Galactic Civilization

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Galactic Civilizations

Galactic Civilizations

User Manual




Table of Contents


Installation and Requirements. 5

Introduction. 5

Our story so far…... 5

Starting a new game. 6

Designing a Civilization. 6

Civilization Bonuses. 8

Galaxy Size. 9

Fill the galaxy with aliens. 9

The Main Game Interface. 10

The main screen. 10

Ships, Stars, Anomalies, Resources, and star bases. 12

The Mini-Map. 13

The Graphs Window. 13

The Control Panel 13

The Bridge/Advisor Panel 14

Your Civilization in action. 15

Abilities. 15

Good & Evil 17

Morale. 17

Cultural Influence. 18

Trade. 19

Star System notification icons. 19

Combat. 20

Ship to Ship. 20

Invading Star Systems. 20

Star bases. 21

Star System view.. 23

The Planet View.. 24

Building Things. 25

Social Projects. 25

Planetary Improvements. 25

Galactic Achievements. 25

Galactic Wonders. 25

Trade Goods. 26

Details view.. 26

The Planet List. 26

The Fleet List. 26

Domestic Policy. 26

Economic Policy.. 27

Tax Rate. 27

Spend Rate. 27

Spending Ratios. 27

The Galactic Senate. 28

Where your money can come from.. 28

Where your money goes. 28

Forms of Government. 29

Imperial 29

Republic. 29

Democracy. 29

Federation. 29

Governors. 29

Trade. 30

Domestic Statistics. 30

Graphs. 31

Setting Foreign Policy. 31

Relations. 32

Foreign Statistics. 32

Foreign Reports. 32

Treaties. 32

United Planets. 32

Minor Races. 33

Espionage & Destabilization. 33

Diplomacy. 33

Setting Technology policy. 34

Events & Ethics. 34

Influence. 35

The United Planets. 36

The Metaverse. 37

Basic Walkthrough. 38

Reference. 40

Technology Tree. 41

Social Project Improvements. 42

Getting Support. 42

Technical Frequently Asked Questions. 42

Credits. 43

At Stardock. 43

At Strategy First. 45





Galactic Civilizations requires a Pentium III level computer running at 600mhz or higher. We recommend a 1Ghz Pentium III level computer or better for optimal performance.


Galactic Civilizations requires approximately 300 megabytes of hard disk space for all multimedia features to be installed. However, minus the multimedia features it can be played with less than 100 megabytes of disk space.


It requires a display of at least 1024x768 to play.  You can receive additional updates to the game at

Galactic Civilizations is a strategy game in which you take the helm of human civilization in the year 2178. It is a time of great change for humanity as a new technology, known as hyper-drive, has allowed civilizations to travel great distances in a short amount of time. This means that countless planets are now open to colonization and exploration. However, humans are not alone in the galaxy, several other space faring civilizations are doing the same thing. It is up to you to decide how humanity will interact with these other civilizations.


Victory in Galactic Civilizations means survival and success for the human civilization. This can be done in one of several ways:


  • Conquest. If you conquer all of the alien civilizations, you win.
  • Political Victory. If you and your alien allies are able to conquer all opposition you win.
  • Technology Victory. If humanity can research enough technology that it transcends to the next level of existence, you win.
  • Cultural Victory. If you dominate 7/8th’s of the sectors culturally, you win the game via cultural domination.

The year is 2178. But our story really begins fifty years ago. For this is when humans first came into contact with an alien civilization. A the faint signals of an Arcean probe were picked up on sensors in Australia. It didn’t take long for a very basic level of contact to begin between Earth and Arcea. It was the beginning of our interstellar education.


For thousands of years, several interstellar civilizations have been sending probes throughout the galaxy. Transportation between different outposts was done through star-gates. These star-gates were immense structures that were obscenely expensive to use and maintain. As a result, the civilizations actually have had very limited contact with one another (and none with humans obviously).


Once human scientists understood the concept of star gates and how they worked, they set on a course to try to improve on them.  About a decade before the start of the game, these scientists introduce to the galaxy a new technology called “Hyper-drive”.


Humans by the 22nd century had concluded that any civilization capable of interstellar travel must certainly have long since grown out of their violent militaristic stage and one of the leading scientists involved with the project shared the design of hyper-drive with all five of the major alien civilizations. Almost instantly, communication with the other civilizations came to a halt.


After months of silence, government of United Earth came to the conclusion that hyper-drive would allow the colonization of the galaxy and what was likely to occur was a race to claim star systems that contained inhabitable planets. It was decided that Earth must not fall behind and the design for a colony ship developed.


This brings us to 2178, the beginning of the era known as “Galactic Civilizations”. The first colony ship has been created along with a survey ship to explore the numerous anomalies throughout the galaxy.


Now the race is on to find and colonize unclaimed star systems with good planets (class 15 or better), find and claim galactic resources (by building constructors that can then build star bases on them), and ensure humanity can survive in a potentially hostile galaxy.


Upon loading Galactic Civilizations you are presented with 3 options: Start a new civilization, Load a saved civilization, and Restore your last civilization.  Loading a saved one will allow you to choose a previously saved game. Restoring will bring back the most recent auto-save available.


When choosing a new game, Galactic Civilizations will ask you to create your civilization:

Designing a Civilization

On this screen, you can decide what kind of civilization you would like to have. Humanity is yours to mold. You can name your civilization anything you want.


You can select your political party from this screen.  Political parties give your civilization advantages in specific areas. However, they only good when your political party is in control of your senate. The starting government type, imperial ensures you will always have control of the senate at the beginning but as more advanced forms of government come into play, control of the senate becomes more difficult.


The political parties available are:



The federalists are big believers in having the government be somewhat distributed. They tend to be fairly expert in financial matters internally. Choosing this party will give your civilization a 20% boost in tax revenue and a 10% boost in industrial production.



The pacifists are strong believers in peace. Any civilization capable of interstellar travel must be peaceful. Disagreements and warfare between civilizations is due to misunderstanding.  Choosing this party will give your civilization a 30% bonus to your influence and 30% bonus to your diplomacy ability.


War Party

The war party sees the alien races for what they are, vermin that must be controlled. The best defense is a good offense. The human race has a manifest destiny to control the entire galaxy. Choosing this party will give your civilization a 10% bonus to star ship weapons and 50% to hit points your star ships get and a 10% bonus to the quality of your soldiers.



The progressive party sees things in terms of social progress. The galaxy is probably too big to be conquered with crude weapons and ships. The future belongs to the civilization that creates the most powerful society as a whole and abides by intergalactic laws. This party gets a 50% bonus to social project manufacturing.



The Mercantiles understand the true power of hyperdrive – trade. It is through trade that the galaxy will be united under human guidance. Exporting our goods and culture to other civilizations will make them more dependent and human prosperity for their own success. The Mercantiles receive a 30% bonus to trade via freighters and the value of human trade goods is increased by 30%. As an extra bonus, they give a 10% bonus to espionage.



