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 (176 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 14, 2014

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

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 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, and we do weekly livestreams 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.”
Read more
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

AUTUMN SALE! Offer ends December 2


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 (12)

November 5

Win $1,000 in the GalCiv III Ship Designer Contest!

Get cracking on the best darn ship you can put together, because we’re adding eight finalists’ designs to the release version of Galactic Civilizations III – and entering those eight finalists into a community-voted bracket that awards $1,000 to the ultimate winner.

Submit your ship to the contest here.

Here’s how it works:

Anyone can enter the contest – you don’t even need to personally own a copy of the game. Simply submit your design via screenshot, and the Galactic Civilizations III team will hand-pick eight finalists who will have their design included in the final game.

Once those finalists are chosen, we’ll run a community-voting bracket where you all get to determine who advances toward the grand prize of $1,000.

The schedule looks like this:

  • November 5-16: Submissions are open.
  • November 16: Submissions close.
  • November 19-21: The bracket begins with Round 1, Matchup 1. Voting is open to the community. Whoever gets the most votes advances.
  • November 22-24: Round 1, Matchup 2 is open for voting.
  • November 25-27: Round 1, Matchup 3.
  • November 28-30: Round 1, Matchup 4.
  • December 1-3: Semifinals, Matchup 1.
  • December 4-6: Semifinals, Matchup 2.
  • December 7-9: Final Round! Fight!
  • December 10: The ultimate winner is announced.
  • December ??: Beta 3 released, adding ship-to-ship combat, the Yor faction, and much more to the game!
Good luck, and don’t forget to check back for the voting rounds that begin on November 19!

# # #

Let me stop you right there and suggest that you read the rules of the contest. Many of your questions are answered there.

Is the contest open to non-US residents?
Yes, though every entrant is responsible for knowing the laws of the jurisdiction where they live. All offers void where prohibited.

Can I submit multiple ships?
Yes, but we reserve the right to be annoyed if you spam us, which probably won’t help your chances of being selected. Probably try to stay under five submissions.

Can I submit a ship I designed a while back and posted to the official forums/Steam community?
Sure, any Galactic Civilizations III ship qualifies.

Can I submit a ship made in the Galactic Civilizations II editor?
No. Only ships that can be successfully imported into Galactic Civilizations III are eligible.

I missed the submission deadline. Will you consider my ship, pretty please?
Nope, sorry.

I have another question that isn’t answered here.
If it truly isn’t answered in the rules (it probably is), ask it here or by tweeting @stardock.

2 comments Read more

October 23

Galactic Civilizations III Beta Patch 0.51 Now Available

Today’s patch fixes a pile of bugs (thank you for your bug submissions and crash reports!), cuts memory usage by 30%, and greatly speeds load and shutdown times.

Log into Steam to automatically patch your game.

Galactic Civilizations III Beta 0.51 Patch Notes

  • Tab now ends your turn if there is no actions pending
Major Fixes
  • Fixed lots of crashes (thank you all for submitting crash information, it has been invaluable)
  • Memory utilization significantly reduced (30% less memory needed)
  • Game loads and shuts down much faster
  • Fixed inverted normal maps on flipped UV's (ie: this graphics programmer talk for "the ships look better now")
  • Removed the "Planet Name" debug string on the planet screen
  • Approval tooltip in the upper right now shows population growth
  • Awarded improvements are no longer shown as rushed or about to be completed in queues
  • Better strategic resource tooltip formatting
  • Prettier stat breakdowns that illustrate that indented entries are breakdowns of substats
  • Fixed a mismatched new income preview calculation in govern window vs real-life calculation
  • Fixed a nonsense number of defending ships in the planet tooltip
  • Fixed a crash in multiplayer when 3 players are trading at once
  • Fixed a desync in multiplayer if the player have their autosave turns set differently
  • Fixed a stuck turn caused by the AI trading techs with each other
  • Fixed a crash in battle confirmation
  • Fixed a desync in multiplayer from declaring war by moving onto another players ship
  • Fixed a crash from Galactic Events that target planets
  • Fixed an intermittent crash from the Patent Boards UP resolution
  • Fixed a crash when Pirates capture shipyards
  • Fixed an issue where the game could display the map before being fully loaded
  • Fixed an occasional crash when going into the planet screen
  • Fixed a bad value on the Xeno Archiology module which made relics 500% better than they were supposed to be
  • Fixed an issue where double click on the shipyard/starbase in main list didn't do anything
  • Fixed an endless eject popup loop issue
  • Fixed a crash from cancelled battles
  • Fixed a stuck turn when the AI has a battle planned
  • Shutdown happens much faster
  • Fixed an issue where treaty income wasn't being correctly saved
  • Fixed a crash if you were moving to a rally point and deleted the rally point
  • Fixed a crash if you closed the govern planet screen with hotkeys, then started a new game and opened the planet screen
  • Fixed an issue where you could colonize a planet more than once
  • Fixed an issue where the population popup wasn’t appearing for upgraded constructors departing planets
  • Fixed a crash when unlocking the Persuasion ideology
  • Fixed a crash when the United Planets Headquarters resolution ends

