Smugglers 5 is the fifth installment in the turn-based single-player space trading game series. Will you be a greedy trader, an ambitious fleet pilot or a ruthless pirate? Board enemy ships, manage factories, conquer star systems and forge your own galactic empire - ultimately, your actions will have an impact on a galactic scale.
User reviews: Mixed (107 reviews) - 61% of the 107 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 11, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Smugglers 5 is a fun, easily accessible turn-based open-world space game that is easy to play, has quite a bit of content, and keeps the fun going."
Read the full review here.


“Smugglers 5 is an impressive and exceedingly addictive game.[...]”
80 – DarkZero

“Smugglers 5: Turn-Based Elitism: It’s knee-deep in content, simple to pick up and play for short or long sessions, and is a ton of fun to boot.”
"Great", “One more turn” feeling – Space Game Junkie

Special Edition

Specifically for release on Steam, Smugglers 5 now features a higher native screen resolution for the main game screens and an updated combat system to make battles more varied. After the official release on Steam, the developers will continue working on and improving the game.

About This Game

Smugglers 5 is the fifth installment in the turn-based single-player space trading game series. Will you be a greedy trader, an ambitious fleet pilot or a ruthless pirate? Board enemy ships, manage factories, conquer star systems and forge your own galactic empire - ultimately, your actions will have an impact on a galactic scale.

'It’s basically Elite… but turn-based. [...]' - blog (Smugglers 4)

'Smugglers 5 is an impressive and exceedingly addictive game.[...]' -

'I’ve been playing Smugglers' games since I was a kid[...]' - Christian T. (a happy customer)

The galaxy is at war - the Federation, the Coalition, the Outer Rim systems and the criminal Syndicate battle for control. It's a dangerous life for a pilot on the front lines, but it can also be a lucrative one - are you an honest trader, or does smuggling illegal goods sound more profitable? Will you join the war effort for your faction, set up your own empire or simply explore the galaxy?

The fifth instalment in the long-running Smugglers series features a completely revised turn-based combat system and a range of new ships to fly, as well as a host of exciting features:

  • Explore the galaxy through a fast turn-based travel and combat system
  • 4 factions; 6 professions with new, unique skill trees; 100+ different skills and a revised skill system
  • 30+ spaceships and encounters ranging from fighters up to battleships, cruise missiles and star bases
  • Non-linear war and campaign system. You can influence the war!
  • Manage a crew, board enemy ships, become Admiral and command whole fleets
  • Plunder planets and pirate outposts, conquer space systems and even rule your own empire!
  • Supply and demand based trading with the storyline and campaign influencing prices
  • More than 80,000 words of interactive non-linear storylines (that´s about the size of two novels)
  • Advanced text generation technology and new planet exploration short stories make every game different.
  • Marry a beautiful wife and have children
  • Optional compatibility mode to allow blind players to enjoy the game
  • and much more ...

The six most important new features compared to Smugglers 4:
  • You can now start and rule your own empire
  • Manage your own factories or pirate outposts
  • Raid and plunder planets or pirate outposts
  • 80,000 words of new and dynamic short stories (the equivalent of a full length novel).
  • Completely revised skill and combat system
  • Play as an independent adventurer - or join the military

'TOP 1 bestselling RPG game' - from 16th to 24th March 2014
'TOP 6 bestselling INDIE game' - from 16th to 24th March 2014
'TOP 3 bestselling PC game' - in May 2011 (Prequel Smugglers 4)
'TOP 1 bestselling indie game' - in June 2011 (Prequel Smugglers 4)

There's a ship in the hangar and the stars are calling to you. Don't keep them waiting.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or newer.
    • Processor: No special requirements
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: No special requirements
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: No special requirements
Helpful customer reviews
49 of 55 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
At first, the game seems incredibly complex. There are many ships, faction politics, a trade mechanic with a black market aspect, tons of skills and abilities, and a large map.

After a couple hours of playing, you'll realize that everything that looked good is actually poorly executed.

