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 (569 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 14, 2015.”

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

“Whatever polish we can get in in the last weeks of Early Access will make the release version shine, but the game is nearly done.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Currently, the beta is all but done. We’re putting the final polish touches on the interface, tweaking the AI and balance, and squeezing as many performance increases in as we can – though we’ve gotten Insane maps down under 3GB of RAM usage, so we’re feeling pretty good.”

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 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


Recommended By Curators

"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 (32)

May 4

Galactic Civilizations III Beta 6.1 Available

Almost there! The latest Galactic Civilizations III beta update adds the interactive tutorial, makes another round of significant AI improvements, tweaks balance game-wide, and more.

Read the full patch notes here:

If you haven’t reviewed Galactic Civilizations III – or it’s been a while, and an update might be worthwhile – we would greatly appreciate it if you would consider doing so. Thanks!

Thank you for your support, and happy conquering!

13 comments Read more

May 1

Galactic Civilizations III Beta 6.1 Opt-in Available

Polish, polish, polish! We’ve released an update to Galactic Civilizations III Beta 6 that tweaks the UI (new hotkeys!), adjusts the AI and general balance, and fixes a pile of bugs.

Read the full patch notes here:

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
Beta 6 is the final approach before Galactic Civilizations III launches for real, and we’re working as hard as we can to make release day a joyous event.

Make sure to check out the Faction Design Contest voting that opened today as well – our community produced some awesomely creative work, and you can download the finalists and honorable mentions into your own game:

Thanks for your support, and happy conquering!

10 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 6 (v0.90)

  • 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

  • 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: 12 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: 15 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
26 of 28 people (93%) found this review helpful
40.1 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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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
229.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
Early Access Review
Much like GalCiv2, I can't get enough......However, I'm getting increasingly perturbed by the constant crashes...Always just when it gets interesting!
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
788.2 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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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
Early Access Review
I'm loving this game. It is not doing much for my social life though. The beta is very playable. There are a few bugs that I have found but you have to dig for them really hard. I highly recomend this.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
Early Access Review
Amazing. Just what I expected to change from GalCivII to III, playing beta, totally worth it. Release date beta update playing like a release date game. 2 thumbs up.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
Early Access Review
If you love this strategy then yes get this game!

I know early access are usually ♥♥♥♥, and usually I'm against them, but if you love space, and you love deeply customizeable strategy, this game is definately for you, I'm really impressed and glad my friend convinced me to buy this early access game.

A lot of options are deeply customizeable, the only bad thing at the moment is the game seems to have a terrible memory leak. Even on my machine which the system requirements for the game should just about be good enough to run on high it tends to struggle after 2 hours. I think this is due to the nature of it being early access.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
This game was almost just an empty hull when it appeared on Early Acces. The progress was slow at the beginning but the game was, and is running stable. There are still bugs but those aren't frequent. It simply feels like a very solid basis and gets better and better with every update. Now the devs are punching out updates quite often and those mostly add many new features and mechanicks to the game. So you don't need to be afraid that the game gets abandoned.
Most of the features are already in the game now so you can enjoy playing already. I still think that the AI is plain stupid but that is a subject to change.
The game looks beautiful. Lots of nice artwork for colonies and events.
Gameplay is like Gal Civ 2 (what is good) but it also has some new features that make sence, so the game looks even better - it is not just a cheap remake.
The ship designer for example looks very nice and is better then in Gal Civ 2 already.
The battles don't look that good jet but I'm sure that this is not the final version of it anyway. (early acces it is)
What makes me feel confident about this game, is that it seems to be built on a solid basis and that the devs know what they are doing so there is not much that could go wrong.
I'm really looking forward into this game when it gets finished because I'm having fun playing already.
If you like round based 4X games, then grab it, you (most likely) won't regret it.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
58.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Early Access Review
An excellent Space 4X game, during a wonderous resurgence of the genre. Devs update quite regularly and frequently, with good additions and changes every time. Also, the battle viewer is gorgeous.

My issue is that it can seem a bit overly complex. Maybe I'm just missing something obvious but the tech tree completely overwhelms me, and I generally just kind of stumble through it without any overall plan.

Occasional overcomplexity (which I'm pretty sure is me missing something anyway) aside, this is a great return to the golden age of 4X gaming and gets a solid recommendation from me.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
Galactic Civilizations 3 is an amazing continuation of the series. It's not even finished yet but im having so much fun, more so than in Galciv 2. I recommend this game to everyone who loves playing a space emperor!
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
136.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 28
Early Access Review
Very good strategy game. The devs handled early access well with twitch.