The populists are the party of the people. They care. They really do. They believe in focusing on the needs and fears of the people and as a result, they bring a 30% increase to morale and increase our influence by 10%. They also highly encourage humans to be fruitful and multiply which gives a 10% boost to population growth.



The technologists are the ones who have dominated the politics of the United Nations for the past few decades. It was their supporters, after all, who delivered hyperdrive in the first place. That is why the technologists give an impressive 30% boost research and +3 to sensor range.



The industrialists are the antithesis of the technologists. Why worry about products of the future when you can focus on the products of today? The industrialists provide a 5% economic bonus and a 20% industrial production bonus.



The key to winning is really through a balance of all factors. Universalists don’t focus on any particular issue but instead moderate between many views. As a result, Universalists provide a 10% trade bonus, a 10% research bonus, a 10% bonus to ship defenses, a 10% bonus to ship repair, a 10% bonus to starship speed. While some argue that these miniscule advantages they provide are a waste of time, they counter that when combined with other advantages received in the future that they can make quite a difference.


Civilization Bonuses

After choosing your political party, you can add up to 10 ability bonus points to key areas of your civilization.


Each point represents a 10% boost in a particular area. The categories for boosting are:



The number of moves your starships receive each turn. If a ship has 5 moves per turn, providing navigation 2 points will increase that number to 6.



The amount of research each colony does per turn is increased by the percent you assign.



The amount of espionage or destabilization that you assign is increased by the percent you assign here.



The sensor range of your star ships is increased by the number of units you assign here.  A typical star ship has a sensor range of around 3 light years (each move unit is 1 light year). A sector is roughly 12 light years across.


The amount of influence your star systems provide is increased by the percentage you set here.



The revenue you receive from each trade route is increased by the percentage you set.


Population Increase

The rate in which your population increases is set by this.


Military Production

The rate in which your star ships build ships is affected by this.


Social Production

The rate in which social projects are built is affected by this.



The star ship attack and star ship defense is increased by the percentage set here.


Galaxy Size

There is also the matter of choosing the size of the galaxy you would like to play. The size of the galaxy helps determine how long the game is going to last. A tiny galaxy can be played in an hour or two at most.  A gigantic galaxy may take weeks or months.  The galaxy sizes available are:


Galaxy Type

Size in Sectors


3 x 3


4 x 4


5 x 5


8 x 8


10 x 10


12 x 12


You may also choose the likelihood of inhabitable planets. The options are:


Rare: Inhabitable planets are very unlikely and each one will have to be fought over.

Uncommon: Nice planets are hard to find but they’re out there.

Occasional: There are nice planets available but not in large quantity

Common: There are a lot of common planets but don’t expect every star system to have them.

Everywhere: The galaxy is just teeming with life.


Fill the galaxy with aliens.

Once you have set up your civilization and the galaxy you want to play in, you can also set up how you want other players to behave.


There are five major civilizations in the game. Other civilizations may appear during the course of the game but they do not affect the victory conditions. Similarly, minor races do not affect victory conditions either.


Each civilization can be named to whatever you wish to call them. You can also set their intelligence and their morality. These will affect the game dramatically. Each civilization can have intelligence ranging from “idiot” to “genius”. Warning: Setting to genius should not be done unless you are an expert. A single “genius” player can dominate the galaxy very quickly.  Morality is a little more nebulous. It determines the personality of the civilization along with what technologies are available to it. Alien civilizations make foreign policy decisions based on the ethical values of other civilizations.



When the game begins, you are first given a progress report and then taken to the technology policy screen to choose what to research first. We will discuss the technology screen in detail in “Technology Policy Screen”.


The main screen

This is the screen you will see most often. It includes the main map, the mini map, the graphs screen, the control panel, the star ship bridge panel and the info net.


Figure 1 The main game screen


Let’s discuss all of these:


The Map:

The map will display select the USS Discovery, the first colony created by the human civilization for colonizing another world. It will be parked just outside the Sol star system where Earth, Mars, Saturn, etc. are located.


A second ship, the USS Hero, is a survey ship that has been constructed at great cost to help explore the galaxy.  Survey ships are a special class of ship, they contain equipment and special crews that allow them to seek out strange things and boldly go where no one has gone before. As you begin to explore the galaxy, it won’t take you long to find strange things worth investigating. Move your survey ship into an anomaly and you will discover what benefit, if any, it provides. Anomalies will continue to appear at various rates throughout the game. Many of them provide special ship-specific bonuses. As time goes on, your civilization will research technology that will provide star ships that are formidable military craft in their own right while also allowing them to explore anomalies.


There are a number of keyboard commands that can streamline your game play.




Cursor Keys

Moves ships in specificed direction

Keypad keys

Moves ships in specific direction (check Numlock)


Sentries a ship (ship will not be called on unless an alien ship comes within sensor range.


Guard mode (ship will not be called on unless an enemy alien ship comes within sensor range.


Finds the next available ship with moves remaining.


Currently selected ship chooses to pass on its turn.


Turns multiple ships on the same tile into a fleet.


Un-Fleet. Breaks a selected fleet back into individual units.


Center on currently selected ship.


Galactic Map Window


Planet List


Ship List


Domestic Policy


Foreign Policy


Technology Policy


Open Planet View for first planet in civilization


Refresh your sensors across the galaxy.


Go to next turn


Dismiss a dialog or bring up the Game options dialog


The mouse also provides a large number of options as well.


Mouse Controls 

Left clicking on a ship selects it. Right clicking on the map sends it on its destination.  Clicking on space and holding down the left mouse button will “grip” space and allow you to adjust your view.


Holding down the Control key (Ctrl) while left clicking on multiple ships will allow you to select multiple ships.  Holding down the Shift key while left click-dragging on the map will allow you to also do the same.


Double clicking on a ship, anomaly, resource or star base will bring up additional information on that object. Double clicking on a star will bring up the planetary management screen for the first colonized planet you control.


Fog of War

There are two types of fog of war. (1) The unexplored area of the map and (2) The area that your sensors currently can’t detect.


Ships, Stars, Anomalies, Resources, and star bases


On the main map there are 5 different types of objects that may exist there.  Ships and stars are pretty straight forward. Anomalies are special objects that exist on the map that can only be explored by certain types of star ships (ships with a survey ability). Resources look similar to anomalies except that if you build a star base on them that has mining abilities, you gain advantages from them. Star bases are built and upgraded with constructor ships.


In all these cases you can find out more information on them by double clicking on the object.


The Mini-Map

The mini-map on the top right allows you to view the galaxy in different modes. At the top right of the mini-map are small + and – buttons that will zoom in and out of a particular sector. 