The combat plays out pretty much the same every time regardless of your ship and skills (which are badly balanced). You have almost no control over the combat. Everything feels very random and there is no strategy apart from picking the best skill out of the random pile of them that the game gives you every turn. Not that any of this matters. There are a few mid-level ships that are undeniably better than everything else. After a little experimenting, you’ll have a ship that can’t lose unless the random number generator has something against you.

The faction politics are almost pointless. You only need to get friendly with the factions if you want amnesty for committing crimes. You won’t be committing any crimes unless you have a combat oriented ship. If you have a tough ship, you generally don't need amnesty. It's a self-defeating cycle of uselessness.

The trade system could not be more boring. You go to a system that sells something cheap. Buy it, fly to somewhere where it is expensive, sell it, rinse, and repeat until you can afford a ship with a bigger cargo hull. Then you get the exciting experience of doing exactly what you were doing before but in larger quantities. The black market is the exact same, except you might have to a do a little more fighting.

The skill tree is incredibly frustrating as it forces you to buy a number of useless skills before you can get to the good ones. The useless skills will then fill up your queue during combat with abilities that you will likely never use and make your life harder. No, you can't disable abilities that you have already unlocked.

Apart from the differing commodity prices, there is no real difference between the systems. The factions constantly fight, pirates are everywhere except for the starting areas, and random piles of money float through space, making it far more profitable to aimlessly bounce around between planets than to actually play the game.

The most frustrating aspect of the game by far is the class system. At the start of a campaign, you have to choose a faction and a player class. The classes determine the skills that you can pick. Only certain classes can unlock the skill to buy a business while others can do things like invade systems. The class system only exists to force you into multiple playthroughs and extend playtime in order to see all of the content. The irony here is that there isn't much content to begin with.

TL;DR: You’ll have more fun with a free flash game. Don’t buy this unless you hate yourself.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
It's Drug Wars in space with worse graphics a bizarre 4X twist and tons of random errors and crashes that should probably only be bought on sale by people who have made thirty or more mortgage payments and think vector graphics are just a bit too intense.

This is a really great turn based strategy game with some truly annoying issues and no autosave feature so you can confidently do a bunch of things and then lose it all with a random black screen. Also if you click a greyed out button you will literally get a popup error message from windows, and sometimes you get one for no reason. Sometimes it crashes for no reason too. Sometimes you get caught up in battles you can't win or avoid for no reason. Sometimes you will upgrade your ship and totally regret the decision because it will for no reason make the game impossibly hard.

You will literally have all these problems and more. Many more. The tutorial is kind of a joke and prepares you for nothing that happens. You will make poor upgrade choices based on no information whatsoever. You will do all this, and it will be surprisingly enjoyable because the game is cheap.

You'll keep playing, learning, and crashing the game. Mostly crashing, but some of the other stuff too. The graphics can be boiled down into this sentence: "It's two jpeg images set on a black background with one of two basic overlay effects on them and no concern for consistency or integrity of the images themselves or the overlays actually. In fact if you were to tell me the entire game was random images with random overlays I'd accuse you of trying to cover for the devs for the flaws in the overall game."

You may be wondering, why such a scathing review if I claim to like the game? Well let me explain something to you.

Now friends, in a simpler time of computing when games could fit on a floppy disk and still be entertaining... this still wouldn't be a stand-out game in any sense of the term. But the type of game that this tries to be was a popular one, low graphical content, simplistic, tier-based strategy... done one turn at a time. If you remember the old Windows turn based strategy that was known by many names, the most common of which was "drug wars" you'll fall into and understand the strategy of this game immediately. If you liked that game you'll even find enjoyment in this game. Better yet, it doesn't have words on the screen like "Heroin" and "Crack" so you can casually shrug it off to friends without explaining that you really don't need an intervention. Honestly it was one weekend in Malibu.

So should you buy this game? Here's the definitive list that Buzzfeed hasn't yet syndicated into an interactive facebook quiz:

-You like turn based strategy.
-You don't like special effects.
-You've heard of and possibly seen live either "The Mighty Mighty Bosstones" or "Seal"
-You have played many Alpha games and understand that not every game (even one this simple) can be well polished (or even finshed).
-You played "Drug Wars" on a Compaq laptop with under 256MB RAM and always thought it should have more of a Space 4X feel to it with none of the baggage.
-You think vector graphics are way too advanced.
-You've ever apologized for an EA (and I mean Electronic Arts) title.

