Are we using real NFL players or fictional players?

You’re running a team with actual NFL players whose performance is based on their previous season’s performance (with some randomization). Their performance will also be impacted by who their teammates and opponents are.

When do I play this game?

The Sandbox season occurs from February to April, but you play year-round. The Sandbox offseason features the annual rookie draft as well as two free agent periods where you’ll bid against other Sandbox owners.

Who do I play against?

You’ll play against 23 other owners in 24-team league. Owners are assigned to leagues as they sign up, so you may be playing against people from all over the country, or maybe scientists in Antarctica, astronauts in low-earth orbit, Iranian mullahs, or anyone else who finds the game when you do.

Can I play against my friends in a league?

This is a developmental feature in the future. For the time being, if you can round up a full league of 24 owners, e-mail us at and we’ll set up a custom league for you. If you have less than 24, we won’t set up a league in order to avoid any unduly close ties between teams.

How many seasons do I play?

You play one 16-game season per year, just like the NFL, plus any playoff games that you qualify for. Like the NFL, every game is important!

Can I play more than season per year if I want?

The way to do this is to own more than one team. In fact, we find that people enjoy the game more when they have more than one team, because it increases their odds of glory and it also makes rebuilding seasons more tolerable.

Are you a cult?

We are not a cult.

Are you addictive?

Well, yeah, kinda.

How do I get more than one team?

You can start a new team from the control panel of an existing team: go to Manage Account -> My Teams.

I’m not good at video games. Will I just lose to dextrous teenagers?

This is not a video game. This is a strategy game. When your kickoff arrives each week, the games are simulated automatically, and you’ll receive a play-by-play “story” of the game. Our initial game testing found it to be a highly popular and engaging way to present the game, and that’s been backed up by player reactions.

Is this a dynasty league?

Yes. Your team’s lifetime stats will be recorded, so you’ll be able to see season stats from any season in the history of your franchise. You’ll be able to see if your team is having the greatest offensive year ever, or if your outside linebacker is leading the league in sacks. At the end of the year, if you had the worst record in the league, you’ll get the first pick in the next rookie draft. It works just like the NFL in that way

Will people cheat?

Based on our system, it’s impossible to cheat. Your skill (and luck) will be on display.

How complex are your game mechanics?

We’ve developed an amazingly complex system of simulating games that takes into account individual performances, team synergies, opponent abilities, offensive and defensive game plans, and other elements. The play by play game outcomes have been lauded as being very reasonable and realistic.

I don’t want to be an accountant in my spare time. How much work goes into managing contracts and the salary cap?

We’ve developed a very easy and intuitive system of signing players and managing contracts. It captures the strategies that are necessary to sign and retain talent, but is very straightforward and user friendly.

How do I build my team?

If you start a new team, you’ll engage in a draft against the other 23 teams in your league to build your roster core of 24 stars, and you’ll then be assigned the other 29 players randomly. You’ll then have a free agency period to bid on other players and adjust your roster.

Once your team is established, or if you’ve purchased a pre-existing team, you’ll have an annual draft and two annual free agency periods to build your team. You’ll also be able to make trades, and you’ll make roster cuts to manage your salary cap.

Is there a cost to play?

Yes. We have mortgages and we like to go to football games, so the annual price to play is $18.

Will this game bring happiness to my life?