Our step-by-step guide to the rules of how to play Exploding Minions board game. The reverse of classic Uno meets hot potato with some interesting twists and turns. This is the same game as the previously released, and widely popular, Exploding Kittens. It just happens to utilize the world of the animated film franchise Despicable Me / Minions from Illumination.

The adorable little yellow henchman that only speak in unrecognizable jibberish have taken over all the various cards like skipping or making other players draw. The game is for 2 – 5 players at ages 7+. The rules for how to play Exploding Minions are incredibly easy.

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In the deck of cards are some Exploding Minions. You play the game by putting the deck face down and taking turns drawing cards until someone draws an Exploding Minion. When that happens, that person explodes and they are out of the game. All the other cards will give you powerful tools to help you avoid exploding! This process continues until there’s only 1 player left who wins the game.

…basically, if you explode you lose, if you don’t explode, you win.


Time Needed: Approximately 15 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play Exploding Minions the card game skin of the original popular title Exploding Kittens. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Remove the Exploding Minions Cards
The first step of how to play Exploding Minions setup is to set aside the cards that take players out. There are 4 Exploding Minions cards total. Set those aside for now to add back into the final set up deck. You will ultimately play with a total equal to one less the total number of players. You can play with up to 5 players, hence the 4 total.

2. SETUP | Use Cards Based on Total Players
Depending on the number of players, you will use different pieces of the overall cards. There are 31 cards that have the “Gru Tech” symbol (circle with a diamond in them) in the top right corner and 37 cards without it. For 2 players, you just do the Gru cards, for 3 players, you just do the without and for 4 or 5 players, you play with all 68 cards

3. SETUP | Set Aside Defuse Cards
The defuse cards, which are marked as so, are like special power cards. Take these out, shuffle them, and deal one to each player. After this is done, shuffle the remaining ones back into the deck. These are very good cards.

4. SETUP | Deal Out Starting Hands
Shuffle the deck and deal each player 7 cards. They will then have 8 total (7 cards + 1 diffuse cards). Each player looks at their own cards and keeps them a secret from the other players.

5. SETUP | Shuffle in Adequate Exploding Minions
Take a number of Exploding Minion cards equal to the number of players minus one and shuffle them into the deck. 5 players means 4, 4 players means 3 and so on. This ensures that eventually, everyone but one player will explode.

6. SETUP | Choose Starting Player
The final step for how to play Exploding Minions setup before getting into gameplay is to choose a starting player. Use your randomizer of choice.

7. GAMEPLAY | Play
Play a card by placing it FACE UP on top of the discard pile and following the instructions on the card. After you follow the instructions on the card, you can play another card. You can play as many from your hand as you would like.

8. GAMEPLAY | Pass
You can choose to play no cards at all. Do nothing and move on to drawing to end your turn.

9. GAMEPLAY | Draw A Card
After either passing or playing as many cards as you’d like, you will end the turn by drawing one card from the draw pule and put it into your hand. You really want it to not be an Exploding Minion.

10. GAMEPLAY | Explode and You Are Out
If at any point, you draw one of the Exploding Minion cards, you explode and you are out. The game continues, but without you in it.

11. GAMEPLAY | Pass & Repeat
Players play whatever cards they are going to play and then the act of drawing a card signifies the end of your turn. Play then moves to the player clockwise in the circle. This continues until the game ends. You never have to worry about running out of cards because eventually those exploding cards will be drawn and the game will end.

12. WINNING | Last Person Standing Wins
When all but one player has exploded, the game ends and that one remaining player is the winner.



  • A good strategy is to save your cards early in the game while your chance of exploding is low.
  • You can always count the cards left in the draw pile to figure out the odds of exploding.
  • There is no maximum or minimum hand size. If you run out of cards in your hand, there’s no special action to take. Keep playing, you will just have to pass and then draw a card next turn.


Exploding Minion – Show this card immediately, unless you have a defuse card, you’re out of the game. Put this card and all other unused cards from your hand in front of you.

Defuse – If you drew an Exploding Minion, you can play one of these instead of dying. It then goes in the discard pile and the Exploding Minion goes back in the deck. You get to put it anywhere in said deck as long as you do not look at the other cards or reorder anything. You can even throw it on top if you want to stick it to the next player. You turn ends, you do not get to play anything else or draw a card.

Attack – Do not draw any cards, instead, immediately force the next player to take 2 turns in a row. Play then continues from that player on. If the victim plays an attack card on their first of two turns, the following player needs to take all the turns (so it is the 1 remaining plus the new 2 in this case but they can rack up).

Nope – Stop any action except for an Exploding Minion or a defuse card. It is as if any card beneath a nope card never existed. This can be played at any time, even if it is not your turn, because it is a response to the normal playing of cards.

See the Future – Privately view the top 3 cards from the draw pile and put them back in the same order. Do not show any other player.

Skip – Immediately end your turn without drawing a card. If this is during an attack, you only skip 1 of all the turns you have to take.

Shuffle – Shuffle the reaming draw pile.

Draw From the Bottom – End your turn by drawing the bottom card from the Draw Pile.

Minion Character Cards – These cards are powerless on their own, but if you collect any two matching Minion Character Cards, you can play them as a Pair to steal a random card from any player.

Clone – Play this card onto the discard pile it becomes whatever card is below it. You cannot play a clone on top of a clone. You can play a clone on top of a defuse card to negate an Exploding Minion card you draw. You can also play on top of a character card if you have another one of those characters, completing the set that will allow you to steal a random card.

Exploding Minions Card Game All Card Descriptions
Copyright © 2021 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.


  • 72x Cards
  • 1x Rulebook


We hope you can now say you know how to play Exploding Minions. This themed version of the original Kickstarter that took the world by storm, Exploding Kittens, is the same game but utilizes all the characters and world items from the Illumination film series Despicable Me about a criminal mastermind who uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better. This game focuses on the adorable Minions, a species of tiny yellow henchmen.

The game itself is a reinvigoration of the classic card game Uno mixed with a little hot potato. The rules for how to play are very easy and are all about letting the cards take you where you need to go and not being the last player stuck with the metaphorical bag, in this case, the exploding minions, who will take you out of the game. It is a fun journey for any player type out there.