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 (3,836 reviews) - 77% of the 3,836 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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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


Recent updates View all (50)

January 27

Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries adds New Factions, New Ships, Mercenary Bazaar and more!

Intergalactic Trade. A Daring Escape. Guns for Hire.
Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries Releases on February 18, 2016!

The human race is fighting a desperate war against the remorseless Drengin Empire.
Both sides have become increasingly desperate, leading them to turn to the
galactic underworld and their elite mercenaries.

Convinced already? Of course you are.
But, just for fun, here are additional reasons to get the Mercenaries Expansion:

Visit the Galactic Bazaar and hire dozens of Mercenaries
Discover Galactic Bazaars and choose from dozens of mercenaries for hire! Is that anomaly a little too dangerous to risk your own life and limb over? Pick a 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
Hire mercenaries and use them to help lead the Torians to freedom from 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
Every mercenary has their own unique ship for traveling across the galaxy in style. Speaking of style, there are lots of new ship parts to enhance your own customizations and styles!

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 will be available for purchase on February 18th.
Keep an eye on the forums and over at for updates and notice for when you can purchase!

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December 9, 2015

The Big Diplomatic Feature Update is Here Along with the Lost Precursor Worlds!

Galactic Civilizations III v1.5 adds lots of new diplomacy features to better shape the destiny of the galaxy!

Version 1.5 offers more diplomacy options, the new Coercion ability, and a unique twist on the Planetary Spending Wheel while the "Precursor Worlds" DLC brings exciting new worlds, events, and anomalies to the game!

Plus: New "Precursor Worlds" DLC

Unlock the mysteries of the Precursors and explore long forgotten ancient worlds. Discover new types of planets, deal with unexpected new colony events, and brave the dangers of perilous anomalies. With new challenges at every turn, exploring the galaxy just became a lot more exciting.

  • Precursor Planet Types: Colonize Precursor Worlds and discover Space Elevators, Orbital Factory Rings, Promethion Refineries, and other exotic technologies that can boost planetary production, build better ships, or increase resources.

  • Colonization Events: Wrestle with new ideological choices that can drastically alter the future and potential of your new Precursor colonies.

  • Anomalies: Alter the future of your civilization by sending your survey ships out in search of more powerful Precursor Anomalies.

In addition to the new DLC, v1.5 comes with a few exciting updates...

New ways to interact with your friends and foes will open up different lines of dialogue and choices. Order them out of your territory (darn aliens, get off my lawn!), proclaim friendship to allies (besties 4ever!), demand tribute from your enemies (you should pay just to be in the presence of my awesome), and more.

Planetary Spending Wheel
You asked for it, so here it is! You can now unlock access to this wheel through a planetary improvement or through the new civilization ability "Coercive." If you're a Krynn fan, you're in luck - they start the game with this ability!

Balance your production wheel to maximize the efficiency of your production. Forcing your population to be overly specialized will reduce your overall raw production. We have also removed the Large Empire Penalty which will allow you to keep your large empires happier! Formerly, this penalty reduced your approval if your empire was too big.

Bridge Building
The AI will now use star bases to extend the range of their ships and the reach of their empire.

Like what you see and what to talk about it? Join our GalCiv Dev stream on Twitch at 3:00 PM ET on Friday, December 11th to hound lead designer Paul Boyer with your questions!

See the full changelog here:

17 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
295 of 401 people (74%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
77.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
I have 77 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

I must have it on record that I do love this game. I enjoy it immensely. 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.

Now, 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. 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.
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111 of 138 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
84.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2015
I loved Gal Civ 2, and have played if vanilla or modded well over 100 hours. I had (and still have) high hopes for this game, bought into the prerelease and followed its development. I'm a fan of Stardock, and have often suggested their apps to clients in my PC repair work.

This game takes the overall Galciv formula, which is an amazing take on 4X allowing both depth, as well as intuitive/satisfying gameplay. The reason that this series is one of the best 4X Space games around is that it gives a wide range of customization, with very little micromanagement.

Gal Civ 3 brings in a bunch of great new features such as off-planet shipyards, specialized ship components, some improved game customization, and the much needed new pile of content for those like myself who have burned themselves out on the wonderful universe of Gal Civ 2.
I really love the on-planet adjacent tile bonuses, and the strategic resources. Strategic resources add a whole new realm of combat, fighting over otherwise empty systems and giving you some great design choices to buffer against research lag (Building a few ships utilizing special mass drivers and elerium beams saved me from a race that suddenly appeared equipped with advanced missile defense technology after I sunk all my research down that weapon route; giving players more tactical options like this really gives the gameplay some depth).

There are quite a few changes that I don't agree with, but I think have some merit and can develop into improvements in the long run: The replacement of world projects with luxury resources, ship defenses decreasing when used instead of applying against every attack, the new research screen (thank goodness you can still switch over to the standard tree view). I also miss the space station appearance changes as you upgrade them (they persist in this version for only the first few upgrades, after which you are stuck with a very generic looking station).

On the subject of space stations, the military one is seriously nerfed in Gal Civ 3. Whereas before they were incredibly helpful fortresses to build around your most integral planets, now they really just provide minor buffs. They’ll tip the scales but by no means serve as the your defense forces’ fulcrums any longer.

I have a few minor gripes such as where did the AI personality go? The only messages I get in game are the generic “You’re a noob to have so few warships. I’m going to eat your parents!” messages when my ship count is low, or the “Yeah I’m going to invade you now, l8r” transmissions. I’d love to see some more personality in the AI scripts that split them apart a bit, and maybe even some storyline/quest like communications that can be thrown in.

One other minor bug is that whenever I exit the game I have to go into task manager and kill every process that doesn’t look normal to get my computer to run at anywhere near modern computer speeds (Some component seems to glitch out and take up tons of resources but does not show up in procmon).

