The latest installment of one of the highest-rated strategy series of all time, Galactic Civilizations III challenges players to build an empire that dominates the galaxy through conquest, diplomacy, cultural hegemony, or scientific research.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (523 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 14, 2014

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Stardock has always believed in extensive pre-release testing periods for our games. Involving our fans earlier in the process allows us to gather crucial gameplay, design, and balance feedback. Getting the game out on thousands of machines is a key part of hardware compatibility testing for us as well.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Galactic Civilizations III will be in Early Access until May 2015, according to our current schedule (which is of course subject to change).”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Currently, the beta is fun but incomplete – though it’s getting close! The story-based campaign and the tutorial are the only major features yet to be added, and they likely won’t be available until the final release. The AI will continue to improve throughout the beta, and balance and polish are never-ending tasks.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Multiplayer is fully functional. All core gameplay systems are armed and operational, from empire development to fleet combat, diplomacy, and planetary invasion. The biggest improvements between beta and release at this point will be AI improvements and improved balance.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Galactic Civilizations III may be part of promotions both during the Early Access period and after, but the base price will remain $49.99.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We’ve already gotten a ton of valuable feedback from our community, both on design/gameplay issues as well as help in tracking down bugs. We actively monitor the forums both on Steam and at http://www.galciv3.com, and we do weekly livestreams at noon Pacific time every Friday at http://www.twitch.tv/stardock where lead designer Paul Boyer shows off internal builds and answers community questions as well as soliciting feedback on specific design points that we’re actively working on.”
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Notice: 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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"Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock was victim of corrupt journalism when a false claim of sexual harassment was spread on the internet."

Recent updates View all (27)

April 22

Galactic Civilizations III Launches May 14

The official release date has been announced: Galactic Civilizations III launches on May 14, 2015.

Stardock is extremely pleased to welcome everyone to the beginning of a long and glorious era of space-conquering excellence. Whether you prevail through diplomacy, cultural supremacy, scientific research, or the more traditional "crush all rivals with extreme force" method, Galactic Civilizations III gives you the tools to remake the galaxy in whatever image you desire.

We humbly thank all of our Founders and beta players for their support and for their ongoing help in making Galactic Civilizations III the best game it can be.

The end of beta is nearly upon us, but the future in store for space emperors everywhere is full of possibilities.

8 comments Read more

April 20

Galactic Civilizations III Beta 5.3 Now Available

Galactic Civilizations III Beta 5.3 is live!

Pirate bases now dot the void between stars. (Or cluster up into a terrifying pirate fringe if you use weird map settings like we did in last week’s dev stream. The Drengin-pirate wars were intense.)

Performance is much improved, particularly on large maps. No more waiting for the AI to pick its nose so you can get back to conquering.

Speaking of, the AI spends way less time picking its nose and way more time doing space emperor things (aka it’s quite a bit smarter).

And of course there are a multitude of polish points, balance improvements, and fixes large and small. Read the full patch notes here: http://forums.galciv3.com/463499

We deeply appreciate everyone who takes the time to review Galactic Civilizations III, particularly on Steam, and we hope this patch makes it worthwhile for new folks to write their reviews and for others to update their existing reviews. We work hard to earn those thumbs, you know.

Thanks for your support, and happy conquering!

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Reviews

“One of the greatest 4X games of all time finally gets a follow-up”
PC Gamer

“I had a really good time with it. I got sucked into the "one more turn" mentality for hours.”
Escapist

“The sci-fi setting, highly-detailed ships, and immersive galaxies take the game a step above the current competition.”
Gamerant

Design your own ships!

About This Game


Galactic Civilizations III is the premier space strategy game. The latest installment of one of the highest-rated strategy series of all time, created by the original developers at Stardock, Galactic Civilizations III challenges players to build an empire that dominates the galaxy through conquest, diplomacy, cultural hegemony, or scientific research.

The stars are yours, if you can balance the demands of expansion, exploration, diplomacy, and all-but-inevitable galactic warfare. Careful strategy, not twitch reflexes, lead to victory in this turn-based strategy epic.

Online multiplayer comes to Galactic Civilizations for the first time in Galactic Civilizations III. Conquer the galaxy alongside your friends or battle for supremacy in titanic clashes.