This game shines on so many levels:
-beautiful maps
-ship design is easy to use
-truely epic map sizes
-custom races are also easy to make
-Expansive tech trees for each of the "stock" races
-stardock made it!
-galactic wonders
- exotic resources
-Ideology tree that is very meaningful
-ground combat/space combat makes you feel like you are running an empire of billions
- much more, but i am tired and have to work early tomorrow
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
46.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
For a game still in beta, Galactic Civilizations III is already a solid 4X game. But it still has bugs, and the campaign is also not available yet, so if you want to play a complete game, wait until the release. But if you are dying for a science fiction strategy game and can live with the bugs, then go get it. And it will continue getting better, even after the release.

You can design your own ships, and not only regarding its weapons and components: you can completely change their look, add blocks and parts to create your own aesthetics and etc. You can make your own unique custom civilizations, give them special traits, characteristics and ships. The visuals are awesome. The game will be fully modable, that is, modders will be able to create incredible things. The battles look epic, but beware that you can't play them, as they are meant to be looked at and see the efficiency of your ships against the enemies. The AI will be getting better and better as the release approaches. There are several events with choices for the player to make, but so far, there are no "massive" events that change gameplay or add new factions, which I would like a lot to be added. Also, the devs are awesome and listen to their fans.

The game series has a very interesting story, which you can take a look at here ( and here ( But even if you aren't interested in the story, you can always play a normal game outside of the yet to come campaign and create your own backstory.

One of the things I feel that is lacking in the game though is a deeper soul. It need politics, bigger events (like I mentioned above) and more things to illustrate the universe and your civilization. But the devs do have plans to include LOTS of interesting things in the expansions to come... so I have hope for these features.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Early Access Review
If you enjoyed Gal Civ II and loved it, Gal Civ III is shaping up to be a very nice addition to the series. While incomplete the core elements are very present in the way the game plays. The only frustrations you may have is that this game is still beta so not everything is there yet. Occasionally you will see something that doesnt quite work or doesnt seem as intuitive as it should be. If you dont jump on the beta make sure you come back and take a serious look when it is released.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Early Access Review
hi everyone to put it simply ,BUY THIS GAME it really worth it .... im a fan of 4x and this one is my favorite by far ( and it not even finish yet ) i would recommend this game for all those who love 4 x . continue your great work stardock
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Early Access Review
The game remains a classic, while adding lots of fun elements to it.

The capacity to fully customize a ship's form and the new possibilities for creating custom races (including synthetic races) are the two top points in my way of seeing it.

Recommended with honor. :)
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
44.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 24
Early Access Review
If you like Civ5 or Endless Legend, you will love this.

My favorite features are the great custom civilization system and the huge game map.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
Early Access Review
It's getting there. Frustrating during first few patches with key features missing, labeled as a beta but played more like an alpha for a month or two. Recent patches greatly improve gameplay though, definitly looking like its gonna be worth a shot, especially if someone can convince them to allow user control of ship targets in combat (yaya its not a space sim, but seriously dont make me just watch the dumbfounded captains of my ships fly right past their target without firing a shot then wheel around and start firing at them from behind... all while taking fire...). Thumbs up
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
54.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 24
Early Access Review
This game is beautiful. Its becoming more and more stable with each patch, problems are being identified by both the developers and community and bugs are being repaired promptly. The developers are very enthuiastic about GalCiv III and this shows in the performance. On release this is going to be a superb 4x strategy game, anyone who has played and enjoyed previous Gal Civ titles is going to love this.

According to the latest Dev Stream, the first campaign mission is going to include an epic battle, I honestly cant wait to see the campaign.

Hghly recommended for any person that loves 4x strategy games. 10/10 and they havent even finished optimizing yet.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
384.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
Early Access Review
So when I heard Paul was back making GalCiv3 I had to go check it out. Then I find out could preorder the Elite Founders Package and get all future content for $99. It took me all of about 3 seconds to log in and buy Gal Civ3. I have been playing a few games a week since. I will admit I played more GalCiv2 than GalCiv3 in Alpha, but I have not even played GalCiv2 in about 2 months.

GalCiv3 is shaping up to be the best space 4X game that has ever been made. The game is about to be released and most all the major CTD or game stopping bugs have been fixed. Now I find myself playing a game as often as I can with several over the weekends.