Two major areas are killing this game though-

1. A vast number of features that have simply been stripped in this iteration, including several that had previously been the source of much of the games charm. Where is asteroid mining, ship leveling, espionage, the charts screen, civilization party elections.

The Tech tree has been cut down SEVERELY. The nebulous tech tree in Gal Civ 2, with its charming comedic wit has been reduced to a very simple and limited version with much drier text. The lack of witty or even useful descriptions and tooltips throughout make the whole game seem much more sterile and flat.

2. The MASSIVE Battle Results bug. So the battle viewer doesn't work well to begin with, cinematic view just sits there doing nothing, but the real issue is that battles that you watch seldom actually turn out the way they are displayed.

For example you have a fleet of four ships, so does the enemy. They start pounding away at each other, and half of their ships get stuck at 0HP, but are still firing away, well no big deal because it glitches for your ships too sometimes, maybe it evens out. Get to the end of the battle, you lost two ships while the enemy lost all four, *whew* tough battle, click "OK". It cuts back to the galactic map and what do you know the enemy has two ships that survived and your whole fleet has been destroyed. This occurs in my games in about 50% of all battles, and 9 times out of 10 to my detriment.

Because it often works against the player I think the problem may be with some of the new ship components such as weapons rechargers that make your guns shoot faster but do less damage, or maneuvering jets that get you in range of the enemy quicker and allow you to dodge a few of their shots. My guess is these new components work correctly in the viewer, but the actual battle results use a different equation solely based upon weapon and defense numbers. The AI doesn't use these components much.

As it is, this a game breaker. Playing in pre-release with no battle-viewer was boring but acceptable for pre-release. This now working (kinda) version does nothing but add frustration, and if my hypothesis concerning new components not working in battle is true the situation is even worse since the new ship components are one of Gal Civ 3's few major pluses over its predecessors.
I hope they continue to flesh out this iteration. The game engine, though a bit glitchy and poorly optimized (jump from one side of the galaxy to the other on a large map and the game hangs for a good 15 seconds) seems remarkably versatile. I think there is some great potential here, and I look forward to some improvements.

As it stands if asked if you should purchase this game I’d be split 50/50 at full price, but I would say definitely get it if they fix the battle results bug. Until they do I cannot justify the purchase unless it’s on sale.
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42 of 45 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
126.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 19, 2015
So here is review from someone who has passionately played the gal civ series for a while. TLDR; I'd recommend if you are a serious fan of 4x space games or a gal civ fan, but not for most people (yet)

So what are the positives?
++The game has far finer control for making custom races
+The ship creator is much more detailed
+++The mechanic of ships having roles is actually pretty interesting (if a bit weird to figure out at first)
+++The addition of space resources to harvest for powerful buildings and ship weaponry and fleet boosting modules is pretty awesome and can really change the way the game plays out
++The wide number of tech trees makes custom races feel more unique, and each race feels more unique for the tech trees
+Space combat is pretty interesting both due to a large number of support modules and ship roles.
+The new space ports (which i hated at first) have grown on me. Now you can build big vessels by focusing five worlds together, which means that those massive vessels late game won't take 150 turns to build.
+More support buildings make it easier to specialize worlds and create more powerful empires earlier on.
+++The new morality system is much more rewarding than the old system, as it grants you bonuses in every alignment based on how many points you spend in each area. It really makes your empire feel like the sum of its choices instead of just paying money to change alignment.

Now for the negatives
---Planetary invasions are as dull as dishwater. There are no battle scenes, rather you just look at the planet to find out your odds. This needs MASSIVE support to fix.
---Still no customization of invasion forces. I would love to see it set up so you could choose how you want your invasion forces to look (even something simple like 30% infantry, 25% Heavy vehicles, 15% anti air, 30% air support would be a nice improvement in my opinion).
---Diplomacy is god awful in this game. No matter how close you are to a race, if they are stronger than you, they will attack you. It doesn't matter how many fleets you destroy with your super vessel, as long as their combined stats are higher than yours, then they don't care. I built, for example, a ship with over 400 stats in every offensive and defensive role, and could wipe out entire enemy fleets with every turn using that ship. I was destroying them as quickly as they could spam them, however, so the AI never let me sue for peace. Pretty broken mechanic imo.
--I wish you had the option that no player can build anything in another's ZOC. It really ticks me off that the AI keeps building starbases in my territory, then I have to either bribe them to give it to me, go to war with them, or accept that I can't have those resources, which really sucks.
--The campaign seems like a boring tutorial more than the in-depth fun storylines they used to be.

So overall do I recommend this game? Yes, I do. If you are a fan of stardock, gal civ, or are a huge fan of space 4x games. But unless you fall into one of those categories, I would recommend you try out Gal Civ 2 first, and wait for more support on this game. The good news is they plan on supporting Gal Civ 3 for a long time, so I am sure these issues will be addressed.
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50 of 64 people (78%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
144.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 4, 2015
I really wanted to like this game and have this be my new go-to science fiction 4X TBS. However, simple features that should have been in the release version of the game are still missing (features that exist in the predecessor, Galactic Civilizations II which I also own). Where is espionage (You know, the biggest reason anyone would choose to play the Krynn, one of the MAJOR factions in the game) ? The game has been out almost 4 months and they just finished "Mega Events", half of which ended up in a separate DLC that costs $5. I can't recommend purchasing a game from a company that doesn't deliver core game features before releasing DLC. Get your ♥♥♥♥ together Stardock.
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65 of 97 people (67%) found this review helpful
78 people found this review funny
716.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2015
Pro's: Addicting ship designer...
Cons: Addicting ship designer....

400 hours forgetting this was a 4x game.

10/10 Best Spaceship Building Simulator
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