Tips & Strategies (49)

Add your own Tips, Strategies, & House Rules! Vote for tips that you think are useful.

Tips & Strategies (49)

Filter by: Order by:
Gamer Avatar
I Got What I Wanted
46 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“How Many Players? (Know the Market)”

Usually when our group plays (we’re all fairly new to strategy), we only have one person replenishing supplies for the game.

It should be noted that not only do the supplies increase proportionately with the number of players, but the economy of the game is subtly different for each tier.

The most obvious example of this is the uranium market in a 5 player game. In phase two, a whopping three uranium is put back each turn, making it a great market for two people easily. Not so with trash, it stays the same, supply will not meet demand with two people in the trash market.

Make sure you have a handle on the nuances of your specific market to be a conscious player and have a leg up on your opponents!

Gamer Avatar
I play black
33 of 35 gamers found this helpful
“Don't Be Lured by the Pretty Windmills”

The “green” power plants often turn out to be “Fools’ Gold”. New players tend to get into bidding wars to overpay for these environmentally-friendly plants. It is usually impossible to hold onto them for more than 2 turns before they become obsolete, due to the larger power plants that become available. The windmills look nice and may give you a warm, happy feeling on the inside, but they tend to keep you from being able to power the most cities (and win).

Gamer Avatar
I play black
Knight-errant Gold Supporter
44 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“Don't be in first place, unless it's by a lot.”

If you can grab an early big lead, and can keep it going, then you might win due to the larger income compensating for the higher expenses. If not, then a close 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) is a huge advantage.

“Drafting” the first place player allows you many advantages: getting more choices in the power plant auctions, buying resources first, expanding your network first. Those advantages are designed to allow players not in the lead a chance to catch up.

GAME THE SYSTEM! Hold back buying cities: don’t have most, have the second most. Each city generates more income, but it’s a sliding scale. The more cities that you have, the less each one is worth. Your first city generates 11 extra income. Your tenth only generates an extra 7 electros. Also don’t forget that ties in turn order are resolved by the previous turn’s order. If you were in fourth place last turn, then don’t be afraid to tie for the lead if you are making your big push: you will go, at earliest, 2nd, and yet have the same income as the leader for your potentially final round.

The most important thing: Don’t buy too many power plants! Buy selectively, as every plant is a major investment. Buy at most three early or mid-game plants, and an early 5-7 production plant is a huge advantage to own. Try to NEVER own more cities than you can actually power with your plants.

Gamer Avatar
I'm Completely Obsessed
Treasure Map
43 of 46 gamers found this helpful
“Avoid the hot spots on the map”

Avoid the heavily contested starter areas on the map and look for longer chains of connections or ways to block in those cheap starter areas.

Ex. on the Kores map everyone jumps on the free connection city blocks, and doesn’t look at how much it costs to get out of that area, or how easy it is to block them in. The east coast is a better start than the central free cities because you have an escape plan and a fast track to block out those players competing for the cheap start.

Gamer Avatar
Advanced Reviewer Bronze Supporter
50 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Anticipate the future of the fuel market”

Take a constant look at the power plants of your opponents. Watch, what resources would they need in order to power them up. If there are a lot of – let’s say – coal plants in play don’t buy another one even if it looks like a bargain.

Watch for reverse situations too! If there is few plants using a given resource in play you may buy one at higher price than you would have done in average circumstances. Your additional expense will pay off soon in cheaper fuel for your plant.

Gamer Avatar
Gamer - Level 1
48 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“Make your 3rd plant and endgame plant.”

Power plants are expensive, and it’s money you can’t get back. Try to buy as few power plants as possible. If you only buy 5 the whole game you should do fairly well. This means try to make the 3rd plant you buy one that will last you the rest of the game, i.e. something with at least a 5 capacity.

Gamer Avatar
5 Beta 1.0 Tester
Advanced Grader
47 of 51 gamers found this helpful
“Save up your cash for a final push”

Don’t connect as many cities as you can afford and don’t worry about powering all your cities. Save up for a final push to claim more cities than your opponents in one turn. You’ll be near the end of the turn order for most of the game, which means you get first choice of resources (make your opponents buy resources for higher cost) and first pick of cities to connect, but last pick for power plants. The benefit of last pick for plants is you can buy them at cost after the others have paid more than their plants are worth. Won’t they be jealous when you get the Nuclear Fusion plant for only 50 Million!

Gamer Avatar
40 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Large Plant for Hoarding”

Sometimes getting a plant that uses three resources at time is worthwhile just to hoard resources and drive the price up for other players. If you can exhaust a resourse, all the better.

Gamer Avatar
I play black
31 of 34 gamers found this helpful
“It's OK to go first”

A common winning strategy is to sit on your money and go last every turn in order to go to the market first. Many players are uncomfortable being in the lead for any length of time due to this financial penalty. It is possible to win the game and go first every single round, if you can manage to:

1) offset the increased fuel cost with additional income from powering more cities than anyone else;

2) diversify your power plant types to avoid running out of fuel when everyone else tries to hoard it; and

3) avoid bidding wars at all costs.

Gamer Avatar
2 Beta 1.0 Tester
44 of 49 gamers found this helpful
“Poker Chips!”

You would never guess that paper money takes up as much time as it does. When you switch to poker chips this game runs quicker and it’s much easier to count your money. I don’t like regular sized chips so I bought a specialty set from . I never use paper money with any of my games anymore. Everyone I play with loves the chips!

