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.
User reviews: Very Positive (60 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 7, 2006

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Buy Space Empires IV and V Pack

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.
Helpful customer reviews
29 of 33 people (88%) 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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44 of 73 people (60%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
107.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014

Space Empires IV Deluxe is a 4x turn-based strategy game. Span your empire across the galaxy, travelling from one star system to another through warp holes, encoutering alien empires and competing for territory and dominance.

Pros: The game offers a huge amount of technologies to discover, each unlocking more ship sizes, components, weapons, buildings and additional techs. Ships are fully customizable, chosing the size and picking components from a large selection, allowing you to shift your strategy to adjust to competing factions’ ship design, regularly switching shield types, weapons type and range, and other equipment. Combat can be automated, or you can control each encounter in tactical mode. There are neutral empires that will span a single system, adding to the variety without necessarily adding competitors.

Cons: There is no story whatsoever, save a short paragraph about each race. Basic traits will dictate how aggressive an AI is, but it has absolutely no strategy: if at war, it'll send you units after units unless it's busy with something else. As the game progress, you’ll find yourself moving around a few “stacks”, or fleets, relying less on less of equipment and technology and more on numbers to overpower your opponents. Planet colonization is basic, you have a variety of building for ressources (although by the end game you just turn every planet into perfect 250%-ressource planets) with defensive buildings that will barely slow down attackers. The music is not very inspiring, getting annoying quickly as they are few and will replay over and over again.

Verdict: I cannot recommand this game. It didn’t age well at all, still rooted in the same interface type and mechanics as the first versions of the 90s. Every time I think I would be up to a game, I barely get to into a couple of encounter with the AI until I reach the point of struggling with whether I should even bother saving the game before quitting. It was fun when it was new and I spent a lot of time on it in the past, but as of now it's soooooo boring by today’s standard.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
116.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
Easily one of the best 4x games ever made. Whilst it's showing its age in terms of graphics, the depth of game play and mod-ability are unparalled
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
87.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
I have mixed feeling about this game. I like the style (i have a week spot for every turned based startegy game taking place in space) but the mecanics seem a bit weak. A planet with nearly no polulation can be developped to the max with little penality. That encourages crazy fast expansion, which in turns slow down the pace if you like to manage a lot.

Still, the game is very detailed and relatively fun to play. I recommend it as i plan to spend a bit more time playing it myself.
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75 of 82 people (91%) found this review helpful
189.3 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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70 of 99 people (71%) found this review helpful
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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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person 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 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
75.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 1, 2014
Space Empires is a great turn-based 4x strategy game. Lots to do, whether crafting your own unique empire, or playing as an default empire, you can have fun building massive fleets and subjigating other races.

I prefer Space Empires IV to its successor, as its not as slow to start off as Space Empires V & it doesn't have the ridiculous system exploration mechanic.
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12 of 15 people (80%) 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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15 of 21 people (71%) 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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17 of 25 people (68%) found this review helpful
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 1, 2014
The interface can be annoying sometimes. And the graphics are really startlingly bad in places. But the gameplay is fun and the level of complexity is just awesome.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
31.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 24, 2013
Decent game. Simple but easily addictive. There aren't as many annoyances as some other space strategy games I've played, and it doesn't feel too bland either.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 26, 2013
Just an absolute class 4x Turn Base Strategy. Still works better than the sequel iteration. And so much less buggy. Replability is very very high. And the amount of customization is astounding with a very light weight modding development environment. (Pretty much a text based comma seperated database). Graphics are old school but so worth the enjoyment you get out of this 4x.

A definite 5/5.
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17 of 26 people (65%) found this review helpful
40.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 1, 2014
One of the Best 4Xs. Great depth, and still plays well after all this time.
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11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
63.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 4, 2014
It's a little odd to figure out, but wow.
I could compare this to a Sid Meier's Civilization V but with a hard space twist to it.
It's a simple yet complex empire game where your race is trying to survive, whether it be through peace, or aggressive conquest. It's up to you.

Super fun, turnbased game. Great for hotseating too.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
24.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 19, 2014
Space Empires IV is in short, a micromanager's wet dream... if that's not you, it's not your game. If you want a polished easy to use game, stay away!

The game is immense, empires can become almost unmanageable, but still... with an incredible tech tree which puts all other 4X games to shame, espionage system, completely customizable ships/races... wow!

If only the AI was smarter. Expect to be building a great empire building, awesome fleets, incredible weapon playforms, but don't expect a challenge from the AI.

All the brilliant tech is on paper though, a massive space station does not take more space, just a new icon. Except the game's ultimate accomplishment... a Dyson Sphere or a ringworld spanning an entire sector.

Do you need it? No
Does it take a mere hour to build? No
Do you want it? H**l yeah!

And for all it's faults there was a great modding community with ship designs themed to Babylon 5, Star Trek/Wars and the like. Improved AI mods... etc. It's still available on the net.

One thing can not be modded out and that's once again the incredible micromanagement involved. Not only building/managing but also space combat.

Buy it in a sale for a couple of bucks to try it out, or at full price if you really want. The decision is yours commander!
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 10, 2012
The screenshots of this game make it look terrible. Look beneath it, though, and you find a solid space 4x game in the Master of Orion tradition. This one is a better buy than Space Empires V, if you have to pick one -- V's AI is far worse and the systems unimproved despite the graphical update. If you like 4x games pick it up.
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29, 2014
The first thing that comes to mind when i play Space empires deluxe is depth.

Depth in the form of creating your own customised race and empire.Deciding if your empire will specialize in war, trade maybe even scientific research or a slew of other options.

The possible combinations for stats and tech is immense.Do you just buff your races stats or spend a large amount of points on a special tech like psychic weapons or advanced religion.

The sheer number of researchable technology in the game is astounding.I have played many combinations and still have not seen or used all the weapons or structures in the game.

Overall if old school turn based strategy is your favorite genre then i say you must own this retro powerhouse that even puts newer games to shame with its depth and customization options.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
779.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 8, 2014
i liken SEIV to a "bulltin board" game i played years back called VGA PLANETS, by Pegasus Games i think.. It took months and the interface/interaction was very similar. (except you used a modem to upload to someones PC in BFE and waited 24hrs for a reply)
anyway, Ive owned the game for years and when saw it on Steam for a couple bucks so i bought it and started playing occasionally. As others have implied, its a long playing turn based game, which you can go in depth and micro-manage quite a bit, or you can leave it to operate autonimously.
i like to set the AI high for a challenge, so its over quick.. or its on for the long haul..
if anyone knows of a way to play SEIV on an android OS please post a link.(love to have it on my phone or tablet)
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9 of 16 people (56%) found this review helpful
66.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 14, 2014
Its old, slow and a bit too complicated.
Its fun, unique and for a 4X type of game, ..decent despite its age.
It has plenty of room to grow as you can easily add your own races with some very simple file placements.

Honestly though, this game is extremely hard to review. You know by now if this is what you want or not based on the genre. Its the standard game but with a sci-fi spin. Its fun, but extremely painfully long and hard. Even if the game is rigged for you to win, you might still lose. I dont play to win though.

Seriously, I dont even know how to explain gameplay or tell you anything about it. It is what it is. I happen to enjoy it.
Would I recommend this game: ..maybe. It is good enough to recommend...but (as previously stated) you probably wont like it unless you like this type of game. Also, its age is a point to bring up, it is old. Very old. If they kept making these games Space Empires XVII would probably be around.

Honestly, you should probably pass this up. Its good, but probably not what you are looking for. I'll recommend it for those who know what they are getting into though. If you think it looks good and you like this sort of thing, its great.
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