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 (4,453 reviews) - 78% of the 4,453 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 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

Buy Galactic Civilizations III - Mercenaries Expansion Pack


Recent updates View all (52)

April 21

Massive Starbase Update for GalCiv III is now available!

Too many Starbases, not enough time? No problem.

GalCiv III v1.7 Brings Starbase update to solve all your management problems!

We know that many of our fans love playing gigantic-sized maps over sprawling hours of game play. The new Starbase update brings several new features and tools for reducing micromanagement and increasing efficiency for those late-game long hauls. Check out some of the update's highlights:

Queue Upgrades Directly from Shipyards
Constructors are ordered from the Shipyard that can deliver the upgrade in the shortest amount of time and will now automatically travel to the Starbase.

Plan Your Battles...and Your Retreats
The new "Battle Assessment" feature allows you to hover your mouse over an enemy fleet to see an estimation of your fleet's victory against them.

Sort and Group your Ships with Ease
New options make it easier to find the ships you want when you want them. Mark your "favorite" ships so that you can snap right to them in a hurry!

Make Friends, Not Enemies
The update to diplomacy has made it so that your allies are more likely to give you a good deal on trades! Trade value will now scale based on the game's difficulty setting and your relationship with other factions.

Easily Access Starbase Modules and Effects Info
The "Starbase Window" displays more detailed statistics and will aid you in managing the Starbase and the rest of your empire.

Maximize a Colony's Potential
The new "Planetary Alert System" will warn you when your influence, population, or approval are holding your colony back.

...and more!

To check out the full list of changes for v1.7, see the official change log here.

For more information about Galactic Civilizations III, please visit

19 comments Read more

February 18

Fight a Desperate War in Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries, Available TODAY!

Fight a Desperate War in Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries, Available TODAY!

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? Don't own Galactic Civilizations III yet? Get it on Steam or buy direct from Stardock for 25% off through Monday, February 22 at 1PM ET!  

Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries is available today!
Get it from Stardock or here on Steam. For more information, check out Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries, the human race is fighting a war against the remorseless Drengin Empire. Both sides have become increasingly desperate, leading them to turn to the galactic underworld and their elite mercenaries. Check out some of the features below:

Visit the Galactic Bazaar and hire dozens of Mercenaries
Discover Galactic Bazaars and choose from dozens of mercenaries for hire! Want to improve a planet? Many mercenaries will help boost your economy, technology, construction, morale, and more. Is that anomaly a little too dangerous to risk your own life and limb over? Pick a combat mercenary suited for the job and order them to do your bidding. Your bones are fragile, after all.

New Campaign: Lead the Torians to freedom from their Drengin oppressors
No one likes being farmed for meat. The Torians have had enough! Hire mercenaries and use them to help lead the Torians escape their Drengin oppressors in an exciting new campaign. Rebuild your shattered empire from the ground up and thrive in the face of adversity.

Tons of New Ship Designs & New Ship Parts
Every mercenary has their own unique ship for traveling across the galaxy in style. Speaking of style, there are also new ship parts to enhance your own customizations! Check out the ship editor and enjoy all of your new creation options.

Play as an Ancient Race of Warriors
The Arceans, an ancient and honorable civilization of warriors and long-time enemy of the Drengin Empire, make their debut in Mercenaries! The Arceans have new racial traits and abilities and a unique tech tree to boot!

Play as an Old Familiar Race from Galactic Civilizations II
The aquatic Torians are back and ready to fight! ...Well, sort of. They're ready to hire a bunch of mercenaries to help them escape their enslavement from the cruel Drengin Empire. The Torians are at the center of the Mercenaries campaign and also have new racial traits, abilities, and tech trees for you to explore.

Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries is available today!
Get it from Stardock or here on Steam. For more information, check out

10 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
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Helpful customer reviews
600 of 814 people (74%) found this review helpful
21 people found this review funny
111.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
I have 111 hours on record as of this review, so I have played it a bit.

Now, I'm sure whomever is reading this is looking at those who do not recommend the game, and take their criticism into effect when committing to purchasing a game. I do that as well. When I say I would not recommend this game, it is not because it is not a good, or even great, game. I absolutely love it. However, this is not a game for everyone. This is not a game most of my gamer friends could get behind, even those who love strategy games. It is far too...exotic, that it almost feels like it strives for a niche market instead of a mainstream game. Thus, I would not 'recommend' it. But, if you are reading this, then you have interest in 4x, grand strategy, or at least some form of strategy games. And in that regard, consider it, at the least. It is one of the most intricate and complicated strategy games I have ever played, from Warcraft to Total War. But I do not recommend it for the following reasons.

1) This game is hard to learn. Or at least quickly. My first few playthroughs on the campaign, I was always beaten, and on a custom game, I was crushed. The learning curve is brutal. It was very oppressing to have enemies invading you with these advanced ships, or with many times your own fleet, because you don't understand the minute specifics of the game. Once you grasp it, it becomes SIGNIFICANTLY easier. But for those whom do not have the patience to learn it, or are just not willing to reduce themselves to learning strategies online, this game will likely disappoint.

