"You are outgunned. You are massively outnumbered. You must win." These are your orders. Humanity has already fought its war against the machines -- and lost. AI death squads stand watch over every planet and every wormhole, the few remaining human settlements are held captive in orbiting bubbles, and the AIs have turned their...
User reviews: Very Positive (410 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 21, 2009

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Buy AI War: Fleet Command

Packages that include this game

Buy AI War Bundle (2014)

Includes 7 items: AI War: Fleet Command, AI War: The Zenith Remnant, AI War: Children of Neinzul, AI War: Light of the Spire, AI War: Ancient Shadows, AI War: Vengeance Of The Machine, AI War: Destroyer of Worlds


Recent updates View all (319)

October 18

AI War Collection 2014 - $3.40 USD, DLC $1.00 on GamersGate for 16 hours

AI War Facebook page
Arcen Games' Facebook page
Tidalis Facebook page
A Valley Without Wind Facebook page
Our community forums
Report bugs and suggestions on MantisBT
AI War web IRC / irc.appliedirc.com / #aiwar

GamersGate is currently having an 80% off sale for AI War and all its DLCs; the entire pack is only $3.30 USD, whereas individual DLCs are at $1.00 (Neinzul is $0.40). Cheapest it has been for a long while, so be sure to seize it before it ends in 16 hours. All keys are compatible with Steam.

The Winter 2013 AI War Sortie Bulletin topic at the community hub is a place to find other players.

3 comments Read more

October 8

AI War Official 8.017 "Boost THIS!" Released!

This one is another performance update, this time on the CPU and RAM sides. The munitions boosters were the big culprit here, but there are other more minor effects beyond that.


This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. When you launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.

Click here for the official forum thread for this update.

1 comments Read more


"AI War breaks most of the genre’s rules. Which is precisely why it’s incredible… This out-of-the-blue one-man passion project is one of this year’s finest strategy games."
- Alec Meer, PC Gamer UK, November 2009

It’s a balancing act, with your own strength on one side, and the AI’s opinion of you on the other. Piss it off before you’re ready to face it, and you’re going to get squashed. That moment, when you’re finally in a position to turn the tables, is about as glorious as gaming gets.
- Phill Cameron, Eurogamer, February 2011

I think I’ve stumbled across this year’s Really New Thing. There’s a lot of 2009 to go, but I’ll be surprised if anyone else twists the RTS formula this dramatically and this effectively. And I’m hoping it’ll be the Next Big Thing, because it’s big, different, entirely unprecedented and an exciting way to play an RTS.
- Tom Chick, Crispy Gamer, August 2009

Having played this title at two distinct points in its life cycle what really stands out is the incredible dedication of Arcen Games in keeping on top of how the game evolves and expands. Even though a great many features have been added and tweaked and refined, it was possible for me to drop back into AI War after more than a year away and not find it to be a confusing mish-mash of feature overload. The post-release support is, quite honestly, the best I’ve seen for any game.
- Peter Parrish, IncGamers, February 2011

AI War is, quite simply, the best experience you could have with co-op or single-player real-time strategy in this or any year. It combines grand strategy with emergent AI to form an excellent game perfect for parties and multiplayer. It is easily worth double the price that the developer is selling it at, and anyone with any affinity or taste for strategy games should not miss it. It may be daunting at first, but an excellent tutorial and amazing gameplay mechanics alleviate this into a game that almost anyone can - and should - play.
- James Murff, Big Download, November 2009

About This Game

"You are outgunned. You are massively outnumbered. You must win." These are your orders.

Humanity has already fought its war against the machines -- and lost. AI death squads stand watch over every planet and every wormhole, the few remaining human settlements are held captive in orbiting bubbles, and the AIs have turned their attention outward, away from the galaxy, to alien threats or opportunities unknown.

This inattention is our only hope: a small resistance, too insignificant even to be noticed by the AI central command, has survived. These are the forces you will command. The AI subcommanders will fight you to the death when they see you -- but your glimmer of opportunity comes from quietly subduing those subcommanders without alerting central processing to the danger until it's too late.

You do have a few things going in your favor. Your ships are much faster. You have safe AI routines to automate defenses and mining outposts. You have production techniques that can churn out fully-outfitted unmanned fighters in seconds. There will never be more than a few thousand of your ships versus tens of thousands of theirs, but through careful strategy you must somehow reach and destroy the heavily-guarded AI cores.

