How to Play

db0 edited this page Feb 9, 2013 · 59 revisions

This page will describe how the use the OCTGN engine to play Android:Netrunner comfortably

There is also a video tutorial available

This guide assumes you already know how to play Android:Netrunner, so we will not go into the rules of the game. We will merely explain how to put those rules into effect in the most efficient way.

We also assume that you know how to use basic OCTGN functionality like logging in, lobby or adding friends.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a random bug in the game that sometimes makes your OCTGN session seems like it's frozen. It usually happens when you try to use a card ability, access R&D etc. When that happens, it most likely means that a windows form has spawned in the background (instead of the foreground) and OCTGN is hiding it. To resolve this, move your mouse on the taskbar, over the OCTGN task group, and you should see all the open windows for it. Bring up the hidden form to the front, and you'll be OK. In fullscreen mode you may have to close the form from the taskbar directly instead. We're working on a fix for this. If it becomes too common for you, you may turn WinForms off by going to table menu > Game... > Disable WinForms which will switch to legacy dialogs.

Keyboard Shortcuts

OCTGN allows you to use shortcuts to do many of the common actions. These can really speed up your game as they skip unnecessary clicks and mouse maneuvers.

You can see all the shortcuts when you open the any context menu. We've also prepared a "cheat sheet" you can use or print to remind you of them.

OCTGN Android:Netrunner Hotkeys Cheat Sheet

IMPORTANT : the shortcuts won't work if the chatbox has the focus (i.e. if the cursor is in it). In this case, click the play area before using any shortcut.

Host/Join Game

You can either host a game yourself or join an existing game. If you want to host, click on Host and select Android:Netrunner.

Enter a game name and click the Ok button.

Wait for another player to join. Use the chat window (or a voice client like Mumble) to determine who plays Runner and who plays Corp.

Now make sure that the Corp player has side A selected and the Runner has side B selected. You can change side by simply clicking on the letter. It should switch between A and B. This is important as Android:Netrunner uses an asymmetrical game setup. If you don't set sides correctly you will have to restart your game session (see below). To start the game session hit the Start button. You should see the empty game area.

The Play Area

Set up the game

Player bierfuizl plays Corp (blue side), player highflyer plays the runner (brownish side). First load you deck, hit the the Load deck button in the upper left corner. Select one of your deck definition files.

The identity card should show up in your hand area in the lower area. Your R&D/Stack with the correct number of cards is shown in the lower right area. Now wait until your opponent also loads a deck before you proceed to the initial setup as your identity will then be revealed automatically.

To start the setup process just hit Ctrl``Shift``s or right-click in the main play area and select Game -> Set up in the popup menu. This will place your identity card in the main play area, shuffle your R&D/Stack, check if your deck is legal and deal a starting hand. If your version is not up to date, a message will appear to let you know. Playing with an out of date version is likely to provoke bugs that won't let you finish the game. You should update your version, then host/join a game again.

At this stage both players decide if they want to mulligan, as described in the Android:Netrunner rules. If you want to mulligan right-click in your HQ/Grip area and select Mulligan. The A:NR plugin will move your cards back to R&D/Stack, shuffle and draw five new cards.

After setup is complete and both sides had their chance to mulligan the Corp starts the game by clicking the small green triangle in the Corp player`s tab. This does not trigger any automatic functions but indicates the sequence of turns in the chat window. Using this function is not strictly necessary for game play but makes the log window more readable.

Basics 101

This section will sum up what you need to know to play either corp or runner.

To start your turn, hit F1 : it triggers automatic start of turn effects and fill your clicks counter. For the Corp this usually means the mandatory draw of the turn. When you have finished your turn, hit F12 and then click the small green triangle in your opponent's tab to indicate that your turn is over.

How to Draw Cards

To draw a card, double-click your draw pile. The A:NR plugin will reduce your click count by one and add the card on top of your drawpile to your hand.

How to gain Credits

To gain a credit, hit Ctrl``C. The A:NR plugin will reduce your click count by one and increase your credits like-wise.

How to play Event/Operations

To play an Event/Operation from your hand, double-click that card in the HQ/Grip area. The A:NR plugin will automatically reduce your click count by one and decrease your credits according to the cost of the card. Most of the cards will have their effects automatically triggered, but some of the more complex ones will need you to perform such effects manually (e.g.: Precognition).

How to Target a card.

To target a card, click on the card you intend to target while pressing shift. If you drag your mouse cursor from a card to another while pressing shift, an arrow will appear from the first card to the other one. To untarget a card, click on it while pressing shift. Click likewise on the source of an arrow to have it gone.

