In the 23rd century the human race has taken to the stars. From your beginnings on Earth, build a civilization that can stand the test of time in the largest space-based strategy game of all time. Join the adventure!
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (63 reviews) - 77% of the 63 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (5,210 reviews) - 77% of the 5,210 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 14, 2015

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Recent updates View all (62)

October 26

Galactic Civilizations III v1.83 Update Released

We have taken your suggestions for new keyboard shortcuts to improve the user experience. We've also addressed stuck turns, missing sounds, and some gameplay issues. Read below for details.

New hotkeys
Arrow left / right --------Next / previous Shipyards
Shift left/ right ----------Next / previous IDLE Shipyard
R --------------------------Rush buy
DELETE -----------------Cancel building selected Ship

Arrow left / right--------Next/ previous Starbase
Shift left/right------------Next/ previous Starbase that has an available module

Ship designer
Spacebar-----------------Hotkey to toggle the visual display of anchor points on and off.

Planet Screen
Arrow left / right --------Next / previous colony
Shift left/right -----------Next / previous IDLE colony
R --------------------------Rush improvement
U ---------------------------Upgrade selected Improvement
DELETE ------------------Destroy selected Improvement
DELETE ------------------Cancel building selected Improvement.

Strategic Map
C-----------------------------Center map on the selected object
Ctl+S------------------------Save game
R ----------------------------Rush buy on the selected Ship or Improvement
U-----------------------------Upgrade the selected Ship
DELETE--------------------Decommission the selected Ship or Fleet

Change Log
  • Planets with the manufacturing slider set to 100% Military will no longer be considered idle.
  • Stationed ships now are properly having their maintenance cost reduced by 50%
  • Manufacturing points now being properly updated after reordering shipyard queue
  • If AI is significantly stronger than you, it will no longer accept bad peace treaty offers from you.

  • Jumping through a wormhole will no longer cause a desync
  • The AI can no longer decommission ships during battles. This would cause lots of weird issues, including desyncs and crashes in MP.
  • Battle preview window no longer causes a desync.

  • Updated appearance of keyboard input window.
  • Added new keyboard shortcuts suggested by our fans.
  • Command Window: Added cost and turn information for upgrading ships.
  • Metaverse button is now disabled if there's no internet connection

  • Ship sounds will no longer disappear in the middle of the turn.
  • Added new ship sounds
  • Shipyard are no longer missing ambient sounds
  • Fixed a problem where the "turn" button sound didn't play after a battle.

  • Starting the Altarian Prophecy Campaign no longer triggers the "For
  • Arcea" Achievement.
  • Fixed typos
  • Altarian Prophecy: One of the mission rewards was not properly giving the ideology bonus
  • Added a sanity check that makes sure we add in a valid waypoint in for our travel to prevent a stuck turn.
  • Fixed a problem where a destination tile was invalid when loading a save game.
  • If more than one freighters are completed on the same turn, the popup dialog for the second one was sometimes getting lost, causing a stuck turn.
  • This same fix will unstick save games with this issue.
  • Fixed a stuck turn where a ship is trying to leave a station the same turn that its faction surrenders.
  • The "Speak to" button will no longer be disabled in MP for the rest of the turn after trading with the AI
  • Fixed a case where the hotkey tooltip wasn't getting cleared.
  • Fixed a crash in the event processing

11 comments Read more

October 18

The elf is back and more

The lead developer of Galactic Civilizations I and II has returned after a multi-year maternity leave. She's rejoined the team and you will soon begin to see her contributions in game.

It's an exciting time to be a GalCiv III player. We've staffed up over the Summer and have been working on the next big expansion along with what will eventually be called v1.9 of GalCiv III.

There's no particular theme for v1.9 other than trying to make the galaxy a bit more organic. Smarter AI, better diplomacy, tweaks to balance and performance.

On the expansion side, well...that's a different story. The next expansion, due out early next year, is designed to revisit pretty much everything in the game, particularly in the area of economics and foreign policy and planetary invasions.

We've been having a blast talking to GalCiv fans. There's a wish list thread that we mine heavily for ideas. We usually don't comment but we regularly will print out forum comments from or from the Steam forum and discuss them.

Stay tuned!

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

The human race has finally mastered faster-than-light travel opening up the stars for exploration and colonization. As the leader of the newly formed Terran Alliance, you will guide humanity's expansion into becoming a space-based civilization. Soon, you will discover that we are not alone. Alien civilizations with their own histories and motivations are expanding as well. Research new technology, design starships, negotiate trade and treaties, wage wars, colonize new worlds, construct starbases in the largest 4X strategy game ever made. And when you've finished that, play again as one of the many included alien civilizations each with its own history, technology tree, ship components and more.


