Get the complete GalCiv II saga including Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, the expansion pack Dark Avatar, and the newest expansion pack Twilight of the Arnor!
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (811 reviews) - 74% of the 811 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 2, 2011

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Packages that include this game

Buy Galactic Civilizations I and II Pack

Includes 2 items: Galactic Civilizations® I: Ultimate Edition, Galactic Civilizations® II: Ultimate Edition

Buy Stardock Legends Pack

Includes 7 items: Dead Man's Draw, Demigod, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Galactic Civilizations® I: Ultimate Edition, Galactic Civilizations® II: Ultimate Edition, Sins of a Solar Empire®: Trinity, The Corporate Machine


About This Game

Get the complete Galactic Civilizations II saga including the acclaimed PC strategy game of the year Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, the award winning expansion pack Dark Avatar, and the newest expansion pack Twilight of the Arnor!

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords: Galactic Civilizations II is the sequel to 2003's hit turn-based strategy game of the same name. The player takes on the role of the leader of a space-faring civilization and must guide its expansion in a hostile galaxy. Gamers must balance their economic, technological, diplomatic, cultural, and military power to forge alliances, fight wars, and ultimately dominate the galaxy. The game is single-player and allows the player to play randomly generated galactic maps or play through a multi-mission campaign that tells the story of an ancient enemy called the Dread Lords.

Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar: The expansion pack for Stardock's award-winning hit strategy game, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords. This expansion pack not only adds the usual content that expansion packs tend to do such as new opponents, new units and a new campaign. It also greatly expands the game play of Galactic Civilizations II. New features include asteroid belts on the map that can be mined for resources, unique planets that require special technologies to colonize, spies to conduct sabotage and destabilization (or used to protect your worlds from the same), new types of diplomatic treaties, an enhanced artificial intelligence engine, and much more!

Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor: The year is 2227 and the fire of war is consuming the galaxy thanks to the manipulations of the evil Dread Lords. But the remaining factions, led by the humans, have a plan to rid the galaxy of the Dread Lords once and for all.

Expand the Galactic Civilizations II universe with Terror Stars, unique technology trees per civilization, Map editors, Custom Scenario makers, campaign editors, new types of ships, new planetary improvements, and much more!

Key features:

  • Beautiful 3D engine brings planets, stars, asteroids and ship battles to life.
  • Create custom 3D ships piece-by-piece with your Shipyard.
  • Play as any of a dozen unique civilizations or create your own.
  • Multiple paths to victory: Military conquest, cultural domination, political alliance, technological supremacy or ascension.
  • Addictive gameplay: Dynamic galaxies ranging from tiny to gigantic.
  • Superior multi-threaded artificial intelligence enables computer players to provide a challenge without having to cheat.
  • Put your scores online via the Metaverse and compete with players from around the world.
  • Fully moddable design enables players to create unique opponents, graphics and scenarios.
  • Advanced diplomacy enables players to trade, make treaties, alliances and more.

System Requirements

    • Operating system: Windows® XP SP3 / Vista™ SP2 / Windows® 7 / 8.1 / 10
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® III 1 GHz (or AMD equivalent)
    • Memory: 512 MB (1 GB for Windows 7 / Vista)
    • Hard disk space: 2 GB
    • Video:64 MB DirectX 9.0c Compatible Video Card
    • Sound: DirectX® 9.0c Compatible Sound Card
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c

    • Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection, also to activate this game you must create a Stardock account while launching the game on Steam.
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (811 reviews)
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671 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
740 of 756 people (98%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
155.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 2, 2014
Imagine with me, if you will. You are leader of a small but prosperous empire, controlling roughly two dozen small star systems. You and your allies have been at war with the most powerful civilization for years, and you've managed to gain the upper hand. A long and costly war has cost you several star systems and most of your fleet. Finally, they agree to peace. You sign the papers, and begin to focus on internal affairs.

As you check your intelligence briefings, you notice that another empire has been building up their military. Significantly. As it stands, the Yor have four to five times as much firepower as the rest of the nations put together, as well as a much larger population. They begin to greedily prey upon the weaker nations, demanding tribute or conquering them.

You halt all social and military production, and begin pouring all of your resources into your R&D projects, developing weapons and shields specialized to counter the growing threat. One by one, your allied nations fall to swarms of powerful Yor ships.

After the research had advanced sufficiently, you empty your coffers and upgrade your small fleet, and purchase some additional cruisers. You position your fleet on the Terran-Yor border and wait.

Its time. Your destroyers flash across the border, seeking out the numerically superior Yor fleets and engaging them. Terran ships begin to explode, but the Yor are technologically inferior, and they explode faster. War erupts across the galaxy as civilizations pick their sides. A galactic conflagration begins.

Behind your destroyers, fleets of heavily-escorted troop carriers descend onto Yor worlds, crammed with billions of troops. Tens, then hundreds, of billions die as your begin to inch your way towards the Yor homeworlds. Your war machine keeps turning, producing dozens of sophisticated warships.

Eventually, Icos itself falls. You survey your vast empire, won with the blood of countless billions. Your huge fleet dwarfs all others. Your allies are afraid of you. You've positioned fleets on all of your borders, backed up with troop ships.

