GalCiv3:Galactic Civilizations III

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Galactic Civilizations III

Welcome to the Galactic Civilizations III Wiki!

Galactic Civilizations III is a 4X turn-based strategy game developed by Stardock Entertainment and released on May 14, 2015. In the game, players take on the role of the leader of a spacefaring civilization and must explore space, expand their territory, exploit resources, and exterminate their enemies in order to become the dominant civilization in the galaxy.

The game features a rich and deep tech tree, allowing players to research and develop new technologies that will give them an edge over their opponents. Players can also design and customize their own ships, choose from a variety of alien races to play as, and interact with other civilizations through diplomacy, trade, and war.

Galactic Civilizations III also includes a robust multiplayer mode, allowing players to compete against each other in epic space battles and conquer the galaxy together.

This Wiki is a comprehensive resource for all things Galactic Civilizations III, featuring detailed information on gameplay mechanics, strategies, civilizations, and more. We welcome contributions from the community, so if you have any knowledge or expertise to share, please feel free to edit and add to the Wiki.

Thank you for visiting the Wiki! We hope you find it helpful as you explore the vast and exciting universe of Galactic Civilizations III.


Players begin with only their home planet and must research new technologies, explore the galaxy, and colonize new worlds. All the while, players engage in diplomatic intrigue with other races and will likely be drawn into (or start) wars of both survival and expansion.

Getting Started

Galactic Civilizations III is a 4X turn-based strategy game set in the distant future, where players take on the role of the leader of a space-faring civilization and must explore the galaxy, expand their territory, exploit resources, and exterminate their enemies in order to become the dominant civilization in the galaxy.

To get started with Galactic Civilizations III, follow these steps:

Choose a civilization: When you start a new game, you will be given the option to choose which civilization you want to play as. Each civilization has its own unique abilities and traits, so choose carefully based on your preferred play style.

Explore the galaxy: Once you start the game, you will be given control of a single planet and a handful of ships. Use your ships to explore the galaxy, discover new planets, survey anomalies, and expand your territory.

Build and manage your empire: As you expand your territory, you will need to develop your planets to increase resource production and research new technologies. Researching the right techs and building and/or designing ships to defend your empire will give you the edge needed to emerge victorious.

Interact with other civilizations: As you explore the galaxy, you will encounter other civilizations. You can interact with them through diplomacy, trade, or war. Choose your actions carefully; they will have a major impact on your relationship with other civilizations, as well as your chances of success in the game.

Conquer the galaxy: As you progress, your ultimate goal will be to conquer the galaxy and become the dominant civilization. This will require a combination of strategic planning, resource management, and military might. There are many paths to victory, so choose the one that works best for you!

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to becoming a formidable leader. Good luck!


The Sandbox

Galactic Civilizations III is an open-ended 4X space strategy game that features a robust sandbox mode. The player selects who they want to play as, who they want to play against, the size and configuration of their galaxy, what conditions constitute a victory, and are then set loose along with their clever AI foes on an unsuspecting galaxy.

The Campaign

Galactic Civilizations III will come with a story-driven campaign that introduces players to the game’s setting. In the first campaign for Galactic Civilizations III, the player commands a powerful Terran armada that has just returned from a pocket universe to discover that the Drengin Empire is now firmly in control of the galaxy. It is up to the player to liberate the galaxy from Drengin oppression.


Galactic Civilizations III features a variety of civilizations that players can choose to play as, each with their own unique abilities and traits. Here is a brief overview of each of the civilizations available in the game.

Terran Alliance: The Terran Alliance are the inventors of the hyperdrive and the youngest race on the galactic stage. They have access to advanced technology and are skilled at adapting to new environments.

Drengin Empire: The Drengin Empire is a ruthless and expansionist civilization of reptilian aliens that will stop at nothing to conquer and enslave other civilizations. They excel at military tactics and are able to build powerful ships at a lower cost than other civilizations.

Yor Collective: The Yor Singularity are a race of artificial beings. They have no need for crude means of reproduction and can instead build citizens to inhabit their worlds.

Altarian Resistance: The Altarian Resistance are a deeply religious civilization and, while a bit self-righteous, they are generally kind in their interactions with others. They have a deep knowledge of Precursor technology and traditions, which makes them a mysterious and powerful player in the galaxy.

Arcean Empire: The Arcean Empire is a civilization of proud and honorable warriors that values honor and tradition. They excel at naval warfare and are able to build powerful battleships.

Torian Regime: The Torian Confederation is a peaceful and diplomatic civilization of aquatic aliens who value harmony and cooperation. They are skilled at diplomacy and are able to build ships with advanced shields.

Drath Legion: The Drath Legion is a mysterious civilization of draconic aliens who value the art of subterfuge and manipulation. It's rumored that they are behind every major conflict in the galaxy,'s possible they created those rumors themselves.

Thalan Contingency: The Thalan Contingency came from another universe hoping to stop what they call the "Terran Crusade." They are militant and productive, but generally disliked by their neighbors.

