Other than being normal summoned, this is the only other way monsters will come to the field.
 What is a Special Summon?
A special summon is summoning a monster through a card effect or with its own effect.
 How do I do it?
Fulfill the conditions on the card for it to be summoned. Conditions range from having a monster in the graveyard (Monster Reborn), your opponent having a monster when you don't (Cyber Dragon), tributing a monster (Monster Gate), and other various effects that vary from card to card.
 When can I do it?
Any time, as long as a card effect allows you. However, if there is no designated time that the card states, the summoning must be done during one of your main phases. For example, you cannot summon Cyber Dragon during your battle phase through its effect.
 Can I special summon during my opponent's turn?
Yes, as long as the card can be activated then, or the effect applies then.
 Examples of cards special summoning during the opponent's turn
- Activating Call of the Haunted during your opponent's turn allows you to special summon a monster from your graveyard during their turn.
- Activating Celestial Transformation during your opponent's turn allows you to special summon a Fairy-type from your hand with half of its attack, although it is destroyed during the end phase.
- If your opponent attacks a face down defense position Cyber Jar, both players get to special summon monsters according to its effect.
- Activating Portable Battery Pack lets you summon two Batteryman Monsters from your graveyard.
- When Pyramid Turtle is destroyed in battle during your opponent's turn, you could summon a Zombie such as Vampire Lord with its effect.
 When can't I special summon?
As long as there is no card prohibiting special summoning, you can special summon a monster.
 What monsters can't I special summon and when?
Any monster that says that it cannot be special summoned, obviously, cannot be special summoned. Additionally, if a monster says if it may only be special summoned a certain way, then it can only be special summoned that way; you cannot special summon it in another way, even if you have summoned it properly before unless a card ruling dictates otherwise.
 Types of Special Summons
Although a special summon is still a special summon, there are different kinds. Besides the standard, others have different conditions, which a certain card must be used to play them.
 Fusion Summon
A Fusion Summon is a special summon that traditionally involves the card Polymerization, and will special summon the Fusion Monster of choice from the Extra Deck. For a fusion to take place, the monsters required must either be in your hand or on the field, and are sent to the graveyard after activating Polymerization. The monsters required for a fusion summon are always listed on the fusion monster.
 Other than Polymerization
Besides Polymerization, there are other ways to fusion summon, although the cards are deck specific. Power Bond is used in decks featuring machine fusions due to the effect it has. Miracle Fusion is used in Elemental Hero decks that use fusion, since it can use monsters in the graveyard for the fusion as well.
 Contact Fusion
Contact fusion, which doesn't require additional cards, allows you to return two or more of the monsters listed on the fusion monsters from the field to the deck for it's special summon summon. Examples include Elemental Hero Air Neos and Gladiator Beast Heraklinos.
 Synchro Summon
A Synchro Summon is a newer mechanic introduced for the 5D's era, and fundamentally similar to a Fusion Summon. To perform a synchro summon, send face-up monsters on your side of the field to the graveyard (these Synchro Material Monsters are not considered to be Tributed), including no more or less than one Tuner Monster, who's combined levels and properties meet the condition for the desired Synchro Monster in one's Extra Deck. Goyo Guardian, for example, will allow the use of any kind of tuner and non-tuner monsters that add up to six, such as Krebons + Elemental Hero Stratos or Junk Synchron + Speed Warrior + Turbo Booster. Others will have more specific requirements, such as Tempest Magician, who demands Spellcaster-type non-tuners, or Nitro Warrior, who demands Nitro Synchron as its tuner.
 Ritual Summon
Ritual Summons require both a Ritual Spell Card and a Ritual Monster to work. When you activate a ritual spell, you offer tributes from your hand or field with levels equal to the number of stars specified on the spell. After that, the ritual monster targeted by the spell is special summoned. A pair of ritual cards would be Incandescent Ordeal and Legendary Flame Lord.
 Non-Monster Specific Ritual Spells
One thing that is unique about ritual spells, is that there are a few that do not have a specific monster listed on them. They, instead, can target any monster that fits the specifications listed. For example, Contract With The Abyss can summon any Dark Attribute ritual monster and Earth Chant can summon any Earth Attribute ritual monster.
 Differences between Normal Summon and Special Summon
- You can only normal summon once per turn. The opposite is true for special summons: there is no limit to the number of special summons you can have per turn.
- Normal summons can only be in face down defense position or face up attack position. Special summons can only be in face up attack position or face down defense position, unless the card states otherwise.
- You can tribute a special summoned monster the same turn it was summoned for a tribute summon.