Galactic Civilizations III is the largest strategy sandbox ever made. Start with a single world and expand across the galaxy through diplomacy, trade, cultural hegemony, or military conquest in this single-player or multiplayer 4X strategy game. How will you rule your galaxy?
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (167 reviews) - 70% of the 167 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (5,295 reviews) - 77% of the 5,295 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 14, 2015

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64-bit Windows Required

You must be running 64-bit Windows 7 or later to play Galactic Civilizations III. This requirement allows us to create the largest, most advanced, strategy game possible.

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Buy Stardock Pack 2017

Includes 6 items: Ashes of the Singularity, Galactic Civilizations III, Offworld Trading Company, Sins of a Solar Empire®: Rebellion, Sorcerer King, The Political Machine 2016

Buy Galactic Civilizations III - Mercenaries Expansion Pack


Recent updates View all (60)

August 23

New Campaign, Ship Parts and Styles in The Altarian Prophecy DLC

Face Down Enemies and Forge New Alliances in The Altarian Prophecy DLC
Check out the new campaign and explore new ship parts and styles for more customization

New Campaign
Discover the story of the alliance between mankind and the Altarians! Spanning 3 missions, you must do whatever it takes to overcome the Dominion of the Korx and their mysterious masters, the Drath.

New Ship Styles
Customize your ships with classic ship styles! This DLC includes the Drath and Korx styles.

New Ship Parts
Explore dozens of classic ship parts and build some of your favorite Galactic Civilizations II ships.

The Altarian Prophecy DLC is now available over at Steam or Stardock.

11 comments Read more

August 22

Galactic Civilizations III v1.82 Update Released

Welcome to our August update.  We've focused on addressing crashes, stuck turns, issues with the notification system, and bugs.   Please read below for info.

UI Stability improvements: We've increased the number of UI widgets by 4x. Extreme games (e.g large maps, hundreds of fleets, etc.) will now be more stable.  We have also fixed numerous issues with the new notification system.

Gameplay: We've fixed a ship trading exploit and several gameplay bugs.  In addition, we have made some treaties free for alliance members.

Rise of the Terrans DLC: Updated campaign to use a new United Earth  "classic" ship style that better represents ships of that galactic era.  As part of that change, you now can select United Terrans ship style for your custom races and choose from over twenty new "classic" ship parts for your ship designs.  

Change Log
  • Increased the number of UI widgets by 4x. Extreme games (e.g large maps, hundreds of fleets, etc.) will be now be more stable.
  • Removed a previous change to the autosave system from 1.81 that was causing crashes and corrupting save games in multiplayer.
  • Stray particle effects from battles were traveling across the galaxy before timing out.  This appeared to be a stuck turn.  This should no longer happen.
  • Adjusted AI evaluation of the "Open Borders" and "Non-Aggression Pact" treaties such that these treaties are free for alliance members.  
  • The "ignore defense" ability (from tech such as "Shield Punch") were not properly applying their damage. This has been fixed.  
  • Gave Pirate faction traits user-friendly names since they are showing up in some campaign diplomacy reports.
  • Ships with "One-Per-Player" components are no longer tradable.  This prevents an exploit that allowed players to get around the "One-Per-Player" restriction.  These ships are disabled on the trade screen and include a tooltip explaining that they cannot be traded.
  • The shipyard button "continue making this design until further notice" wasn't checking prereqs when deciding if it should be enabled for a build queue entry.
  • Notifications no longer interfere with game inputs on the left side of the screen.
  • Notifications are now refreshed only at the start of the game and start of a new turn.  This prevents creates gaps in the list in the mid-turn.
  • When adding a ship to the build queue, the list will automatically scroll to the bottom.
  • Clicking on shipyards in the Shipyard List now centers the camera on it and select it.
  • Fixed staked ship bar scaling issues for normal and medium UI
  • Renamed generic tech tree to "Generic Tech Tree".  It was mislabeled as "Terran Tech Tree".
  • Unowned asteroid fields now say "nearest owned planet" rather than "assigned planet" in their tooltip and selection context.
  • Fixed a crash caused by alerts that have no tooltip.
  • Added tooltip to Ship Level entry when viewing single ships on the Fleet Details Window.
  • Fixed a bug where the Invite Friends dialog would do nothing if the Steam Overlay was disabled. The button is now disabled with a tooltip explaining why.
  • Fixed bug where a player who dies in a mp game but stays around to watch the other players play would send an invalid match report.
  • Mercenaries:
    • Added warning if building a starbase upgrade will consume a constructor with mercenary components on it.
    • Building a starbase using the Mercenary ship "The Crux" now provides the correct influence bonus.
  • DLC
    • Rise of the Terrans: Updated United Terrans to use a "classic" ship style that better represents ships of that galactic era.  
    • Rise of the Terrans: Added United Terrans ship style.
    • Rise of the Terrans: Added over twenty "classic" ship parts.
    • Rise of the Terrans: Fixed assorted typos.
    • Rise of the Terrans: fixed bad Xendar homeworld name in diplomatic report screen.
    • Lost Treasures: Fixed a misleading bonus description with the Atomic Polarizer event.
    • Lost Treasures: Fix incorrect description on the Elemental Extractor Lost Treasure event.

