Shadowrun Sixth Edition Announced!

The Sixth World is getting a Sixth Edition this year! As part of the 30th anniversary of the Shadowrun game system, Catalyst Game Labs announced that the new sixth edition will be released this summer.
The announcement came on the Shadowcasters Network Twitch channel late last night (or early this morning, depending on your point of view) with the official announcement from Catalyst Game Labs released today. The new edition will launch with a brand new Beginner Box including a four-page introduction to the Shadowrun setting, quick-start rules, an adventure titled “Battle Royale”, four pre-generated characters, a deck of fifty-five gear cards with all equipment stats for easy reference, poster maps (including one of the Seattle sprawl), and “handfuls of d6s”.

No specific release dates have been announced, but the Shadowrun Sixth World Beginner Box will be available at Origins Game Fair this June and the Core Rulebook will be available at Gen Con this August.

Details about the game have come out from various sources, including an interview with Line Developer Jason Hardy with The Arcology Podcast, an actual play podcast from the Neo-Anarchist Podcast of the beginner box quickstart adventure, a quick overview of some of the rules changes from Complex Action, and the archive of the Shadowcasters live stream announcement available on YouTube. You can also find some highlights of those announcements toward the end of the article.

From the back cover of the Beginner Box:

SHADOWS DARKEN AND DEEPEN. They’re cast by the enormous, world-striding megacorporations that grasp for power and strangle humanity in their clutches. By 2080, most of the planet has given in – bowing and scraping before their corporate overlords; selling their souls to the almighty nuyen. The corps gotta make a trillion, no matter who dies.

But in the darkest depths, defiance flickers. Spikes, mohawks, and tattoos flash, while blades and appetites sharpen. The ignored and the marginalized refuse to be ground down. And their reactions set their destiny. They may seek to repair the world’s injustices, or build wealth to keep themselves safe, or just strike a match and watch the world burn.

Regardless of their chosen path, they stand up and survive. They’re called shadowrunners, and they risk everything…

Wrestling magical energies, channeling them into power;

Pitting their minds against the electronic void of the Matrix;

Trading flesh and blood for chrome and steel to become more than human.


From the press release:

Catalyst Game Labs proudly announces the sixth edition of the Shadowrun roleplaying game, Shadowrun, Sixth World, debuting this summer.

Shadowrun, Sixth World builds on Shadowrun’s amazingly successful legacy, becoming easier to learn and play while still providing role-playing depth. Welcome to the marquee event of the game’s 30th Anniversary year!

It all starts with the Shadowrun, Sixth World Beginner Box, releasing in June. Here’s an exclusive look at the box’s cover art and contents:

Take your first step into the shadows with a new novella, “The Frame Job, Part 1: Yu” available today. Written by Dylan Birtolo, this exciting new fiction—which ties into the characters from the Shadowrun, Sixth World Beginner Box—is the first installment in a cycle of novellas releasing over the next few months.

You can also check out Shadowrun’s brand-new, future home at, featuring the game’s updated look and intense new art. In the coming weeks the site will expand and grow.

Catalyst is also pleased to announce the following localizations of Shadowrun, Sixth World already in the works: German (Pegasus Spiel), French (Black Book), Italian (Wyrd Edizioni), and Russian (Hobby World). More are in discussion.

Need more info? Here’s what to look out for on both and, as well as the official Shadowrun and Catalyst Game Labs social media, and on the official Shadowrun forums over the next few weeks:

  • [*=1]May 1: Initial Announcement
    [*=1]May 8: Product Overview
    [*=1]May 15: Developer Overview
    [*=1]May 22: Setting Overview/Fiction Announcement
    [*=1]May 29: Developer Q&A
    [*=1]June 5: Rigger Dossier
    [*=1]June 12: Shadowrun at Origins preview
    [*=1]More to follow

To tide you over until the Sixth World Beginner Box is available, the Sixth World Sprawl Fashion T-shirt is now available for purchase! (As part of BattleTech’s 35th anniversary, the Red Duke Solaris Fashion T-shirt is also now available.)

Additionally, don’t forget about the other 30thAnniversary items we’ve released on the Catalyst Game Labs store, including the t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt, Executive Dice, and the commemorative pin. Look for more great items throughout the year.

This summer, the shadows fall darker than ever, and survival depends on your willingness to risk everything and become a legend!​

The live streams and podcasts have already released a lot of information about the new system, but here are some highlights that have been announced so far:

