You are a God! You are master and ruler of a loyal nation. You have unimaginable powers at your disposal. You have claimed this world as yours. But there are others who stand in your way. You must defeat and destroy these pretenders. Only then can you ascend to godhood and become the new Pantokrator.
User reviews: Very Positive (538 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 5, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"...a deep game that rewards foresight and long-term strategy."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (9)

February 27

Dominions 4.17

This patch mainly fixes a few bugs introduced in the previous update.

Alchemy cheat detect bug fixed
Man-Eater got flick barb attack
Criosphinx no helmet slot
Ghost Riders and some similar rituals didn't work properly
Deadeater bug fix
Pretender autocalc tweaking
Pretender cost tweaking
National pretender cost reductions shown in popup
Description fixes
Supaya reanimation gave wrong info on numbers reanimated
Some start troop fixes
Fixed bug in new poptype modding that made many commands useless

1 comments Read more

February 24

Dominions 4.16

This version has revised costs for all pretenders and the amount of
design points available has been increased by 150 for pretenders and
100 for disciples. There are also a bunch of new pretenders to choose
from and the dominion spread mechanic has been tweaked to make it
easier to play with a low dominion score. There are also various
performance improvements, bug fixes, new mod commands and new random


  • More varied pretender costs and +150/+100 design points
  • Pretender cost auto calculation
  • Dominion spread chance changed to 50% + dom str*5%
  • Shape changing units can die in one strike if it's powerful enough to kill the next shape too.
  • Auto kill occurs 20 rounds later to give more time for auto rout.
  • Rainbow didn't affect allies, fixed
  • New monster pretenders
  • Some new pretender titles
  • Changed the selection of pretenders for some nations
  • New graphics/sounds for some spells
  • Adding thrones to .map files automatically adds ascension points too
  • Independent wizards got more spells researched
  • Can select players with only 1 nation in era
  • New throne effect 'Dominion conflict bonus'
  • Mercenaries no longer drown when unhired
  • Siren's lure didn't work, fixed
  • Monolith could blink and use stygian paths
  • Wish fix
  • Nicer handling of corrupted turn files
  • Geoglyph didn't reduce MR properly
  • Supaya reanimation changes
  • Print 'defence negates' on those weapons
  • Void Lord cannot have helmet
  • Serpent tailed pretenderws can wear armor
  • Battle performance improvement
  • Host performance improvement
  • uw stat, spells and item fixes
  • Dragons did not use ammo for breath weapon in melee
  • Slash/Pierce weapons only gets -1 penalty under water
  • Underwater non pierce penalty fix
  • Stone beings not affected by plague or disease
  • New magic item for Nazca
  • Crumble was way too effective
  • Send horror resulted in one horror too many
  • Theft of the Sun now affects resources too
  • Don't auto summon units when you have fled the field
  • Max number of commanders increased 9990 -> 20000
  • Max number of units increased 160000 -> 250000
  • New option: --maxunits to limit number of units
  • Disease effect on death blessed arrows didn't work
  • Ethereal did not offer protection against some non damaging spells
  • Xibablba UW defence fix
  • Improved gem cheat detection
  • Cheat detection fix for mercs
  • Random map generation speedup
  • Improved dirt generation on random maps
  • New switches for random maps: --mapdirt, --mapdirtcol, --mapdirtsize
  • Minor memory leak fixed
  • Game info says whether story event are enabled or not
  • Snow/Rain/Sea graphics performance improvement
  • Altered snow and rain fall
  • Site power that kills undead & demons only affected undead
  • Swamp survival boots didn't help against miasma
  • Azi and Drakon have 3 head slots
  • Demonic Locusts
  • Dementia didn't heal correctly
  • Gossamer Cloth etc didn't give properly rounded scout reports
  • Bug fix for shape shifting units starting with magic items
  • Flying raiders needed 10000 patrollers to get caught
  • Xibalba dart throwers in towers has dmg value 12 instead of 0
  • Corpse Eater icon
  • Pretender discounts can now be set per nation
  • Stat fixes
  • Site fixes
  • Events updated
  • Typos fixed

  • AI lab building improvements
  • AI Mictlan more likely to blood sacrifice
  • AI gem usage fix

