How to identify your version of German Catan

Below is a list of the German releases of the Catan base set showing the front and back cover.
LAST UPDATE: November 2022

I have listed these items as a series of releases by date rather than group only by the edition. My reason for this is that officially there are just three editions of Die Siedler von Catan, however there are a significant number of releases and special editions within each edition I wanted to show all of these so have used the release date. Where possible I have also tried to include examples of variations I have found as well.

The official German editions of the settlers begain in the following years:
- First edition (wooden pieces and hex border) 1995
- Second edition (plastic pieces and frame border) 2002/3
- Third edition (new artwork) 2010

Each image below can be seen as a larger image by clicking on it. To identify other Catan series, please select from the sidebar.


Die Siedler von Catan - 1st release Franckh logo 1995 First Edition

Featuring the red Franckh logo in the corner, this game was released at Spiel 1995. It is understood that only 5,000 of these were printed and sold out very quickly.

t1995 franckh front t1995 franckh back

Die Siedler von Catan - 2nd release Yellow Kosmos 1995

Still identified officially by Catan Gmbh as the First Edition, Kosmos updated the cover to the yellow Kosmos logo. The box also features the newly awarded SdJ game of the year award. This set was released in late 1995.

t1995 kosmosyellow front t1995 kosmosyellow back

A second and third version of the Yellow Kosmos were released in 1996. These can both be identified by the addition of the "Ausgezeichnet Mit 3 Preisen"(Awards box) in the top right corner. The first of these sets has just one white box at the bottom of the back, while the second version introduces a second white box on the rear with the German consumer agency "Stiftung Warentest" details in it. Click here for the 1995/96 Rule Book.

t1996 yellowf t1996 yellowb

t1996 yellowf t1996 yellowb

During this time the Yellow Kosmos box was sold with promotional labels from distributors and other companies. The first example below is where "iglo" added their own label to the earlier 1995 version, presumably as part of a promotion.

The most famous of these variations, and now a very collectible set in its own right, is the Panasonic Edition of Catan. Based on the 1996 yellow Kosmos set this version had the words "Panasonic Edition" printed on the lid, as well as on the instructions and inner box. This set is understood to have been the first time Catan was commissioned to produce a small run branded promotional product for another company. It was followed in 1997 by the first ever customised variation of the game for Glen Grant Distilleries, where they used "Das Wasser des Lebens", a whisky themed version of Catan in promotions.

t1995 yellow altlabelf t1995 yellow altlabelb
t1996 panasonic t1996 panasonicb

Die Siedler von Catan - 3rd release Blue Kosmos 1997

In late 96 or early 97 the new blue Kosmos logo replaced the older yellow one. The blue logo has been seen on all German Catan games since. The set is officially still refered to as being part of the First Edition. The very first blue logo box was released without the SdJ logo on the front.

t1996 blue v1f t1996 blue v1b

It is thought by many that the missing SdJ award was a mistake during the design process. The box without the logo was quickly replaced by the second blue version with the SdJ award shown on the front, back and sides. It also featured a new back design showing the new quick start instructions and card trays.

t1996 blue v2withsdj t1996 blue v2b

This blue logo and box design would last for almost 6 years. During this time variations of the box were released including one promoting the fact 8 million copies of Catan had been sold (a big jump from the first release of 5,000!).

One of the most seen variations of the blue logo box features a small yellow hex printed directly onto the box with the words "Jetzt sofort losspielen mit der neuartigen. Kurz-Anleitung! Mit stabilem Einsatz und zwei herausnehmbaren Kartenfachern!" This was a feature on the front of the box promoting the new quick start guide and card trays that were released in 1998.

t1996 blue v2 8mill t1996 blue v2 8millb
t1996 blue v2quickstart t1996 blue v2quickstartb

Die Siedler von Catan - Special Release Tin Case Mega-Set 2000

A special release set in a tin case using the original yellow kosmos logo was released in association with "idee+spiel." This set included the base game as well as a copy of "The Settlers II: Gold Edition" CD-Rom. While there is no date on the tin, the CD Rom is dated ©1996-2000 so I presume the tin set was released after 2000. This is still to be confirmed.



Die Siedler von Catan - 4th release Kosmos 2002/03

This officially is the first version of the 2nd edition of German Catan. It was created and printed in 2002 and released in early 2003. This release remains one of the most controversial of the Catan releases for older fans. The change from wooden counters to plastic was a significant move and is still debated by purists today. Likewise the move to a printed frame instead of individual sea hexes also generated much discussion.  Fortunately the new artwork was popular, so the publicity for this new version was not all negative.