Go forth into the galaxy, steal AI technology, recapture those planets you must in order to achieve your ends, and save what remains of humanity. But draw too much attention to yourself, and the full might of the AI overlords will come crashing down.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU (2.4 Ghz recommended, Dual Core strongly recommended for Host)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 300MB
    • Multiplayer: Broadband Internet Connection or LAN required for multiplayer.
    • OS: Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5 or later.
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU (2.4 Ghz recommended, Dual Core strongly recommended for Host)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 300MB
    • Multiplayer: Broadband Internet Connection or LAN required for multiplayer.
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may very well work
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU (2.4 Ghz recommended, Dual Core strongly recommended for Host)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do), 1024x768 or greater (32 bit color recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 300MB
    • Multiplayer: Broadband Internet Connection or LAN required for multiplayer.
Helpful customer reviews
25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
There is an intuitive and intelligent game to be found, it just takes quite a bit of patience, learning and experience to find it.
Posted: September 27
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
69.9 hrs on record
Everything is going smooth, you're controling 70% of space, you have a 20k unit army...
And then out of nowhere you see a big YOU LOST sign and it autosaved a second before it happened.
Just dif 9 things
Posted: October 2
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
99.7 hrs on record
-deep strategy
-truly smart computer opponent/s
-4x, tower defense and rts all-in-one
-content rich
-stable performance across all platforms (PC, Linux, Mac)

-may be visually unappealing to some
-steep learning curve
Posted: September 28
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Unique and challenging game. Be prepared to put in alot of hours into this game.
Posted: September 28
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
This game is a rare gem, the type of game that only comes out of a small studio.

No other title I've played in the last several years has offered this kind of tactical depth, but to say it's just a great strategy game would be doing it an injustice. It's also a game that, despite its rather basic 2D graphics and rudimentary sound, truly captures the essence of the universe it portrays.

It's a dark, cold universe where humanity has been flung to the four winds, and is pursued by a ruthless alien AI hive across the galaxy as it fights, vainly, for its survival. It evokes the imagery and sense of encroaching dread of Ender's Game as it puts you in charge of organizing mankind's last stand - a suicidal breakout and attack directly against the AI homeworlds.

To get there, you'll have to cut a swath through AI controlled worlds, each with layered defenses, guard posts, mobile fortresses and a plethora of other tools at it's disposal to remind you that they are the masters of this domain, and make your beachhead a costly failure. And even if your beachhead is successful, you will quickly learn that you have but stumbled into the lion's den.

Each tactical victory comes with a price that is higher than the sum of all the troops that fell in achieving it - the closer you get to the AI homeworlds, the more viciously, effectively, and stubbornly it will fight. Well before you get within stone's throw of their homeworlds, the AI will begin to recognize you as a real and growing threat, and it will respond appropriately.

By appropriately, I mean it will attempt to destroy you using everything in its near-infinite disposal. If you expand zealously, like the scourge it believes humanity to be, it will crush you mercilessly without batting an eye. From star systems and galaxies near and far, it will draw from the hive and send the combined weight of a thousand navies against you. You cannot win this war traditionally. You must wage it like a guerrilla campaign, striking hard and fast deep in enemy territory at specific, high value targets, and hoping to escape with your remaining forces back into the night. You must attrition down dug in positions carefully, lest you give away your true presence and tip your hand. It is a war that demands long-term strategic thinking, tempered aggression, the careful use of ruse and concealment, and a sixth sense of when your foe is strong and when he is weak. It requires you to revise your tactics and force compositions constantly, as the AI will adapt to your strategies quickly. Like using hordes of cheap, fast, throwaway ships to attrition down the enemy? Well, right now the Ai is building a stealth smart bombing fleet that will be able to annihilate your blob before it can even react. Like bunkering up and covering your inlet wormholes with shields and hordes of turrets? The AI just hacked your shield and turrets with the hacker drones right on the other side of the wormhole you havent scouted lately, and not only have they assembled a strike force just on the other side, theyre now making a beachhead into your territory, using your shield and turrets for cover. That system, well behind the front, that's been quiet as a ghost for the last hour? As we speak there are AI stealth drones surveying its defenses, helping to paint a picture of precisely how much force and what tools will be needed to push you out of system and split a gap in your supply lines. Steamrolling the AI with your superfleet, sitting off the enemy's sector, waiting for orders to jump? It knows you're there. It's just waiting for you to commit, to jump into system, so it can spring on the black hole generators so you cannot escape. It will hit you with tractor beams, smart bombs, and long-range standoff fleets that outrange your crippled battleships. And then, as you helplessly watch your fleet picked apart, that massed invasion fleet that has been assembling just outside your territory gets the go order, and before long you are looking at a massed attack all along the front as the AI carries out probing attacks at your industrial centers - just as you are at your weakest. It only wanted you to think it was weak, to draw you into a fight on favorable terms, on ground where the tables were turned. It wanted you to commit the bulk of your forces to suicidal action, as it planned to pin your fleet down, envelop your industrial base, and destroy you.