  • New poptype mod commands: #defunit1, #defmult1, #defcom1, etc.
  • New mod commands: #disableoldnations, #clearallevents
  • New mod commands: #batstartsum6d6 ... sum9d9
  • New mod commands: #req_targitem, #req_gold, #killpop, #removesite
  • Event mod command renamed #newsite -> #addsite
  • New unlimited always event (rarity 5) for modding
  • Rarity 13 events also happens at low population levels
  • New nation mod commands: #cheapgod20, #cheapgod40

14 comments Read more

About This Game

You are a God! You are master and ruler of a loyal nation. You have unimaginable powers at your disposal. You have claimed this world as yours. But there are others who stand in your way. You must defeat and destroy these pretenders. Only then can you ascend to godhood and become the new Pantokrator.

In Dominions you take control of a powerful being that rules a nation and aspires to godhood. The type of Pretender Gods can vary from magically powerful arch mages to huge titans or large monuments. The pretender gods have different strengths dependent on what kind of god you choose and what nation you play.

When you start the game you decide what kind of god you are and how your Dominion affects your lands and followers. It is an expression of your divine might and the faith of your followers. If your dominion dies, so do you. Your dominion also inspires your sacred warriors and gives them powers derived from your dominion.

In order to win and become the one true god you have to defeat your enemies one of three different ways: conquer their lands, extinguish their dominion or claim the Thrones of Ascension.

In Dominions 4 you can also play team games where one of the players take the role of supreme god, and the other members of the team are his servants and loyal subjects. The lesser gods rule their nations, but you all share the dominion of the supreme god.

Dominions is set in a fantasy world that draws inspiration from historical nations, cultures and myths. You will not encounter the elves of conventional fantasy in this game. Instead you might lead a nation of vanir from old norse myth. Aztecs, romans, israelites, greeks, shona and kievian rus are just a few of the inspirational sources of the game.

The first Dominions game was released in 2002 and was well received by strategy gamers. Since then Dominions has been much refined and Dominions series is still actively played making it one of the longest running 4x turn based strategy games.

Dominions 4 is also a highly moddable game. You can create your own monsters, spells and entire nations. Since Dominions 3 there has been a vivid modding community and Dominions 4 will enhance this capability even further.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 1 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    • OS: 10.3 or later
    • Processor: 1 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    • OS: any 32 or 64-bit distro
    • Processor: 1 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL and libSDL1.2
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
85 of 92 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
599.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
This is the best strategy game on the market.

It looks like ♥♥♥♥ and has a terrible ui and a learning curve like a brick wall but it has so much depth that doesn't matter.

Buy it!
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75 of 82 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
330.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Today I had a grossly obese assassin sneak into enemy territory and try to kill a two-headed giant that had won multiple death matches and who was leading an army of vine men and unicorn riding knights in a war against the undead hordes that threatened the entire world. This game is great.
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60 of 64 people (94%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
49.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Possibly the only turn-based strategy game in existence in which you can appoint mages as mind slaves to a giant flying undead octopus whose primary combat strategy involves sacrificing dozens of virgins to power spells that explode entire opposing armies into clouds of gore.
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33 of 35 people (94%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
297.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
I am terrible at this game, and it's still one of the best games I have.
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26 of 27 people (96%) found this review helpful
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
I was on the fence about whether to get this game for awhile, partly because of the price and partly because of quality concerns, since obviously a lot of time wasn't spent on making the game graphically pretty. I purchased the game on sale, but after having played it I would recommend it even for full price to anyone who's looking for a deep, complex strategy game.

Dominions 4 plays like a highly advanced fantasy version of Civilization or similar turn-based games. That's not to say that it's super difficult to play - the basic mechanics are pretty simple once you get the hang of the somewhat odd control scheme where LMB is used for most things where you'd normally expect to use RMB (RMB is always used to get more info on something, instead of giving orders). I was able to feel somewhat competent without any tutorials, having only watched some brief gameplay on YouTube. However the game reveals layer after layer of complexity once you really start getting into it, and it definitely follows the "easy to play, hard to master" philosophy. There will be a learning curve once you get beyond the basics - the manual is almost 400 pages long.