13 comments Read more


“The new gold standard in 4X space strategy”
9/10 – GameWatcher

“Such a wealth of victory conditions and customization options that the experience feels new with every playthrough.”
8.6/10 – IGN

“A mix of familiar mechanics and new ideas that can keep both fans and newcomers occupied for a frighteningly long period of time.”
9/10 – Softpedia

About This Game

Never the same game twice, Galactic Civilizations III is the largest strategy sandbox ever made. Each new game offers an array of options as you set it up - choose your map size, abundance of planets and resources, frequency of events, and more for a unique play experience every time. Galactic Civilizations III also removes linear victory conditions and offers you multiple objectives that you can choose to pursue in order to win, such as military conquest, cultural domination, technological ascension, or political alliances. The new multiplayer capabilities also allow you to expand your challenges and fights beyond an AI in order to face off against fellow players. All of this, topped with a rich and in-depth custom ship designer ensure an immersive and exciting experience as you decide how to rule your galaxy.


  • Never the same game twice: Play in the ultimate sandbox where each game has a unique map, worlds, and challenges to face -- all on a massive scale. Play against 16 to 100 opponents.
  • Multiple paths to victory: Win through military conquest, cultural domination, technological ascension, or political alliance.
  • Story-based campaign: Get brought up to date on the 20-year story arc behind the rise of humanity in the 23rd century.
  • Massive technology tree: Research a technology tree with immense breadth and depth. Each playable faction has their own unique specializations. Your choice determines how you play and win.
  • Faction & Ship Customization: Create a civilization with its own look, ships, technologies, and even options for how the AI will use them.


  • Multiplayer: For the first time, Galactic Civilizations is a multiplayer game with full support for custom civilizations, saved multiplayer games, and much more.
  • New Battle System: Assign your ships specific roles to play in combat. You can now view fleet battles in a cinematic style to see your designs in action.
  • New Colony Manager: The location of a planetary improvement now matters. Adjacency bonuses and planetary resources make a major impact on what a planet is strong (or weak) at accomplishing.
  • Planetary Governors: Utilize individual planetary leaders to govern your worlds, deciding what improvements to build and when, which leaves you to focus on larger strategic goals.

System Requirements

    • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 / 8.x / 7
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / AMD K10 Dual-Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB DirectX 10.1 Video Card (AMD Radeon HD5x00 Series / Nvidia GeForce 500 Series / Intel HD 4000 or later)
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 / 8.x / 7
    • Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor or Equivalent
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB DirectX 10.1 Video Card
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (167 reviews)
Mostly Positive (5,295 reviews)
Recently Posted
11.8 hrs
Posted: August 29
I added a mod to allow me to use Star Destroyers and Tie fighters and X wings and all that cool ♥♥♥♥. I have had 0 bugs playing this game. The game is what any sequel should be. A prettier, more advanced version with enough of the original that you can love the game both as a new adventure and a nostalgic sense of well being. With that said, add a way to set target priorities when in battle. I got attacked two on one by a battleship and a medium fighter bomber ship. My battleship fired at their battleship and got 95% damage inflicted before it died. Why didnt it shoot down the weaker ship? Why cant I tell it to do so? Add a battle priority option to the start of fights. If I know I will lose, let me set ships to maximum damage, and have them attack weakest ships first and try to wipe out a larger number of ships.... That or allow the battle to be directly influenced. I grabbed this game on sale... I would have paid full price. I didnt get any DLC. The game seems to work just fine.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
20.1 hrs
Posted: August 29
This game is great. The first Galactic Civilizations game was my introduction to 4X games. Now I'm a big fan of 4X games and when I started playing this one it delivered. I love the aesthetics, I love the gameplay, I love the strategy. The balance between each victory option is where this game shines. You have to simultaneously do well in each victory pathway while being superior in one of them. Ignoring culture is not an option, ignoring your military isn't an option, and middling in all the paths isn't an option. It's so frustrating, and so good. Winning feels earned and it's incredible.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.3 hrs
Posted: August 29
Sleeping is more interesting than this game unless your idea of a good time is mouse clicking.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
48.7 hrs
Posted: August 29
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[TSF] (Mason) Lynne
62.2 hrs
Posted: August 29
a very decent game. iv been playing one match for the past month with my some hours on the game. its fun!