The AI is THAT good. And that's on one of the more modest difficulty settings. On the higher settings, it goes from being a somewhat difficult campaign into a brutal, oft-unwinnable fight for survival. You have to employ the same cunning tactics as the AI to stand a chance. It amazes me that this was a two-man project; the gentleman who wrote the AI script for this should be working for the NSA skunkworks.

This game has been out for a while, and has six or so expansions now; if it sounds like the kind of title you're interested in, I'd reccommend the bundle. The expansions offer a number of new tools, ships, modifications, and functionalities to the game.

It's not the prettiest game to behold, but the gameplay is awesome, the AI is beyond amazing, and the replayability is tremendous. One of the best PC purchases I've ever made.
Posted: September 27
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3 of 8 people (38%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
The game doesn't make it very easy to get into. When I got somewhat familiar it only became a min/max game and I was only looking to exploit the ai kinda unfun.
Posted: October 3
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0 of 9 people (0%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Too many controls
Posted: September 27
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413.7 hrs on record
The best RTS IMHO. I've never seen such variability and customizability in gameplay. Having played it for 500+ hours I didn't yet try all scenarios and strategies I wanted to. And what is more surprising, the game balance is not broken. There are some settings combinations where you can reliably beat the hardest AI available, but for me that's the real fun to explore all those options.
Posted: October 1
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46.8 hrs on record
THE most extensive, THE most amazing and generally THE best real-time strategy game EVER.

Gives the term "RTS" an entirely new meaning.
Posted: September 24
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15.7 hrs on record
Not like other RTS games. More of a giant puzzle as you have to plan out not just how you will win battles, but what objectives you will take and how you will win the war.
Posted: September 28
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224.1 hrs on record
An eclectic blend of tower defense, RTS, 4X, guerilla warfare, and grand strategy. Chock-full of emergent complexity and replayability, this is a game designed to keep people like me happily occupied for many hours and many playthroughs. It takes a while to get a handle on all the mechanics, but the reward is a game that will surprise you even after a thousand hours of playtime.
Posted: September 29
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1,053.0 hrs on record
At the time of Writing, I have over 1000 hours clocked in this game.
I have won four times on difficulty 7, once on difficulty 8. I got crushed in 3.5 hours on diff. 9
Any other strategy game I load up (against AIS), the results are a foregone conclusion. I will win.

It has taken me over four years and six expansions, over a thousand hours... AND I LOSE ON 9.

This game is not simple. it is not forgiving, and it sure as heck isn't easy to learn.

If you are all about grand strategy but micromanagement leaves a bad taste in your mouth, this may be the best $20 you ever spend. Get the bundle.
Posted: September 25
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171.8 hrs on record
A very fun game, with a customizable play experiance and tactics that go from a shallow "Wave on wave of 'splosions approach to deep, twenty-hours ahead strategy. The graphics are sometimes a bit simplistic, but you can get some beautiful visuals during intense fleet battles, and its performance footprint can get pretty small.

