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 (133 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 may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until 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.”

How long will this game be in Early Access?

“Galactic Civilizations III will be in Early Access until April 2015, according to our current schedule (which is of course subject to change). During the beta, Galactic Civilizations is available for $44.99, five dollars off its regular $49.99 price.”

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

“Currently, the beta is fun but incomplete. We’re still adding in major gameplay systems – diplomacy, trade, and the United Planets should be added in October with the combat viewer scheduled to follow later this year. Four more races will join the beta as time goes on as well. Plus things like polish and balance, of course, as we go along.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Multiplayer is fully functional. Core gameplay systems work. AI is pretty dumb by 2014 standards. Half the races aren’t in the game yet, nor are diplomacy, trade, the United Planets, or the combat viewer.”

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

“Galactic Civilizations III is $5 off during Early Access.”

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 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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Recent updates View all (9)

September 11

Galactic Civilizations III Beta Patch 0.42 Released

We've released an update to the Galactic Civilizations III beta. Simply fire up your Steam client, and it should download the 0.42 patch automatically.

Galactic Civilizations III 0.42 adds huge hulls, improves load times, and fixes several bugs.

Our next major patch, Beta 2, is scheduled for an October release and adds diplomacy and much more to the game. Check out the full tentative development schedule here (http://forums.galciv3.com/452909).

Thanks for playing, and happy conquering!


*** GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III BETA 0.42 PATCH NOTES ***

Features

  • Enabled Huge Hulls
  • Game loads faster
Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where ships designed in MP games didn't save properly, causing parts to appear at odd rotations and sizes
  • Fixed an issue causing Star bases to ignore logistics points
  • Fixed a crash when attacking from a planet to an adjacent enemy ship
  • Fixed an issue where colony ships would double population after being upgraded
  • Fixed a crash during battles
  • Fixed an issue that could cause valid attack and defense on ships to appear greyed out
  • Fixed an issue keeping restrictions on some improvements from being enforced
  • Fixed a crash using symmetry in the ship designer
  • Fixed a crash when attempting to add a sponsor to a shipyard
  • Fixed an issue where ships could disappear (the player was able to select the terrain which hid everything else in the tile)

9 comments Read more

September 4

Beta 0.42 Opt-in patch now available

A minor patch for the Galactic Civilizations beta is available now on Steam on an opt-in basis. Huge hulls, faster load times, and bugfixes are ready for testing. This patch should go live to everyone soon if no major issues are discovered.

To get the opt-in patch, do the following:
Right-click Galactic Civilizations III in your Steam library
Open the Betas tab
In the drop-down menu, select “opt-in”
Steam should automatically update your game

Patch notes:
Features
Enabled Huge Hulls
Game loads faster

Fixes
Fixed an issue where ships designed in MP games didn't save properly, causing parts to appear at odd rotations and sizes
Fixed an issue causing starbases to ignore logistics points
Fixed a crash when attacking from a planet to an adjacent enemy ship
Fixed an issue where colony ships would double population after being upgraded
Fixed a crash during battles
Fixed an issue that could cause valid attack and defense on ships to appear greyed out
Fixed an issue keeping restrictions on some improvements from being enforced
Fixed a crash using symmetry in the ship designer
Fixed a crash when attempting to add a sponsor to a shipyard
Fixed an issue where ships could disappear (the player was able to select the terrain which hid everything else in the tile)

4 comments Read more
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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 1 (v0.40)

  • Conquer the stars
    Play as the Terran Alliance, Drengin Empire, Altarian Resistance, or Iridium Corporation
  • Compete with friends
    Up to 4-player online multiplayer for the first time in franchise history
  • Explore random maps
    Tiny/small/medium/large maps available, huge and immense still in development
  • Colonize new worlds
    Develop and terraform habitable planets into teeming tourist paradises, hellish forgeworlds, and anything in between
  • Race-specific technology
    Each race moves through the Ages of Expansion, War, and Ascension its own way
  • 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
  • Invade the enemy
    Spread your empire across the galaxy through force (diplomatic, cultural, and scientific victory conditions still in development)

Future Features

  • Additional races
    Play as the Yor Singularity, Thalan Contingency, Iconian Refuge, or Krynn Syndicate
  • Choose your path
    Dominate the galaxy through military force, diplomatic intrigue, cultural hegemony, or scientific research
  • Reimagined combat
    Set your strategy and watch titanic clashes between grand fleets unfold in real-time
  • Diplomacy
    Interact, trade with, and threaten other races to accomplish your goals
  • Minor factions
    Conquer or befriend races that don’t share your galactic ambitions
  • 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
  • And lots more!

