Wondering what to buy to get started with Netrunner? With this guide, I’ll walk through what your first expansion to buy should be and some first purchases. Let’s get going!

Android Netrunner: First Steps

If you’re interested in Android Netrunner and are wondering where to start, the first step is obvious: buy the core set, and play it with a friend to see if you enjoy the gameplay. The original core set contains everything you’ll need to get started, including some pre-made decks to test out the game. However, after playing with the core set for a while, you’ll realize that you’ll be limited in the amount of customized decks you can have created at once since the cards are limited. So my next step is as follows.

Buy Two Core Sets

Yes, that’s right. The next thing I would recommend is to get another core set, along with the first.

Buying two core sets is pretty standard advice (though not universal), and the reason is that one core set doesn’t provide enough sets of cards with 3 copies to allow you to build out decks. If you’re playing with a friend this is especially true and will allow you to each have customized decks.

What Next? There’s So Many Expansions!

After you have the 2 core sets, you’ll want to begin expanding your collection. If you’re just playing casually with friends or family, what you get might be different than if you were to play competitively, so I’ll go over the general advice for someone who is just starting out with the game.

“I’m On a Budget and Want to Play Casually”

If you’re looking to start playing with some friends or family and you already have 1-2 core sets, the most efficient way to build up your collection is to buy some of the deluxe expansions. These cost about twice as much as the data packs, but also contain 3 times as many cards, so you’ll get more value for your money. The deluxe expansions will also never cycle out of tournament play, so if you decide you want to start playing competitively, you’ll already be set with a good foundation of cards. Which expansion you get just depends on what faction you enjoy playing with the most. If you’re not sure, you can just buy them in release order, as listed below. I’ve also listed which factions each expansion focuses on.

  1. Creation and Control – Haas-Bioroid and Shapers
  2. Honor and Profit – Criminal and Jinteki
  3. Order and Chaos – Anarch and Weyland
  4. Data and Destiny – NBN

“What About Data Packs?”

Here’s where things start to get tricky. Data packs are where the bulk of the cards are; these packs have 3 copies of 20 unique cards, with 60 cards total. These packs come in cycles, and there are 6 packs in each cycle, with 7 cycles currently released. You still with me? So with ~40 different data packs available, which ones should you get? Well the answer is, as always, “it depends.”
FFG announced that starting sometime in 2017, probably towards Q3/Q4, the older data packs will start cycling out. So with that in mind, which data packs to get depends on how long term you want your purchases to be, and what factions/styles you like. Your best bet is to just keep playing and find out what you enjoy, and then do research online to figure out which packs you need to fill out your decks. However, if you want to just get a few data packs, here are a few commonly recommended ones to start out with that will help provide a good foundation for several factions.

That’s it for now! Hopefully you have enough information to get started. Enjoy the fantastic world of Netrunner! For more information on specific cards, head over to netrunnerdb.com