So, what can you do in this game that makes it worth the time instead of just playing a Civilization?
* Choose a faction and a pretender god as its leader from just about any mythology and creature you can think of. Dragons, wizards, lizard men, frost giants, weird fungus monsters, sea serpents, cthulu, you name it.
* Recruit a general for every one of your armies, with his own name (given by you), stats, equipment, and experience.
* Separate your armies into formations and give them orders to follow in battle (you still don't need to micromanage the battles themselves; they play out between turns)
* Sacrifice virgins to your blood god and use the power to summon demons or forge magical artifacts.
* Spread your icy dominion to freeze over rivers so your armies can cross it.
* Call forth an army of undead and march it into the sea to surprise your enemy or control undersea territory.
* Cast a spell to plunge the entire world into utter darkness.
* March huge armies over all the land, then suddenly lose the game because no one believes in your god anymore (yeah, that happened to me).

So if you can get past the graphics (yeah, I know, it takes a lot to get past the graphics), you'll be rewarded with a rich, cerebral, highly replayable game in Dominions 4.
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29 of 34 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Played multiplayer, received a message from neighboring kingdom that took months to reach my castle.

"Kill yourself"

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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
If you know Dominions3:

Dominions 4 is an attempt to turn Dominions 3 wall-like learning "curve" into a slightly less steep one. Let’s say a "Pisa tower wall" curve!
A bit more seriously this game is just the a simple update of Dominions 3. However this one is the must have. Some new races, much more community support (no1 is playing Dom3), here you will be able to find people to play with. If you loved Dom3 do yourself a favour...

If you don't:

This is a map-top-view war strategy game with races deeply founded on global mythological history.

It is like playing a mythological version of Risk (the table top game) in which each and every unit of yours has individual characteristics (stats, afflictions, abilities etc.) which are persistent through the entire match.

This will be delightful for people that love finding the most "efficient" routes to play, because you have so many variables to consider you will probably never be able to do so, but you will still love the challenge.
It will also be delightful for people that read lore. Each and everything you control (or don't) in this game has their characteristics explained in one or two paragraphs entwined with lore which in the end is mythology.

TL;DR: If you really usually jump for TLDRs don't bother getting the game.... there will be long necessary reading in the game and honestly you will need lots of patience to learn it! Otherwise... if you read the thing with a smile, buy it already.
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19 of 23 people (83%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
175.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
This game is hard
Now, so am I
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
57.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
While certainly lacking in the presentation department with it's very dated graphics, Dom4 more than makes up for it in it's charm. The game lets you take mythological lore from around the world and pit it in wars for ultimate domination. You will see Titans warring against undead legionares, yomi fighting against valkeries, and lich kings unleashing death on the men of Avalon.

To me, Dom4 feels like a Ck2/Total War-esque type of strategy game, where you fight to expand your territory, spread your dominion (religion), and develop your nation. Where it really shines is its deep magical paths and unit diversity. I play the game with my second monitor open to the Dom4 mod inspector ( where I can compare and contrast every item, spell, unit, and magic site in the game. With 25 nations in each time period, combined with the numerous magic paths one can decide to branch into, their are many many combinations of strategies and development. In other words, no two players may play the same nation the same way, they may play off different strengths depending on how they designed their pretender (leading god of their nation).

This game to me is an easy to play, tough to master - which opens up for hours and hours of gameplay. You can play against the AI who offer a fair challenge (albeit becoming predicatble as you play more - such is expected with strategy AI), and when you seek a higher challenge it offers both real time and play by email multiplayer. I didn't think I would enjoy the play by email system but it's really relaxing to have a few games going at once and getting to do a turn or two per day before and after work/school. I always look forward to downloading my turns and seeing how my wars turned out, what kind of events popped out, and coming up with a plan for the next turn. All the while trying to formulate long term magic goals that will keep me relevant into the late game.

In short, if you enjoy strategy, fantasy, mythology, or games such as Total war, Paradox strategy titles, or even the Civ series, do yourself a favour and give Dominions 4 a try.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
145.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 9
I generally wouldn't recommend to anyone, unless they say "bah, TBS games are so easy", or "bah, strategy games are so 1990's" (while graphically I'd have to agree).

Dominions 4 is so complex, noone has even attempted to make a wiki. There's a manual, written by the developpers, which in printed form is a 400 page book.

This is a combination of Magic the Gathering (ie, the card game, with all it's complexities), and Civilization.

I'm on my 10th game, I'm cheating, and I'm still getting my ♥♥♥♥ kicked.