Krynn Syndicate: The Krynn Syndicate is a coalition of races deeply united by a shared religion. Their shadow network - piloted by the secretive arm of their faith that took control of their government - now spans the galaxy.

Iconian Refuge: The Iconian Refuge is a mysterious and technologically advanced civilization of aliens who were once servants of the Precursors. They now are locked in a bitter struggle with their own creations: the Yor.

Terran Resistance: The portion of humanity who avoided being trapped on Earth behind the Precursor shield, the Terran Resistance are resourceful and hard-edged after years on the run.

Iridium Corporation: This ultra-capitalistic civilization is ruled by a number of multi-planet corporations. As firm believers of the power of a free market, they specialize in economic and cultural growth.

Onyx Hive: This technologically advanced worm-like species originated around the volcanic vents of their homeworld. Natural spies, their society thrives on backstabbing and intrigue.

The Slyne: Gelatinous beings capable of understanding advanced technology, the Slyne use a variety of cybernetic limbs and enhancements to project their will.

United Earth: The United Earth government was the forerunner of the Terran Alliance. Considered naive by the rest of the galaxy, they will soon prove to be a force that is to be respected with their innovative spirit and willingness to do whatever it takes to survive.

Snathi Revenge: The most evil sect of an already evil race, the Snathi Revenge has spent the last millennia imprisoned by the Precursors on a distant world. Free at last, they will finally show the galaxy the true face of (fluffy and adorable) evil.

Korath Clan: Made up of former elite Drengin warriors, the Korath differentiated themselves from their brethren with the ferocity of their desire to wipe out all non-Drengin races.

By choosing a civilization that aligns with your preferred playstyle, you can tailor your strategy and approach to the game. Whether you want to conquer the galaxy through military might or achieve dominance through diplomacy and trade, there is a civilization that will suit your needs.


For the first time in the Galactic Civilizations franchise, players can compete against each other over the Internet.

Multiplayer uses something called "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.

You can also set options when you create a game to have research, production, etc. happen at a faster pace.

Exploring A Galaxy

Players typically start with a single colony, a colony ship, and a survey ship. They must explore the galaxy to find inhabitable planets. Technological research allows players to colonize the more extreme environments found across the galaxy.

Researching Technology

Technology is the most crucial element of securing galactic hegemony. Each major race has its own technology tree, with staggered technology ages to help streamline the gameplay and avoid the age-old problem of attacking a tank with a phalanx (so to speak).

All major factions have their own unique technology tree, the minor factions share a technology tree, and custom factions can use any of the technology trees. Clicking on the faction name will take you to more information about that faction, while clicking on the technology tree description will take you to the technologies of that faction.

In the Crusade and Intrigue expansions, the technology tree is no longer faction specific. Instead, different branches of the tree are present or absent based on the faction's abilities and traits. So, for example, the branch that has the Xeno Mysticism, Precursor History, and Dark Energy Research technologies is available to any faction that has the Ancient ability, not just the Altarians.

Every race has access to the basic necessities of expanding and growing their empire. Everyone has some kind of factory progression, for example, and access to colonization tech for extreme worlds. They differ in many of the details, though, and each race has one or more areas of expertise according to their general personality and proclivities.

Major Factions Icon Technology Tree Description
Altarian Resistance
Altarian technology tree reflects their love of beauty and culture.
Drengin Empire
Drengin technology tree is ruthless, brutal, and often downright evil. Just like its inventors.
Iconian Refuge
Iconian technology tree focuses on their ancient lineage and the mysticism they've built up over the millenia.
Iridium Corporation
Iridium technology tree is, like the rest of Iridium culture, based on the creation of value and profit.
Krynn Syndicate
Krynn technology tree allows them to explore the Way, which shapes their developing culture along distinct paths.
Terran Alliance
Terran technology tree does it all, with a focus on diplomacy.
Thalan Contingency
Thalan technology tree is weird and wonderful. Living in exile from an apocalyptic future will do that.
Yor Singularity
Yor technology tree is particularly concerned with the extermination of dirty, messy organic life from the galaxy.
Other Factions Icon Technology Tree Description
Minor Factions
Custom Race
Custom Race
Minor races each borrow one of the major races' tech trees.
Custom Factions
Custom Race technology trees are of the players choosing, as they can choose any of the other races' tech trees.


Players can negotiate treaties, trade goods and technology, and scheme against common enemies. Diplomacy has always been a key part of the Galactic Civilizations series and Galactic Civilizations III takes this much further.

Colony Management

Players build colonies on alien worlds in an effort to develop their economic and strategic potential. Constructing facilities carefully to take advantage of powerful resource and adjacency bonuses makes colony development a mini-game on its own.


Modding is so important in the Galactic Civilizations games. A robust community of enthusiasts has built up around the games over the years, and their creative modifications to game elements continue to provide so many different and exciting ways to play.