Feature List for Beta 5 (v0.80)

  • Conquer the stars
    Play as the Terran Alliance, Drengin Empire, Altarian Resistance, Iridium Corporation, Krynn Syndicate, Thalan Contingency, Iconian Refuge, Yor Collective, or your own custom-designed faction
  • Compete with friends
    Up to 4-player online multiplayer for the first time in franchise history
  • Explore random maps
    All map sizes available: tiny/small/medium/large/huge/gigantic/immense/excessive/insane
  • Colonize new worlds
    Develop and terraform habitable planets into teeming tourist paradises, hellish forgeworlds, and anything in between
  • Make friends, extort enemies
    Diplomacy allows rich interactions between empires
  • Minor factions
    Conquer or befriend races that don’t share your galactic ambitions
  • Titanic deep-space clashes
    Admire your fleet's destructive potential in the real-time battle viewer
  • Planetary invasions
    Choose strategies from tectonic destabilization to orbital bombardment to bring enemy colonies under your control
  • Race-specific technology
    Each race moves through the Ages of Expansion, War, and Ascension its own way
  • Unique factions
    Each of the eight races play differently, like the Yor who completely ignore farming and growth rules
  • Design your starfleet
    Powerful ship designer lets players design ships from scratch or take advantage of pre-made blueprints
  • Choose your ideology
    Gain unique bonuses by following pragmatic, benevolent, or merciless paths
  • Mine galactic resources
    Miraculous materials like the antimatter around black-hole event horizons go into the construction of the most powerful warships
  • Win your way
    Spread your empire across the galaxy through force, diplomacy, science or culture

Future Features

  • Best-in-class AI
    64-bit game engine allows incredibly complex artificial intelligence routines, which grow smarter over time as the AI learns from every game it plays
  • Single-player campaign
    Continue the epic storyline of the Galactic Civilizations series
  • Guided tutorial
    Learn to play Galactic Civilizations III with an interactive tutorial mode

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: 64-bit Windows 8.1 / 8 / 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
    • Hard Drive: 12 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor or Equivalent
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB DirectX 10.1 Video Card
    • Hard Drive: 15 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
47 of 52 people (90%) found this review helpful
546.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Early Access Review
First of all it is critical to understand that the game is still in beta testing and therefore has some glitches. That said it has been pretty stable for me. (Four year old dell xps 8100 with 16gb and a 750 Ti video card). At present the plan seems to be to a go for a final release in May. There will be frequent patches before then and perhaps a beta 6 release (beta 5, with enormous additions, was released yesterday (Mar26). If you don't like encountering bugs and reporting them to help the game, then wait for the release. Of critical importance remaining is tuning the AI to be smarter and more aggressive, imo.

That said, with yesterday's release the game is really starting to take shape. I played and enjoyed Galciv2 (for which, coincidentally, a community update is being finished at the same time). But GC3, even a couple of releases ago, just looks so much better, and the game will optionally be so much bigger (largest size is "insane" and it is just that, largest number of factions...100!) with many more custom races allowed, more minor races and a much improved ship designer (which is a game in itself that one can get lost in). Colonizing of planets is more tactical with the new adjacency bonuses and on planet resources. The battle viewer will remain a strategic choice rather than a tactical (one can organize one's fleet with different numbers and classes of ships, of which support ships are critical) but it also looks much better than GC2. You can change camera viewing angle during the battle. Watch a 30 vs 30 ship battle, enough said (check stardock.com to see live stream game examples). Then there are various galactic items like nebulae which restrict defence and accuracy as well as numerous strategic resouces to mine in addition to relics that give civilization wide benefits. The ideology table gives some sharply different choices depending on whether you feel good, bad, or neutral. Diplomacy is rapidly improving but has some way to go (as I said) and will I think be a key to success in a big game.

Well, I could to on and on. I am a long term 4x player (started with civ 1 in the day) and my advice is that this game will give a 4x challenge that feels, looks, and plays much different from, say, Civ 5, but with the same next turn tension and the same scramble for multiple objectives that makes a 4x game enjoyable.

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24 of 29 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
72.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
Early Access Review
In my first hour I colonized a new world (overrun with massive space worms), fought pirates and encoutered a race of space faring squirrels. I've had to decide how to handle potentially dangerous indigenous species (sorry, my colonists come first), skirted black holes, and found old serviceable warships in the ruins of ancient battles.