16 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards


“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 2 (v0.51)

  • Conquer the stars
    Play as the Terran Alliance, Drengin Empire, Altarian Resistance, Iridium Corporation, or Krynn Syndicate
  • Compete with friends
    Up to 4-player online multiplayer for the first time in franchise history
  • Explore random maps
    Tiny/small/medium/large/huge maps available, immense and larger still in development
  • 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
  • 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
  • Win your way
    Spread your empire across the galaxy through force, diplomacy, or culture

Future Features

  • Additional races
    Play as the Yor Singularity, Thalan Contingency, or Iconian Refuge
  • Choose your path
    Scientific victory will join existing endgame goals
  • Reimagined combat
    Set your strategy and watch titanic clashes between grand fleets unfold in real-time
  • 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

    • 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
    • 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
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
49.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
Early Access Review
I tried out Gal Civ 2 first when it was deeply discounted after seeing the demo of Gal Civ 3. As many are saying there are a lot of features that seem unfinshed and many of the tech tree options are still unfinished preventing some aspects of the game from being fully reailzed. I would consider it Beta not Alpha because you can play the game to learn the basics and there are many techs to explore. The ai can also easliy beat you if you make mistakes in choices.

I would say the early price was a bit high but again I purchased it at a slight discount.

One of the things that really affects your game overall is something I noticed in the last couple of games. The ships do not always move every turn while I am sure the ai ships do every turn. I have noticed that at times if you do not monitor and move some ships manually they will not move every turn on a pretedermined path set by you.

As well unless I missed it there needs to be some sort of notification when a construction vessel arrives at a starbase. I may have missed the quick way to check it but on a huge map tracking every ship and having to check every starbase for potential upgrades gets annoying.

The ship movement issue is not a Gal Civ issue alone. There are other games that I own that have similar issues but use different game engines. Hopefully it will be resolved.

Overall I would say it is a worthwhile game that looks just like Gal Civ 2 with added features that in time if the MP works well will make this a game worth having.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Early Access Review
((Game still in Beta))

So far the management system is looking rather good. I like how the next button does not show up if you have an idle ship, planet, research, or space dock. At first I was not sure about it, but now I find that it’s actually rather helpful, to let me know if I have a ship I forgot and its doing nothing. So good job on that.

About the diplomatic system. I think its not complete. There was one bill that came in to abolish all current wars, and everyone voted yes, but the 2 wars I was in was not abolished and I was still being attacked. Also there was an election for the chair and the two races I was at war with voted for me. That kinda seems odd, I thought they would vote against me. So perhaps the AI needs some tweaking.

The Difficulty. Maybe the difficulty settings are not complete, but I was playing on the easiest that it allows, and I still found it to be a bit hard. I am a casual gamer. In Galactic Civilizations II, there was a good range of difficulty, the where even some settings that where too easy for me, and some that are too hard. But in GC III, the lowest setting is a bit too hard for a low setting, so I hope even lower, and perhaps higher settings will come in eventually.

I have noticed sometimes while I am in the manage dialogue box for a planet, and hover over a bonus slot, the details are not completely readable due to the box not being big enough.

There is one thing I am hoping that would be added. Galactic Civilizations II for me was nearly a perfect game. It had so many propertys that where awesome about it. but there was one downfall in my opinion. The combat system. Its okay being able to see the battle conspire, but it was still a bit lame. I hope that in Galactic Civilizations III there would be a combat system similar to Star Wars Empire at War. Being able to command the ships you build in battle would greatly take this game to the next level. And I am sure many would agree.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Early Access Review
For Earlly access release i love it so much you can do already and it still has a lot more to be added. I highly recommend it
Was this review helpful? Yes No
11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Early Access Review
I want a combat viewer.....combat viewer.....combat viewer :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
18.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Early Access Review
I am playing Diplomacy Beta right now. It is pretty good. I have some non-critical issues with UI layout, but have had only one crash. The game of course is lacking polish, but I see a serious 4x game here.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
Early Access Review
I found an ancient porn magazine, and it was so filthy that the Population Growth rate rised 50% across the Galaxy (all species included). Would find space porn again....
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Early Access Review
Even though this game is in beta it show's great promise. The developers have made some meaningful changes from its predecessor. In its current beta version it is feature rich but not feature complete. It also shows a exceptional amount of polish.

