The award-winning Space Empires IV Deluxe is the latest edition in the Space Empires series. A grand strategy title in the space 4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) genre, Space Empires has already found a place in the heart of strategy gamers everywhere.
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Mostly Positive (94 reviews) - 79% of the 94 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 7, 2006

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Includes 2 items: Space Empires IV Deluxe, Space Empires V


About This Game

The award-winning Space Empires IV Deluxe is the latest edition in the Space Empires series. A grand strategy title in the space 4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) genre, Space Empires has already found a place in the heart of strategy gamers everywhere.
Research technology, design new ships, wage war on a tactical level, put down rebellions, meet and greet new species, and much more. All the level and campaign design tools are included, allowing anyone to become a part of the expansive Space Empires Mod community.

System Requirements

    Minimum: Pentium Processor; Windows XP; 128MB RAM; 800x600 screen resolution; 16bit colour; 300 MB hard drive space; DirectX 8.1 or higher, Windows Compatible Sound Card.
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Mostly Positive (94 reviews)
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81 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
99 of 108 people (92%) found this review helpful
192.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 8, 2014
Space Empires IV is like a truly complex, four course meal. The flavors are nuanced, will challenge the faint of heart, and if you trust the chef and stick with it to the end, is truly satisfying.

I spent hundreds of hours on the predecessor to SEIV, and the terrible graphics but amazing gameplay of SEIII will live in my memory forever. Space Empires IV is a worthy successor. Unlike some sequels, SEIV builds on what made SEIII great, preserving the best features and adding lovingly rendered graphics, enhanced ship design features, more technologies, bigger galaxies, better AI (although this is probably the greatest weakness of the series), and more.

If you've never played 4X games before, SEIV is a heavy entry title. It does have a steep learning curve, and only those who truly love micromanagement will ever appreciate the deep complexity at the core of this title. It's possible to play without getting bogged down in the details as a variety of assistants can be turned on to help manage minutia like build queues, research, and the like. I'm not that familiar with them as I never play with them on, but I'd imagine they would help if you're just getting in to the game.

The real brilliance of SEIV is the extensive technology tree and the infinite variations in how it can be applied. Over the many hours I've spent with this game, I've tried countless variations on technology applications, and there is no one true path to victory. Many exist, they are all fun, and contribute greatly to the near-infinite replayability of this title.

When you get tired of the base game, the second greatest feature of SEIV kicks in -- it's very open to modding, and a strong community of modders exists for the game, with simple mods like technology tree augmentations to extensive mods like Star Wars or Star Trek "mode" mods. Whatever you want, it either exists or wouldn't be hard to make.

Needless to say, I'm a big fan of this game. If you're new to 4X games, you might want to come back to this one after getting into the genre a bit more. If you're a 4X pro and want to embrace a true challenge -- this is the game for you.
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52 of 58 people (90%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
43.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 1, 2015
Do you fancy 4x games? Like Civilization series? Go ahead! buy it, its totally worth 10$ or less (if you can find it on sale).
I've owned a retail disc since 2004 and probably have clocked more than 2000 hours. Its so re-playable. Even after years of gameplay, It surprises me with new things I've failed to discover earlier.

11/10 will forget engines in their first ship designs.

!! Update: For those who can't decide between SE IV or SE V !!

If you want the to experience a better game in terms of gameplay and are okay with outdated graphics and 2-D view, pick SE IV one over SE V. Not only its fast, it has a simple and neat UI and is bug free (atleast to me, havn't found a single one in 10 years).

But if you want better graphics and can tolerate occasional bugs and sluggish performance at times, go for the SE V.
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39 of 43 people (91%) found this review helpful
90.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
Fantastic 4x game. I can't tell you the number of hours I've sunk into this title. (I owned this game long before it was available on steam.)

Truly massive empires - On the larger settings you can fight for control of hundreds of star systems, each with potentially a dozen or more planets.
Tons of empires - not only can your empires be big, but there can be a LOT of them. I've had games with as many as thirty separate empires competing with each other.
Deep Customization - You have the ability to change every aspect of your empire, from how fast they are able to repair ships to how well ground troops fair in combat. You get to choose the type of atmosphere your species breaths, and even which unique tech or traits they possess. (Are you mechanoids immune to plagues? Are you natural merchants? etc)
Complete ship customization - You assemble ships module by module. Similar to Endless Space, but vastly more detailed.
Tons of weapons and technologies - the tech tree is vast, and there a ton of weapon types. You can focus on missiles, torpedos, beams, high-energy discharge, weapon disabling, shield disruption, phased weapon, etc. The list goes on. (Not to mention troops, mines, and fighters.)

