Anachronism's standard rules are for two players, but official support and rules have been given for multiplayer battles. Multiplayer Anachronism is usually played with four players, either in teams or as a free-for-all. The standard four by four battlemat is used and additional starting rows are squeezed into the normally unused border rows. This means that each corner has an overlap of two starting rows, making it possible for two warriors to start adjacent to each other. Free-for-all style multiplayer can also be played with only three participants.
This does not limit the number of participants to just four. Many players have created thier own large mats, ranging from 5X5 to a giant 8 x12 mat. With this, it is possible to have six to even eight competitors playing.
Culture Shock is an alternative method of play that restricts players to only use cards within their warrior's culture. This is the historical version of Anachronism. For example, the Japanese Warrior, Ninja could never have used the French weapon, Rapiere in actual history. As a result, players can still choose to play any one card, but the combinations are limited. Hence, Culture Shock is generally perceived as the best method of play to enable newer players or players with fewer cards to be able to compete against more experienced players with a larger selection of cards.