but be awary that it will lag a little for non med-high performance computers
Helpful? Yes No Funny
567.8 hrs
Posted: August 28
There is an elephant in my room and that’s beginning to become a problem. I’ve been playing on gifted with twelve AI computer players. Well pass a hundred turns, I’m doing good but noticed that the AI’s aren’t trading or forming up alliances or declaring war on each other. The AI’s are no better than sticks in the mud. Finally the second in military power declares war on me and sends in a small task force but no troop’s transports. I created this particular race to be aggressive and that’s probably the reason they declared war. Imagine my surprise when I get up close to the enemy ships and notice that they are all built on the cargo hull type. I cut through these ships like a knife through butter and take all his planets over the next 25 or so turns. He fights me to the end with his cargo hulls and never even bothered to build a troop transport. By this time I’m exponential past the other AI players in strength and hate to waste my time conquering all the other useless AI’s. I want to like this game. It looks good and the updates keep coming but the AI is not only broken but is dumber than a box of rocks. There needs to be an END GAME button that enters your game and stats into metaverse. There needs to be an ability to spy on your neighbors. There needs to be an enemy AI that knows how to play the game. Fix the AI, then I'll recommend the game.
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18.7 hrs
Posted: August 28
If I could describe this game in three words, they would be...

Another word for tedious

Thats it, I have nothing good to say about this game, because anything good Ive already experienced in Galactic Civ 2, a game I oddly enough loved, I loved it before the expansions, I loved it even more after it got a face lift via expansions and updates. Galactic Civ 3 managed to make space combat even worse. I dont know what they did, but nearly every battle Ive fought, has been destroying unarmed builders, destroying unguarded spaceports/stations. I think Ive had two or three fleet to fleet battles, because when the AI senses its losing, it likes to turtle up on its home worlds, so you have to amass massive fleets to... throw away, in hopes the horrible space combat you have no control over, can destroy some of the ships, so you can eventually wittle them down... does that sound tedious? It is, its frustrating, its boring, its long and its a step back from Galactic Civ 2, I dont know how they did it, but they did it... avoid this game.
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The Kurgan
11.1 hrs
Posted: August 28
Buy it. It's MOO meets Endless Space, with the best of both titles.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
9 grillimeter
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 28
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vae Victus 333
10.5 hrs
Posted: August 28
While this isn't a bad game by any stretch it is rather slow even for a 4x. I feel there is little to no improvement over galactic civ 2.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
187 of 209 people (89%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
117.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
This game is so good... Too bad it's also pretty bad... :-(

- There are campaigns! Like, a real story mode in a space 4X. Awesome.
- There are numerous different unique races to play.
- Each race has its own very unique characteristics, and its own tech tree.
- The aliens are well animated, and engaging.
- The graphics are top notch.
- The immersion is real. You can roleplay this game, no problem.
- The galaxy creation has all the features you want. And you can make it tiny, or large enough to blow your mind.
- Discovery is fun! The best part of the game, really.
- World building is fun! The second best part of the game.
- Empire management is both challenging and fun!
- You can design your own ships!