Also, the graphics and UI just suck. The game is very very stable though. :)

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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
279.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
This game is not for everyone. If you like fast paced games, don't buy. If you dont like steep, steep learning curves... don't buy. If you like beautiful graphics don't buy. If you dont like turn by turn... you get the idea.

If you love diversity, replayability, and hours and hours of gameplay for a single game, with hundreds of races, hundeds of spells and thousands of troops, learning curve so high that even years after playing and searching the forum you learn new techniques that make you want to restart, if you are a strategy geek and you want the best there is in terms of gameplay with a twist of fantasy and magic, heroes and countries to conquer.. if you want to be a god... this title is definatly for you!!!

Mltiplayer takes you to an entirely new level. Now this is my only downside to the game... multiplayer is by far the best experience ever, but the time/difficulty to join or create a game is frustrating... and I end up playing single player becaue I just cant be bothered to spend so much time finding a multiplayer game.

Dont be offset by the graphics, its really not what this game is about, think of it in terms of a board game, a really, really complex yet enjoable board game where you strategy to beat your opponents are so diverse, thet the entire game is about finding counters and opening using different tequniques, units and spells. Earthquakes of firestorms, awe or poison, flaming arrows or undead elephants, summon demon riders or archangels, go economy or blood sacrifices, dominion kill or assassination, compete in death matches or forge powerful magic items to choose rom 8 different elemental forces, each with specific reqirments and unique powers, use flying units or underwater units, choose a powerful fighting god or a researcher, awake or asleep for more points to your empire, and it goes on and on.... I just scratched the surface of endless possibilities...

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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
115.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
This game had simply overshadowed eveything I played in the TBS genre. Everything from Civ I to Alpha Centauri, and all the modern releases.
It may not be much of a looker, but this has the depth and breadth that takes the breath away. Magnificent. Truly.

More people need to know about this game, becuase they just might find that which they always wanted.

By not putting emphasis on the visal fidelity, the game is able to such variety to the mechanics and unit types that will keep you busy for years to come.

I have not been excited about a game in my life, and I have been playing for something like 20 years.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
Dominions 4: Thrones of Ascension doesn't have a campaign, because every match you play is a desperate scramble for godhood. Whether you're a fountain of blood leading bloodcult Kievan Rus, inanimate stone head at the head of bat winged cavemen or a dragon leading an army of elves, you're gonna have a great time.
By which I mean you might win.
When you learn to set orders for battles, do the communion slave tango, build super combatants out of things best left forgotten and summon harpy women to seduce enemy commanders.

Welcome to the jungle. I'd say we have fun and games, but it's more likely to be 20 Jaguar Tribe warriors, 10 slingers and mage.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
310.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 10
Fantastic game. Hard to get into and hard to master but literally endless strategies.

Want to throw hordes of skeletons and undead at the enemy? You can.

Want to blight out the sun and cause the world to slowly die? You can.

Lovely game 10/10 literally an infinate number of strategies.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
921.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
Hi everyone, I do not normally take the time to actually write up a game review. After playing this game for a while, I must say not telling you all how great the game is would be ridiculous.

Dominions 4 is a turn based strategy game created by a 2 man company Illwinter Game Design. The game places you in charge of one of MANY different nations in a struggle for global domination. The nation is lead by a powerful "pretender god" that you create prior to launching the game, who seeks to spread his/her dominion over the land. The developers based these factions around lore and culture of various peoples. A great example would be Mitlcan a tribal based kingdom that takes its roots from Aztec or another ancient Central or South American society. The nation has basic weapons but powerful magic that involves sacrificing blood slaves to use powerful blood magic against its enemies. There are also nations based around popular fiction such as the underwater nation Atlantis or Bandor Log who make you feel like the apes from "Planet of the Apes" etc. The developers release free updates to the game that include additional content! The manual is available to view online for free on their website just google it. For those who are interested you can even make your own maps to play on or write your own mods to use for the game. Free manual is available for modding & map design via developer website as well. The game does have an extremely steep learning curve as I have 253+ hours logged on steam playing mainly AI opponents, started playing with other players recently and I am being slaughtered. So I can honestly say its a deep and rewarding game you should try out. Beware it is one of those "I will just take one more turn...." kind of games and then next thing you know its 2am.

