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 (506 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 14, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

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, and we do weekly livestreams at noon Pacific time every Friday at 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.

Buy Galactic Civilizations III


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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 (26)

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:

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!

0 comments Read more

April 17

Galactic Civilizations III Beta 5.3 Opt-in Patch Available

Galactic Civilizations III Beta 5.3 is now available as an opt-in patch. Beta 5.3 adds pirate bases, improves performance (particularly on large maps), fixes bugs, boosts the AI, and polishes up the interface. What’s not to love?

If all goes well and no major issues are discovered, we plan on releasing Beta 5.3 next week.

To opt into the patch, do the following:

  1. Open your Steam client
  2. Right-click Galactic Civilizations III, select Properties
  3. Select the Betas tab
  4. In the drop-down menu, choose “Opt-in”
  5. Close the properties window
  6. Your game should patch automatically
Read the full patch notes here:

Thanks for your support, and happy conquering!

3 comments Read more
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“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.”

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

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

    • 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: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor or Equivalent
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB DirectX 10.1 Video Card
    • Hard Drive: 12 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
38 of 41 people (93%) found this review helpful
516.8 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 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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20 of 23 people (87%) 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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20 of 24 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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17 of 20 people (85%) 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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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
32.2 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 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
180.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
Early Access Review
I really love this game. It has great potential to be played for many of hours. Civ 5 is my alltime favorite and this game is very similiar with city management and not letting it get too complicated. The game still lags bad on my pc and occasionaly will freeze for about 5 mins so best to wait till launch before buying. But in all it is still very fun to play untill the maps and ship counts get so large the system bogs down, then i just tinker in the ship building for awhile. ship building without a tutorial is complicated so i hope that is something they will add at launch but i enjoy crudly pasting peices togethor to make something diffrent. So in short this game is good 7 out of 10 but could be my all time favorite TBS 4X game ever once the bugs and crashes get fixed. Good job everyone working on the game and keep up the good work.

P.S. i dont totally under stand how to post this to the discussions board but a usefull tip would be to add atleast an 1/8th of an inch gap to the rows in the tech menus. them being stacked just makes it fell like your choices are all simialar and being slightly seperated would help that.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
92.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
Early Access Review
GalCiv3 is probably in my opinion the best 4x to come to market in years, not simply because its actually going to be a finished product for once but because i've never come across a more social group of dev's who literally do their very best to give you what feels like a personal experiance when it comes to dealing with any problems you come across in game, and weekly dev stream's that you can ask them questions during, and even take on board your thoughts and idea's when it comes to building a better game for the community.

The Pro's
- Amazing Customer Support.
- It's getting better with ever new patch.
- Easy to understand UI.
- Easy to pick up for a first timer, or veteran of 4x Games.
- Great graphics, and performance
- Seriously addictive, you'll easily waste hundreds of hours of time into this once its out of beta.
- They are pushing the 4x Genre to its limits with insane map sizes.

The Cons
- I guess for some spending alot of time on this because its addictive :-D
- Lack of sleep.

Yeah i dont really have any concerns or con's when it comes to GalCiv3. I had issues before and both times i had help within an hour from a dev to try and help me/them get to the route cause of the problem. The only con i can really think of is if you watch the dev streams you might be jelous of the fact paul gets to play with some cool features that are not stable enough to be released or are still in developement stages. 10/10 i paid 100 dollars to be a founder and its honestly the best money i ever spent would happily have spend double that.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
54.0 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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
681.7 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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4 of 5 people (80%) 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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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
Early Access Review
This game is definitely for hardcore stratedy gamers. The intricacies of the game are so far beyond other turn based games. The new ideas and implementation of them are unique and fun.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
168.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
Early Access Review
Almost there....
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
44.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 3
Early Access Review
Great! Dev's are so far following through with everything they said! Thats rare!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
Early Access Review
This has all the elements of a Great 4X game. Fast natural turn-based stratedgy. Easy to use interface, even in beta. Nice production style. Good work developers
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
40.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Early Access Review
I acquired a copy of Galactic Civ II Dread Lords several years ago and it has remained one of my favorite civ building stategy games ever since. So when I opened Steam and saw a news post about the Galactic Civ III Beta I did not hesitate. And I don't regret it. It has everything I love about Dread Lords, but enhanced and improved. My only complaint is that it's still a Beta and not everything is unlocked yet (A complete Ship Editor I'm looking at you!) and it seems every patch adds a new problem. But as I said it's a Beta, so those issues should clear up once the full game comes out. 10/10 would be conquered by the Drengin again.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
66.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Early Access Review
I have been with Galactic Civilizations 3 since the beginning of beta, and have had the pleasure of watching the game meet and exceed the capabilities of its predecessor. I eagerly await the release of the Gold version in May.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Early Access Review
Looks promising. Shaping really nicely and Devs doing great job so far.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
83.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Early Access Review
Great game during the Beta and is fun to play, can't wait for final release for all bugs to be gone.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
44.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
Early Access Review
Game seems really interesting, fun to play, havent fully got it.
Critical issue with me is, the game freezes up and crashes for me around 100 turns, every single time.
Despite this, there are other little bugs and glitches with the UI , text and UP content.

I recommend waiting till the game is out of Beta to avoid any unpleasant experiences.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 18
Early Access Review
April 18 2015

GC III b5.3
Minimum Requirements
OS: Win 64-bit 7/8/8.1
CPU: Dual Core2 1.8 GHz/AMD equiv
GFX: AMD HD 5x/ Nvidia 500/ Intel HD 4000

Recommended Requirements
CPUCore i5 2.3 GHz/AMD equiv
GFX: 1 GB DirectX 10.1

Reviewing on
OS: Win 64-bit 7
CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5 GHz
RAM: 16 GB
GFX: 2 MSI R9 270X Gaming cards with CrossFire enabled

After the release of Beta version 5.3 opt-in, the game is running smoothly. No hic-ups, lag, crashes, artifacts or anything else to report. They have optimized the memory issue and the insane map is running as intended. The visuals are even more stunning and the game play has expanded to better AI tactics and balancing. However, they still have yet to fix the damn tooltip text boxes, the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s. I am extremely impressed with the scope and vision this game is taking; especially over the course of the past month. If they released the game now with promises of future ongoing support, I doubt anyone would mind.

My only gripe, other than the tooltip fiasco, is that they don’t offer a randomized custom faction button (yet?). It takes too long to make a custom race for me. I want to add a ton of factions to the insane map but don’t want to spend all day making them. Nevermind that though. Will update after next release.
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