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 (3,127 reviews) - 76% of the 3,127 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.

Buy Galactic Civilizations III

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Packages that include this game

Buy Stardock Bundle 2016

Includes 8 items: Galactic Civilizations® III, Sorcerer King™, Sins of a Solar Empire®: Rebellion, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, Dead Man's Draw, Galactic Civilizations® II: Ultimate Edition, Galactic Civilizations® I: Ultimate Edition, Demigod

AUTUMN SALE! Offer ends December 1


Recommended By Curators

"More of a refresh than expected, but still hands down the best modern way to conquer unknown space."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (48)

October 29

Galactic Civilizations III v1.4 Mega AI update is now available!

The team has made some improvements to the AI; it's now stronger, better, and smarter. The AI is now more efficient at building its planets and managing its economy. The AI will also have planetary governors to manage starbase construction and it is now also programmed with improved budget management and constructor movement logic. How will you stand up to the challenge? 

View the full changelog here.

To stay updated with other news and happenings with Stardock, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Also tune into our Twitch stream for tips/tricks about our games and sneak peeks at unreleased content.

43 comments Read more

September 17

Multi-Language support and bug fixes in the latest Galactic Civilizations III’s update!

Hallo! Bonjour! Здравствуйте! Stardock is excited to announce that our latest update to Galactic Civilizations III includes language support for German, French, and Russian!

Here's a little note from our CEO, Brad Wardell, about the new language support: "With over a hundred thousand words, translating Galactic Civilizations III is like translating a book. It was important to us that every civilization in the game have their own technology tree and its own diplomatic dialog. But doing so made it a real challenge to translate it."

In addition to our new multi-language support, the 1.31 update contains updates to some of our key features, see the full changelog here:

  • Stability for Custom Factions: There are now checks to prevent crashes when a human player or AI uses a custom faction that has bad or missing data.
  • Multiplayer: Stronger, better, faster - multi-player matches will now take less time to load!
  • Enhancements: AI Improvements, balance changes, and a few bug fixes.
  • Battle Viewer: Corrected so that the battle properly reflects the results that are posted.
We appreciate our community feedback and hope that you enjoy the new features that 1.31 has to offer! Auf Wiedersehen! Au revoir! До свидания!

50 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

Design your own ships!

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
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Helpful customer reviews
114 of 144 people (79%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
What I see is a weird mix of polish and missing features.

I can almost hear the following discussion: "Well it's clear we can't finish everything properly for the release so
- what's near completion should be polished
- what's not ready but is part of the basics should be made to work somehow and fixed later
- all the other stuff we wanted to put in the initial game but did not have time should go to the planned expansions"

I'm almost certain that after all the patches and expansions have been released it will be a good game. However at this time - playing this game feels like doing chores ... the hard way rather than having fun.

This whole "Sell it now fix it later" mindset is ruining so many games that could have been great ... and our wallets are the victims.
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149 of 201 people (74%) found this review helpful
135 people found this review funny
37.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 29
So apparently Galactic Civilizations 3 is trying to each me a lesson about life. I tried to play the good guy, not declaring war, only wiping out invasion fleets, then offering peace, if no peace, then I invade, if no peace, then I conquer, then I still offer peace. So after wiping out 1 race and having a 2nd make peace only after capturing their home world. So 11 hours into the game my ally decides to declare war on me. It makes a sneak attack on every system in my space, conquering some and just causing a super huge pain in my ♥♥♥♥ as my fleets were closer to my former enemy. I hit the retire button, lesson learned. EVIL is the only way win at life. Conquer all or be conquered. Peace is an illusion. God Send Death.
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88 of 114 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
155.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Feels like the game is still in beta. It's good that they're patching, but their attitude sometimes seems to be 'we're doing you a favor'
They're planning their first DLC before the bugs are even worked out.
Micro Management Hell in late game - can't keybind very commonly used items.
Battle viewer is pointless.
Can't turn off animations for battles which really slows things down late conquest game.
Pros: Excellent mod support
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
61 of 74 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
354.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
As it is with all 4x titles that become great the first is always lacking. It should undoubtly get better with expansions however it will take time as it did with civilization 5.

Currently, I don't think its worth the full price but if it's on sale its worth it, party because it's the only "next gen" true space 4x out there.

-4x as you would expect it
-multiple tech trees
-custom races
-awesome ship builder

-you need a decent computer, and NEED 8GB of ram
-Lacking in many mechanics
-no unit experience
-no government mechanic
-descriptions are vague, finding detailed information is difficult
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63 of 84 people (75%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 13
First off and probably most importantly: The game is about as stable as a house of cards built over a geyser. It took me about two hours of researching to find solutions and playing around with the game's files to finally get it going for that first time. Then, the game continued to crash during play time. So, yet another hour or so of my time to find methods of keeping it running properly. The mothertrucker still crashes to this day at times.

That right there costs the game some big points in my esteem. When I pay 50 bucks for your game, it better damn well work the first time I click on it (unless my computer is the problem-- which it was not in this case.)

Technical issues aside (as glaring as they are), this is a really lackluster, mediocre game. Nothing special to see here folks.

Diplomacy is pretty standard with nothing deep going on there. It's the standard trade agreement that we have already seen in hundreds of such games before (give me this tech for that tech, declare war, etc). The diplomacy system in older games (Alpha Centauri among others) is probably much more complex. If anything, diplomacy is pretty ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ with the AI factions acting all bi-polar on you. They shower you with praise and credits at one moment, then they declare war two turns later. I enjoyed the quasi-United Nations thing they had going there though (planetary alliance or something). That was a neat highlight.

There is no ground combat / planetary invasions - defense game system. It's a very random thing. In most of my playing, taking over a planet is pretty automatic. Very rarely did I need to send in a second wave of invading forces. You don't need to prepare too much in advance. Planets that are outfitted to the wazoo with defensive things still get taken down fairly easy. Honestly, why has no game of this sort not put some thought into the ground game? Look at Emperor of the Fading Suns. There's a great old game that did that in a very fun and engrossing fashion. Seriously, no one has even touched the ground game in years.

The space combat is ridiculous. You have zero options or control. Starships fly and charge at each other like cavalry. Once close to the enermy, they then begin to rotate around each other in a dancing fashion and deal their damage. Seeing capital starships fly in circles around one another like fighters in some kind of demented NASCAR dogfight took a lot of punch away from the highlight of the game (starship battles). I found myself skipping the combat scenes pretty early on because A) You can't do anything anyways and the ships are governed by the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ cavalry charge tactic. 2) It makes me laugh because it's so off putting... the way the ships dance around each other in a circle.
Seriously, give the player some tactical control. Make the game interesting by still having a chance to win even if you're the underdog with the smarter opponent having an edge of some kind.

The universe is pretty dead. Ships take forever to get to all the corners of the open space. No jump drives or something that could speed up fleet movement over the map. This isn't even slow burn tension, it's like driving a golf cart for 8 hours.

The only thing that I really enjoyed about the game was the custom faction option. I had fun populating my map with Warhammer 40K and Mass Effect inspired races / factions. I played with my own custom made Kilrathi Empire faction. I had more fun creating factions than actually playing the game though.

So, no, on the whole, this game isn't worth 50$.
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