The bottom buttons provide the following displays:


Normal View: Shows explored sectors and star systems (undefended star systems appear darker).


Sector Owner: When a player achieves dominance in a sector (determined by population) that sector’s color changes to the player who controls it.


Ship View: Star ships are displayed as small triangles. Privately controlled ships appear as a single dot on this screen.


Production View: This displays in circles of various sizes the production levels of different star systems.


Population View: This displays in circles of various sizes the population levels of different star systems.


The Graphs Window

Any race you have diplomatic relations with will appear here. You can track how well you are doing compared to your interstellar rivals and friends in terms of population, military might, economy,  technology, and manufacturing.


The graphs are relative to one another.

The Control Panel

The panel at the bottom of the screen allows players to control what view the game is in. The main map is the default view.


The available views are:


Main Map View: This is the view we just discussed.

Planet List: Displays your list of planets

Ship List” Displays a list of your available sihps

Domestic Policy: Set your civilization’s domestic policy

Foreign Policy: Set your civilization’s foreign policy

Research Policy: Set what technologies you want to research


The Bridge/Advisor Panel

The currently selected ship will be displayed with its name, that you can change by clicking on the field, the class, the number of hitpoints it has, the Attack rating, the Defense rating and what level the ship is. As ships do battle, they gain experience which increases their level. The higher the level, the more bonuses in attack and defense they receive. If you are selecting a star ship that carries colonists or troops, the number on board is displayed instead.


If a ship isn’t selected, then an advisor will appear to offer advice to you on what you may want to do next.


The InfoNet

Events occurring in the galaxy that are of interest to you will appear on the InfoNet on the bottom right of the screen. Events can include ships being attacked, new projects completed, new star ships built and more.



The Find Button

This is equivalent to the TAB key. It will find a ship in the galaxy that needs to be moved.


The Turn Button

Tells the game to cycle to the next move.



As leader of the human race, you have control over the way humanity develops. To this end, your civilization has twenty abilities as well as a morality rating that can from change demonic (0) to angelic (100). Humans start out with a morality rating of neutral (50).


The abilities your civilization can have include:


Economics. This ability affects how much income you derive in taxes from your worlds.


Weapons.  This ability can increase the strength of your ships weapons. For instance, if you have a battle ship with an attack rating of 10 and your weapons ability is at 10% your battle ship’s attack rating would be increased to 11.


Defense. This ability is similar to weapons except it affects the defense value for your ships.


Navigation. This ability affects how fast your ships go.


Morale.  This affects your approval rating of your planets. Morale and approval rating are the same thing. Your morale ability determines how happy your civilization is.


Population Growth. This ability affects how fast your population grows each month.

Social Production. The ability affects how much production can be put into social projects. Half of this ability is provided as bonus production (i.e. production that doesn’t cost any money).


Military Production. Same as above but for military projects.


Research. This ability affects how fast your civilization researches new technologies. Half of this ability is put towards free bonus research production and the other half is added to your overall research production.


Influence. This ability affects how much cultural influence your star systems generate each month.


Trade. This ability affects how much income from trade you receive each month.


Diplomacy.  This effects how well you are able to get your way in negotiating with other civilizations. The better your diplomacy rating versus theirs, the harder the bargain you can drive. It also affects your foreign relations as you will tend to be able to avoid war easier (as well as come to peaceful terms) with a better Diplomacy ability.


Hitpoints. This ability affects how many extra hitpoints your starships receive.


Repair. This ability affects how quickly your starships repair themselves each turn.


Sensors. This ability affects how far your ships can see in a given sector.


Espionage. This ability affects how quickly you are able to spy on other players and destabilize them if necessary.


Soldiering. This ability affects how powerful your ground forces are. This directly affects the outcome of planetary invasions.


Interest Rates. This ability affects your ability to borrow money to purchase ships and improvements. The better your interest rate ability, the less you’ll have to pay in leases.


Planet Quality. This ability is particularly powerful since it affects the quality of a planet. For instance, if your planet quality ability is 10% that means all of your planets gain a 10% bonus in their planet class. So a class 20 planet would become a class 22 planet which has massive impacts on economics and production and morale. Needless to say, this ability is very hard to increase.


Trade Routes. This ability determines how many trade routes you can have. Each increase in it adds an additional trade route.


Range. This ability affects how far your ships can travel from a friendly star system. 


Good & Evil

What kind of civilization would you like to create? Galactic Civilizations allows you to travel in either direction.  In Galactic Civilizations, good and evil are very specifically defined (lest we get into endless pointless debates).


During the course of your civilization you will be exposed to various events that you have to make a moral choice. These choices determine the course your civilization takes. The choices are not meant to be that significant in themselves but rather provide you with the a way to choose your path.


Neither path is better than the other in terms of advantages. But they are quite different in their particulars.  Good civilizations tend to get along with other civilizations easier. An evil civilization in a galaxy full of good civilizations is going to have a tough time. On the other hand, evil civilizations gain advantages as a result of their choices along with receiving certain technologies available only to evil civilizations.


On the other hand, good civilizations tend to have an easier time diplomatically but pay a hefty short-term price for their benevolence. However, they are rewarded with certain technologies that give them special types of improvements that affect the course of the game.


That said, good and evil is not determined by your in game actions. For instance, do not equate “goodness” with pacifism. History is replete with examples of evil that was not externally aggressive. And all it requires for evil to triumph is for good to be idle. Don’t expect good civilizations to not declare war on other civilizations or demand tribute.


Galactic Civilizations doesn’t get into the business of trying to make political statements such as whether imperialism are good or evil. History is replete with examples of otherwise noble cultures making war or acquiring territory from other cultures that were equally “good”.  To that end, we have made sure that the line between good and evil is very obvious – the random events in which players can choose which direction they’re going.



Income and expenses are pretty straight forward concepts. But what about morale? What about influence? What the heck are these things? You build all these nice things for your people and they still only give you a 50% approval rating? I should be able to build a gulag and re-educate them to appreciate my benevolence…


Having a high approval rating is very difficult. That’s because the nicer your planet, the more people who will want to move to it, have children and increase the population. This in turn creates the situation where there’s a lot of people having to share a limited number of planetary services. Hence your approval declines. The population of a planet will grow as long as people are happy and as long as the environment (planet class) can sustain them.


Even the most popular leaders in history rarely enjoyed an approval rating greater than 60%. But if that doesn’t console you, you can always take the path of evil and actually build gulags to send the people to learn to more about your greatness. That’ll improve their approval rating or at least what they answer to polls. And isn’t that what really counts?


Cultural Influence

There are other ways to conquer the galaxy than through weapons. Your cultural influence reflect how much the way you live, the philosophies you espouse, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the movies you watch affect alien cultures.