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: 3 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: 5 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
242 of 306 people (79%) found this review helpful
24.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
When is beta a beta?
When about half of the UI buttons are greyed-out and read "COMING SOON" and your game is missing one of its' major mechanics (the Diplomacy in its' entirety)... Yeah, I'm sorry Stardock, but you don't get to call your game a "beta" yet. Late-alpha at most. Certainly nowhere near beta.
When the chance of getting the game running off the bat is something of a 50-50 due to a graphical bug that can render all UI text invisible, you're not a beta.
Now, I only recently got into the Gal Civs 3 "beta" but from what I've gathered on the game's forum, that little issue has been around since the last apha build. So there's that to look forward to if you just got the game.
The issue's "easily averted" by telling the game to not use your dedicated graphics card. And once you're past that, well then- Welcome to Gal Civs 3: COMING SOON. Ok, I won't rip on an Early Access game for not having all its' features present. But really?
"Beta" implies you're "feature-complete". I.e- you've implemented all of the major mechanics and features you intend for your game and are balancing and tweaking them for best effect, along with dusting for the odd bug.
The current state of the Gal Civs 3 "Beta 1" is missing all sorts of features. From tactical combat to the above-mentioned Diplomacy mechanic. Instead, once you meet another faction you're immediately considered "at war forever", which makes playing against more than one opponent tricky at best since they will all kinda gang-up on you. Even if they them selves are technically at war with eachother, the AI will much prefer targeting your ships and colonies over other factions'.
Targeting ships and other stellar... targets (wow, such vocabulary) in itself is kind of underwhelming since fleets in themselves aren't really a thing yet either. Meaning most of the combat will involve single ships. Winners are auto-determined by a stat-check and apparently nobody bothered telling captains that retreat is an option.
The game also seems to have a hard time letting go of its' pre-made ship designs. It generates a "new version" of the stock designs every time you unlock a new technology (even if it had nothing to do with spaceships). What's either sadder or funnier about it (also irritating) is that they're not even slightly different than the previous version it gave you. Unless you've unlocked a new module, that Corvette M1459 will be the same as the Corvette M1458. It just adds the next number up after the name of the design. No, game... I know you spent many a sleepless night over those blueprints but why would I use designs that are inferior to the ones I come up with. That and mine are inspired by Star Trek... Yours look good and all, but again... Star. Trek. (I mean the designer literally has all the parts you need to make your own TOS Enterprise or TNG Warbird.)
Speaking of the ship designer. Who's the genious that made the background pitch black and then gave the parts' no lighting effects when viewed from below? I already wear glasses. You're not helping, game... The camera controls are also glitchy at times and somewhat frustrating, but that can be deat with. The designer also fails to tell you what direction is forward. Or to give you a unified indication of which direction you're augmenting a part (dimensions are relative in space). So if you ever wanted to see how the USS Enterprise moves in reverse... You can do that...
Other than that, I don't have any major complaints. Some part models are missing thumbnails and the player-made ships don't have thumbnails as well, but at this time, that's a non-issue.
The designer is really impressive, quirks aside. Other "reviewers" compare it to the Spore one, since I'm guessing the one from Gal Civs 2 is before their time. But to compare it to its' past iterration would be like comparing a crossbow and a rifle.
Although not that graphically advanced, the fidelity of the game's textures is impressive. I can see why they're going for the whole "64-bit development only". And both the devs and I do mean it- if you're hoping to somehow frankenstein this on a 32-bit machine- forget it, the warning at the top of the Steam page is there for a reason. Even the smallest maps available are quite big and the game renders everything at all times. Ship icons on the map are the fully-rendered model of the ship in question, rendered to its' fullest. There can be a dozen black holes on the map, all animated and spinning at all times, as well as stars with planets and moons; and although planets don't spin around their suns (yet?), the moons do. There's also nebulae, dust clouds and asteroid fields, as well as randomly generated wormholes that can be used as shortcuts around the map (if you don't mind not knowing where you'll end up). And everything's always on. For all factions. The game doesn't drop a single model off memory.
Which means that A) It runs like a truck. Alt-Tabbing is guresome, albeit not impossible, even when running it in a window. Loading times are also a pain. With optimisation it's probably gonna get better. But then again B) The actual in-game response is really nice. Once everything's been loaded at least once, the only long waits you're gonna have are if you're loading between multiple saves. You'll still get the odd stutter but that's usually when the game autosaves and takes only a second.
The technology and ideology trees are vast. Really, really vast. If you thought the "tech-web" from the upcoming Civ: Beyond Earth was staggering... This might just one-up it. While not an "interconnecting web with randomised technologies" and still sticking to the tried-and-true linear tree, each faction gets its' own, separate, technologies with different benefits, increasing the variety available to the player. The whole "age of expansion, war and ascention" thing means that at certain times, different techs will cost more or less turns, depending on what tree they're from. Since the ages actually progress as you research technologies under them, it also means that you can't actually research every single technology (as far as I can assume, haven't gotten to the end yet; will change as I do).
The ideology system is equally interesting, albeit as of yet not fully-featured. As you colonise worlds you'll get events with a Pragmatic, Benevolent or Merciless resolution. Each adding to a pool of points you can spend towards some form of passive benefit. That's pretty much all there's to it right now but I'm intrigued at how they advance this feature.
And that sums it up, for now. The AI is from what I can tell limited to "expand as much as possible and produce as many ships as possible" which usually means they have control of about half the map by the time you encounter them and from then-on you get regularly assaulted by the stock "bomber" ships of the faction of your choosing, only later, and then still rarely, being "graced" by a larger vessel's incursion. Imagine someone releasing a swarm of mosquitoes that only comes in small waves and you have a bug-zapper and infinite supply of repellant. Not really a challenge unless on higher difficulties but I'm expecting that to change once they add Diplomacy and fully-feature the tactical combat.
Other than that, I have nothing else to say about the Galactic Civilisations 3 "Beta".
Due to Steam insisting on the "yay-or-nay" system, I'm going to "thumb up" this just because I have faith in the franchise.
However. I will insist on what I said in the begining. A "beta" is "feature-complete" and Gal Civs 3 is anything but that. Do not buy into it at its' current version ("Beta 1"/Ver 0.40) unless you're absolutely OK with not having a fully-featured game. As a long-stanging Kerbal Space Program fan, I can deal with that. But you need to answer that question for yourself. Think before you buy.