Best of all, though it has a LOT of expansions, you don't really need them to get the best of the game. They add new ships and side functions, sure, but every balance pass and gameplay tweak is applied to the base game, and it even gets some full out new content from time to time. I'd definately say pick this up, since if you like slower paced strategy games, some configuration of it is almost certain to be your cup of tea.
Posted: October 4
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85.2 hrs on record
Ai ceeps wreking us! We Q.Q so hard! 10/10 wuld play again!
Posted: October 5
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84 of 91 people (92%) found this review helpful
91.7 hrs on record
AI War is a special game to me. To borrow a quote from Firefly:
"Live with a man 40 years. Share his house, his meals. Speak on every subject. Then tie him up, and hold him over the volcano's edge. And on that day, you will finally meet the man."
AI War lets you meet yourself. Some games you play until you can win, then you get bored. AI War is different. At difficulty 7 or below it's still challenging, easy to stumble on the long road to victory and not a sure thing. It'll take a while but you'll have a satisfying victory. But you won't stop there, once you can win the game then you'll feel free to turn up the heat. Walking through the labyrinth of options until, quite quickly, you find yourself standing on the volcano's edge, bound and tied by your own hands. But when you find yourself there it'll be with a smile on your face, saying quite happily: "Oh no! Oh no! Oh dear... I'm dead." And if you do manage to win at difficulty 10, it's a bug. Report it on the Arcen games forums... with pride.

Also, it has co-op multiplayer. So you can tie your friends up and hold them over the volcano's edge... though you'll probably both be a little singed. (Fighting Scorched Earth AI's and... Mimes! NB: Scorched earth destroys planets rather than letting you take control, never set both AI types to that if you want to win. Mimes mimic the ships you used against it, you'll think... “So what happens if I use...” and the answer: You die.)

Lastly, the developers are kind, polite and extraordinarily hard working. The game has evolved with constant developments for year after year after year. They read people's after action reports, watch the lets plays, answer questions on the forums and are just plain nice. Not a dull nice, but a sweet, genuine, sharp and creative nice... rather like shaving a birthday cake into a beard. Or sneaking into the office to digitise old files to save you time.

They've got a touch of magic, love and creativity that I want to watch, and I hope that other people will have a chance to see it too. So yeah, it's just a game, the graphics are a little dated and the learning curve is a little steep... it isn't really magic and it doesn't grant any wishes. But I like it. I'm glad I bought it. I hope you'll set aside a few hours and give it a solid try. Then some more hours when you drag a friend to play a co-op game.
Posted: August 15
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27 of 27 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.1 hrs on record
I have owned the game for something like three or four years.. for each of those years I have played the tutorial, tried to understand the game and to be able to play it to win.. and I've failed every time.

This year for the fourth time I tried again. and this time I succeeded. And WOW... suddenly the game unfolds like a flower .. or perhaps a supernova.
I expect it will be another four years before I win a game, but I will enjoy the game on and off for the rest of my life I think.

Astonishing depth hidden behind a horrible (but learnable) interface.
Posted: June 25
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19 of 21 people (90%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Amazing space strategy game.

It has incredible depth, but is still straightforward to pick up. You will lose a lot in this game, but learn as you go.
The visuals are incredibly impressive, and the AI operates on a threat factor system which means it will respond to your expansion in logical ways.
It is also brutally efficient of taking advantage of any holes in your defences.

Recommened for all 4X and RTS fans.

For more details, read KJ[]Real's review for this game with which I agree 100%: http://steamcommunity.com//profiles/76561198034117169/recommended/40400/
Posted: June 20
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
58.5 hrs on record
This is a very fun survival experiance. Play a few hours a day, and working slowly across a galaxy to an inevitable hard earned victory, or a humiliating defeat. Little can go right, and so much can go wrong. This game doesn't do kindly on mistakes. focusing on a single objective will leave you wide open for a crushing counter attack. Each move you make, each action against the AI, will eventually cost you.

Can you Ante up? Cause there is no backing down.
Posted: May 25
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record

You guys, deserve so much. This game is great. And you even did it and brought it to GNU/Linux.

Lots of honor is the only thing you should get....

*you deserve
Posted: September 8
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.7 hrs on record
Picked this game up for only $7 with all the expansion DLCs and found this to be an excellent buy, even at full price.

- Highly complex game with much depth and strategy.
- Huge amount of ships and technology for massive fleet capital battles
- Truly massive Capital Fleet Battles!
- Expansions actually add much content and additional ships!
- Highly customizable games!
- Awesome, inspiring music!
- RTS with no performance issues to worry about.
- Perfect game for the Strategist Purist!

- Only 2D perspective, but still nicely rendered ships and backgrounds.

This game reminds me a lot of the capital battles in Eve Online, only flattened out like a chess board game, so you can concentrate on just the pure strategy of the space battle. I find the lack of 3D graphics actually less distracting and actually provides a more enjoyable game.
Posted: September 1
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