Then you realize: you've become what you set out to destroy.

This is Galactic Civilizations.
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333 of 385 people (86%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
72.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2015
A great game, of which I am angry I cannot play anymore because of the stupid "Stardock Account" that is now required to run this game . I have registered for this dumb account proccess and the game errors after launch every time. why this is now part of this game I do not care but i feel it is now becoming a "process" for running some steam games. If i go through steam for games and multiplayer content why is there another middle man for playing the game?? it makes no sense.
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146 of 153 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
231.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 31, 2014
Ah, GalCiv2... Memories...
I sank so, so many hours into this game. I owned it on CD before losing them and having to buy it again on Steam. And then sank in some more hours, for good measure.

So, what makes this game awesome? It's often compared to Civilization, but in space. Yeah, that sounds about right... but it's not totally true either. See, GalCiv has many things Civilization does not. Unique tech trees for every race: check. Unique gameplay for every race: check. Being able to customize every single ship: check. That's right, no Warrior vs Warrior here. You can build your ships however you like with the ship builder and put whatever weapons, armour, modules and engines you damn well like.

The political system is also well tought-out and doesn't feel out of place. Want a bigger economic bonus? Go Star Democracy! But what's that? Oh yeah, we're a democracy now, I can't just declare war on a whim... Alright then, let's ask what the parliament thinks. They approve? Oh yeah, let's kick some alien butt, baby! (If your approval is too low, good luck getting your people to follow you into war. They have other priorities you know.)

Okay, enough talk. You're a strategy fan? Need another 4x game to sink time into? Get this game and thank me later!
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164 of 180 people (91%) found this review helpful
118.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2013
Ok listen if you're a strategy game fan you need to own this game no questions asked. This is about as good as you're going to get when it comes to the 4x genre and is pretty much Civilization 5 in space but better and with its own ship designer. There is an extremely large amount of techs, buildings, weapons and so on so yeah a lot of variety. Even the ship builder is well developed as you can build a ship anyway you like and equip it anyway you like based on the technology you have availible. With Galactic Cvilizations 3 announced recently and the low price this game is at there is no reason why you should not pick this one up and give it a go if you like strategy at all I promise you won't regret it.
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108 of 118 people (92%) found this review helpful
39.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2013
If you like Civ IV/Civ V, epic, long games, and space, then GCII is definitely for you. It strikes an incredible balance between providing large-scale epicness and surprisingly robust micromanager's playgrounds.

**While micromanager's playgrounds are not uncommon in modern games, it's exceedingly uncommon for a game to include them sporadically enough that they don't become tedious obligations and yet give them enough weight to make them worthwhile and rewarding. You can go an entire game without ever creating your own ship if that's not your cup of tea--but boy is it ever satisfying to wreck other civilizations with ships you designed.**

GCII is such a vast, epic game it'd be a bargain at twice the price. It's got a bit of a learning curve, but dive right in with a custom scenario and learn by doing until you master the incredible depth and number of facets to it--it's way easier than doing the tutorials. Then, like Civ games, sit in stunned silence when you look up and realize that you've been playing for 13 straight hours. It's that good.
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97 of 107 people (91%) found this review helpful
69.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 23, 2014
Apparently I'm not saying anything new about this, since it's so highly rated and regarded already, it seems, but nonethless:

A game that I have played, stopped playing, and come back to playing again many times over the years. I've enjoyed it a lot, and for some reason a big title or two will come out and I'll eventually forget about galactic civ. for a while, and then eventually I'll stumble upon it... always surprised by how much I enjoy playing it, time and again.

It lacks some of the graphical 'bells and whistles' of a Civ-type of turn-based strategy game, but as any player of ck2 knows, what a game lacks in polish can be very much made up for in actual game content and replayability. The depth of galactic civ (and ck2, for that matter) makes civilization look like simplistic child's play (unplayable to me, as a by-product) in comparison.

Distinctive differences/cool elements of the game:

- Skill trees are actually unique to every race.
- fully customizable ships (designing ships became one of my favorite elements of the game early, to my surprise).
- plot/narrative elements that differ game-to-game, making it very replayable.
- Races themselves are fully customizable, adding another layer of replayability and depth to the game's customization.

On the downside, it has many layers of things to control and 'develop,' so to someone coming to this from civ or simpler games of that nature, galactic civ could be daunting, by all means, even overly so. This is a game for a real turn-based strategy-lover, who wants to have a depth of 'control' that might be beyond the average gamer, whoever or whatever that even means...?

I'd say for a strategy-lover (someone who likes games like ck2, europa universalis, etc.) it's a must have regardless of price (I don't think it's more than $20, this far from publication). If you're a civilization/spore lover and you're worried this might go a little too deep and not have the 'sheen' you look for in a game, wait for it to go on sale, as it does every so often, and get it for $5, and give it a shot; Who knows? The developers clearly labored over it with love, and put in a lot of good work in making a very fine game (as I see it).
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64 of 72 people (89%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
91.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2015
I absolutely love this game, but I can't play it because I bought a new computer and the DRM IS GARBAGE!! Please remove DRM!!! The game is crazy cheap and no one is pirating it.... I kind of want to now though. I probably will have to just to play A GAME THAT I PAID FOR!! This DRM trash needs to stop. It isn't clever and it doesn't stop piracy. It only harrasses people who buy games on steam. Most pirated games have their own way to launch idiots. None of them launch through steam.....
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50 of 54 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
38.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
Galactic Civilzation takes a different spin with "civ" games.

