Tips & Strategies

Congratulations! You’ve figured out the basics of How to Play Mission Control! Ready for more challenging gameplay? Check out the Scenarios below for advanced plays and ways to get the most value out of each turn.

Each turn, you will be faced with multiple decisions. The choices you make and how you use your resources will decide whether you win or lose. It’s up to you to figure out what strategies work best and which ones you enjoy the most.

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Scenario #3:

“After my first turn, does it matter which order I play my cards?”

The answer will almost always be, “It depends!” However, here are a few examples where the order matters:

On your turn, if the Astronaut you choose to Deploy is a Scientist, play it before any other card type to maximize points from cards in hand. A Scientist gets you one RP per card in your hand. While this may not seem like a lot, but it really adds up! Play for the long game!

You need an Astronaut in play to Build a Technology which makes the Engineer a zero RP play on turn one. If the Astronaut you choose to Deploy is an Engineer, be sure to Build  a Technology first and get those 3 RP! 



When you Discover a Moon, consider which Planets you have in play and in your hand. You’ll get 5 RP if you control the matching Planet (e.g. Titan and Saturn OR Io and Jupiter). However, if you don’t have the matching Planet, it’s usually better to play the Moon for the 2 RP per turn, rather than wait for the 5 RP that isn’t guaranteed.


Scenario #2:

“I have to Discard a card…which one do I pick?”

These 3 cards all force Players to Discard.

The answer will almost always be, “It depends!” However, there are a few things to consider when making this choice. As a general rule, Planets and Astronauts are usually safe to Discard. Let’s take a look at each card type below:

Planets: While Planets are necessary on your first turn, they are usually pretty safe to Discard. Just make sure you don’t Discard all of them! You need at least 1 Planet in play to Discover a Moon.

Moons: Almost never a good idea to Discard. Moons are worth a lot of points over the course of the game and there are only 6 in the deck.

Technology: Generally don’t Discard your Technology. Not only do they get you RP each turn, they can be activated for additional benefits. You might Discard a Technology if you already have one of that type, or if you don’t have any Astronauts that match it.

Astronauts: Astronauts are actually a fairly safe option to Discard thanks to the Doctor. While you need Astronauts to get RP, Doctors can bring Astronauts back from the Discard pile, so keep at least one out of the Discard pile.

Events: You almost never want to get rid of Events! These cards can win games and turn the tables if you’re behind.



Scenario #1:

“It’s my first turn and I have multiple Astronauts. Which one should I Deploy?”

The answer will almost always be, “It depends!” But there are a few things to look at:

  • Check your Tech! If you have a Technology that matches your Astronaut (e.g. Hospital + Doctor, Engineer + Mine, etc) then Deploy that Astronaut and Play that Technology so you start earning Research Points (RP) each turn!
  • Read what’s on the card (What they say is what they do! Some cards are better early and some cards are better late.
    • with the Engineer, you get 3RP for each Technology, plus you can Draw a Card, Discard a Card — this gets better with the more Technology that you have!
    • with the Doctor, you get 4RP for each Doctor, plus you can return an Astronaut card from your Discard pile to the top of your deck — something to think about when you Discard an Astronaut!

So now let’s take a look at the hand below. We don’t have a matching Technology for either Astronaut, but it’s early in the game and we want to dig deeper into the deck. So, let’s play our Engineer!


Which Astronaut should I play?