Here is what I love about the game: (I have about 350 hrs of game play atm)
-Graphics- Brilliant!!!
Huge maps up to 5 times the size of GalCiv2, but I mainly play on Huge.
I love getting anomalies with my flagship. I really like atm you can buy the other races flagships to hunt even more anomalies. I am sure this will get fixed soon thou. Also I hope they add back the color system of the anomalies from GalCiv2. I hate clicking on a wormhole until all the good anomalies are gone from my area.
It will be nice when Stardock upgrades them to be more like Sins. I would love to pay or give ships to the pirates to attack random AI players. Paul said there is more planned options but for a latter DLC.
-Adjacency system-
Basically you have to place like buildings near each other to boost the value. Also with this new system there are lots of building types and not all races have the same buildings.
There are lots of terraforming options. Now when you look at the planet management screen you see a map with land masses. Pretty much every hex you see that is on land you will eventually be able to terraform it. Oh how I miss the galactic wonder to auto update all tiles from GalCiv2.
-Tech Trees-
Each race has its own tech tree. Each tree has 4 areas (Colonization, Engineering, Warfare, and Governance) that are spaced out over 3 ages. A player has to think about what to upgrade now vs just getting to the best weapon/def combo and kill everything.
I love building these. I swear I build a neutral zone with one of these every few inches on my boarders. The same bases are back and we get a new one, Mining. Now there are tradable resources to mine for new buildings, weapons, and ship support systems. I will admit I cannot wait until there is an auto build click option for upgrading Starbases. I swear I spent most my time sending constructors to Starbases. At least this time you can have more than one module on a constructor.
This go around not every planet can make a ship. At first I hated this. Now with having a shipyard being sponsored with up to 5 planets you can manage you ship building much more easily. Plus with a great planet set up you can build huge ships in just a few turns.
-Battle viewer-
Watching your ships in action is great the first few times in a game. Then after you have 20+ battles a turn you are happy Stardock left in the old auto resolve option. I hope they add a click option to always auto resolve. I will turn in on after I have 5+ fleets in action.
This time around the default ships are not that bad…Still mine are way better…
This time around you cannot just spam build one type of ship. You need assault ships, escorts for your larger ships, guardian ships for your carriers. YES we have carriers this time and they are currently very OP. They start each battle with a number of drone ships loaded up with your best tech to kill all aliens in your path.
-Custom races-
This just got put in and I love it. I am making races left and right. The default ones are pretty easy to beat. I need more options: logos, pictures, backgrounds, etc… I keep hearing Paul talk about Jennifer, I think that is her name, and how she is god’s gift to coding most of all the goodies in the game along with the UI.
-Ideological Traits-
Basically your good, evil, neutral options. This time your actions take one of 3 paths which give points to buy traits in one of the three trees. You can stay in one tree or spread them out over all of them. Down side is the more you buy the more it costs. So maxing out all the trees is pretty impossible now. I only can pick about 20% of 1 tree now. The points are still under progress I am sure they will change upward soon.

Things I know will get fixed and I am holding my breath waiting
One of the things I loved about GalCiv2 was the AI. GalCiv2 has 12 levels of difficulty and I have only been able to win on level 9 and that is only about 25% of the time. I think one of my best memories of the AI in GalCiv2 was when I was building up my fleets near the neutral zone getting ready to invade when the AI contacts me. I get a message that he has seen me do this before and he attacks me before I am ready and the game was over. Currently I am unable to lose on GalCiv3 the AI just is unable to anticipate my game play or put up much of a challenge. This is not to say it will be that way for everyone. I do have a million or more game plays since 2003. Brad will fix this. He likes it when the AI beats up on players…..
I love the current UI, the concept, and all the options. The only problem is the AI does not value things the way a player does..YET! Devs read the forums every day and update the AI based on player’s feedback. Although it is pretty fun to sell things I never need to the AI for items they need but think they are better suited in my hands….ha-ha
-Control N-
I think I miss this option more than any other option from GalCiv2. If you do not know that is how you can restart a game once you have loaded up a map if you do not like what you see. Also works anytime in the game.
-Ship Builder-
Better UI management and easy way to sort ships you want to use. In GalCiv2 it was easy to only have a few ships at a time in your window to choose from, here not so much.
-Steam workshop support-
I cannot wait to see what the players come up for mods to play with this game. I also hate building ships but love downloading great ship builder’s designs to use in my games….

I hope this review helps…
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
Early Access Review
I am a "founder" and love this game!!
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 25
Early Access Review
Probably the best 4x game there is currently.
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