A small aside...
Not everyone was a fan of the move to plastic pieces. The feedback was sufficient that in 2008 Catan released a custom set of wooden counters that were designed by Klaus Teuber himself Only available online from Catan these pieces are wooden and have a unique Viking theme. They are available for the base set in six colours and also had expansions for Seafarers, Cities & Knights, Explorers and Pirates, Legend of the Sea Robbers, and Traders & Barbarians.

I was originally advised these sets were no longer available, so was really pleased to be advised by another BGG user they are still available on the German Catan site.


Die Siedler von Catan - 10th Anniversary Gold Box release 2005

In 2005 a special gold boxed version of the base game was released to celebrate 10 years of Catan.

This "exclusive special edition" gold set came in two versions. The first version was the standard base set. The second version released later included a copy of "Atlantis – Szenarien & Varianten" bundled with the gold box. The gold box design was also altered on the front to show the two boxes side by side.

Version One

 10thgold2005catan v1 catan10thgoldv2 frontcatan10thgoldv2 back

Version Two - with Atlantis bundled


Also during 2005 the 10th Anniversary 3D version was released. The German version of the 3D set was limited to just 2,500 copies and today is one of the most expensive of Catan games a collector can buy. There were also 500 3D sets released in Dutch and there were 5,000 sets in English.

  3d german 3d german

Die Siedler von Catan - 5th release 2007

Featuring a change in the artwork this set is classified as part of the second edition as there were no changes in content or functionality. Interestingly on the website this is identified as the 2006 version, even though the box has 2007 printed on the back.

When first preparing this page I had thought that this release formed a new third edition, however I was advised by Germany this is not the case. Also the old German Catan website stated "The unchanged second edition from 2006 In 2006 the illustration of the game boxes was revised again. The game material was not changed functionally. All expansions from 2006 are therefore fully compatible with the games released in 2003."


Die Siedler von Catan - Double Pack Promotions 2002-2007

At some stage during these years Kosmos released double packs where the base version of Catan was sealed together with an expansion or extension of the game. There were a number of these different double packs but I cannot find a definitive list of which ones were made.

- pack02 - pack03 - pack04 - pack05
Please note there are not larger version images of these packs as they are only listed as a guide.


Die Siedler von Catan - 6th release 2010

Featuring new artwork for the box, hexes and cards this set is identified as the first version of the Third Edition of Catan. This edition was the first to introduce individual artwork for each resource hex tile.


15th Anniversary Wood Edition 2010

To celebrate 15 years of Catan a special presentation boxed set was released. While not as fancy and ornate as the 10th anniversary edition, this wooden set was expanded to allow for up to 6 players.

15thft15thbt 15thit

Die Siedler von Catan - 7th release 2013

This next version of the Third Edition included additional graphics for "Play It Smart". The "Play it Smart" app is designed to enhance the game and included a special robber that activates features in the downloadable app promoted on the box. The link to the app in Google play is here.


Die Siedler von Catan - 8th release 2015

Still part of the Third Edition this set is marked as being 2015. It features new artwork front and rear, but the contents remain as per the previous version. On the outer plastic of many sets is a sticker promoting that over 22 million versions of the game have now been sold. In 2019 or 2020 this was replaced by a sticker promoting over 30 million copies have now been sold.


catan30mill f

25th Anniversary Set 2020

This special release features the base set, along with seafarers and two additional maps.

catan25jahre f catan25jahre b

Catan 3D Edition 2021

This release of the 3D set differes from the first 3D set by using standard sized hex made from plastic. It is also only the base game. In 2022 it was announced that a Seafarers/Cities& Knights expansion would be released later in the year. This will make the 3D set very attractive..

catan25jahre f catan25jahre f

Catan Starter Set 2021

The 25th Anniversary set has been renamed and released as a new set called the Starter Set. Included in this set are the base set and seafarers, as well as two maps Hawaii (along with all the counters needed) and the Iberian Peninsula. The box features updates to contents that bring it into line with the English version.

catan25jahre f catan25jahre f  catan25jahre f

Catan 9th release 2022

This new 9th printing of the third edition features updated artwork for some parts of the game, and is now similar to the English version. From the box image it also looks to include the cardboard "sea chest" boxes to hold the pieces. It may also contain a new rule booklet but I have yet to confirm this personally. I will update this description once my copy arrives from Germany.

catan9th catan25jahre f 

All images are from my own collection. I welcome corrections, additions and other images if you are able to provide them.