- Many little things don't work right, and it adds up. For example, if you have multiple ships/fleets surveying anomalies or exploring the galaxy, they will all go for the exact same spot, so you have to micro-manage them, even though there is an "auto" mode
- Often when multiple fleets are on the same hex, you will think you have one selected, only it's the other, and you will waste turns fixing movement and action errors;
- Fleets will take an arbitrary and often nonsensical path to their destination, and there is no "go through this way" movement. You click and it goes, and you can only hope there is no enemy fleet in the way that it arbitrarily chooses;
- During events a screen will pop up and ask you to make decisions that will affect some aspects of your empire, without any way to check your stats before making the decision. So you are forced to decide blindly.
- Basically half the interactions are badly implemented and ask you to make decisions without providing any way for you to call up the information in order to make the decision in a way that actually makes sense.
- The AI cheats. Blatantly, even on the easiest modes. Get the most technology-favored race, and optimize all your worlds for tech. When you meet even the most tech-unfavored alien race, they will already be WAY AHEAD of you. And so on.
- Too many things are completely random. One game I had 5 level 20+ planets (really awesome worlds) while other civs had none, and sparse level 10-12 worlds. Other times it will be the other way around. One time the strategic resources were pretty much absent, but one medium-sized empire had all 7 antimatter deposits in its control area. So basically the game randomly decides who will win before you play the first turn. I would be OK with randomness if the AI played on a level field with the player, but it does not.

There are so many good points about this game, it makes me want to love it. Yet, there are so many bad points, that this burgeoning love is never allowed to grow. Stardock really *COULD* fix the numerous issues, some of which form a collection of minor annoyances which are only hurting the game due to their numbers. And then there is the AI. It is said that GalCiv2 had one of the best AIs around. I have no idea what they did here, but there is no AI, only cheats.

Bottom line, if you want to play a game where the outcome is decided almost before you start playing, then you should get this game. Otherwise, sadly, I recommend you pass, because you'll be disappointed. Of course, there is also the multiplayer, although I have not tried that.
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19 of 20 people (95%) found this review helpful
429.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 25
I give it a B+. It's fun to explore, find habitable planets, all the things that make for a good 4x game. The custom ships are fun.

Gameplay-wise, I feel that there is too much pressure to build ships - the "ripe for conquest" mechanic is, in my opinion, flawed. The AIs build huge fleets that would completely wreck the player's economy to attempt. Some events, like the one that drops artifacts everywhere, are a bit too easy to exploit. I also feel the interface is clumsy - there's no keyboard shortcuts to move through your planets and starbases, for example, and often the targets for your mouse clicks are a bit too small (e.g. build queues).
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26 of 35 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
112.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
Game AI is a bit to aggressive. The game is a lot of fun, but you will be behind the AI in tech, ships, and everything else by mid game. It has all kinds of road blocks to keep you from advancing. It will then decalre war on you, and peel you like an onion. I spent @ 45 hours on it in Beginner mode. I never made it past the second age without being invade on all fronts by every race in the galaxy. And now the latest patch INCREASED the AI aggression.

It's a lot of fun, but you will burn out. There are better ways to waste your money.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
I don't understand how this game has the rating it does. It is unfortunately a buggy mess, it is a very infuriating waste of time. I loved galciv2 and always thought highly of Stardock because of it. I bought into this game because of the multiplayer, The idea of playing galciv2 multiplayer really appealed to me. Unfortunately they have NOT delivered.

When I host and my friend joins, it immediately crashes on him like clockwork, so to work around it I saved the game and re-invited him to the lobby of the restored session. Now we are experiencing the turn hang bug, where the turns stop progressing and there's nothing you can do. People have found a work around by loading an earlier save and moving differently in order to continue their multiplayer game. If your idea of fun is coming up with crazy work arounds to try to dodge bugs the devs should've tackled long ago, buy away, you will NOT be disappointed.

I on the other hand am very disappointed and want Stardock to fix this mess.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
98.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
I got GC III on the summer sale and so far it was really great. There's plenty of possibilities and I discover new aspects and strategies with every game I start. Here's some of the more interesting aspects about the game:

Look at me - I'm a space race:
You get to choose a civilization and go develop, expand, explore and conquer. Alternatively you can create your own species, which is a load of fun: Choose strenghts and weaknesses, splash screens and your leader's avatar, the look of your ships, the tech tree and some more things. I created Space Horses. Ahahahaha, their leader is actually a horse in a space suit. Anyway.