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.
  • Create your own history: Each sandbox game lets you create a new future history for your civilization.
  • Story-based campaign: Learn the ancient histories of the alien civilizations and one possible future for the human race.
  • 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: Play online with friends with full support for custom civilizations, saved multiplayer games, and much more.
  • A deep economy: Every world is unique with many different resources that can change the course of your strategy each game.
  • 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 (63 reviews)
Mostly Positive (5,210 reviews)
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4,270 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
30 of 33 people (91%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
I feel burnt here...I love Gal Civ, I've played since the 1st one and loved the 2nd. So I was excited when I heard they were working on the 3rd installment. I quickly pre-ordered and played some in Beta. On release I played, but it felt incomplete, then DLC's start coming after I bought the game now I need to shell out an addition $50 for the game to be what it should of been. No game is worth $100... Stardock you have lost my respect...
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
321.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Ai are the dumbest ai across any game.

They have no sence of technology, no idea how to trade with any reseanable ability except to keep the player constantly busy as he/she out-trades all ai with ease.. Trade offers are always a laugh.

Ai will always build predicable bases with no attempt to defend it - ever.

Zero tactics building up to combat and battles are just a movie.. Yawn.

anomalies spoil the game as only the player uses them correctly, every time.. Example :- the AI are allergic to shipyards.

I have tried to play many times where I've set up the game to purposefully hinder me and I still find the ai are too dumb to be a challenge to me, let alone a 5 yr old.

I've been buying all dlc as released in hopes to make it better but no, its just a time killer with no end game elation.
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19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
21.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
I didn't pay for a DLC simulator. This is still buggy, performs poorly (especially shocking coming from this company) and the content is just not there. They remove features that were present in GC1 and 2 and sell it back as DLC. What the ♥♥♥♥ happened to this series? I loved GalCiv2 and played the ever-loving ♥♥♥♥ out of it, but this I can barely stand.

The combat is a lot better and the super silly writing is mostly absent, which I like. Other than that, this feels like its just here to keep piling DLC on.

Looks like Stardock has done some hiring and are active with the community in fixing things. Good sign, let's see where it leads.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
114.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
The game is great and has plenty of potential. However, it's suffering from self-replicating DLC syndrome and the AI cheats horribly and is anencephalic compared to other turn based strategy games.

Get Galactic Civilizations II and use the opt-in update instead. It's not as pretty or fancy but it's great, cheaper, and the AI is actually intelligent.
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13 of 20 people (65%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Overall this is a great game, but I really just can't accept the business decisions of Stardock. It is a shame that they do support german language in the game but only translate the first 2 DLCs into German. All other DLCs and even the expansion pack doesn't support German language. But French and Russian? Are you guys kidding me? I wasn't aware of that crap but obviously they do it with all their games. Almost racist for me.

I wrote this review in english to have get the most out of it, everyone should see this. You guys want to tell me that it's easier to translate into Russian than into German?

This was the last game I bought from Stardock. I am very disappointed with that kind of business model.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
968.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
I loved GalCiv2, and I was very excited for this new game (I was a junior founder, I bought in early). Now I am not so excited. I think it is the best new 4X game space game out there, but it frequently fails to live up to its predecessor, and it certainly doesn't feel like it has benefitted sufficiently from nearly a decade of advancement in gaming. This game has great potential, but after waiting a year for it to be realized, I'm beginning to lose hope. If you like space 4X, sci fi, or galciv2, you might try picking this up on sale, just to see if you like it. Don't get too excited, though.

Here's a short breakdown:

Pro: Multiplayer (finally!)
Con: Multiplayer doesn't really work well
Con: How long will the game keep making money and therefore being supported with limited multiplayer?

Pro: AI is what the developer prides itself on
Con: The AI is not very good
Con: Worse, there are obvious exploits
Con: Someone with a knowledge of basic probability needs to go over the game mechanics... there are some weird bits*

Pro: Huge maps and the ability to play over 100 opponents
Con: Only comes with a dozen factions. The rest are crowd-sourced on Steam, and they are generally lackluster.
Con: Only a slow trickle of "offical," complete new factions from the developer, and they seem to actively avoid adding them
Con: The first race they added in DLC is a species of super-aggressive squirrels that started in GC2 as a joke... seriously

Pro: Fine graphics
Con: The movies use proprietary software, so it is much harder to add new ones
Con: Certain things, like lights for ships and faction map colors, are limited and difficult to mod
Con: Clumsy interface

Pro: Lots of DLC support
Con: The DLC is mostly weak and disappointing
Con: The first expansion was similarly weak

Pro: Delightful ship designer
Con: You can only design ships in-game, no independent shipyard
Con: The designer is terribly organized and harder to use than the GC2 version