Addendum: I would strongly recommend the opt-in patch.
Posted: August 19
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318 of 447 people (71%) found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game is great, in its current state you can have hours of fun in a single battle spanning over a large map. I like the research as it currenty is and the shipbuilder looks like its going to be the best of its kind, its actually very similar to the spore animal builder but looks like it'll work a lot better. Its in a great state for an early-mid alpha and a rock solid foundation for the best GalCiv game yet.

Unfortunatly thats why and the only reason why I've given it a thumbs down, they are selling it as a beta, I bought it as a beta only to boot it up and find its nowhere near out of alpha. I can't even get more than 3 ships in a fleet vet which is making battles quite difficult later on. Probably a good 50% of features are missing.

However I will change my review when this changes and the version actually represents the game state. I'm sure this is going to an excellent game, just don't expect to get a feature filled game, its not beta yet.



Posted: August 17
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169 of 242 people (70%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Let me start out by saying this will be an amazing game. I picked it up last night when it hit Beta. I have played alot of Beta and Alpha games, this my friends is Alpha no two ways about it.

So unless you are into Alpha testing and feedback wait a bit on this one.
Posted: August 15
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150 of 213 people (70%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Having spent many, many hours playing "Galactic Civilizations II", I was really excited to get my hands on this. It's a for 4x space strategy game for the uninitiated, but much more than that for those familiar with its inner workings. For one, you can custom design your own ships from the ground up as opposed to being restricted to certain designs. "Galactic Civilizations III" dances to a familiar tune but introduces some new gameplay mechanics (like Ideology) that fans of "Sid Meier's Civilization V" will be familiar with (it's similar to culture). Having played the Beta for some time (I managed to get early access), I'm pleased to report that it's shaping up to be everything I expected and more.

While I explore this game more, feel free to check out an hour's worth of Beta footage via the below videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt6sPzICbe8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWHBpFJmya0
Posted: August 14
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110 of 156 people (71%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Buying this, when I did, was not a good idea. The game is quite a bit earlier in the developement cycle than I had thought. Advancement is slow with some updates being made every 30 or 40 days. To say that the game is currently "playable" is a large stretch with very few game types functional and very few races available but there is no way to actually finish a game presently. The ship designer kind of works, and you can research stuff (well, you can pick stuff), but there is no combat at the moment.

I wouldn't drop this kind of money on an unfinished product again. I know these guys will finish this and do damned good job, but it is too much money for a game that is a long way off with too many things that can happen between now and then. I'm also a little angry because it is totally diminishing my anticipation of the finished game when it releases. I've unistalled it.
Posted: August 5
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