1) Game board: Place the game board (choose one side) in the middle of the table. Place a transparent cube on 0% Oxygen, and a transparent cube on -32°C temperature. Place 7 ocean tiles in a pile on the ocean symbol on the game board. Each player chooses a player color and place the corresponding cube at the start of the VP track (0 VP).
2) Dice pool: Place all the dice next to the game board, where all players can reach them. This is called the dice pool. Place all wild tokens and tiles next to it.
3) Project deck: Shuffle the Project cards and place the deck face down next to the game board with space for a discard pile next to it.
4) Bonus cards: Shuffle the Bonus cards and randomly select 4 cards (for 1-2 players), 6 cards (3 players), or 8 cards (4 players). Place them unseen in a stack face down next to the game board and put the remaining bonus cards back in the box. When players reach the bonus steps on the VP track (at 5 VP and 12 VP), they will gain a bonus card.
5) Awards: Take 1 dice of each color from the dice pool, randomly select 3 of them, roll them, and place them on the 3 award spots on the game board. Players compete to have the most of these symbols on the cost of their played cards by the end of the game.
6) Milestones: Randomly select 3 milestone tiles and place them on the game board. Return the rest to the box. The first player to reach a milestone goal receives the tile at once and for free. Each milestone tile is worth 4 VP at the end of the game.
7) Player order: The player who most recently won a game of Terraforming Mars (any version) is first player and starts the game. Turns will proceed clockwise around the table.
8) Projects and corporations: Deal 5 Project cards to each player. This is your starting hand. Shuffle the corporation cards and deal 2 corporations to each player. You now choose 1 of these corporations to be your own. Unused corporations are returned to the box.
9) Reveal corporations: In player order, place your chosen corporation face up in front of you. Gain the starting bonus shown in the red box (in this example, 3 wild tokens). Then cover this red box with your player color tile.
10) Initial production: Take the production indicated in the brown box (in this case 2 yellow dice and 1 red dice). The dice are rolled and stored in front of you. They are now your resources. Throughout the game, you can gain more resources by performing a production turn.
11) First player penalty: The first player must choose 1 of its resources and give it to the last player (skip this if playing solo). Then the First player starts the game.