Gamer Avatar
The Bronze Heart
28 of 31 gamers found this helpful
“Don't Forget The Power Plant Market Rules”

In way too may games of Power Grid with my friends, we always forget the rule that states: “If, at any time during the game, there is a power plant in the actual market with a number equal to or lower than the number of cities any player has, players immediately remove it from the game and replace it with a new card from the draw stack.” It’s only after a couple of turns that we realize we should have remembered that rule long ago! So, don’t forget about this important rule, or else the game will get frustrating, and when you finally do replace the card, your strategy-minded opponents will agonize over the potential advantage they’ve lost.

Gamer Avatar
39 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Think of it as a bycicle race”

When racing with bicycles or cars, you always want to be behind someone to reduce the amount of air resistance. The same applies to Power Grid. You’ll get each resource a few elektros cheaper, you’ll get to pick your network expansions first, and you’ll have a bit more freedom during the auction phase.

Gamer Avatar
Reviewed My First Game
Subscribed to BG News
44 of 50 gamers found this helpful
“Aggressive Bidding”

Often times other players will open a bid on a power plant at face value and when bidding increments at 1 or 2 elektro, prices tend to inflate quite high.

If you really want it, first decide how much you are willing to pay…either open a bid or counter bid at +10 or even 20 elektro, without batting an eye, and you just might scare the competition out.

My experience has been, with this method, I end up paying less on the plant and subsequently, if the plant is efficient, less on resources too.

Gamer Avatar
Rosetta Stone
Football Fan
Explorer - Level 5
37 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“Learning the game”

Agree on a set number of turns to try it out first. Play a few turns to get the mechanics down, seeing who gets resources first, who gets first bid on power plant, etc. Then start over and play for real. It’s really going to maximize the enjoyment of newer players who might not understand pros and cons of being first or last.

Gamer Avatar
24 of 27 gamers found this helpful
“Don't forget your goal!”

Always remember you have to power a number of cities with only three powerplants. Buy plants that work towards that goal. Don’t spend too much money on ‘small’ plants.

It’s always good to decide when the game ends yourself, so be prepared to rush to the end if you’re on the winning side!

If an investment costs you more than you make with that investment, it’s a bad investment 😉

Gamer Avatar
Novice Reviewer
I play red
29 of 33 gamers found this helpful
“Avoid overthinking and time stealing”

At the end of this game it becomes very tempting for players to start calculating their win chances. This can lead to long wait times and players simply getting stuck because they can’t calculate the right combination of power plant, fuel and expansions. To avoid this:

1. Calculators are banned!
Quite obvius but people will suddenly look at their phones and start tapping away at the calculator app, you must stop this from happening! So no calculators or phones.

2. Stage 3 hourglass.
When the game hits stage 3 you bring out a small hour glass (maybe something from a other board game with a small timer hourglass) or simply a timer of some sort. When a player has his turn he or she gets 1-2 minutes (maybe 1.5 minutes is the sweetspot) and if no action is taken when the time goes out he or she loses the turn. This is a hard rule but if enforced and practided it will force players to 1) think ahead and 2) learn to deal.

These two tips or rules should help avoid sludging down the last part of a awesome round of Power Grid.

Gamer Avatar
Critic - Level 2 Beta 1.0 Tester
43 of 50 gamers found this helpful
“Don't Overbid”

Be careful during the bidding phase. Don’t get in a bidding war with you name. Make sure you don’t waste all you money on that new hot power plant. Assess your situation. Will that power plant help you in the long run? Or are you only going to use it for a couple turns and then dump it for the new hotness. Get what you need, not what you want.

Gamer Avatar
I play blue
Football Fan
Advanced Reviewer
30 of 35 gamers found this helpful
“Extra Wooden bits to help the game.”

Power Grid is a great game but can be the very definition of fiddly. One of the problems we always have is remembering the Step 2 trigger and the end of game trigger based on the number of players. As a game group, we could play with any number and so “forget” often what we need in each case.

I am now using two wooden “light bulb” markers on the city track to remind us when these two conditions are met. I found them at

I am in no way affiliated with them and get nothing in return. Just a casual customer that wanted to give them their proper due and help you if you find yourself in a similar situation.

I also used their Population discs to block out the unused cities in a game. They are a little small but have a nice green hue that looks like it belongs to the game.

Gamer Avatar
Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
Advanced Reviewer
49 of 58 gamers found this helpful
“Diversify Your Power Plant Output Levels”

When purchasing your plants, plan ahead to keep a range of numbers available. If you own two 3’s and one 2, you will be able to power from 2 to 8 cities, but you will be out of luck for 4 and 7 cities. If you had a 2, a 3 and a 4, you would be able to power from 2 to 9 cities, with 8 cities being your only gap.

Generally, when stepping up to bigger plants it is best to replace the smallest. In the above example, switching the 2 to a 5 is probably best. Keep in mind if you plan on buying many cities in one turn, as this may alter your plant strategy slightly.

This strategy will enable you to purchase less plants throughout the game, providing more money to spend on resources and cities.

Gamer Avatar
Gamer - Level 3
37 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“You don't have to power them all to win.”

Remember that the game ends when the requisite number of cities are connected not powered. If you can connect enough cities but only power twelve, you still win if you are powering more than anyone else.

Add your own Tip, Strategy, or House Rule

You must be to add a comment.

× Visit Your Profile