the Ultramarines, Eldar, Evil Sunz Ork clan, and Chaos Space Marines, each with unique play styles and objectives. The goal is clear: dominate the sector and outmaneuver your opponents in a universe where victory is as coveted as it is hard-fought.

    Nominated for 3 awards.

    More details for Forbidden Stars
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 120 - 180 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn

    Video reviews for Forbidden Stars

    • YouTube Review for the game "Forbidden Stars" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  10. Empires: Age of Discovery

    All details for the board game Empires: Age of Discovery and similar games
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 50 - 150 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  11. Space Empires 4X

    All details for the board game Space Empires 4X and similar games

    Space Empires 4X is a grand strategy board game set in the vastness of space, where players assume the leadership of their own spacefaring empire. They will explore the galaxy, expand their territory, exploit resources, and exterminate rivals in a quest for dominance. The game emphasizes strategic planning, resource management, and tactical combat, offering a deep and engaging experience that mirrors the complexities of running an interstellar empire.

    Nominated for 2 awards and won 1.

    More details for Space Empires 4X
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 60 - 240 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  12. Conquest of Paradise

    All details for the board game Conquest of Paradise and similar games
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 90 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  13. Heroes of Land, Air & Sea

    All details for the board game Heroes of Land, Air & Sea and similar games

    Heroes of Land, Air & Sea immerses players in a grand 4X-style conflict set in a fantasy world of classic races like orcs, humans, dwarves, and elves. Each player starts with a humble township aiming to explore, expand, exploit, and ultimately, exterminate to forge the greatest kingdom.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Heroes of Land, Air & Sea
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 120 - 180 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  14. March of the Ants

    All details for the board game March of the Ants and similar games
    • 1 - 5 Players
    • 60 - 90 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  15. Dominant Species

    All details for the board game Dominant Species and similar games

    Dominant Species takes you back to 90,000 B.C., a time when the world faced an impending ice age. In this strategic board game, players immerse themselves in an epic struggle for dominance among various animal species. The game unfolds in the shadows of environmental changes, offering a challenging and immersive experience where adaptation is key.

    Nominated for 8 awards and won 3.

    More details for Dominant Species
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 120 - 240 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn
  16. Civilization: A New Dawn

    All details for the board game Civilization: A New Dawn and similar games

    Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn is a compelling strategy board game that allows players to immerse themselves in the roles of rulers of history's most iconic empires. The game challenges two to four players to expand their territories, advance technologies, and construct remarkable wonders. The objective is to strategically shape the world according to their vision and rise to become the preeminent global power.

    Nominated for 3 awards.

    More details for Civilization: A New Dawn
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 60 - 120 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Civilization: A New Dawn

    • YouTube Review for the game "Civilization: A New Dawn" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  17. Clash of Cultures

    All details for the board game Clash of Cultures and similar games

    Clash of Cultures is an expansive and engaging civilization-building board game created by Christian Marcussen, the designer behind Merchants and Marauders. This game invites players to lead their own civilizations from humble beginnings to dominant empires.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Clash of Cultures
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 180 - 240 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn
  18. Imperial Stars II

    All details for the board game Imperial Stars II and similar games
    • 1 - 2 Players
    • 60 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  19. Runewars

    All details for the board game Runewars and similar games

    Runewars is an epic and immersive board game set in a rich fantasy universe. Designed for two to four players, the game involves a grand scale of conquest and conflict, where players compete to build powerful empires through strategic battles and territorial control. It is set in the same universe as Runebound, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, and Rune Age, allowing players to engage with a familiar and expansive fantasy world.

    Nominated for 5 awards.

    More details for Runewars
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 180 - 240 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Hard to learn
  20. Galaxy Command

    All details for the board game Galaxy Command and similar games
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 10 - 45 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Easy to learn
  21. Voidfall

    All details for the board game Voidfall and similar games
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 90 - 240 Minutes
    • 15+ years old
    • Very hard to learn
  22. Dice Settlers

    All details for the board game Dice Settlers and similar games

    Dice Settlers is a strategic board game that combines elements of dice rolling, pool building, and area control to create a dynamic gameplay experience set in a new world reminiscent of the American frontier. Players will embark on an adventure where they establish their settlements, manage resources, and vie for territorial dominance, all through the actions dictated by their dice rolls.

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Dice Settlers
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 45 - 60 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Dice Settlers

    • YouTube Review for the game "Dice Settlers" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  23. Empires of the Void II

    All details for the board game Empires of the Void II and similar games
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 90 - 180 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  24. Horizons

    All details for the board game Horizons and similar games
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 60 - 75 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  25. Dark Ages: Holy Roman Empire

    All details for the board game Dark Ages: Holy Roman Empire and similar games
    • 1 - 4 Players
    • 120 - 180 Minutes
    • 14+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  26. Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game

    All details for the board game Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game and similar games

    Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game is an expansive and immersive strategy game that allows players to lead historical civilizations through the ages. Inspired by the iconic video game series, this board game version, designed by Kevin Wilson, challenges players to grow their civilizations from humble beginnings to global dominance, offering multiple paths to victory.

    Nominated for 7 awards and won 1.

    More details for Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 120 - 240 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Hard to learn
  27. Impulse

    All details for the board game Impulse and similar games
    • 2 - 6 Players
    • 30 - 60 Minutes
    • 13+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  28. Master of the Galaxy

    All details for the board game Master of the Galaxy and similar games
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 45 - 120 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Medium difficulty
  29. Alien Artifacts

    All details for the board game Alien Artifacts and similar games

    Alien Artifacts is an engaging 4X-style card game where players lead interplanetary factions vying for supremacy through exploration, expansion, exploitation, and extermination. You'll command research vessels to explore uncharted space, construct formidable ships, innovate technologies, and colonize planets to further your faction's dominance.

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Alien Artifacts
    • 2 - 5 Players
    • 60 Minutes
    • 10+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

    Video reviews for Alien Artifacts

    • YouTube Review for the game "Alien Artifacts" by BoardGameGeek
      Video is in English
  30. New Dawn

    All details for the board game New Dawn and similar games
    • 2 - 4 Players
    • 90 - 120 Minutes
    • 12+ years old
    • Medium difficulty

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