2) The A.I. is far too predictable. Now, perhaps it is simply me, but after a few playthroughs, each race had a fairly predictable course of technology and action. Some focused on creating a tremendous amount of influence to make others not hate them, some tried to be great merchants and sell and buy everything, some tried to bully their way into everything. It eventually comes to a point where the game is far more interesting to craft races to combat.

3) Military might is overpowered. Now, I understand why, at least a bit. However, those races that choose the malevolent path, and focus on building the power and size of their fleets, will utterly crush the opposition. Playing on the largest map setting, by the time I had started exploring the galaxy, I found that those who were invading conquerers were plentiful compared to the other paths, as they did not have the means to survive their enemies. This could be overcome by enemies that split their focus a bit, and researched technologies in other trees, but for the most part, opponent A.I. is very singleminded, and thus, only the strong-minded survive.
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48 of 64 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
348.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Galactic Civilizations III

Love this game. It is much improved over GC II. This is a turn based strategy game.

First, you can create a custom race anyway way you want to. Steam Workshop has some cool factions for the pictures and you can customize those as well.

There are several races in the game. Typical humans, of course, an evil race called the Drengin, and others. I think the background diversity of the races is really neat. The Yor are metaloids with no morals = not evil, just amoral. The Krynn Syndicate are composed of minor races, and the Altarian Resistance is the do-goody cute girl leader. There are other major races as well.

The minor races are also neat. They do not expand but make good trading partners. Their worlds are also big if you want to conquer them.

Very nice. Each planet based on size has tiles to build improvements. These give small bonuses initially but add up with all of the other bonuses and make a good difference. I usally make most worlds finance so I can rush produce items and have a large fleet. Terrforming is one tile at atime which cuts down on management.

I am impressed with the research trees in this game. There are slightly different trees for each race. I like the fact that there are many non-military technolgies as well as a large amount of military upgrades.

Star Bases
These make a big difference. Powerful in the early going they become obsolete fast against dedicated enemy fleets. However, Star Bases and planets can have up to 60 points of ships stationed there right from the beginning. The key for star bases is that they have many upgrades for economies. Small increases add up. Up to 4 (sometimes 5) star bases can surround a planet and with all the upgrades the bases will increase the planet economy 200% (so you are getting triple the base). This stacks on the planetary improvements as well. And, there are different types of star bases = economy, military, mining and culture.

Precursor Artifacts
The Precursors inhabited the Galaxy long ago but disappeared. They left behind some goodies. WIth a Star Base you can claim these artifacts and they give bonuses to the whole empire.

This is played out in real time. I like it. There are lots of sounds and shots and explosions. This is very cool. The role of a ship (selected when saving the design) determines where the ship is at battle's start. There are even fighter pods for the ships once researched. I really like the combat in this game.

Planetary combat is just one screen and no action. You select your attack type and get the results. Different attacks are researchable.

The Music is very good. Overall I like this game.
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74 of 108 people (69%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
324.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2015
Galactic Civilization III is a great update from GC I or II. Best thing is to go 64bit, so there is plenty room for an upgrade.

...and upgrade is badly needed, btw.

Game is playable, but sometimes still feels like a beta which was released way too early, while all buyers are getting used as semi-proffessional-testers. There is so much to do, that you have enough fun to explore all aspects of this game. They had some rather good ideas...unfortunately they didn't follow the road to the end.

As in shipyards. You could sink hours into building your own custom designed ships....but you can't lead them in a battle. All you could do is to have higher numbers then your enemy and wish good luck. They brought in a cinema like view on the 'battle'...but you could do NOTHING to change the outcome.

As for multiplayer. They totally forgot about founding different versions by simply translating the game without compensation. Us players had to bring voice toward the devs about their hard to stand mistake. About half a year the game wasn't playable in multiplayer. Lately us players found the missing key inside english localization files. the end game is still not working in multiplayer...not for technical issue, but for bad design. All players are in LOCAL lobby to find mutliplayer games. If your local area has no GC3 players, you paid for a multiplayer game which you can't use. There is another bad design....they sold the game on GOG, but GOG players' versions are not compatible with STEAM players' version. They even didn't bring up a simple IP-connection...for their own reasons. Looks like GC3's multiplayer was just announced to have it but never implemented for internet users. Just a word: if I would like to play multiplayer with my neighbour I would have bought a tabletop. Multiplayer is used to be played worldwide not local.

As for creating your own custom faction. Factions aren't anything other then branches from only one alien race. All do compete on the same ressources, all do compete on the same sort of planets. All 'aliens' do start on little sunshine world same as all other. Devs changed the way those custom factions were stored several times...but you could never find out which one use old (=obsolete and gamebraking) design when you subscribe one from workshop.