Now I'm going back for more!
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22 of 26 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
268.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
Early Access Review
Even in its Beta State, GalCiv3 has that "just one more turn" vibe already. There is enough of the past GalCiv games to be familiar, and enough new tweaks to make it feel like a new game.
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19 of 23 people (83%) found this review helpful
1,064.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
Early Access Review
I have never played any of the previous editions of this game; however, I have been playing this game which is still in beta since August 2014.

I have been extremely impressed with how well the developers have improved the game play and added new features and options. They provide weekly Dev Streams where the lead designer demonstrates the capabilities of the game, explains their development intentions, and answers questions from the audience. Copies of the Dev Streams are available for viewing on YouTube.

So far, I have submitted over 24 bug reports and Stardock support has been very quick to respond to each of them. Most of the issues I raised have already been resolved via game updates or hotfixes.

The game is 64-bit and therefore will demand more than 2 GB of RAM to operate. How much memory is used depends primarily on how big the map is. On my PC, a small map starts using about 1.7 GB, a huge map starts with about 3.1 GB, while the insane map starts running at about 4.1 GB. Please note that this is about 50% less than what the game was using three months ago with smaller maps and the developers have not finished optimizing it.

I find the game exciting to play, especially in the beginning phase. However, it becomes tedious when my empire approaches 100 planets with only a third of the map explored. Towards the middle of the game it is downright boring due to the number of repetitive tasks (e.g., starbase improvements) and a passive AI. The developers are working to address these issues but they still have a long way to go.

The game has multi-player capability but this option is broken in my opinion. I suspect this may be due to how the background calculations are transmitted between players since most of the game freezes and crashes occur during the handoff to another player. I look forward to Stardock resolving this issue.

If you want to participate in developing what may be the premiere space 4X game of the decade then I recommend you join in the fun, and frustrations. If you dislike things breaking for no apparent reason or desire a fully implemented game then I suggest you place this game on your wishlist.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
32.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
Early Access Review
As a long time fan of the Galactic Civilizations series, initially I was concerned this game would be merely a graphical update on the (fantastic) mechanics present in GalCiv II.

However, GalCiv 3 has taken the core of what has made the series great thus far, as well as the best of both the old and new Sid Meiyers Civ games to craft something BEYOND fantastic.

Naturally, in beta, it still has polish passes and a few more features to implement, but the potential is there, evident and clear to see that this game will honestly be the greatest modern offering in the genre.
Beautiful, strategic and deep, it offers up every feature (and then some) you could hoep to see in a turn based strategy game.

I can only look forward to what Stardock have planned for future expansions too, as GalCiv 2's expansion made it arguably the best game in the genre to date, I'm excited to see where the future of GalCiv 3 takes it.
But until then, I'm ready to play Space Emperor, with GC3 as my interface.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
55.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 3
Early Access Review
Having been with this game since Alpha (got the Elite Founders Package) I have watched this game grow into a beautiful masterpiece. Like all masterpieces, it has its far share of issues that still need to be overcome while it is being finished but the devs are constantly at work to correct as soon as possible. This is and will be a great game for years to come.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
40.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
Early Access Review
I am amazed this is at the beta stage I bought it for 40 E. But the crashes I am talking atleast 4-5 each hour are driving me insane.

This should be considered as a Alpha phase of testing. If you look beyond the constant crashes (which is hard) the gameplay and the overall feel for the game is great, just get these damn crashes midgame to go away!

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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
704.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Early Access Review
I have been a long time fan of the Galactic Civilizations series and GCIII is long anticipated and as good as I have hoped.

The game has been greatly expanded and is much more than an updated version of the previous games. Those who are fans of the previous GC games will find the features that hooked them still in the game but much, much more. Expanded and improved combat, with a great battle cinimatic battle viewer, custom factions and a map generator that allows up to a hundred opponents.

If you liked the previous GC games you will certainly love GCIII. If you have never played GC but enjoy turn based science fiction games, GCIII epitomizes everything we enjoy about 4X gaming.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
38.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Early Access Review
An excellent Space 4X game, during a wonderous resurgence of the genre. Devs update quite regularly and frequently, with good additions and changes every time. Also, the battle viewer is gorgeous.

My issue is that it can seem a bit overly complex. Maybe I'm just missing something obvious but the tech tree completely overwhelms me, and I generally just kind of stumble through it without any overall plan.