Different star systems have different base levels of influence that are generally based on the quality and position of the star system in the galaxy. This is then enhanced by the population of the planet along with what social projects you build. You can intentionally try to increase your cultural influence by building social projects such Cultural Exchange Centers where alien travelers are more effectively exposed to your way of life.


Whichever civilization has the highest level of influence in a given sector (above a certain threshold) gets that sector color-coded to their civilization. If the level of influence exceeds all others by a certain amount, then a given star system has a chance of defecting to a different civilization.


You can magnify your influence in a given sector by building star bases and upgrading them with constructors to have cultural influence modules (more on this is in the Star base section).


Being on the receiving end isn’t a lot of fun though. We can speak from experience when we say that there’s nothing worse than seeing teenagers running around in native Drengin clothing. Particularly since their clothing requires the importation of the Kandarian Silk Lice which we won’t get into here. Suffice to say that this is not a desirable outcome.


So how do you prevent this? Factors that come into play include looking at how much military might is in orbit of that star system. The locals on Deneb IV may think that Arcean music is great (and let’s face it, there is some debate on whether we can even hear all of the chords on a typical Arcean harp).  But the locals aren’t going to realistically be able to defect if you have enough battle ships parked in orbit. Another factor is the morale of your planets. Torian blood larva may be taste great but if the people are happy they’re not going to be nearly as interested in joining up with the Torians.


The most effective way to combat alien cultural influences is by building social projects that combat it. Anything that increases your cultural influence will certainly help. But you can also build things that have a propaganda value. I.e. you can build news networks and propaganda centers that will help keep alien culture just that – alien.


This is discussed in more detail with specific numbers in the chapter on Influence.



Once you have researched Trade, you gain the ability to build freighters. Freighters are a special unit that once built, can be sent to a foreign star system to create a trade route. Once this is done, a trade ship then travels between the source star system and foreign destination star system and back. The income you receive from trade comes as that trade ship moves each turn.


How much you receive from trade per month varies somewhat as the trade ship travels. The further along the route, the more the trade route brings in. For instance, a trade ship may only bring in 1 bc per turn when it first leaves. But on its way back, it may be bringing in 5 bc per turn.


This has an important implication: The longer the trade route, the more the trade route is worth. It also means you can create an effective economic blockade. In essence, you can cripple the economy of an enemy by keeping trade ships from being able to travel the whole route. If a particular civilization can’t keep their trade ships safe, outside their immediate territory then their economy will suffer.


The other factor in determining how much a trade route is worth is the combined wealth of source star system and destination star system. Generally speaking, it is best to have your freighters come from your best star system and go to the best star system in a particular player’s civilization.


Trade has a few side effects as well. First of all, both civilizations involved in the trade receive equal compensation from trade. So it’s probably best not to trade with civilizations you later expect to go to war with.  Secondly, such trade influences diplomatic relations. Since war cuts off trade between the two warring factions, if your trade represents a sizeable percentage of their income, they are a lot less likely to want to go to war.


Star System notification icons

Some star systems are special to a given civilization or have something special about them in a negative sense. For this reason, there are several different types of notification icons that are displayed near a star system. These include:


 Civilization capital. The Sol star system, for instance, has the civilization capital icon by it to represent the fact that it is the capital of a civilization. Losing your capital due to invasion can have very damaging results to your civilization (a whole raft of different unpleasant things can occur).


 Economic capital. If you build the galactic achievement, “Economic Capital”, not only does the tax income of that system double but it shows the economic capital icon by it. However, this also makes it a target for your enemies since it’s a sure sign that this is a wealthy star system.


 Manufacturing capital. The system that has this achievement built gets the manufacturing capital icon and has twice the manufacturing ability as other star systems.


 Culturally rebellious. Star systems that are becoming dangerously enthralled with other civilizations will receive this icon. This means that the people are thinking about defecting and that you need to do something about it.


 Unhappy citizens. If morale gets low enough in a given star system, an unhappy icon will show up by it. This is a good way of seeing if something is going wrong with a particular civilization. If they are unhappy long enough, they may break away and form their own civilization or join the league of non-aligned worlds.


Ship to Ship

When two enemy ships intersect in space, they do battle.  Battles work as follows:


Attacking ship rolls a number between 0 and its maximum attack and the defending ship rolls a defense value between 0 and its maximum defense value. The difference between the two is then subtracted from the number of hit points.  If the defending ship survives they then reverse positions and the defending ship rolls it attack value and the attacking ship rolls its defensive value. This is repeated until one of the two ships has 0 hit points and that ship is destroyed. 


Ships with a defense value that is greater than their attack value get a special bonus – when attacked, half their defense counts as an attack.  A Battle Axe with 3 attack and 6 defense actually gets to roll up to a 6 for its attack roll when it is attacked.


Invading Star Systems

A defended star system has a small shield attached to it. These star systems cannot be invaded. Starships must first take out those defenses. Those defenses come in the form of star ships orbiting the star system that have a defense value.  Attacking those starships is like attacking any other ship, move your starship to intersect the star system and it will automatically attack the first starship in orbit.


When a star system is defenseless, the shield is gone and is ready to be invaded. To do that, you must construct a transport and load troops onto it.


Invading a star system shouldn’t be taken lightly. They can contain many billions of people and invading them can take billons of troops. Transports have little defense so those billions of lives should probably be escorted by starships who can defend them.


When a transport intersects a defenseless star system, the invasion screen will be displayed. This screen displays the advantages of both sides. The attacker automatically gets a significant advantage since transports don’t just come with ground troops but an entire air armada and thousands of ground support craft. But other factors do come into play such as the technology difference between the civilizations, general soldier abilities on both sides and what planetary defenses have been constructed. There is also a luck factor. The battle will not begin until you have pressed the space bar so that you can determine how much luck is involved on the invasion (it’s usually a fairly modest amount but it can make the difference in a close battle).



 At a relatively low level of technology, you'll be able to build a new ship type called a "Constructor". A Constructor is just a special type of a ship that you fly to a particular part of space and then click on it to turn it into a star base.

You can alternatively send it to an existing star base to upgrade the star base. To do this, you move the constructor on top of a star base and a dialog will pop up asking you if you want to upgrade the star base. If you select "Yes" you are given a list of possible upgrades.

What upgrades you can provide will be based on the technologies you research. The only other limit is the amount of space these upgrades will take on your star base (however, there will be technologies that lower the space things take due to miniaturization).

Star bases can perform a wide variety of actions. But because constructors are going to be VERY expensive to create (they are the true equivalent of a "settler" people have been looking for) you'll have to make tough choices.

Things star bases have these capabilities:

1) If you build a star base on a resource, you can mine those resources for additional ability advantages. Controlling and exploiting galactic resources with star bases can make the difference between victory and defeat.

2) Support of star ships in the sector they are in - i.e. give bonuses to the weapons, defense, speed, or hit points of friendly ships.