How to use abilities on cards

To trigger a paid ability on an installed card, double-click on the card (e.g. : double-clicking "Armitage Codebusting" will reduce your clicks by one, remove two credits from the card and add two to your credits pool). If that ability has an effect impacting another card in play, you first need to target the impacted card before activating the ability (e.g. : you want to use "Aesop's Pawnshop" to gain 3 credits by trashing a "Rabbit Hole" you have in play. First, target the "Rabbit Hole", then double-click "Aesop's Pawnshop" : "Rabbit Hole" will be automatically trashed, "Aesop's Pawnshop" will tap itself to show that you used it and 3 credits will be added to your credits pool).

Corporation's actions

This section will sum up what you should know before playing the corporation side of a A:NR game on OCTGN.

How to install cards

To install an ICE, an asset, an upgrade or an agenda from your hand, double-click the card you want to install in the HQ area. The A:NR plugin will place Corp cards face down in the main area and it will also correctly rotate ice cards by 90°. The card installed will however just appear in the main area, so you will need to drag it to where you want it installed. Remember that when you install an ICE on a server, you will have to pay one credit for each ICE already installed on this same server. To do that, adjust manually your current credits pool by clicking the +/- button besides your credits counter or by entering directly how many credits you should have after installation.

How to look at your facedown cards

You can peek at an installed card by right-clicking it and selecting Peek, or by hitting Ctrl``p when your cursor is on the card. A symbol will appear on the back of the card, indicating who peeked at this particular card. Once a card is peeked, you can see it when your cursor is on it.

How to create a new remote server

To create a remote server, you should first right-click the play area and then select Create a new remote server or just hit Ctrl``s. A marker will then appear : you should install assets, agendas and upgrades under it, while ICEs have to be installed in front of it. This is not mandatory, but it adds clarity to the game.

How to rez cards

To rez an installed card, double-click it or right-click the card and select Rez -> Pay and Rez. The rez cost will automatically be deduced from your credits pool.

How to advance cards

To advance an installed card, right-click it and select Advance a card, or just hit Alt``A when your cursor is on the card. To score a fully advanced agenda, double-click it.

How to trash resources

While the runner is tagged, the corp player can trash his opponent's resources. To trash a resource, target it, then right-click the play area and select Pay and Trash Target (Resource, Asset or Upgrade) or just press Ctrl``Del. The corp player will automatically lose one click and two credits.

How to clean viruses

To purge the system from all viruses, double click the Virus Scanner marker on the right side of the play area: you will lose three clicks and all virus counters will be discarded.

Runner's actions

This section will sum up what you should know before playing the runner side of a A:NR game on OCTGN.

How to install cards

To install a resource, a program or a piece of hardware from your hand, double-click the card you want to install in the Grip area. The A:NR plugin will place the card in the right section of the play area.

How to remove tags

To remove a tag, right-click the play area, then Runner actions...>Remove a tag or just press Ctrl``R

How to start a run

To start a run, right-click on the play area and select the appropriate entry in the popup menu under Runner actions.... If you're running at a remote server, you will have to target the remote server card your running at. If you start a run by playing a card like "Account Siphon" or "Maker's Eye", the run has automatically started (i.e. you don't need to start a run using the popup menu).

You can quickly start a run to the server by using the keyboard shortcuts as well.

  • F5: Run on Remote Server (Target tge server first to help your opponent)
  • F6: Run on HQ
  • F7: Run on R&D (Use Ctrl``A after a succesful run)
  • F8: Run Archives


This section will sum up how to conduct a run on both sides, using OCTGN.

During a run, targeting the ICE currently encountered would make it clearer for both player.

How to use Icebreakers

To break an ICE, the runner needs to double-click the Icebreaker he is going to use to achieve that. If the program only has one ability, double-clicking it will trigger it. Otherwise, a pop-up window will appear, showing the different options made available by that icebreaker. The different options are shown in the form of 1:--> Do Something. The runner just has to click the different options in the right order then click Finish selection to activate the different effects in that order. They will then appear in the chat menu as notifications for the benefit of your opponent.

For instance: you are trying to use "Corroder" to break a "Wall of Static". You first need to double click on "Corroder": a window will then appear showing 0:--> 1 [Credit]: Break barrier subroutine and 1:--> 1 [Credit]: +1 Strength. Since "Wall of static" has a strength of 3 whereas "Corroder"'s strength is only 2, you'll first need to add +1 strength to it in order to break the only subroutine "Wall of Static" has. Therefore, you need to click 1:--> 1 [Credit]: +1 Strength, then click 0:--> 1 [Credit]: Break barrier subroutine and finally click Finish selection. A +1 marker will be added to "Corroder" (because of the Option 1) while you will automatically lose one credit, and because of the Option 0 you've selected, you will lose another credit, and the log will then announce that you have paid in order to break the subroutine.

