Got Galactic Civ III questions? We got answers.


Q: What is Galactic Civilizations?

A: Galactic Civilizations is a 4X space strategy game set in the 23rd century. Humans compete with alien civilizations for control of the galaxy. Galactic Civilizations is created by Stardock Entertainment and has won numerous awards, including being recently listed as #75 in PC Gamer’s Top 100 Greatest PC Games of all time. Galactic Civilizations remains one of the highest-rated strategy franchises ever.

Q: When will Galactic Civilizations III come out?

A: We’re targeting an April 2015 release date. That gives us six months of beta testing via Early Access, which we have found to be a good amount of time to work out any kinks and nail down both the balance and technical sides of the game.

Q: But I want to play Galactic Civilizations III now!

A: Our Founder’s program has ended with the beta launch, but Galactic Civilizations III is now available for $5 off the regular price via Steam Early Access. You can buy the game from Steam or directly through Stardock.

Q: How much is it?

A: The final price is $49.99, but those who help us beta test can get it for $44.99.

Q: How do I get it?

A: Click here!


Q: What are some of the big differences between Galactic Civilizations II and III?

A: There are too many additions to list here – the game is being built on new technology from the ground up. The big areas are much more sophisticated ship design so you can build the ship of your dreams (internally we call the ship designer “mini-maya” after the 3D modeling program), more interesting planetary management, more sophisticated diplomacy, and a lot more depth with regards to the strategic map with the addition of interstellar terrain and other anomalies.

Q: Do I need to have played Galactic Civilizations I or II?

A: No. The campaign part will fill the player in on the backstory before it starts. It doesn’t matter if you’ve played those games or not. But Galactic Civilizations II is a great way to get ready for Galactic Civilizations III and can be purchased here.

Q: Turn-based or real time?

A: Turn-based.

Q: Will there be a campaign?

A: Yes. The campaign begins 10 years after the events of Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor.

Q: Hexes or squares?

A: Hexes.

Q: Any new aliens?

A: Yes. The Iridium are a brand-new race that you can play now in the beta, and we’ll be adding in the rest of the launch civilizations as the beta progresses.

Q: Where can I learn more about Galactic Civilizations III?

A: We stream live on every Friday at 3pm — swing by, or check out the archives on YouTube. Try the Game and Databanks sections of this website – we’ve put a lot of stuff up there. You can also check out our forums or the Steam community hub for lots of discussion about the game.


Q: Is this a “fun beta” or a “functional beta”?

A: Both, actually. Every studio has its own definition of what “beta” means; at Stardock we believe that our games have to be fun to earn the beta designation. Galactic Civilizations III is fun now, but it’ll be getting much better as we add in the last few features and get the balance tightened up during the beta process. As a smaller studio, we do need the beta period for the traditional purposes of balancing and bugfixing; this isn’t just a marketing thing by any means.

Q: What features are you still working on?

A: The combat viewer and planetary invasion viewers are big steps forward for the series, but they’re still under development. Diplomacy isn’t in yet, though much of the framework is in place and we hope to have it available to beta players soon. And, of course, the work on improving the AI never stops. These will all be folded into the beta as they are completed.


Q: Is there multiplayer?

A: Yes, there is online multiplayer! Internet play is a first for the series, and we’re thrilled to have gotten it into Galactic Civilizations III. And yes, it’s functional in the beta.

Q: What about hotseat?

A: Very few players in 2014 have shown any interest in hotseat multiplayer, so we chose to forgo developing the feature in order to instead work on features that more people use.

Q: Play-by-email?

A: We don’t have an explicit PBEM function, but you can save your multiplayer games and restart them at a later time. You could simply email the save file around, or share it on your file-sharing platform of choice.

Q: Do you have anything to speed up multiplayer play? Turn-based games can take forever.

A: We use what we call “simultaneous planning, sequential execution.” So you can queue up all your orders, from colony management to research direction, ideological choices to fleet movement, and they’ll execute as soon as your turn comes up and you hit the button. Crucially, you always have a chance to re-evaluate the situation before any of your orders are carried out.


Q: What are the requirements to run Galactic Civilizations III?

A: It will require a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8 along with a DirectX 10 or 11 compatible video card. There will be no 32-bit version. Most PC gamers in 2014 have this kind of hardware, and it allows us to create the best game possible for the majority of our customers.

Q: Why are you requiring 64-bit?

A: We want Galactic Civilizations III, and future expansions, to be able to handle extremely large galaxies with a very high resolution graphics and large data sets for the computer AI to make use of. It allows us to design the best game possible without being constrained by the limitations of older hardware.

Q: Why don’t you support DirectX 9?

A: DirectX 10 and 11 allow us to easily have multiple threads touch the graphics card simultaneously. This results in much higher-quality font rendering, HDR lighting, makes it a lot easier to support advanced UI scaling, and makes the game less CPU-bound which will be important for giving the artificial intelligence engine more processing power to execute VCSS’s (Very Complex Strategy Simulations). As with the decision to be 64-bit, it allows us to create a better game for the majority of players that already meet the requirements.

Q: Will the game require a network connection to play?

A: No. However, some of the AI learning mechanisms will require access to the Metaverse in order to perform analysis on player strategies. This will be optional and able to be disabled by the player but does require an Internet connection.

Q: Will it have any copy protection?

A: No. Unless you consider requiring a user account copy protection (which we do require as it’s necessary to allow users to be able to re-download the entire game and receive updates and support).


Q: Is Galactic Civilizations III using Oxide’s new Nitrous engine?

A: Stardock is thrilled about our strategic relationship with the talented team at Oxide Games, but Galactic Civilizations III is not using their Nitrous engine. Not because we don’t think Nitrous is amazing – we’ve seen it, and “amazing” is a good way to describe it – but because we’ve been working on Galactic Civilizations III for a long time, and Nitrous is still being built. Galactic Civilizations III runs on a custom, in-house engine we built specifically for the game.


Q: What is the Founder’s Program?

A: The Founder’s Program was a special early access program that allowed hardcore fans to participate in the creation of Galactic Civilization III. It has concluded, and we deeply thank everyone who participated and showed their support for Stardock and GalCiv. We especially thank our Elite Founders for the reams of invaluable feedback and bug reporting they provided throughout the alpha stage of development.

Q: How do I name a star once I’ve bought the Founder’s Elite Edition?

A: Once you’ve purchased the Elite Edition, go here. As with all Galactic Civilizations III support, you’ll need to log into your Stardock account to access your Founder’s perks.

Q: When will my star name be put into the game?

A: We currently plan to include Elite Founder’s star names at some point during the beta.

Galactic Civilization III FAQ