3) Trade bonuses - when a mini-freighter flies through a sector that has a star base with trade upgrades, it can increase the amount of trade you receive from that trade route while the mini freighter is in that sector. So a trade empire might create a whole line of trade star bases that follow its trade routes.

4) Influence bonuses. Star bases that improve your influence in a sector. Your overall influence determines the likelyhood of a star system rebelling to join you without you having to conquer it. So put star bases with nfluence upgrades in sectors that you want to peacefully conquer.


5) You can also upgrade a Star base into a terror star. If you achieve terror star technology, several new star base modules become available. Once those modules have been added, the star base becomes a weapon of mass destruction that can destroy entire star systems!

Figure 2 Terror stars destroy entire star systems.

So if you see that Terror Star under construction, you'll have to make some tough decisions.


The galaxy has several different kinds of resources. To utilize these resources, you must build a star base on them. Star bases can have mining modules added to them to extract increasing amounts of the galactic resources which add to your civilization’s abilities.


These resources include:


 Morale Resources. These resources contain a special type of fluid that increases the health of any living thing. The net result is that the more you mine them, the more of a morale boost your people will receive (and hence  a higher approval rating).


Economic Resources. These resources contain a type of metal that is extremely valuable in trade. The net result is that the more of these you mine, the greater your economic ability is increased.


Military Resources. These resources contain a special type of energy that magnify your weapons and shielding on your ships which makes them stronger and more powerful.


Influence Resources. These resources can increase your civilization’s cultural ability. Mining these will be important to any civilization that is hoping to convince other civilizations to defect to them peacefully.


Research Resources. These resources are contain a type of crystal useful for vastly increasing the effectiveness of your existing research computers. The net effect is that you gain in your ability to research.


Life Force Resource. These are very very rare and for good reason. They are crystals that magnify the life force of any living thing they are near. The net result is that they improve the quality of your planets.


When you click on a star, the planets within it will be displayed on the right of the screen.


Information displayed here includes the planet class (red number). Planet classes range from class 1 to class 20. The higher the number, the better. There are rumors that planets higher than this can exist but this has not been verified by our scientists.


Figure 3 When you click on a star system, the planets within are displayed.



 By putting your mouse over a given planet you can get an idea of what the surface is like.

Figure 4 Typical view of an earth like planet

Single clicking on a planet will bring up the planet view. Incidentally, double clicking on the star will bring up the planet view of the first colonized planet in the star system.



The planet management window displays key information on your planet.


Figure 5 from the planet view you can determine what military and social projects you create.


A planet can construct both a military project and a social project at the same time. The speed in which these get constructed depends on your overall spending level as well as what ratio you are spending on military vs. social vs. research. How many industrial units are being spend per month is displayed in the form of shields, hammers, and beakers depending on which category they are going into.


In the display, industrial units are displayed in the form of (X + Y). For example, your military production might say Military (4 + 1) for a total of 5 industrial units being spent on military projects. However, your treasury is only deducted by 4. The +1 represents a bonus production. Improvements in efficiency, productivity, etc. can provide you with free industrial units.


The display also shows what planet class it is. The higher the class, the better the planet. Class 15 and higher are consider desirable.


Morale indicates what your approval rating on that planet is. Anything over 50% is considered good. Morale affects the productivity of your population to a slight extent. The happier your people, the harder they work. Morale can be improved through the building of entertainment related social projects.

Building Things

When you build a ship or a social project, the amount of time in months is displayed. However, you can instantly build something by contracting it out to one of the 4 major human sub-contractors. These sub-contractors will build it for X up front plus Y per month for Z months.  Depending on your current financial situation, different choices will be appropriate at different times.


Social Projects

There are four types of social projects that can be built: Planetary Improvements, Galactic Achievements, Galactic Wonders, and Trade Goods.


Planetary Improvements

These are things like libraries, news centers, soil enhancements that improve the quality of your planet in some form or other. The effects are limited to that planet.


Galactic Achievements

These tend to be much more powerful in their effect than a planetary improvement but they can only be built one time per civilization. A good example of this would be your various civilization capitals such as Economic Capital, Manufacturing Capital, Technology Capital, and Political Capital.


Galactic Wonders

Much like the achievements but even stronger. These can only be built once in the entire galaxy.


Trade Goods

Trade goods are a different animal all together. Essentially they represent your civilization “inventing” something. Only one civilization can own such an invention but that civilization can license it (from the diplomacy screen) to other civilizations. It is treated much like a galactic wonder whose effects can be given to other civilizations as well. For that reason, they are in many ways more powerful than galactic wonders though their effects tend to be less significant.

Details view

By pressing the Details button, you can find additional information out on the planet as well as assign a governor to the planet. The details view is mostly for providing additional information and tweaking things for your planet. For instance, from the details view you can provide propaganda to your people. This won’t have much affect in making them happier but it can have some. Where propaganda has a major affect is if you are being destabilized by a foreign power (we’ll talk more about that shortly).



By pressing the planet list button on the bottom of the main screen you can list the planets in your civilization. This display shows what they are currently building.


Clicking on a planet will take you directly to the planet screen for that planet.



By pressing the fleet button on the bottom of the main screen you can list the star ships that are in your civilization.  This view can do more than just display ships. It is designed to allow you to send those ships to the part of the galaxy that you are currently viewing.  To do this, click on the arrow button to the right of the ship read-out on the list.



The domestic policy screen is designed to allow you to control all aspects of your government’s home affairs. This includes your tax rate, your spend rate, how you spend your money (domestically), your form of government, governor management, trade route management, vital statistics, and graphs.


Economic Policy


Figure 6 The economic screen.

Tax Rate

Your tax rate determines what percentage of the income of your people (and corporations) that you are taking in.  The higher the tax rate, the more income you will generally get from taxes. However, the higher the tax rate, the more unhappy your people become and you will actually see cases where income will become lower. That’s because your population will report that it is decreasing. Your reported population is purely the number of tax paying citizens.  As taxes go up, more of them go bankrupt or simply hide their income from the government resulting in the loss of tax payers. So there is a sweet spot that you will have to find. Generally it’s between 20% and 50% depending on your circumstances.


Spend Rate

The spend rate is what percentage of your manufacturing and technological ability you are using. This is heavily influenced by what types of improvements you have made to your planets.  After all, you can put your spend rate to 100% but if you have no factories and other things to actually do the spending, you may not actually end up spending that much.


Spending Ratios

The spending ratios determine where your spending is going by percentage – roughly. All things being equal it will divide it evenly.  However, let’s say you’ve built a research center on all your planets but no factories, you will find that you don’t need to put as much emphasis on research to get the same amount of research resources produces per month.