As for Steam cloud. GC3 offers steam cloud for savegames, custom factions and your very own ship designs. Unfortunately it's simply impossible to delete them. Even Steam is not able to delete them completely. But if you have saves from earlier game is able to break your game. Instead of offering a simple switch to turn Steam cloud on/off for GC3 they just tell you to switch off Steam cloud for your entire account to avoid issues with GC3.

As for diplomacy. It's there...rudimentary, but it's like living in the '60 where all things are good or bad but game shows no offer for playing it other then by force. Still you can't prevent aliens from spreading colonies or outposts...even within your own zone of control. Player is still forced to run and hestitate to get some of the planets and goods before the aliens grab it.

My first guess is, the devs cutted out deeply needed parts to sell it later for good money as DLC. Worst of all decissions in my eyes. First one has to bring a totally satisfying game, then one could upgrade his good product with more flavor. Stardock may learn it from Paradox...

I'm really dissappointed about the game in current state and also frustrated about it for a very long time, where no one was able to adress multiplayer issues for longer then half a year. It has great potential to be better then the actual design...but I fear the devs are a) unwilling or b) unable to do better.

Have to adress my good impression about Stardock's helpdesk, those guys really try to fix issues...but unfortunately they can't adress bad design from devs. Yeah, one could say it's all merchandizing...but if I stop to buy things from Stardock, they defenetly regret. Seems there is no other way to get the message through.

Besides there are allready competitors underway which avoid those issues.

Have a look at 'Stellaris', 'Endless Space 2' or even new 'Master of Orion'....all announced 2016.

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48 of 73 people (66%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
212.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2015
Extremely disappointing. I've been a huge fan of the series, and was really excited by the new features promised in this latest installment. Sadly, none of those exciting features seem to have made it to the final product. No "unique" tech trees (they're actually less unique than those found in GalCiv 2), "flexible ideology" is a joke, and the drastic increase in map size is coupled with a drastic decrease in the number of usable planets and stars. Planetary resources and bonus tiles often end up completely separated from everything else (negating some of their worth), and sometimes a bonus tile is generated directly under the colonial capital where it appears to be utterly useless.

Worse, options that were available in both previous games have completely disappeared, while others have been inexplicably made into DLC. I can't set a seed for galaxy generation, can't filter known planets for colonization, there are no save and load hotkeys, and no ability that I could find to regenerate the map when I'm handed a crappy one (which is often). Gameplay-wise, the game is unbalanced, and progression is plodding at best. Frankly, this game still plays like it's in beta, and it's been out for half a year already. I'm hoping that Stardock will find a way to pull this one out of the crapper, but I don't see how they'd manage it at this late date. I understand that they were trying to put a fresh new spin on everything, but they only succeeded in reducing the players' scope and options and the game's playability.

TLDR; Even if you're a huge fan, save your money. They botched this installment big time. It's not worth it, even on sale.
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23 of 32 people (72%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
61.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2015
My opinion after 16 hours of playing GCIII - game mechanics are almost identical to GCII, and the whole thing feels like a graphic remake of its predecessor, but it also feels incomplete. Here are few problems:

Beginning with Interface menus that do not offer even a half of the options you had before to customize your experience during gameplay. Resource icons for example make a mess out of the map when zoomed out, making it really hard to observe the gameplay. I haven't found any options to address this.

Taxing system for your colonies is removed and only way to manage your economical income is through single wealth/manufacturing/research slider. I don't yet have a definitive opinion on this, but for now this new income system feels little vague.

The hype about incredible AI that utilizes each core of your expensive i7 to provide you the best and most complex GalCiv experience is just hype. Reality is that for 16 hours of gameplay I haven't noticed any singe improvement compared to GalCIv II. The opponents react exactly the same in same situations, making same diplomatic propositions, and making same strategic mistakes as before (small example: just leave barely habitable class 5 planet next to your starting homeworld and AI rush to take it, spending a colony ship and bunch of money for improvements, just to loose the planet after few turns due to overwhelming influence of your nearby homeworld).

Spying is completely missing leaving you to guess what your opponents are doing, researching or building on their home planets. I read somewhere that developers plan to program "deeper" spying system than before, so they left it completely out. Really? Releasing a full-priced game without a crucial feature that existed in its predecessor, with a promise that it will be included in eventual DLCs that you have to pay for additionally?
Why developer haven't taken more time to finish their ideas and then release the full version, or at least implement the old style feature and then improve it later?

Speaking to another civilization should lead to trading screen right away (99% of the time this is where player wants to go), rather than opening a pointless splash screen. It is eye candy, but it is very inconvenient as you have to click twice. Furthermore, "trade with you", and "declare war on you" are two choices just next to each other making it a miss-click accident waiting to happen.

There are more smaller and bigger issues to remark and I will edit this interview if I find more or if I change my opinion on it, but in its current state this release is not worth the money as it offers less than GalCiv II.
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