Graphics: are serviceable, but nothing to write home about.
Interface: Difficult to understand when you are first beginning. Not too bad once you get the hang of it.
Diplomacy: This is the one area where SEIV struggles; diplomatic options are not well described, and nor well fleshed out. However, you can make enemy empires protectorates and stuff, so that's a nice touch.

Overall, I highly recommend this game if you're a fan of Turn Based 4x games.
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37 of 40 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
24.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2015
Micromanagement running wild

First two facts to keep in mind. First Space Empires IV is fifteen years old! Second, the game comes with a big package of Mods.

The game is a turn based 4X Space conquest game, with a lot of options, a lot of races and special "racial" technologies to discover. Systems can be quite large, since moons and planetoid belt can also be developed.

One watched me playing this game and said: "It even looks uglier, than my first impression was." He is right, it isn't a pretty, 3 D styled and streamlined game. It's virtues lie on totally different topics.

The game offers a lot, in many ways but it also has some drawbacks.

  • A huge selection of races, plus the ones in the addon packs.
  • The Systems alone are large, the universe itself, well enough room for developement.
  • Technology, Resources and Planets are dependant.
  • Several Victory conditions are possible.
  • Each planet, Belt, Moon or Sun has a flavor text.

  • The Sound is enervating, well the graphics aren't pretty - but the sound can drive you insane.
  • The Micromanagement can get you entwined in red tape, actually not a kind of fun for everyone.

Only Recommended to special audiences!

The game is old, it shows - but it should earn a piece of the heart of every 4x fan out there. It has a playing depth that is rare, the choice of the original races alone is more than enough for everyone to play for weeks, maybe months. But don't overdo it. As a game it's kind of a buerocrats dream (or nightmare...). The game grows repetetive after several playthroughs. It's more fun if you are able to play it either as a multiplayer game, or if you choose to just get one PC oponent, the AI of the computer generated races is very aggressive, and they could put you out of business in no time. Just be glad, that they even fight among themselves a lot.

Overall this game is a must have for fans of the genre. Beginners should look elsewhere, since the huge amount of information packed into this game can scare you away.
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111 of 160 people (69%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
70.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 23, 2014
I got this game when it first came out (release date Nov 6, 2000), I have like a gazillion play hours before Steam. I used to love this game. I've tried to get back into it after not playing it fora few years, and I gotta say, I'm completely bored with it.

Sure, you can mod it to death. You can customize your ships. You can have tactical combat. You can do so many things.

However every game plays the same pertty much. AI always plays the same. They'll be your friend and ally one turn and at war the next and you'll never figure out why. Once you go to war, you stay at war forever. And the AI is very weak opponent. Even setting the AI to the highest difficulty and teaming them all against you, and giving yourself as many negatives as you can, it's still boring and easy. Tactical combat is usually the same too. Example, you attack a planet, it has defenses, so one turn you move in, shoot at the planet and move out of range of their weapons, and so on and on. Same for combat, it's a game of who can kill the other first with ranged weapons. And the AI doesn't build large combat ships, just small to medium. I've modded the crap out of that and still they won't build large ships.

The point I usually get bored is when I own a fourth of the universe, I know I'm going to win, it's just wiping out those last few empires. Sometimes when you wipe out a empires planets, it'll have a few ships around that you have to track down (they get free resource generation). I should mention the AI will never invade your planets or capture your ships, human only. And the AI will not design their ships with bombs of any kind. Yeah, I tried to mod that too.

Only time the AI does any good is if you setup the game with all techs known. Unfortunately this gets boring fast, the fun is supposed to be researching them. And the AI always researches the same techs, in the same order, every game. Thinking back, I'm wondering why I even liked this game in the first place, well back in 2k it was fun. As with all these games, each turn gets longer and longer. You can let the AI build for you, but you'll come to learn that is a mistake as it will build things you don't want or need and it will tie up your resources constanly upgrading everything, you can turn that off, but then micromanaging your empire is a total pain.

