A handy reference for Android: Netrunner

I wrote up my rules summary for the Android Netrunner card game. This helps me crystallize the basic rules, setup and turn structure. It isn’t a replacement for actually doing a run-though, but it makes that first run-through a bit smoother so I can focus more on how the cards behave in the play of the game.

This is another of those games where most of the game is in the cards and not the rule book. You read the rules and think, ‘How does that work?’ Then you see one of the cards and go ‘Oh, I see.’

Scorched EarthA good example is the section in the rules about damage. The rules describe the three types of damage that the corp player can inflict on the runner, but nowhere in the rules does it say how the corp player can actually do damage. That had me wondering for a while. Then I saw the card ‘Scorched Earth’ and realized that dealing damage is an effect of particular cards. The rules only need to explain the results.

Anyway, here is my rules summary. It might read a bit cryptic, and doesn’t cover the layout or basic concepts, but it does have the ‘if this then that’ stuff.


Corp Central Servers:
HQ = hand
R&D = deck
Archives = discards

Runner Areas:
Grip = hand
Stack = deck
Heap = discards
Rig = played cards: programs, hardware, resources


Corp Turn:
1. Draw phase – draw 1 card
2. Action phase – up to 3 clicks
3. Discard phase – max hand size (5)

Runner Turn:
1. Action phase – up to 4 clicks
2. Discard phase – max hand size (5)


7 agenda points.
Corp loses if R&D empty and have to draw.
Runner loses if flatlined (damaged and no cards, or zero hand size).


Corp installing cards:
Installed de-rezzed (face down).
Installed cards are not active until they are rezzed (pay cost & turn face up).
ICE only rezzed when approached during a run.
Agendas and Assets: only one of either per remote server (not both).
Upgrades: only one ‘region’ upgrade per server, otherwise no limit.
ICE: Installed in outermost position. Cost 1 per existing ICE.
Can trash existing cards before installing.

Runner installing cards:
Programs: up to Memory Unit limit.
Hardware: only one console, otherwise no limit.
Resources: no limit.


Corp advance agendas:
Agendas installed de-rezzed in remote servers only.
1 click and 1 credit to add advancement token.
When fully advanced, score (free action). Rez and move to score area. 7 points win.
Can advance assets if card text allows.


Attack each ICE with icebreaker.
Phases of a Run:
1. Initiation
2. Confrontation
3. Access

Declare target server. Get credits for bad publicity.

Confrontation (for each ICE):
Approach ICE – jackout/end run?, corp rez anything?, if ICE not rezzed then pass.
Encounter ICE – if icebreaker str >= ice str then pay cost to break subroutines in any order, unbroken subroutines resolve in order and may end the run.

Access (if pass all ICE):
Jackout/end run?, corp rez anything?
Access (look at) cards: R&D – top card (do not show corp) & upgrades, HQ – 1 random card & upgrades, Archives – all cards and upgrades, Remote – all cards.
Cannot access ICE.
Put cards back the way they were, archives go back face up in any order.
Steal accessed agendas (7 points win). Pay cost to trash any accessed cards.


Trashed cards go into archives. Face up if rezzed, face down if de-rezzed.

Corp initiates a trace on the runner. TraceX strength > Link strength = success, apply effect.

If runner is tagged, corp can spend 2 to trash a Resource.

Meat damage: 1 random card from grip.
Net damage: 1 random card from grip.
Brain damage: 1 random card from grip and hand size reduced by 1.
Flatlined: If more damage than cards in hand, or if max hand size is zero (from brain damage) then lose.