*very deep game with unique nation selection across 3 eras
*unique units based on nations and independent provinces conquered
*very deep magic system that revolves around different types of mages who perform research to gain powerful spells
*8 paths of magic with over 800 spells! sorcery contains astral, blood, nature, and death magic. While elemental magic is fire,water,air and earth. Each magic path has a gem that fuels its artifacts and powerful spells except blood which uses blood slaves.
*Solid single player mode that lets you play a challenging AI but the game really shines in multiplayer that is usually played in a “play by email” format.
*Active community that create new maps and mods, active developers who patch bugs and release additional content for free
*the game is very replayable because of all the variety and the multiplayer aspect I could go on for days with the pros but I will call it here

Cons, for me these aren’t really a big deal so they don’t take away from my experience but if I had to pick things out that gamers may not enjoy it would be:
*graphics are a basic don’t expect any crazy animations or any cut scenes. One of the two devs does all the artwork a unit will have a regular animation and then an action animation that occurs when the unit attacks or casts a spell thats it.
*the map actually makes you feel like you are looking at a real life map for the most part
*combat is not real time you assign commands to your commanders and squads who will then perform those actions during combat, you will see the result of that after the fight has already been decided in a battle replay

As I stated I don’t actually mind any of the cons for me the game is great as designed. I hope you are scrolling up to the purchase button. I am interested in sharing more about this game because apparently I wrote up a short story as I ran out of room and had to really butcher the review. I will edit the review if I can host elsewhere. In the mean time check out this to learn more about the game a brief tutorial by MarcusAureliusLP regarding pretender creation ( he has a lot of other longer content too you can find easily enough) or check the 300+ page manual on Illwinter Game Design’s website!
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
98.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
Lots of factions, lots of options and lots of depths.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
214.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
One of the best strategy games I've played so far. Sure, the game interface is kinda old-school and could be a bit more intuitive. The graphics may also seem a bit odd ad first. But this has the upside that this game can even be played on very old computers, so I wouldn't even consider this a bad thing (also I just like the graphics style tbh). The content of the game is just huge, there are hundreds of units, spells and ways to play the game and win. The learning curve is therefore a bit slow and you will need a good while until you can play really effectively, but even while you have to learn, the game is much fun. There's also tons of lore behind all the different nations you can play, which people with imagination might enjoy as well. And the best thing is that this game is still regularly being updated, with new units, nations and gods to play as. Absolute recommendation for all who like to invest tons of hours into their favorite strategy game.

(Also it has Linux support, which is great.)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
44.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
Here are two lines from a recent update:

*Max number of commanders increased 9990 -> 20000
*Max number of units increased 160000 -> 250000

The graphics may be less than appealing, but this game has serious heart and heritage. Quality updates continue to trickle in, and I'm more than glad some of my money went to help the devs, and the future of Dominions.

For a "real" review, I'll talk about how the game plays. For each turn, you: 1. create new units or commanders and assign troops to those commanders 2. decide if you want to build any structures (temple, science-research, and castle/fortress/fortifications, basically) 3. assign new magic-school research, if needed 4. issue move orders, if any 5. End Turn. I mention this because I know, at first glance, Dominions 4 seems like it might be one of those "Cool concept, but too complicated to play!" kind of games, when it is not..

The game is nowhere near shallow, despite the above statement. Each faction (spanning through three different eras of time) has many tricks and strategies, some obvious and some downright devious, and "learning" a faction is quite challenging.. Adapting to your opponents strategy is also serious business..

There is no "diplomacy" here.. If Pangaea has a massive army of elite Shark Tribe warriors supported with massive underwater behemoths, well.. There is no "playing nice" :) Your goal is to conquer, one way or another..

Anyway, I'm sure there are far better reviews than mine, so I'll quit rambling. Just wanted to show my support and toss another vertically-inclined thumb into the mix ;)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
463.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
Amazing turn based strat with tons of units and different races. Very Deep and can be a lot to take in but it's very do able as long as you enjoy a challenge. Casual Strat gamers need not apply!

ONLY for the hardcore imo.
ORIGINALITY in the way this turn based strat game is presented
OUTRAGEOUS amount of content

Dom 4 = 9/10
is beter than
Dom 3 = 8/10
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
172.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
A thief has stolen some of your negative reviews
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