I should mention that if you don't setup the game with the setting 10 planets each (has to be equal for all players, not changable) or good planet conditions, then the AI might not get rolling at all, and sit the whole game with just it's homeworld(s). Makes for a really boring game.

This game will on occassion crash due to memory errors or a floating point error. It had that pre-Steam too. So turn on autosave.

You'll enjoy it for a while, and then figure out every game pretty much plays the same and move on to something else.
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18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
85.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
Perhaps one of the bright shining gems of the 4X genre. I have been playing this game for over a decade. While I do have long breaks of playing it in between, it is the only game in the past 14 years that I can come back to and still have an urge to play.

So what is it in this game that keeps drawing me back after 12 years of playing? For me it is the crazy amount of micro-management. Being able to fully custom lines and series of ships for my fleets is almost as exciting as executing the winning tactics in battle with the aforementioned ships. The AI does leave something to be desired so I do recommend using modifications which are very simple to use and install and run. (download mod launcher, download mod, run launcher, select mod, run game)

If you have been on the fence about purchasing this game, then I suggest you take the plunge and try it out. I have easily over 1000 hours into this game over the past 12 years. Even by today's standards I'd give this a solid 10/10 and very competitive with modern 4X strategies (aside from the graphics)

There is also a relatively active community behind this game at
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
127.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 17, 2015
SEIV is on my list of top 3 strategy games ever and will stay there. It reminds me a lot of Master of Orion II, though more complex and with option for mods.

I've spent over 100 hours on one match. I definitely recommend this game. It is the only game yet that has impressed me enough for a review.
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19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
122.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 4, 2014
I really like this game. It's a complex 4X where you can customize just about everything, and even build a Dyson Sphere*. With a ton of races, you have a nice variety to choose from, but you can still custom taylor one to fit your play style. My only issue is that it can be hard to get into and in the beginning, it can be tough to keep up with the AI lategame. But hey, practice makes perfect.

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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 31, 2015
A really fun and addictive game with immense customization options and a pretty extensive tech tree.
The tutorial is very helpful if you complete the whole thing. It explains most of what you need to know to get started, and get past the learning curve, which for someone like me (lack of paitence to learn), a lot of the game is quite intuitive. You can look around and get an idea of how things work, rather than being completely overwhelmed.

I must admit, I have yet to explore a lot of the features in this game, but for what I've seen already, I really enjoy it and find myself wanting to play more.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
101.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2010
One of the greatest space-strategy games I have played. A gem that offers unequaled opportunities. The graphics may be behind our time and what we are used to, but the game offers great immersion and game depth. Highly customizable, when it comes to your race, spacecrafts, galaxies etc.
Warning: Highly addictive!
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Recently Posted
icU Perihelion
59.3 hrs
Pre-Release Review
Posted: August 22
An amazing game of it's time and in my view better than the next in the series. For many aspects of a space 4X game this still stands up to the competition fairly well. If you have not played it and enjoy the 4X games then pick it up for less than the price of a pint and you'll have a great time!
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123.7 hrs
Posted: August 20
This game is old-school fun. Its graphics are poor, and showing its age there is a lot of text-based menues, and yet it remains quite fun.

Combat is engaging and challenging, huge tech tree, lots of customization options--well, not visually, but lore wise and tech wise.

Design and build your own ships, advance your tech, improve planets and solar systems. A game well ahead of its time.

If you are a sci-fi fan or are looking for a nostalgic turn based experience, please take a look at this one.
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30.1 hrs
Posted: August 3
Combat is impossible.
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371.7 hrs
Posted: July 23
371.7 hrs on record. Nuf said. But it is a little bit old, so wait for it to go on sale.
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0.2 hrs
Posted: July 9
a huge ♥♥♥♥ing grognard mess of a game with an excellent ambient soundtrack to complement it.
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50.6 hrs
Posted: June 19
Met a new race. They declare a War on me. 10/10 would replay British Empire simulator again.
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46.3 hrs
Posted: May 4
I've been a giant fan of the Space Empires series starting years ago with SE2 and continuing with SE3. In fact, I've probably racked up thousands of hours between the two over the last 20 years. SE4 makes a number of improvements and changes to the gameplay like you'd expect from a series of interative releases.