The sliders are ratios. Therefore, what matters is how they are related to each other. Put all three sliders to the top and you’ll be splitting your income 3 ways equally. So to use them properly keep in mind it’s their relationship to one another that matters, not their absolute slider height.


The Galactic Senate

Your political party and civilization bonuses require that you maintain control of the senate. This is done by keeping your people happy…or at least keeping them happy during an election year.  Elections occur every 4 game years.  By default, your form of government is Imperial and hence your party will have 100% control of the Galactic Senate.  It becomes an issue when you upgrade your form of government. Then the elections will be held and other parties will vie for control.


Where your money can come from

The main sources of income are:


1)      Taxes.

2)      Trade.

3)      Tribute.


Taxes and trade are pretty straight forward. Tribute comes in the form of other civilizations paying you money.  This can also go negative if you are paying other civilizations money instead.


Where your money goes

Most of your money goes to pay for the production of ships, planetary improvements, and researching.  Over the course of the game, other expenses will arise such as how expensive ships are to maintain and how expensive social improvements are to maintain. Ship maintenance is kept in the military category. Maintenance refers to social projects maintenance costs.


Another source of expense is the GIA – The Galactic Intelligence Agency. This is money spent spying on other civilizations and destabilizing them.  Additionally, leases can become a significant expense if you have purchased ships for a small amount up front but a monthly lease fee.


Your civilization can go into debt. What occurs eventually is that the longer your civilization is in debt, the more unhappy your people become. At –500bc (billion credits) spending on planets stops.


Forms of Government 

By default, your civilization is an Imperial form of government.  However, as time goes on, other forms of government will come on-line. 


These governments come with their own pros and cons.  On the one hand, they usually give you an economic advantage. On the other hand, they require that you control the galactic senate to make use of your political abilities.


Here’s a sampling of forms of government:



This is what you start out with.


This is where Earth has begun to allow its colonies to have representatives in the senate. This has the benefit of increasing your economic power by around 20%. However, if you lose control of the senate, you lose your political party bonuses.


This is the next step up. This is where each of your colonies is a quasi-sovereign entity with its own rights. Earth remains the supreme voice of your civilization. It is harder to maintain control of the senate but you receive a 40% economic bonus.


Earth begins treating the colonies as equal “States” in a federation of planets. Your civilization will receive a 60% economic bonus but it becomes very hard to maintain control of the senate.



Governors are there to reduce micromanagement.  Very often in strategy games the game is fun early on when you are just building up your empire. But during the later parts of the game, the micro management just sucks all the fun out.


Governors are designed to let you control your planets on a macro level. There is no artificial intelligence, you remain in complete control. The difference is that your orders are now carried about in groups rather than one planet at a time.


When you click on the Details view on a planet, you can choose a governor. The name of the governor is meaningless in itself. What matters is what you have assigned those governors to do from this screen.


On the Governor Management screen you select a governor and then tell that governor what he is to do. You can direct him to build your social projects in a specific order. Any planet with that governor will then automatically build social projects in the given order.


Similarly, on military projects you can tell every planet that has that governor to build a particular ship at once.



By default, your civilization will be able to have 3 trade routes.  Trade is a very tricky thing from a political standpoint. Getting alien civilizations to let you have a cultural and economic presence requires an immense amount of negotiating skill. Other technologies can provide you with more trade routes (and choosing the mercantile political party will allow you an additional trade route).


This screen displays what your trade routes are doing:


The key information includes:


Established (Est.)

What year the trade route began. Older trade routes tend to provide more revenue than newer ones (i.e. there is a bonus given).



What star system it starts at.



What planet it ends at.



How far away it is in light years (moves).



The current per month income from that trade route.


Additionally, you will also be able to turn on and off trade embargos. If you don’t want a particular civilization trading with you, then you can keep them from doing so. When you trade with a particular civilization, it gains just as much from the trade route as you do.



Domestic Statistics

On the domestic statistics screen you can see everything you ever wanted to know about your civilization (and then some).  You can see what your civilization abilities are,  your economy, your society (are you good or evil, etc.) along with a run down on your military relations with other civilizations report. The more often you’re at war with a civilization and the longer you’re at war with them, the more of a lasting problem relations with them will be, this will keep an eye on that.



The graphs screen is designed to allow you to get a snapshot of how you compare to other civilizations. It displays bar graphs of how you are doing at that moment.


These graphs include:


  • Population
  • Treasury
  • Total Income
  • Research
  • Influence
  • Ethics (Evil to Good)
  • Manufacturing
  • Military
  • Overall popularity
  • Trade Power (Income from Trade)
  • Overall Happiness


Use these graphs to see how you’re doing compared to other civilizations.




Foreign policy is about managing your relations with other civilizations. Much of your foreign policy is therefore focused on learning as much about other civilizations as possible in order to determine the proper course of action. In Galactic Civilizations, it’s not a matter of having 5 generic alien civilizations and another half dozen minor civilizations that all act the same. Each one is unique and has dozens of settings (determined at the outset of a game) that determine their behavior. Therefore, your job as a diplomat is to find out what makes them tick.


If you are taking the course of a “good” civilization, no amount of appeasing and reason is going to make an evil civilization behave as you would like.




The Relations page of foreign policy will outline your current diplomatic relations with a given major civilization. It ranges from “at war” to “allied”.  If their relations with you are above Cordial then you are considered to be a “friend”. The better your relations are with a civilization, the more likely they are to help you (even covertly) in times of need.


Foreign Statistics

Learning about the various statistics of a civilization will help you figure out their strengths and weaknesses. The more you invest in espionage, the more you will learn about them.


Foreign Reports

Your espionage agents can eventually provide you with in depth reports on different civilizations. These are invaluable for deciding what kind of people they are and what the heck they are up to.



Another key piece of information are treaties. What are the relations between the various civilizations. Think twice about attacking the Yor if they are friendly with the Arceans. Even if the Arceans don’t declare war on you, you may find that the Yor seems to have an endless supply of money and material to fight you with.


United Planets

The United Planets passes laws that govern everyone that is part of it. You don’t have to be part of the United Planets. But without membership, you cannot trade with other civilizations.  This screen will display the various laws already enacted so that you can keep track of what policies are in place.


Minor Races

The smaller civilizations are only different from major ones in that they don’t count towards game winning conditions. They are also less likely to colonize other planets. Other than that, they are identical to the other civilizations. This screen will allow you to interact with them if you choose to.


Espionage & Destabilization

You can spend money to learn more about a target civilization (culminating in stealing their technologies) or you can spend money to destabilize them. Destabilizing is in effect spending money to make their people unhappy which makes them more inclined to defect to a rival civilization.


Espionage is important because often times having enough intelligence on different civilizations can keep random bad things from happening. There are terrorist plots, intrigues and other things that are somewhat intangible that having a reasonable level of intelligence on those civilizations can protect you from.