It is much more than just a GC2 on steroids!

Keep up the great work!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
15.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Early Access Review
Other than the VERY frequent crashes this game is very good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Early Access Review
This game is obviously still in Beta - but it's quite rough with hang ups to be expected every couple hours or so. Fortunately the auto-save feature loads your game right up and you can continue.

I'm still trying to figure out how this game is any different than previous installments in the series. If anyone knows feel free to comment - but at the moment it's just a broken version of previous entries.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5 of 10 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
Can hardly wait for GC3 release.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
Early Access Review
Mostly very polished, fun and intuitive. Devs communicating well in discussion area, regular twitch events. All Early Access should be like this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 25
Early Access Review
This game crashes, is slow to load, not enough options because my colonies rebel, I go bankrupt constantly. There are not enough spaces to build anything on any of the planets. The computer opponents expand at 10 times my speed on normal mode. The whole research process is slow and boring. Overall a bad game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 9 people (44%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
Early Access Review
If you like space 4x tbs this is a must buy. Even if the game ends up being terrible you know stardock will completely start over and redevelop it and patch it until its good at no cost. (War of magic)

Its safe to pre order from stardock
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 10 people (40%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Early Access Review

Early Access game and therefore not complete, but what is in it at the moment works and works well.
There's also little mystery as to what they intend to present as a final product here because all of the options etc. that will be included later show in the menus but are unable to be used. This counts for races (3 at the moment) and various gameplay elements (certain technologies etc.) which are yet to be included.

Despite the lacking features, what is already in this game makes it very easy to recommend if you are even remotely a fan of strategy,4X and/or space based games.
Already this is far superior to Sins of a Solar Empire (also by Stardock) which itself was well received although I personally had a hard time actually wanting to play.

The price will likely rise after full release too, so it's definitely worth picking up now. Especially so if you can get it from a serial key site with an added discount.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
50.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
Early Access Review
Constant crashes and massive RAM use - needs a lot of work still.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 13 people (31%) found this review helpful
21.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
Early Access Review
Completed game for first time on easy and won a conquest against AI. after a couple of false starts. As the game is far from complete I found it interesting to work out for myself what worked and what did not. I still could not figure out what the horintal bar was for, when governing the planet. Sometimes it did something other times it didn't so I left it alone. The map is fall of uninhabital planets, which seem pointless unless in the future you can turn them into habital, maybe theres a tech to change that, if so I never got that far. Also loads of asteroids and other stuff that did not do anything but just got in the way. Once I got the planets set up on auto upgrade, I could basically leave them alone and concentrate on other things. The explorer and survey ships were soon made obsolete once all the objects of interest were found. The tech tree is quite formidable and complicated I ended up continually pressing the turn button to get to the next level. The game begins to get better when you start to get decent spaceships. The biggest disappointments were that there are no iminent warnings of attack, both for ships and planets. When conflicts took place a label appeared saying a battle was taking place, If it was the AI, one of your ships had been killed somewhere ???. If it was you attacking it will show up as flashing. There did not seem to be any indication of how many turns it would take to kill a ship or take over a planet, the battles were all over in one turn, no chance to make a run for it. One of the things I had noticed that was missing was a spy ship. Maybe that will come later too like many other things. I hope that the design of a ship will come at the begining of the game, this would allow you to aim for a specific part of the Tech tree for it's use. I will not recommend this game at the moment as it is unfinished.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 14 people (21%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Early Access Review
Tries to tout the depth of Endless Space but does nothing to resolve the issues from GALCIV II. It's an ok game, but absolutely not worth the already premium price.

Huge buyer's remorse.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
14 of 38 people (37%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Early Access Review
Meh - simply GC2.1. Skip it, save your money, play GC2 instead.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5 of 20 people (25%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
Early Access Review
Galcactic Civ III is for sure not in beta yet and what is there? Well looks more like a cut down demo ver. of GC II really?

Don't be pulled in as I was, not much works for a beta. Let hope this changes soon :(

Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 13 people (8%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Early Access Review
Turn by Turn game they have to implement free moving or it will be very creepy..... Design is good i was expecting seems like sin of solar.... but without free movement.... thaat sucks
Was this review helpful? Yes No