- Runs very fast and reliably even on modern OSes like Win10.
- Very deep gameplay that can accommodate a number of play styles. This game is not for the timid.
- Highly customizable. There are plenty of fan-made mods for it.

- The game is locked at 1024x768. If you run at a higher desktop resolution, you'll have the excess monitor real estate filled with black space.
- The interface is sometimes a little clunky, but you can't expect much for a game developed by one guy. (Yeah, you heard me right.)

If you're a fan of Master of Orion or Galactic Civilizations, this is a game that is definitely worth checking out.
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43.6 hrs
Posted: March 19
So much fun, there is a fair amount of depth, and the AI could use some work, but I enjoy the style and structure of the way the game, diplomacy, and tech unfold.
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2,001.2 hrs
Posted: February 11
General impression : 7/10 -> quality game, it does not apear on the top 100 list of best games of all time, but it still is a nice addition to have
Bug Class : A -> flawwless, no bugs
at any price <20 euro I'd say that you should buy this, and at 1.49 when at discount buying this is a no-brainer.

List of 5 most promitent Pro's and Con's :

*high ship customising, without overcomplicating things
*weapon types and variation seem all to be reasonably well balanced in size, power and range.
*good paper-scizzors-stone strategy in weapon types
*good advancement over techtree from beginning to end, every discovery is a small step forward and can be put to good use directly
*lots of terraforming options to shape the universe to your liking to suit your needs

Cons :
*unit limit is often to low for comfort and can only be changed by starting a new game
*all ai's will go permanenly to war with you, once your score exceeds 150% of the best AI player
*the ecomomy is too strong after the first 60-100 turns you never will have resource shortage again
*the ai is to weak, meaning you usually never get to USE all that neat end game terraforming tech against
*multiplayer, though possible, is limited only hotseat & take turns or by using

personal experience
Early game (turn 1-40)
The perfect game, tech came in at a steady but not to fast pace, meaning new toys to play with every few turns but not making things obsolete to fast. Resources were limited but not too limited, meaning I had to pick 2 our of 3 from epanding the warfleet, building more colonies or improving excisting colonies. Interacting with the AI gave a few that wanted alliances (giving me an income boost) and a few that went to war (giving me some small skirmishes to play with.
Midgame (turn 41-100)
Not being able to destroy or risk having my colonies destroyed because that would permanely lower a planets values, my progress stagnated expantion ran to a halt, Wars turned into "destroy every turn the units they produced this turn" without being able to take down those ship-building planets themselves. Only to have that taking a turn for the worse as suddenly every AI declared war on me, and I was starting to die from overextending. I had to cancel everything (wasting precious techpoints and resources) and go for a total war, and even than it took quite a while before I had fleets and ships of large enough size and power I could hold ground against the AI. (luckely this all people declare war on you feature can be turned out by simply changing a line of text in a .txt gamefile from = yes to =no as I did for later games)
Lategame (turn 101 and more)
While I could win the battles but not the war (I was just stretched out too thin) especially since regardless the war I kept my personal "do not destroy any colony" rule in place, to not lower their values. This stalemate was broken when I discovered i could just trade for those planets and found out the AI would only need an offer for as little as 20000-30000 of a single resource to hand you one of it's planets even when at war. Extremely cheap, as building a fleet would cost sometimes a million resources, and getting it to the frontlines where it was needed three times as much in upkeep.This made it possible to conquer the Ai very quickly, by defeating all ships and satelites in it, place an offer to buy them all, and move on to the next system. In 20 turns after I discovered this all AI's were either reduced to 1 planet or destroyed. By than the game was essentially over even with tons of tech left on the techtree. I still played on, but by than it was more playing simcity, as there was no opponent of any meaning left. (I tried modding the game so that the Ai would only accept valueble technology or ships for planets, but found that that was not possible, for all future games I simply restain from buying planets and advise you to do the same to keep the game enjoyable)
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9.3 hrs
Posted: February 9
May the graphics are not a strong side of this game, but gameplay and replayability is pretty decent.

I really like this game and the complexivity that you will encounter here.

Lost many hours to this game, pre-steam.

Would recommend, oh, and you can further improve the AI with Balance mod.
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