Many a way to victory:
The game comes with 6 ways to win the game: You can conquer all other races, you can bring 3/4 of the galaxy under your cultural influence, you can win by negotiating alliances with all other races - and there's still a couple more ways!
That said, the easiest way to win is with war. The other ways take a rather long time, so expanding through warfare is the only way that feels like you're making progress.

What I really like is the possibility to trade technologies with other races. What I don't like is the limited influence you have of the diplomatic doings in the galaxy: Your allies will wage war against one another and you have no means at your disposal to stop them from doing that. Also it would have been nice if your allies automatically joined your side whenever an outside race declares war on you. Then what are alliances for anyway?

Pimp my fleet:
The possibilities for outfitting your fleet are endless. The arms and countermeasures follow a traditional rock-paper-scissors-scheme. But there are plenty more things you can stuff in a space ship hull: warfare tools, fleet range enhancers, repare modules, exploration modules...but there's more to the fleet editor!
You can select your races ship hulls from a range of sets. But when designing a ship, you can model that ship almost freely, scale and rotate parts and so give every ship type a unique look of its own. If you are patient, this is an awesome tool that adds a lot of player individuality to the colourful world of GC III.

One quick word about the workshop races:
You can upload your race to the steam workshop of GC III for others to download. That is really cool and I addded a lot of workshop races to my game to make games with up to 36 (!) factions more interesting. Some people delivered some really cool races.
Sadly, many players felt it necessary to add bewbs content. Dudes, you have the entire internet to your disposal and is densely plastered with pictures of bewbs! There's absolutely no need to add any to a steam workshop, so please please please keep that to yourself!

All in all: Try this game, it's awesome! Also, bring some time with you, GC is not a game you play for just 10 minutes.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
79.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
I love the visuals and the soundtrack. It's so dramatic and well done. The game doesn't seem to bog down on my 2011 i7 processor, but it does use a lot of memory. Make sure you increase virtual storage or let Windows manage it.

Now to my biggest frustration. I don't like how the same civs keep declaring war on me game after game, even when I set them to "easy" or "beginner". Drengen? Snathi Revenge? Good lord, this is not fun! Now even the names of these civs are starting to annoy me. I have rage quit every game so far because I can't seem to survive the era of war. And dammit, I won't punish myself by letting the game beat me so badly. I think gameplay is not correctly balanced.

Even though I'm a "founder", I have had a lot of frustration; just can't seem to be successful in this game. I usually play for a week, then get frustrated and put put it aside for months at a time. I won't even consider playing multiplayer, because losing to real people would be even less fun. Losing all the time, even on the easiest settings, detracts from playability.

At this time, I can neither upvote nor downvote this game. Yes, I am THAT frustrated. Can I just get the sound track? It is so dramatic and cinematic.
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17 of 27 people (63%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
316.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
I really like Gal Civ 3 when it WORKS! My suggestion to Stardock is to stop releasing DLC and fix the bugs, mainly memory leak issues. My PC is an Intel 3570K with 8 GB of ram and a ATI 390 with 8 GB of ram so this way above the recommended specfications that Stardock states.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
109.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Have played a few sandbox games and have just started one of the scenarios. Not having played a previous Gal Civ game thoroughly before, it took a few attempts to get to grips with how things work and what works best for the different races etc. This is a positive point however as I gain a lot of enjoyment out of working things out and doing better each time.

Although I have experienced a couple of bugs with the new notifications system, this hasn't affected my enjoyment of the game and I reckon I'll be playing it for a while yet. If you like turn based strategy games (instead of realtime) then this is definitely worth playing. I think I've played about 50hrs in total so far and have only just stratched the surface of what is possible.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
Game is sprawling with detail. GalCiv fans will find lots of stuff re-designed and remade. It's not incremental; you'll relearn new things and see how they fit neatly. Game is still a tense race to power, and it'll keep you hooked.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
Honestly wish I could refund this even after picking it up on sale. It is not clear at all what you need to do to succeed at playing this game (you can't see what AI are doing on their planets, but they outproduce you in every category with no real explanation as to why), but even if it were, it is so excrutiatingly slow that it doesn't really seem worth figuring out anyway. Four hours in you have (maybe) 8-10 ships that can travel 2-3 spaces? The pace here is so slow that it's just tough to stay engaged, even for people that like 4X games.
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