How does modding work?

Mods are files placed in your My Games/GalCiv3/Mods/ directory. They can include graphic and XML files. You can have as many mods in here as you want, but keep them in their own directories (so if you want to remove one, it’s easy to do).

NOTE: Stardock uses a file structure to help with organization, but the game actually just searches all subdirectories when looking for files. So, your files must have unique names (even if they aren't in the same directory).

At a high level, there are three things you want to do when modding. You either want to add something, modify something or delete something.

Adding things: This is the easiest thing to do - you just create a new XML file with a new name. It doesn’t matter what the name is as long as it isn’t the same as an existing file. Using the same name that it uses in GC3 but appending the mod name to make it unique can be helpful here. The only other thing that matters is that it is in the right directory. Faction Defs, Star System Defs, and Planet Defs are all in the Game folder (because if you look at the XML in the GalCiv’s real directories, those files are in the Game folder). You have to match GalCiv3’s file placement so that the modded files load correctly. Add a new file in here with just the new Faction, Star System, Planet, Tech, Improvement, Ideology Trait, etc (there are about 150 moddable xml files in GC3).

Modifying things: What if you want to increase the amount of credits the Iridium to start the game with? If you ever want to modify an existing object, you just need to copy the file from the GC3 directories and modify what you like. Be sure to keep the name exactly the same. If the game sees a file on startup with an identical name in your mod directory to one of the base files, it uses your mod file instead. This gives you ultimate control over overwriting anything in the base game (without ever having to modify a base game file).

Removing things: Since you can overwrite any of the existing XML files, the deletion solution is built right in. If there is a particular global event that annoys you, you can copy that xml file into your mod directory, delete that event form your copy, and voila! It’s gone.

Check out Using Mods for more.

Customized Ships and Civilizations

If you're looking to customize elements of gameplay without having to mess around with xml files and other modder magic, then you're in luck: the game has two major features built right in that will allow you to craft unique experiences for yourself.

The Ship Designer will let you either modify your civilization's existing ships so that they suit your playstyle or build a ship entirely from the ground up, styled any way you like. The ship designer can be accessed by clicking the "Designer" button at the bottom of the Ship List in the Shipyard screen. The buttons to do so are located below the ship list on the left hand side of the screen.

To modify an existing design, select a ship from the list and click "Modify". If "New Design" is selected, the ship list will be replaced by the Hull template list, which will allow you to select a starting block to build off, or an existing template design.

The Civilization Builder is a powerful in-game tool used to design custom factions with unique leaders, abilities, ideologies, and more. It is available with the Crusade expansion, replacing the Faction designer from the base game. With it, you'll be able to make entirely new and unique civilizations to play as - or against! - right down to the leader portraits, traits, and abilities.

Galactic Resources

New to Galactic Civilizations III are galactic resources that unlock incredible weapons and fantastical colony improvements like pleasure domes and planetary shields when captured and mined. These add another layer of interest to the strategic map.


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

A: It will require a 64-bit version of Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 along with a DirectX 10 or 11 compatible video card. There will be no 32-bit version. Most PC gamers in 2015 have this kind of hardware, and it allows us to create the best game possible for the majority of our customers.

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. You can also set options when you create a game to have research, production, etc. happen at a faster pace.

Q: I'm having issues loading my game - what do I do?

A: Many issues can be resolved by verifying the integrity of your game files on whichever platform you're using to play GalCiv 3. You also may need to check your video drivers to ensure they're up-to-date. If they're current and you're still having issues with loading the game, a full removal and reinstall is recommended, especially if you have recently installed a new version of Windows.

Another potential fix to consider is running the game as an administrator, which you can do by right-clicking on the game and choosing to do so.

Sometimes, newly installed mods can cause issues with running the game. Check to see if the game runs without mods first - if so, the issue may be with the mod itself.

Q: My multiplayer game keeps crashing (on Epic). How can I fix this?

A: Epic uses the latest version of GalCiv 3. However, one specific issue we have identified is the need to run the game as admin on Windows initially to fix some file permission issues that can affect sync in multiplayer. Note: You should only need to do this once.

Q: I have a lot of choices! How do I get started?

A: The question you need to answer as you play is this: how will you rule YOUR galaxy? You could be a tyrannical overlord or a peaceful guide for your people, and there are so many paths to victory. The best way to get an idea of how to accomplish your goals is simply to explore the game and all its options - take chances, make some mistakes! Probably get blown up a time or two - it happens to the best of us.

For more actionable advice, browse through this wiki! There's lots of tips and tricks, as well as links to various articles, videos, and forum posts that offer lots of advice. The galaxy is vast and ready to be explored, so get out there - and good luck.

Helpful Links

Base GalCiv 3 game walkthrough by CEO Brad Wardell.

Support FAQ for troubleshooting technical issues.

Galactic Civilizations III FAQ page.

Additional References

Important Pages

How to Play

Game Mechanics