All credits spent using an Icebreaker will be deduced from your total automatically but if you have "Cyberfeeder", "Toolbox" or any other similar card in play, the amount of credits you should have paid using your icebreakers will automatically be reduced.

How to use ICEs

If the runner does not break a ICE subroutine, the Corp player should trigger it by double-clicking the ICE. If there are several subroutines on that particular ICE, a pop-up window will appear, showing the different subroutines that can be used. You can activate the subroutines the same way you can activate icebreakers abilities (see above). If the ICE has only one subroutine, double-clicking it will simply trigger it.

If the ICE has some subroutines and some follow-up abilities (such as trace results, or abilities which activate on encountering the ice), these will also be options. Make sure you use the correct ability each time. For example, when using Matrix Analyzer, it has 3 abilities, The first one you should only use when the runner first encounters the ICE. The second one you should use only if the subroutine is not broken. The third one you should only use if your trace was successful.

If a card has an ability which requires a target (It will explicitly say "Do something to Target card", then you need to have a target selected (shift+click) before activating that ability.

Important: The Corp player should confirm with with the runner player that they are not breaking a subroutine before activating it. This is where voice communication can really speed things up.

How to finish a run

To jack out of a run (i.e. end it unsuccesfully), the runner needs to hit Esc. The Corp can also end the run with an "End the Run" subroutine the runner hasn't broken (in which case the runner won't need to hit Esc.)

If the run ends successfully, the runner player needs to hit the F3 key before accessing cards. "When you successfully run at" effects will then trigger automatically. Then, hit Esc after having accessed the cards to end the run (the run will automatically end as soon as the runner takes his next action or finishes his turn as well).

If the runner player accesses HQ, the Corp player needs to right-click on the hand area then select Show a card at random, or the runner can use Ctrl``Q to pick a card at random in HQ. Once the Agenda is on the Table, the runner can target it with Shift-Click and then Use Runner Actions... > Score Target Agenda or Ctrl``G to score it.

If the runner player accesses R&D, he needs to right-click the play area Runner Action > Access Top X cards from Corp R&D or Ctrl``A

If the runner player accesses Archives, he needs to right-click the play area Runner Action > Score all Agendas in Archives. All cards in Hidden Archives will be moved to the Face-Up Archives and all Agendas in Archives will then be scored.

If the runner player accesses a Remote Server, he should indicates in which order he is accessing the cards in the server by targeting them successively. The Corp player should them expose the targeted card: Right-click on the card then Expose, or Ctrl``E. If the exposed card is an agenda, the runner should target it then right-click the play area Runner Actions...>Score Target Agenda or just press Ctrl``G. If this card is a trashable card, the runner can trash it by targeting it, then right-clicking the play area and selecting Pay an Trash Target (Resource, Asset or Upgrade) or just press Ctrl``Del.


The Corp player triggers a Trace by activating a subroutine or by playing a card. Either way, a popup window will appear asking if he wants to boost the signal of the Trace. He needs then to enter the amount of credits he intends to use on that trace and press OK. That amount of credits will be taken from his credits pool (if the Corp player is using the NBN ID card, the amount he needs to pay will automatically be reduced).

The runner can then boost his link by double-clicking his Trace marker in the bottom left corner of the play area. He should then indicates the amount of credits he intends to use to boost his link.

If the trace is successful, the Corp players triggers the effect by double-clicking the card he used to start the trace.

How to find other players

The OCTGN lobby is rather quiet most of the time. You can post that you host an A:NR game there. Most players just open the Host/Join tab and look for hosted games to pop up. As a new players just host your own game, set title to something like 'newbie looking for intro game' or the likes and wait for players to join. During normal online times it will only take a couple of seconds for other players to join your game. During the quiet hours it might take a minute or two, just be patient.

Tips & Tricks

  • Wait for both players to load their deck or your opponent will see your identity card before he/she selected his/her identity!
  • Use Ctrl``Shift``s to start the initial setup.
  • If double-clicking does not work, click in the main play area. Make sure the chat window doesn't have focus.
  • Use the green triangles at the end of your turn, to indicate turn sequence and make it clear to the other player it's their turn.
  • Use F1/F12 to start/end your turn and let the A:NR plugin do its bookkeeping.
  • You can rez cards at the end of the runner's turn: Simply double-click the card before hitting F1.
  • In case you can't remember how to do a specific action, try right-clicking on the play area, a card, your hand... You can always ask your opponent as well.
  • In case you need help with the rules of the game, look in the Help & References submenu in the table's context menu.
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