Pro: There is customer support
Con: You can't just record a bug, you have to send them a video showing them something they could reproduce on their own computer
Con: And they will close a ticket if you don't get back to them very quickly (they are not so prompt themselves)

Pro: Extensive modding support
Con: You can't upload mods to Steam
Con: Some programming shortcuts make "obvious" mods difficult (not unique to this game, I'm sure)**

Pro: Design as many factions as you want, supports multiple custom civilizations
Con: But they are in an uneditable form outside of the game***
Con: There is no interface for editing factions, you have to start a game
Con: Large numbers of factions become unmanagable in an administrative sense: how do you find the one you are looking for with no search and no rational order to the listing?
Con: Odd choices in programming colors limits the customizability of ships, interfaces, etc.
Con: Game still doesn't include all of the factions remaining at the end of GC2 (Drath, Korath)

Pro: Some "interesting" new game concepts, like tourism (yawn) and mercenaries (yawn)
Con: Lacks, or nerfs, many of the features of GalCIv2, including spies (coming), asteroid miners (nerfed), terror stars (maybe someday)
Con: Major features that came with the basic GC2, like politics and political parties, are gone. United Planets seems to be significantly nerfed.

Pro: The developer is very good about updates
Pro: The developer often throws new content into updates
Pro: The developer is pretty clever
Con: There seem to be a lot of glitches/ "unadvertised features" that still haven't been resolved despite extensive documentation

* e.g., Class 8 and 11 planets are more likely to occur than an either 7,9, 10, or 12, and random planets cannot be class 17!
** Aquatic ability is hard-wired, adding new strategic icons...
** You can't get the text back out to, say, spellcheck, the the text boxes are too small, the formatting changes unexpectedly, the typing interface is glitchy, and you can't give custom factions everything a built-in faction can (mostly for Steam compatibility)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
84.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 22
I've played other 4x turn-based space games and I like GalCiv 3 better than them. It's worth my damn money and time.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
74.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
Civilization in Galatic form, fun turn based stragety game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
57.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
Excellent game, like Stellaris cross Civilisation.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
51.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 22
A well made game, if you liked the first 2 this one is also excellent in the series, always a big fan of the customization of the units
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Recently Posted
106.1 hrs
Posted: October 27
Fun turn based space stragedy game. A bit shallower than the Civ5, but great fun designing ships. Found it worth my time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
9.8 hrs
Posted: October 27
The only flaw this game has, is that there's no fantasy or civ like mod. If you like customization, depth of play, a really good A.I. and Civilization games, play this. Even if you don't like Sci-Fi give this game a try.

I used to play this back in Galactic Civilization 2. It was great in it's simplicty and play, 3 came out and all of that changed. Customization and plenty of things to do, you can play this game for ages. I think the only way to make this game last longer would be to have random civil wars, which... I think there are.

Joining the Air Force and dropping the game, I started playing Civilzation 3 then 4. I love Civ 4, even now with Civ 6 out I still consider it the better of the game franchises. People complain about stacks of doom, but the 1UPT to me is game breaking. I recently picked up Civ 6 and, though happy with a lot of it's changes and features, the 1UPT system and clumsy A.I. sufferes for it.

Then, I rediscovered that Galactic Civilization 3 is now multiplayer.

If you want a good RTS, also check out Sins of a Solar Empire.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
52.3 hrs
Posted: October 26
fun game would suggust to other players
Helpful? Yes No Funny
54.6 hrs
Posted: October 26
everything but the crashes....
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.3 hrs
Posted: October 26
I played this game on release, and it honestly felt incomplete. Winning was tediously easy, and there just wasn't much to do compared to other games in the genre.

Looking at the 50 pounds of DLC available now, I realise why it felt that way. They pretty much ripped whatever they could out of the game in order to sell it on later. Give this one a miss in my opinion, there are plenty of full games you can get for cheaper.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pungent Bubble
69.4 hrs
Posted: October 25
Awesome game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
✠ Cyvan ✠
101.8 hrs
Posted: October 25
A 4X-Space-Strategy game.

+ Graphic is decent, just as you'd expect for such a genre
+ Clean interface
++ Galaxy Editor for custom scenarios, Race Editor with alot of stuff to freely import
+++ THE SHIP EDITOR is just plain AWESOME! Like, you can do EVERY spaceship on your mind. Something really good!

- AI is sometimes weird
- - Although a single playthrough can take it fair share of time, some depth is missing
Helpful? Yes No Funny
6.9 hrs
Posted: October 25
I really loved GC II, and the 3rd GC is good, but didnt catch me in the same way.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
114.4 hrs
Posted: October 25
Fun and solid gameplay.
I would have wanted a bit more automatization of the colonies with something like sectors system from Stellaris.
The UI and quality of life modifications are needed but hopefully they will continue to evolve the game in the future.
Helpful? Yes No Funny