-You never played either Doom or Wolfenstine 3D.
-You were/are under the age of consent as of the turn of the millenium.
-Call of Duty is a game you have played more than once in the last year, twice if you were forced on a holiday with younger children who beat you mercilessly.
-You think games should actually be finished before they are published.
-You have something better to play.
-It's selling for more than $2.50, and you are at a point financially where $2.50 is the amount of money you can shrug off on a bad investment without becoming bitter.

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167 of 203 people (82%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 11, 2014
It's a decent little game to pass the time, considering the price. While I wouldn't exactly call it an outstanding game by any stretch of the imagination, I would firmly place it in the category of: 'If you have 10 bucks to spare, some time to kill, and like strategy games with a sprinkling of story and RPG thrown in, why not?'.

It comes with a quick little tutorial to help you get started, which is nice. However I would still strongly recommend either reading or glancing through the simple manual as well, because there may be things that are of interest to you that you'd want to do and have no real idea about otherwise. Such as starting your own faction. That however is something that will take several hours and much dedication.

There are 4 factions that you can join and level up with, however if you don't join any you can go about doing what you want (minus missions) and still level up as a civilian. If you eventually join your ranking will carry over to your new faction, so at least you don't lose anything.

It's no surprise that virtually everything in the game revolves around money. The only things that don't are your own individual skills depending on which profession you choose - however note that it can take quite a while to level up and get new skills, so for some people the game might get a bit tedious, or even monotonous. You need to 'level up' 3 times before you get new skills - and some pretty big skills are on opposite ends of entire skill trees that require you to have prerequisites. So expect a lot of grinding.

If you're someone who likes games based upon their graphics - my suggestion is to move along. There won't be anything new or fancy here, and if you have a really high resolution you're going to be doing a fair amount of squinting. Otherwise you can make it full screen and squint again as everything gets stretched out. If you see something once in the game, you'll see it a thousand times.

Same for the sounds. The music will tend to cut out at various random intervals, but strangely enough I really only noticed it when it suddenly stopped. Otherwise it was fairly forgettable. Much the same for the sound effects.

There are a few instances of flavor text missing, usually in the 'quotes' area stating that this is an early access version even though it isn't. Also, if you're the one who tends to shudder every time you come across misspelled words or bad grammar in a game, then prepare to shudder a few times. Thankfully most of it is fine, but you'll notice a few spots here and there - and plenty of walls of text. Though considering the resolution I'm not really surprised.

All-in-all it's a fun little game to pass the time, or if you have that space rpg urge. It's 'just one more turn!' addicting for the first hour or two until you get the routine down. You might get to switch it up when you learn a new skill or get a new ship, or get a battle with a random event - but otherwise nothing major happens for the first large chunk of the game.

With enough dedication you can eventually reach the higher ranks and unlock more activities, but you'll have to be able to slog through a fair bit of early grinding, -especially- if you choose the civilian route.

My final score for this is a fairly decent but not great 6.5/10. It will keep you entertained for a while and will be worth it to those who are willing to put the time into it - assuming you can put up with old-fashioned graphics and sounds for quite a few hours.

For the rest of you who can't do that, I'd recommend waiting to see if it goes on sale later. At 10 USD it's still an iffy buy, but if it ever goes to 7 or less, I'd say grab it.

- Paradox Jast
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234 of 303 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Oh I was expecting so much from this game, but at the same time, I had so many doubts if it would get boring quickly. After a discussion in the forums where the developer himself almost started a fight because he thought I should just try the game as it is already so cheap (???), my curiousness was bigger than my intelligence and I went on and bought the game.

Yeah, it was fun for about 1 hour... then it started to get repetitive. So it should cost around 0.99$. Yeah, there is SOOOO much you can do in the game, but it's mostly about semantics and limiting standard stuff. If you design a game where you can be a rogue, a warrior or a magician, but then make you select all your skills so that you can make a magician with rogue clothes, it's only semantics. Oh but wait, if we cut off one hand of a magician, then people will think he is different. No he is just less fun that way. That's almost what's happening in this game. Yes, you get a bigger ship if you work hard, and the game just changes all other things so that the gameplay stays the same. Yes, you can be a trader, a trader, a trader and a trader, and also a disabled trader (pirate).