This game offers so much content in terms of making decisions, upgrading your ships and such. upgrading technology which impacts how the game is played. You can even create your own Civilization, however the downside is that you have to use template portraits of galactic leaders both big and small.

The AI is very well done, you can really see the differences between the lowest diffculty setting to the highest. However, the downside is that it will either handicap them or the player. depending upon what setting you want to go with. The combat system is pretty straight forward "The more capable you are, the better results".

Also this game offers an indirect warning to players "don't expand too early or quickly" sure it will help your civilization get resources and such. But however you have to constantly manage the planets you colonize and later on, as the game progresses it will become incresingly diffcult to do anything.

Events in the game are usually recycled or "important" events but they either happen once or not at all. The story mode is pretty good for a space game, but by the end of it all, you just want to play the game itself and not any story

Lastly, there are no mods for this game, no matter what anyone tells you.

I would recommend this game for players who love civilzation games and love space games
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67 of 82 people (82%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2013
Imagine Sid Mier's Civilization in Space!
Despite being classical, this is still one of the best turn-based 4X space strategy, developed by Stardock known for established reputation of developing great strategy games.
There're no other games with the same variety of strategic options as this game has.
You choose your race from 10 preset ones or create your own custom race, pick your political party with various bonuses and aim for victory on randomly generated galaxy through negotiations or wars with other races, you can also choose which victory condition so it's replayability is quite high!

There're so many options you can choose while playing, such as alignment of your civilization (good, neutral, evil), form of your government, and you can adjust your tax rate, the ratio of your government spending and its distribution to 3 categories : ship, building, research.
The most fun part is ship design, this allows you to create your own ship by combining various components!
You can also choose what type and how many of weapons or shields or engines to mount on your ship.

This game needs many requirements to declare war compared to other 4x games, which makes the game progress slower than other 4X titles, crush of civilizations begin around 100th turn.
The range your ship can travel from your friendly planets is determined by the amount and efficiency of life-support modules on your ship, which means you need to research better ones to colonize or invade further planets.
Turning citizens to colonists or soldiers for invasion means less workers and tax payers on your planet so you need enough population and your people's approval which affects planet's population growth rate for maintaining your economy.
Espiionage is also important to know which type of weapons and shields your enemies use.
Yes, interplanetary warfare costs so many resources including manpower...

The only annoying drawback is that it needs a Stardock account before activation...its old menu, interface and graphic aren't much concern for playing.
This is definitely a great strategy worthy playing.
Thanks to its tutorial and many players' guide, getting the rule isn't difficult.

(Japanese translation below)





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87 of 114 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
31.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2015
Bought the game a year ago. Now I can't use it because I can't remember my registration information for my new PC. Permently imprinting on my brain that this is a bad company, never buy games from them again.
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Recently Posted
4.3 hrs
Posted: November 28
A timeless and, in my opinion, still to be bettered sc-fi 4X game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
261.6 hrs
Posted: November 27
If you've never tried this game, get it on sale and play till your eyes bleed!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
30.3 hrs
Posted: November 26
This game is OK - a decent 4X game. There aren't many other good space strategy games around, so I'm recommending it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
35.8 hrs
Posted: November 25
This game is awesome. And i am not even nostalgic for this game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
34.3 hrs
Posted: November 24
An oldie but goodie. I rememember playing this game back on an older machine where it was on a couple of CDs. I picked it up again on Steam and it still hits the sweet spot. This is old school 4X that while it doesn't offer all the bells and whistles that more recent games might, still has quite a bit for it's age. Being the second game in the series(as of the time of this review Galactic Civilizations III has been out for awhile) it doesn't offer a lot of surprises. It's mostly a refinement of the first one just like the more recent III is a refinement of this one. If you're familiar with 4X games you'll know what to do. If you aren't, just set the game on it's easiest setting and test stuff out. The dumbest level AI is very dumb so it'll be fairly forgiving of mistakes. Having been out for a long time there's no further support for it but it's also free of any serious bugs as far as I can tell(I've never had it crash on me or do weird things anyways). Hell, I can't recall any minor bugs. While a variety of new games in the genre have come out since(Galactic Civilizations III, the remake of Master of Orion, etc) it is nice to go back and look at older games that are key parts of the genre. And of course being as hold as it is, it's cheap(and if you can get it on sale cheaper still). Definitely worth the price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: November 24
One of the best sci empire builders, it will stand the test of time!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
9.5 hrs
Posted: October 14
Like any other 4x game, but in space, like the other ones.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
21.8 hrs
Posted: September 15
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.6 hrs
Posted: September 3
3rd party DRM. 'nuff said.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.7 hrs
Posted: August 28
not what i expected
Helpful? Yes No Funny