Destabilizing is extremely powerful but beware, it can permanently damage your relations with that civilization. Use destabilization only as a last resort where you plan to annihilate that civilization.


When you press the “Speak to..” button on the star system view or in the foreign policy view the diplomacy window is brought up.


Figure 7 If we could talk to the aliens..


Other civilizations are not only snappy dressers, they have very complex personalities behind them. Each civilization has its own unique strategy engine working behind it and hence how it will react to you may be slightly to dramatically different than how others would react.


You can trade a wide range of technologies and treaties that you can negotiate. Your ability to convince them to do what you want is largely based on your diplomacy ability.




When you begin the game, you are asked to choose a technology for your researchers to look into. Each of your planets contributes to this research (shown by the beakers on the planet management screen). Some technologies take longer to research than others. But technologies are what give you new abilities, new ships to build, new improvements to build, new trade goods, etc.



During the course of the game your civilization will have to deal with unexpected events. These events largely determine the shape of your civilization from a moral/ethical perspective. When looking back on history, it is easy to condemn the decisions made by men and women in the past. But when confronted with difficult choices, the more brutal path may make the difference between survival and oblivion.


For example, your colonists discover that one of your worlds is already populated by a pre-industrial society. What should you do? On the one hand, they were there first. You could only colonize parts of the world not already in use. But doing so would cut the planet’s productivity in half. On the other hand, you could enslave them increasing productivity. It’s a harsh galaxy that isn’t terribly forgiving. What if being nice led to a hostile empire conquering Earth?


The choices you make in these situation modify your civilization’s moral rating. Some civilizations are evil. Others are good and most are somewhere in between. These differences represent the foundation of their cultures. The way different civilizations behave is highly dependent on this and how they treat you depends on this relationship. Take the path of evil and the good civilizations may band together and attempt to conquer you to force a “regime change”. Take the path of good and you may be weaker but gain the support of other civilizations in the time of need.


What technologies are available to you is also dependent on this. Some technologies are only available to good civilizations and some are only available to evil ones.



Your influence represents how much sway you have in the United Planets. It also determines how much impact your culture has on other civilizations. The higher your influence, the more star systems near you likely to ask to become part of your civilization.


Influence works as follows:


Each star system has an inate amount of influence. A typical star system has no influence at all on its own. But those with good base planets may have an influence rating of 2 to 3 points. Once in a great while, a star system may have been home to the precursors (an ancient race that once controlled the galaxy thousands of years ago) and those star systems are much higher in prestige to control and therefore provide much more influence.


This base influence in a star system can be modified through the building of wonders and planetary improvements. They are also modified by your civilization’s influence ability which you gain through the research of certain technologies.


Your influence is calculated each turn and builds up until the United Planets Security Council is in session at which point you can use it to vote for a particular policy. You can also trade influence like a form of currency in the diplomacy dialog.


Influence also works on other star systems directly.  A given sector has 8 sectors that are adjacent to it. Your influence on a particular star system is therefore based on who controls the adjacent star systems. 


For example:

Your civilization’s influence per turn is 10 and so is the Drengin’s.


Let’s say the Drengin Colony Sander II has 2 sectors adjacent that are owned by the Drengin and 2 that are owned by you.


Influence on Sander II is therefore:

Drengin Influence: 10 X 2 + 10 (for the sector it is in) = 30.

Your influence on Sander II: 10 X 2 = 20


However, if you are pursuing the cultural domination victory, you can do something about this. You can build star bases in those adjacent sectors and even in the sector Sander II is in (though it’s risky to build in a foreign controlled sector). These star bases can be upgraded by docking a constructor with them to be trade centers (and can keep being upgraded with more constructors). Trade centers increase the local influence of your civilization.


So let’s say you have built two star bases and upgraded both of them to be trade centers which increase your local influence by 50%.


Now your influence is: (10 + (10 x 50%) + 10 + 10X50%) = 30.


Now your influence is 30.  Build a third star base that you upgrade to a trade center in that actual sector and your influence is dramatically increased further and eventually, if the Drengin don’t take measures, Sander II will join your civilization.


The counter to this of course is to build up your local planetary influence plus build trade centers to counteract your trade centers. But unless they are pursuing the same strategy as you are, they are likely to have to fight back through a different path (like attacking your star bases or trying to get the United Planets to outlaw building star bases in foreign controlled sectors). Military Might and improvements can also help.



When you research the technology “Diplomacy” you are asked if you want to become part of the United Planets. If you say YES then you are subject to its policies (if you say NO, nobody will trade with you).


Generally speaking, the United Planets is a great way to try to mold the galaxy (and the game) to your liking. Want planetary bombardment units to soften up the enemy? They’re illegal at the start but maybe that will come up and you can vote for it.  What about making it illegal to attack freighters during war? Or requiring universal truces for 10 years?  Even wealth redistribution can be permitted. Use your influence to take from the rich to give to you.



The amount of votes you have in the United Planets is based on your influence (which was previously discussed). The United Planets comes up every 4 years by default (though can be voted to come up even more often).



Galactic Civilizations is a single player turn based strategy. However, for users who want to compete with other people from around the world, the Metaverse is provides a close approximation to that level of competition. When you finish a game, you can submit your score to the Metaverse.  Your score is a form of currency. The more points you have, the higher ranked you are and the larger your empire is in the Metaverse. As you gain points, your title increases (peon up to grand master).


Players can also band together to form empires. The points of those players are put together into a single imperial score which is displayed on the galactic map as a single empire. Empires will have their own statistics on games, strategies, and journals and more.


GalCiv is also capable of downloading strategies automatically from the net. Submitted scores include basic information on what strategies were employed (what technologies were researched and in what order, what ships and improvements you built in what order, your style of playing, your moral strategy, the type of strategy employed overall, etc.).  The GalCiv AI can then download this information from the Metaverse to improve both the quality of the AI and the humanity of it.


Eventually, Stardock hopes to allow players to literally choose a player from the Metaverse to play and simulate that player (roughly speaking) in a game. The only thing missing would be the time waiting for others to move and disconnects! 



How many points you get on a game is dependent on these factories:


1)      Did you win?

2)      If you won, how did you win?

3)      How long did it take you to win?

4)      How many people were born into your civilization per sector?

5)      How much technology did you amass?

6)      What version of the game did you use?


These six factors are combined together to generate your score and submitted to the Metaverse at



When you first load Galactic Civilizations you are presented with the main menu. Choose create a new civilization.  The next screen allows you to pick your political party and your civilization advantages. For your first game, none of these things matter that much. You will want to pick a tiny or small galaxy, however for your first try. The next screen allows you to pick your opponents. Put their intelligence to “idiot” so that you don’t have to worry about being conquered early in the game.


