The best games with the 4x mechanism 2021

Looking for a really good game with 4x mechanism? Then we have just the thing for you: The list with the best 4X games 2021.

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 2021, with 4x mechanism:

This list was last updated on June 22, 2021. We compared 50 board games for this list and selected the top 30. There's also a print version for this list.
  1. Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition

    All details for the board game Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition and similar games
    • Players3 - 6 Players
    • Playtime240 - 480 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: hard
    👍 Good price!120€ atAmazon.de

    Video reviews for Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition" von "Shut Up & Sit Down"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition" von "Shut Up & Sit Down"Sprache
  2. Barony

    All details for the board game Barony and similar games
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime45 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy

    Video reviews for Barony

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Barony" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Barony" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  3. Eclipse

    All details for the board game Eclipse and similar games

    Nominated for 17 awards and won 7.

    More details for Eclipse
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime60 - 180 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: hard
    🔥 Great price!122€ atAmazon.de
  4. Star Trek: Ascendancy

    All details for the board game Star Trek: Ascendancy and similar games
    • Players3 Players
    • Playtime180 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
    🔥 Great price!102€ atAmazon.de
  5. Empires: Age of Discovery

    All details for the board game Empires: Age of Discovery and similar games
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime50 - 150 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  6. Space Empires: 4X

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

    Nominated for 2 awards and won 1.

    More details for Space Empires: 4X
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime180 Minutes
    • Age12+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  7. Civilization: A New Dawn

    All details for the board game Civilization: A New Dawn and similar games
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime60 - 120 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium

    Video reviews for Civilization: A New Dawn

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Civilization: A New Dawn" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Civilization: A New Dawn" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  8. Heroes of Land, Air & Sea

    All details for the board game Heroes of Land, Air & Sea and similar games
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime120 - 180 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  9. Conquest of Paradise

    All details for the board game Conquest of Paradise and similar games
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime90 Minutes
    • Age12+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  10. March of the Ants

    All details for the board game March of the Ants and similar games
    • Players1 - 5 Players
    • Playtime70 Minutes
    • Age13+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  11. Dominant Species

    All details for the board game Dominant Species and similar games

    Nominated for 7 awards and won 2.

    More details for Dominant Species
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime120 - 240 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: hard
  12. Clash of Cultures

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

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Clash of Cultures
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime180 - 240 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: hard
  13. Imperial Stars II

    All details for the board game Imperial Stars II and similar games
    • Players2 Players
    • Playtime60 Minutes
    • Age13+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  14. Galaxy Command

    All details for the board game Galaxy Command and similar games
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime10 - 45 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  15. Dice Settlers

    All details for the board game Dice Settlers and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Dice Settlers
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime45 - 60 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium

    Video reviews for Dice Settlers

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Dice Settlers" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Dice Settlers" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  16. Empires of the Void II

    All details for the board game Empires of the Void II and similar games
    • Players2 - 5 Players
    • Playtime90 - 180 Minutes
    • Age13+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  17. Horizons

    All details for the board game Horizons and similar games
    • Players2 - 5 Players
    • Playtime60 - 75 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  18. Impulse

    All details for the board game Impulse and similar games
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime30 - 60 Minutes
    • Age13+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  19. Master of the Galaxy

    All details for the board game Master of the Galaxy and similar games
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime45 - 120 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  20. Alien Artifacts

    All details for the board game Alien Artifacts and similar games

    Nominated for 2 awards.

    More details for Alien Artifacts
    • Players2 - 5 Players
    • Playtime60 Minutes
    • Age10+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium

    Video reviews for Alien Artifacts

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Alien Artifacts" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Alien Artifacts" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  21. Galactic Emperor

    All details for the board game Galactic Emperor and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Galactic Emperor
    • Players3 - 6 Players
    • Playtime90 Minutes
    • Age12+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  22. New Dawn

    All details for the board game New Dawn and similar games
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime90 - 120 Minutes
    • Age12+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  23. Exodus: Proxima Centauri

    All details for the board game Exodus: Proxima Centauri and similar games
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime180 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: hard
  24. Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas

    All details for the board game Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas and similar games
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime120 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  25. StelCon: Infinity

    All details for the board game StelCon: Infinity and similar games
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime60 - 270 Minutes
    • Age13+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: easy
  26. Omega Centauri

    All details for the board game Omega Centauri and similar games
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime60 Minutes
    • Age12+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  27. Era of Tribes

    All details for the board game Era of Tribes and similar games
    • Players1 - 4 Players
    • Playtime60 - 180 Minutes
    • Age14+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: hard

    Video reviews for Era of Tribes

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Era of Tribes" von "BoardGameGeek"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Era of Tribes" von "BoardGameGeek"Sprache
  28. Stellar Conquest

    All details for the board game Stellar Conquest and similar games

    Nominated for 1 award.

    More details for Stellar Conquest
    • Players2 - 4 Players
    • Playtime240 Minutes
    • Age12+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium
  29. Twilight Imperium: Second Edition

    All details for the board game Twilight Imperium: Second Edition and similar games
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime240 Minutes
    • Age12+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: hard

    Video reviews for Twilight Imperium: Second Edition

    • YouTube Review vom Spiel "Twilight Imperium: Second Edition" von "Shut Up & Sit Down"
      YouTube Review vom Spiel "Twilight Imperium: Second Edition" von "Shut Up & Sit Down"Sprache
  30. Battlemist

    All details for the board game Battlemist and similar games
    • Players2 - 6 Players
    • Playtime200 Minutes
    • Age12+ years old
    • ComplexityComplexity: medium

Didn't find the game you were looking for?

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