World of Catan Wiki

There are six player colors available in the The Settlers of Catan line of games. These colors have remained consistent in all versions by all licence holders since 1995, except for the English edition which only used the standardised colours from 1997 in the 3rd edition of the game onwards. The available colors are red, blue, white, yellow, green, and brown. The first four colors are available in the base game while the remaining two require The Settlers of Catan 5-6 Player Extension. The colors represent the different players and remain consistent in all subsequent materials released in scenarios and variants.

The original English Mayfair edition of Settlers from 1996 came with four slightly different player colors: green, blue, yellow, and red (some sets also have a natural or wood colour set). When the second English edition was released, Mayfair decided that the ability to combine the two editions and create an 8-player game was plausible and thus released the second edition with four new colors: purple, orange, black, and white. With the release of the third edition in 1997, Mayfair agreed to standardise with the international four core colors and the ability to expand that to six with the Settlers extensions, thus the rules for 8-player games disappeared and have never been reprinted in a standard rule book since.

The original German Kosmos versions of the game have always used red, blue, white and orange since the first 1995 Franckh set. This is also true of the other makers of Catan in other languages. The original black and purple pieces used in the English sets are no longer included in standard sets however both the official Catan website and many custom Catan sites have alternate colored pieces available for purchase.