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 (143 reviews) - 75% of the 143 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (5,255 reviews) - 77% of the 5,255 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 Pack 2017

Includes 6 items: Ashes of the Singularity, Galactic Civilizations III, Offworld Trading Company, Sins of a Solar Empire®: Rebellion, Sorcerer King, The Political Machine 2016

SPECIAL PROMOTION! Offer ends August 29

Buy Galactic Civilizations III - Mercenaries Expansion Pack


Recent updates View all (60)

August 23

New Campaign, Ship Parts and Styles in The Altarian Prophecy DLC

Face Down Enemies and Forge New Alliances in The Altarian Prophecy DLC
Check out the new campaign and explore new ship parts and styles for more customization

New Campaign
Discover the story of the alliance between mankind and the Altarians! Spanning 3 missions, you must do whatever it takes to overcome the Dominion of the Korx and their mysterious masters, the Drath.

New Ship Styles
Customize your ships with classic ship styles! This DLC includes the Drath and Korx styles.

New Ship Parts
Explore dozens of classic ship parts and build some of your favorite Galactic Civilizations II ships.

The Altarian Prophecy DLC is now available over at Steam or Stardock.

11 comments Read more

August 22

Galactic Civilizations III v1.82 Update Released

Welcome to our August update.  We've focused on addressing crashes, stuck turns, issues with the notification system, and bugs.   Please read below for info.

UI Stability improvements: We've increased the number of UI widgets by 4x. Extreme games (e.g large maps, hundreds of fleets, etc.) will now be more stable.  We have also fixed numerous issues with the new notification system.

Gameplay: We've fixed a ship trading exploit and several gameplay bugs.  In addition, we have made some treaties free for alliance members.

Rise of the Terrans DLC: Updated campaign to use a new United Earth  "classic" ship style that better represents ships of that galactic era.  As part of that change, you now can select United Terrans ship style for your custom races and choose from over twenty new "classic" ship parts for your ship designs.  

Change Log
  • Increased the number of UI widgets by 4x. Extreme games (e.g large maps, hundreds of fleets, etc.) will be now be more stable.
  • Removed a previous change to the autosave system from 1.81 that was causing crashes and corrupting save games in multiplayer.
  • Stray particle effects from battles were traveling across the galaxy before timing out.  This appeared to be a stuck turn.  This should no longer happen.
  • Adjusted AI evaluation of the "Open Borders" and "Non-Aggression Pact" treaties such that these treaties are free for alliance members.  
  • The "ignore defense" ability (from tech such as "Shield Punch") were not properly applying their damage. This has been fixed.  
  • Gave Pirate faction traits user-friendly names since they are showing up in some campaign diplomacy reports.
  • Ships with "One-Per-Player" components are no longer tradable.  This prevents an exploit that allowed players to get around the "One-Per-Player" restriction.  These ships are disabled on the trade screen and include a tooltip explaining that they cannot be traded.
  • The shipyard button "continue making this design until further notice" wasn't checking prereqs when deciding if it should be enabled for a build queue entry.
  • Notifications no longer interfere with game inputs on the left side of the screen.
  • Notifications are now refreshed only at the start of the game and start of a new turn.  This prevents creates gaps in the list in the mid-turn.
  • When adding a ship to the build queue, the list will automatically scroll to the bottom.
  • Clicking on shipyards in the Shipyard List now centers the camera on it and select it.
  • Fixed staked ship bar scaling issues for normal and medium UI
  • Renamed generic tech tree to "Generic Tech Tree".  It was mislabeled as "Terran Tech Tree".
  • Unowned asteroid fields now say "nearest owned planet" rather than "assigned planet" in their tooltip and selection context.
  • Fixed a crash caused by alerts that have no tooltip.
  • Added tooltip to Ship Level entry when viewing single ships on the Fleet Details Window.
  • Fixed a bug where the Invite Friends dialog would do nothing if the Steam Overlay was disabled. The button is now disabled with a tooltip explaining why.
  • Fixed bug where a player who dies in a mp game but stays around to watch the other players play would send an invalid match report.
  • Mercenaries:
    • Added warning if building a starbase upgrade will consume a constructor with mercenary components on it.
    • Building a starbase using the Mercenary ship "The Crux" now provides the correct influence bonus.
  • DLC
    • Rise of the Terrans: Updated United Terrans to use a "classic" ship style that better represents ships of that galactic era.  
    • Rise of the Terrans: Added United Terrans ship style.
    • Rise of the Terrans: Added over twenty "classic" ship parts.
    • Rise of the Terrans: Fixed assorted typos.
    • Rise of the Terrans: fixed bad Xendar homeworld name in diplomatic report screen.
    • Lost Treasures: Fixed a misleading bonus description with the Atomic Polarizer event.
    • Lost Treasures: Fix incorrect description on the Elemental Extractor Lost Treasure event.