Occasional overcomplexity (which I'm pretty sure is me missing something anyway) aside, this is a great return to the golden age of 4X gaming and gets a solid recommendation from me.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
106.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Early Access Review
Good game, make sure u have plenty of free time :)
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
This game was almost just an empty hull when it appeared on Early Acces. The progress was slow at the beginning but the game was, and is running stable. There are still bugs but those aren't frequent. It simply feels like a very solid basis and gets better and better with every update. Now the devs are punching out updates quite often and those mostly add many new features and mechanicks to the game. So you don't need to be afraid that the game gets abandoned.
Most of the features are already in the game now so you can enjoy playing already. I still think that the AI is plain stupid but that is a subject to change.
The game looks beautiful. Lots of nice artwork for colonies and events.
Gameplay is like Gal Civ 2 (what is good) but it also has some new features that make sence, so the game looks even better - it is not just a cheap remake.
The ship designer for example looks very nice and is better then in Gal Civ 2 already.
The battles don't look that good jet but I'm sure that this is not the final version of it anyway. (early acces it is)
What makes me feel confident about this game, is that it seems to be built on a solid basis and that the devs know what they are doing so there is not much that could go wrong.
I'm really looking forward into this game when it gets finished because I'm having fun playing already.
If you like round based 4X games, then grab it, you (most likely) won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
32.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
Early Access Review
If you love this strategy then yes get this game!

I know early access are usually ♥♥♥♥, and usually I'm against them, but if you love space, and you love deeply customizeable strategy, this game is definately for you, I'm really impressed and glad my friend convinced me to buy this early access game.

A lot of options are deeply customizeable, the only bad thing at the moment is the game seems to have a terrible memory leak. Even on my machine which the system requirements for the game should just about be good enough to run on high it tends to struggle after 2 hours. I think this is due to the nature of it being early access.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
Early Access Review
I'm loving this game. It is not doing much for my social life though. The beta is very playable. There are a few bugs that I have found but you have to dig for them really hard. I highly recomend this.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
If you enjoyed Gal Civ II and loved it, Gal Civ III is shaping up to be a very nice addition to the series. While incomplete the core elements are very present in the way the game plays. The only frustrations you may have is that this game is still beta so not everything is there yet. Occasionally you will see something that doesnt quite work or doesnt seem as intuitive as it should be. If you dont jump on the beta make sure you come back and take a serious look when it is released.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
Is coming together nicely. This might be the best 4x game on the market when released.

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
this is a very good game even in beta, and is defidently worth picking up
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
45.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
For a game still in beta, Galactic Civilizations III is already a solid 4X game. But it still has bugs, and the campaign is also not available yet, so if you want to play a complete game, wait until the release. But if you are dying for a science fiction strategy game and can live with the bugs, then go get it. And it will continue getting better, even after the release.

You can design your own ships, and not only regarding its weapons and components: you can completely change their look, add blocks and parts to create your own aesthetics and etc. You can make your own unique custom civilizations, give them special traits, characteristics and ships. The visuals are awesome. The game will be fully modable, that is, modders will be able to create incredible things. The battles look epic, but beware that you can't play them, as they are meant to be looked at and see the efficiency of your ships against the enemies. The AI will be getting better and better as the release approaches. There are several events with choices for the player to make, but so far, there are no "massive" events that change gameplay or add new factions, which I would like a lot to be added. Also, the devs are awesome and listen to their fans.

The game series has a very interesting story, which you can take a look at here (http://www.galciv3.com/databanks/timeline) and here (http://www.galciv3.com/databanks/our-story). But even if you aren't interested in the story, you can always play a normal game outside of the yet to come campaign and create your own backstory.

One of the things I feel that is lacking in the game though is a deeper soul. It need politics, bigger events (like I mentioned above) and more things to illustrate the universe and your civilization. But the devs do have plans to include LOTS of interesting things in the expansions to come... so I have hope for these features.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
38.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
Galactic Civilizations 3 is an amazing continuation of the series. It's not even finished yet but im having so much fun, more so than in Galciv 2. I recommend this game to everyone who loves playing a space emperor!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Early Access Review
hi everyone to put it simply ,BUY THIS GAME it really worth it .... im a fan of 4x and this one is my favorite by far ( and it not even finish yet ) i would recommend this game for all those who love 4 x . continue your great work stardock
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Early Access Review
The game remains a classic, while adding lots of fun elements to it.

The capacity to fully customize a ship's form and the new possibilities for creating custom races (including synthetic races) are the two top points in my way of seeing it.

Recommended with honor. :)
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