And on a side note: when I went looking if the DLC would improve the game for me, I discovered that the developer has again been fighting on the forum, banning people who do not agree. Not that that should change your opinion on the game, but do you really want to support such a developer?

Edit: Almost all the comments and forum comments I talk about have been deleted, not by me. Beware...

Edit: a copy of my reactions to sharvax's comments asking for proof:
Why link to something that has been removed? Sorry mate, I am a very nice guy with positive intentions who feels that he needs to speak up. You just look like a friend of the developer, and it's nice that you try to help him.

And by the way, you are talking about one small side note of my review. The biggest part of the review is enough explanation why I don't like the game. That's actually what reviews are about, they are very personal and should help others decide whether it's a game for them or not. The side note can no longer be proven and it's up to everyone else in here to decide whether I am telling the truth or not.

I am telling that comments have been removed, not by me, and that topics have been removed in the forum, again not by me. It looks like the review itself is safe, so for that reason, I will put this answer also into my review.

After this answer, I will no longer get into discussions about this. My review stands and the side note (which was not that important, but worth the mention imo.) has become a bit bigger thanks to you, sharvax.
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65 of 78 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
If you like to buy low and sell high. Then you like to play trading games like I do. I picked this game up after spending a few minutes with the demo. Since I have played close to 12 hours. The majority of that was playing the free trader. What I have found is the trade system is extremely weak. Once you spend a while in your starting system. As a free trader you start off in a fighter craft unable to warp out of said system. Profit comes slowly and the first warp ready corvette cost over 100 thousand credits. During this stage of the game profit per unit is anywhere from single digits to a 100 credits. However after you get a corvette and explore for a little while. You will find that certain systems produce Antimatter, Diamonds, and Super Ore. These systems are where you spend most of your time after wards. Buying those items and running to the closes invaded system. Where you can sell Antimatter for 1000 to 2000 profit per unit 600 or more for diamonds, and 150-200 profit for super ore. This allows for extremely easy progression and quite easily shows what this game lacks.

The main thing the game truly lacks is an assortment of ships. There are 4 classes fighters, corvettes, destroyers, and cruisers. Besides a few faction or class based starting, capital ships there are 2 or 3 options per level. With one per level with a decent cargo hold, as a trader I would have hope for more options. At the highest level ship you will have around a 2000 thousand unit cargo hold.

It isn't to small if all you do is trade. However as you level up you get the option of owning companies. Sadly it is utterly simplistic to my knowledge there is only two branches. Synthetics factories which can be upgraded to produce robotics then engines. This requires super ore and is the only other factory branch that I know of. Super ore factories can be upgraded to produce diamonds and antimatter. This branch of industries require robotics.

I would like to set up a production chain. Where I can produce super ore to ship to my robotic factories, then ship my robotics to an antimatter factory. There is no other way for you to ship your produced goods automatically. You are limited to automatic purchasing those required units in system or galaxy wide. This of course increases the cost of the factory. You can also automatically sell at a loss of 50 percent. You can of course ship the stuff to and from yourself. However this causes the final product antimatter to simply stock up while you resupply the other factories. After you stock them up enough to give you some time you will find you have already produced thousands of antimatter. Or in my case 10 thousand antimatter so as you can see a ship with cargo capacity of around 2k will make a killing with all that antimatter. However I have a stockpile of antimatter growing by the week. Once you tack on travel time to and from contested systems. Which can take months your stockpile has grown, and the robotics and super ore factories are in need of supervision. In the end it is just easier to automate the robotic and antimatter factories and closing the super ore one. They will operate making you a little profit unless the system is under attack. Where as if it had been flushed out and you could ship produced goods to and from systems automatically. And had access to capital sized freighters you could simply set around all day making billions.

So while the trading is fun it is short lived and the trader end game of companies is shallow at best. I would still consider this game worth the price of admission.
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