12 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
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (143 reviews)
Mostly Positive (5,255 reviews)
Recently Posted
Karl The Butcher Shitter
65.2 hrs
Posted: August 25
I am thumbing this game down not because it's actually terrible (even though it is indeed very flawed), but out of protest towards the endless stream of DLC when Stardock could be making actual proper expansions instead. Instead of spending their time making meaningful expansions they are ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ out one DLC pack after another for 5 bucks each (this quickly adds up if you are going to buy many DLC packs), and thus even though it's been a long ♥♥♥ time since this game came out it still barely has any new features. This is unacceptable.

Perhaps I MIGHT change my rating in the future if they actually start releasing new content that is actually worth a damn and address pre-exiting issues, but in the meantime I am giving this a thumbs down.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
74.4 hrs
Posted: August 25
Fun game but does have its errors.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.7 hrs
Posted: August 24
Very Embarassed I spent 80$ for 2 unplayable copys of this game. I have been a stardock fan antil now. this is the worst rotten tomaoto I have ever seen hit steam along side it had decent reviews on youtube people had posted I think those reviews are fake and paid for now. games completely unplayable Ive had it for longer then 2 weeks played very little due to crashes every 5-10 turns most people cant play muitiplayer at all. I have played and hour or 2 of this game and I have a brand new pc. I can do VR so handling this game specs should not be a problem. just the devolopers of this game shady about game reviews. I played galactic civ 2 it was good but this is garbage Dont buy this game save your money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fallen Angel
115.5 hrs
Posted: August 24
Awesome game that lives up to its predecessors, I loved the previous games and I love this one just as much.

It's the spiritual sucessor to the old Masters of Orion, this game only misses being able to control your ships yourself.

Just lost a game, and still highly reccomend it :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
53.4 hrs
Posted: August 24
Very fun to make your own faction
Helpful? Yes No Funny
45.3 hrs
Posted: August 24
Having fun playing a game series I enjoyed for years!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
40.0 hrs
Posted: August 24
A game with massive depth, and quite challenging. Definitley one of the best 4x games Ive played, although the tutorial needs to be more thorough. On very large maps managing assets can be a pain in the neck. But overall, a very engaging game with alot of depth.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
679.6 hrs
Posted: August 24
Great game - far more than just a normal 4x, this environment enables the player to pursue methods of domination far beyond simply "Exterminate!" (Although you can still do that to, if that's your bent.)

A few teething issues still remain in the more enormous games, but the manufacturer is prompt in dealing with problems and rolls out updates with patches and new content regularly.

As a 20+ year player of strategy games, I would absolutely recommend this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
69.9 hrs
Posted: August 23
game is addictive and fun to play. DLC's should be easier to use with better instructions
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The little Magikarp that could
36.6 hrs
Posted: August 23
Amazing game, simply put. Not my first 4X strategy, but it is definitely my favorite. It has a great deal of depth and awesome lore. Overall 9/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
48 of 59 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
90.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
This game is so good... Too bad it's also pretty bad... :-(

- There are campaigns! Like, a real story mode in a space 4X. Awesome.
- There are numerous different unique races to play.
- Each race has its own very unique characteristics, and its own tech tree.
- The aliens are well animated, and engaging.
- The graphics are top notch.
- The immersion is real. You can roleplay this game, no problem.
- The galaxy creation has all the features you want. And you can make it tiny, or large enough to blow your brain.
- Discovery is fun! The best part of the game, really.
- World building is fun! The second best part of the game.
- Empire management is both challenging and fun!
- You can design your own ships!

- Many little things don't work right, and it adds up. For example, if you have multiple ships/fleets surveying anomalies or exploring the galaxy, they will all go for the exact same spot, so you have to micro-manage them, even though there is an "auto" mode
- Often when multiple fleets are on the same hex, you will think you have one selected, only it's the other, and you will waste turns fixing movement and action errors;
- Fleets will take an arbitrary and often nonsensical path to their destination, and there is no "go through this way" movement. You click and it goes, and you can only hope there is no enemy fleet in the way that it arbitrarily chooses;
- During events a screen will pop up and ask you to make decisions that will affect some aspects of your empire, without any way to check your stats before making the decision. So you are forced to decide blindly.
- Basically half the interactions are badly implemented and ask you to make decisions without providing any way for you to call up the information in order to make the decision in a way that actually makes sense.
- The AI cheats. Blatantly, even on the easiest modes. Get the most technology-favored race, and optimize all your worlds for tech. When you meet even the most tech-unfavored alien race, they will already be WAY AHEAD of you. And so on.
- Too many things are completely random. One game I had 5 level 20+ planets (really awesome worlds) while other civs had none, and sparse level 10-12 worlds. Other times it will be the other way around. One time the strategic resources were pretty much absent, but one medium-sized empire had all 7 antimatter deposits in its control area. So basically the game randomly decides who will win before you play the first turn. I would be OK with randomness if the AI played on a level field with the player, but it does not.