  • Keeping with the "the Shadowrun world is sixty years and six months in our future" rule of thumb, the new system will be set in 2080.
  • The core task resolution system is still a D6 Dice Pool made of Attribute + Skill with 5s and 6s being successes, as with the last two editions.
  • The Edge system has been completely overhauled as a resource pool for different effects in a conflict, both combat and non-combat, to replace many of the fiddly circumstantial modifiers (you know, the "+1 for this and -2 for that and +1 for this and +1 for that and -1 for this and..." chain that bogs down games).
  • Core Rulebook will be about 300 pages rather than the 450-500 of 4e and 5e (but don't worry, the gear section still makes up about 50 of those pages).
  • Limits are GONE. "The role they [limits] played in Fifth Edition doesn't need to be filled anymore."
  • The skill list has been greatly reduced, with most of what used to be Skill Groups now just a single skill (so for you really old-school Shadowrun ​players like me, the Firearms skill is back!)
  • Combat will move faster and be deadlier, but also will have more flexibility due to the new Edge system.
  • The action economy and initiative system are getting an overhaul to speed combat, reduce analysis paralysis, and to prevent faster characters from dominating every combat encounter.
  • The magic system is getting an overhaul to make spells more modular and to push more of the mechanics centering on power versus drain. No more force ratings. The system is specifically designed for further expansion with the unannounced magic sourcebook to allow full customization and creation of spells via a modular system.
  • The Matrix greatly streamlined. No more Marks, skills are reduced down to two (one for legal/authorized actions, one for illegal/hacking), ties into the Edge mechanics. Datajacks are replaced by "cyberjacks" which are used for defense with cyberdecks used for attacking.
  • Character creation will still be priority-based, with tweaks allowing easier creation of metahuman characters. Restrictions on gear and cyberwear are reduced at character creation so you can get most anything at the start of the game ("opening up the toy box").
  • The sourcebook No Future (on the culture and media of the Shadowrun world) will receive an update to the digital version making it dual-stat for both Fifth Edition and Sixth Edition with the physical print copies ready for Sixth Edition. The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia (a sourcebook compiling entries on different corporations, politicians, countries, cities, orgainizations, gangs, organized crime, etc.) will also be Sixth Edition compatible (as it is mostly a lore book anyway). Some Shadowrun Missions adventures (the official organized play of Shadowrun) will have dual-stat adventures. After that, all new products will be for Shadowrun Sixth Edition.

The original announcement of the new edition came from the Shadowcasters Network Twitch channel last night at midnight. The Shadowcasters Network also has more exclusive details coming in the following days in addition to the official Catalyst Game Labs announcements from the press release. On Wednesday, May 1, at 9 PM Eastern, there will be an AMA with the Shadowcaster hosts (some of whom are Shadowrun freelancers) and on Thursday, May 2, at 8 PM Eastern is a Q&A interview with Shadowrun Line Developer Jason Hardy, which will be followed at 9:30 PM Eastern with the first in an eight-part live stream actual play of Shadowrun Sixth Edition.

The website currently displays a countdown that will end around midnight GMT on Wednesday, June 12 (7PM Eastern on Tuesday, June 11) along with a very brief overview of the setting of Shadowrun and a link to the official forums. This will be the first new edition of Shadowrun since the fifth edition of the game was released in 2013 and sixth overall since the game’s original release in 1989.

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

The talk of streamlining, making it faster, and reducing fiddly bits is all very promising. But I wonder what it might mean for the ultra-streamlined Shadowrun Anarchy, which really has the Shadowrun system I've always wanted it to have.


Seems like a quick turnaround. I know it's been 6 years since 5th edition was first released, but it's been less than 3 since the last update/reprint as well as the release of Shadowrun: Anarchy. Also a quick turnaround with regards of announcement to product release (a month and a half).

Kinda sucks because I haven't even had a chance to put together a Shadowrun: Anarchy game yet.


Prodigal Member
Yeah, it seems like I just picked up 5e a while ago. Well, as long as I can still use my Shadowrun dice...
The core task resolution system is still a D6 Dice Pool made of Attribute + Skill with 5s and 6s being successes, as with the last two editions.
Oh, good.

I'm used to Shadowrun's complexity and the plethora of gear, so I'm not sure how I feel about streamlining it. On the other hand, we've played a Shadowrun campaign using Savage Worlds rules, so... *shrug*


Yeah, it seems like I just picked up 5e a while ago. Well, as long as I can still use my Shadowrun dice...

Oh, good.

I'm used to Shadowrun's complexity and the plethora of gear, so I'm not sure how I feel about streamlining it. On the other hand, we've played a Shadowrun campaign using Savage Worlds rules, so... *shrug*

Our former Shadowrun GM was re-writing the setting for use with Genesys. I guess these are good indications a simplified system is needed.

I played a lot of 1st and 2nd edition SR. Tried 5e and it was just to crunchy for me. Not sure I will buy this, but I like the idea they are simplifying it.

I'm in a similar position. I loved 2E and 3E, but 5E was just gratuitous in its complexity.

I'm not happy about buying another book, but if it means I can actually play this thing again, then I'll consider it worthwhile.

Stacie GmrGrl

In the Arcology Podcast interview it was stated that Anarchy will continue As Is with no changes and be its own game line separate from SR6.

The streamlining of SR6 seems focused around the new Edge system. It completely replaces the majority of all those modifier charts that seemed to be prolific in 5e, while also being much more important in combat, matrix, and social situations.

The other thing (to me) that seemed to streamline it is only rolling once per combat for initiative, instead of every round. Armor isn't as impactful, so the game will be more deadly. So perhaps combat will finally have fewer overall rolls with a lot less modifier look up since Edge replaces that.


I was a huge, huge, huge 1e to 3e fan. 4e lost me and 5e turned me off as it was a bloated 4e (so it seemed to me). While this seems like a step in the right direction, I'm not sure...


First Post

Oh man! All y'all saying that 5th was "too" crunchy?!?!?!?!?! LOLOLOLOLOL
4th and 5th were both farther steps away from crunch and towards rules "lighter" editions... If you thought 5th was too complex then you are showing you never played 2nd.

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