There are so many good points about this game, it makes me want to love it. Yet, there are so many bad points, that this burgeoning love is never allowed to grow. Stardock really *COULD* fix the numerous issues, some of which form a collection of minor annoyances which are only hurting the game due to their numbers. And then there is the AI. It is said that GalCiv2 had one of the best AIs around. I have no idea what they did here, but there is no AI, only cheats.

Bottom line, if you want to play a game where the outcome is decided almost before you start playing, then you should get this game. Otherwise, sadly, I recommend you pass, because you'll be disappointed. Of course, there is also the multiplayer, although I have not tried that.
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16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Starbases. Those gorram starbases! And that an opponent can plop one right above your planet early on and you have to declare war to remove it. What is the point of having a border!? I really wanted to enjoy it, the planet interface is nice and interesting, but there is just too many things going on that is distracts from the fact that rapid early expansion is really the only way to play. Expand quickly and take every planet you can and then pump out starbases as fast as you can and then build up your planets. That's boring and depends mostly on the luck of the map. There are no limiters or expectation of steady outward growth. Just not for me and I wouldn't recommend it to my friends.
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23 of 32 people (72%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
43.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
A nice game, but nothing spectacular. Here's my breakdown.

Endless ship design customization
Smart AI
Pretty good diplomacy options (compared to competitors)

Incredibly boring ship design customization
Zero combat control

Overall, this game caters to those who are already big Gal Civ fans, but it lacks the depth to hold other people for too long.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
316.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
I really like Gal Civ 3 when it WORKS! My suggestion to Stardock is to stop releasing DLC and fix the bugs, mainly memory leak issues. My PC is an Intel 3570K with 8 GB of ram and a ATI 390 with 8 GB of ram so this way above the recommended specfications that Stardock states.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
65.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
After a few months the game stoped working. Iv tryed next to everything to get it to play again. Not sure why this happened?
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
86.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Takes forever to load, multiplayer matches crash every ~6 turn or so. I'm pretty much disappointed because of such nuisances.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
256.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Have always loved Gal Civ. This one is consistent with the others. Mostly a graphical update with some new features and structure. Same formula, just better.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
92.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Great game but campaigns are too short.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
78.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
I am a big fan of the Civilization franchise, and of the Master Of Orion games (old school). This game reminds me of both. I am new to this series, and I want to say I look forward to the next game!
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
97.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
I got GC III on the summer sale and so far it was really great. There's plenty of possibilities and I discover new aspects and strategies with every game I start. Here's some of the more interesting aspects about the game:

Look at me - I'm a space race:
You get to choose a civilization and go develop, expand, explore and conquer. Alternatively you can create your own species, which is a load of fun: Choose strenghts and weaknesses, splash screens and your leader's avatar, the look of your ships, the tech tree and some more things. I created Space Horses. Ahahahaha, their leader is actually a horse in a space suit. Anyway.

Many a way to victory:
The game comes with 6 ways to win the game: You can conquer all other races, you can bring 3/4 of the galaxy under your cultural influence, you can win by negotiating alliances with all other races - and there's still a couple more ways!
That said, the easiest way to win is with war. The other ways take a rather long time, so expanding through warfare is the only way that feels like you're making progress.

What I really like is the possibility to trade technologies with other races. What I don't like is the limited influence you have of the diplomatic doings in the galaxy: Your allies will wage war against one another and you have no means at your disposal to stop them from doing that. Also it would have been nice if your allies automatically joined your side whenever an outside race declares war on you. Then what are alliances for anyway?

Pimp my fleet:
The possibilities for outfitting your fleet are endless. The arms and countermeasures follow a traditional rock-paper-scissors-scheme. But there are plenty more things you can stuff in a space ship hull: warfare tools, fleet range enhancers, repare modules, exploration modules...but there's more to the fleet editor!
You can select your races ship hulls from a range of sets. But when designing a ship, you can model that ship almost freely, scale and rotate parts and so give every ship type a unique look of its own. If you are patient, this is an awesome tool that adds a lot of player individuality to the colourful world of GC III.

One quick word about the workshop races:
You can upload your race to the steam workshop of GC III for others to download. That is really cool and I addded a lot of workshop races to my game to make games with up to 36 (!) factions more interesting. Some people delivered some really cool races.
Sadly, many players felt it necessary to add bewbs content. Dudes, you have the entire internet to your disposal and is densely plastered with pictures of bewbs! There's absolutely no need to add any to a steam workshop, so please please please keep that to yourself!

All in all: Try this game, it's awesome! Also, bring some time with you, GC is not a game you play for just 10 minutes.
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