Once you are in the game, you will be greeted by the status report screen that gives you an outline on what has occurred. When you are done there, close that and pick a technology. For starting out, we suggest choosing Communication Theory since this will lead you to be able to research Universal Translators which allow you to speak to alien civilizations.


Once you are actually in the game, you will see that you have two ships. The first one is a survey ship called the USS Hero. This ship can explore anomalies. Anomalies are the various weird visual elements on the game screen. These will give your civilization or your ship additional abilities. LEFT-CLICK on your survey ship and then RIGHT-CLICK where you want to send him. LEFT-CLICKING will select things and RIGHT-CLICK will send them to where you want them to go.


On the colony ship, select that and look around for a yellow star. Yellow stars tend to have higher quality planets in orbit. If you don’t see any, look on the mini map for a near by sector that has lots of stars in it. Send it on its way.


Now click on “Sol”. This will bring up the Terran home star system. Now click on Earth. The early part of Galactic Civilizations is largely about claiming as many of the good planets as possible. To this end, you will want to build colony ships quickly. The way to do that is to select a colony ship and then purchase the ship immediately. Hurrying production will cost a lot more than waiting for it to be built at a normal pace but time is of the essence early on.


When you click on the purchase button, you are given four choices in vendors to provide the ship. Early on it’s more important to keep your treasury up as opposed to worrying about your monthly lease fees. For that reason, you will want to choose Mitrosoft as the vendor. Mitrosoft products tend to be less expensive initially but you end up paying for it later on. Send these colony ships out as long as there are habitable planets available for colonizing. But don’t over do it, you don’t want to end up having your civilization go broke due to leases later on.


Once you research Universal Translator, you may want to research Diplomacy. Diplomacy will give you the ability to research Interstellar Trade (“Trade”). When this has been accomplished, you can built freighters.  It’s a good idea to build a couple of freighters early on so that you can get a financial boost to allow you to pursue your strategy of galactic dominion. Once the freighter has been built, send it to a foreign star system that has a high population. This will initiate the trade route (you’ll see the small trade ship begin flying back and forth each turn).


At this point, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about defense. To get some basic defenses going, research Defense Theory and then Deflectors. This will make the new Defender class star ship available. Defenders are…well good at defending planets. You should also keep an eye on the arms race via the graphs window on the right side of the screen. Choose military might to make sure the other civilizations aren’t outclassing you too much militarily. Civilizations you are trading with tend to be friendlier but it’s all a matter of degree. Defenseless civilizations become prey to the more powerful ones.


You are now moving towards the next phase in the game. Where the early part of the game is about grabbing as many good planets as you can, the next step is trying to claim the limited number of galactic resources. Galactic resources can vastly improve your abilities when exploited by star bases and upgraded with mining modules. Only constructors can do this. Constructors are expensive which means you’ll have to make a tough choice – build up your trading empire? Build up your military? Put your effort into researching? Put money into social projects? Or build constructors?


If you choose to build constructors, simply send the finished constructors to resources that do not yet have any star bases on them.  Building more constructors and sending them to existing star bases will prompt you to upgrade them in various ways. What path you take here depends on your strategy.


Now you’re ready to compete in a hostile galaxy. Here are some other tips:


On keeping your people happy

Don’t worry too much about keeping people’s morale terribly high. Even the most popular leaders have a hard time keeping their approval rating over 55%. Try to keep it over 50% so that you have a good chance of winning elections.


On increasing your influence

There are social projects that can build up your influence. But more importantly, you can add modules to your star bases that will magnify your influence in a given sector. Remember that new modules become available when you research new technologies.


On Taxing and Spending

Just remember that your spend rate determines what percentage of your industrial capacity you are using. Many new players mistakenly believe that if they put their spend rate to 100% that they should have a balanced budget. If your industrial capacity is weaker than your financial power, you can have a 100% spend rate and still make money. That means you need to build more factories and power plants. Additionally, higher taxes mean lower morale.


On maintaining relations

If you’re an evil civilization, you’re going to have a hard time getting along with others no matter what. But otherwise, you can keep your relations good through trade, gifts, and generous negotiations. The AI remembers how it’s been treated in diplomatic discussions and bases its behavior based on that.


In this section we will give you some of the early parts of the technology tree along with other key data that allows you to get a better idea of which strategies to take.

Technology Tree

Planet Classes

Social Project Improvements


Technical support is through Strategy First ( However, players are also encouraged to check out the main Galactic Civilizations website ( where the development team is available at and other players can talk to you on the forums to help you out with problems. Software updates will also be available on the GalCiv website.


Technical Frequently Asked Questions


The animation is very choppy when I first load up the game.

Galactic Civilizations is very multithreaded. This means that the game multitasks within itself. However, on some systems, the background loading of the game components slows down the game animation.  Once you are in the game, you can open up the options menu and choose “Turn off background loading”. This will make the game take somewhat longer to first load but there won’t be background processing while the game is playing its intro cut scenes and such.


I would like to run Galactic Civilizations on an older computer. Is there anything I can do to do this?

Yes, most of the hardware requirements of Galactic Civilizations revolve around the multimedia. You can delete the .BIK files (or move them somewhere else) and this will remove the videos. Some parts of the game may look static or strange but it will allow you to play on an older system. Check the Galactic Civilizations website for other tips (


When I go to the planet screen and some other screens I hear crackling on my speakers.

Some sound drivers do not properly support multiple streaming of MP3s within the same process. If you update your sound drivers to the latest version and make sure you have DirectX 8 or later installed this should take care of it.


The game keeps returning to desktop unexpectedly.

Makes sure you are not running the debug (or developer version) of DirectX 8.x. There is a bug that is fixed in the release version of DirectX 8.x that causes Galactic Civilizations to crash.


Can the game be modified by users?

Yes. In the \DATA directory you will find .SHIP, .EVENT, .SBMODULE, .TECH, and .IMP files. You can modify these to add more ships, events, modules, technologies, and more.


 At Stardock


Designer / Project Manager

Brad Wardell


Gameplay Programmers

Cari Begle

Scott Tykoski

Brad Wardell


Engine Programmers

Mike Duffy

Cari Begle

Ian Hanschen


Computer AI / Economic Engine

Brad Wardell


Graphics Design

Alex Gounaropoulos

Scott Tykoski

Russ Schwenkler



Paul Warzecha

Alex Gounaropoulos




Eric Heberling

Eric Johnson


Metaverse Programming

Pat Ford

Johanne Chainé



Brad Wardell

Scott Tykoski

Alexander Antoniades



Larry Kuperman

Kris Kwilas

Angela Marshall

Belinda Banks

Kim Kolaz


Website Design

Johanne Chainé

Renato C. Veras Jr.

Pat Ford


Licensed Technology

Bink Video!



Beta Testing

Stardock would like to thank the hundreds of external beta testers who helped out throughout the beta cycle. In particular we would like to thank:


Gherardo Albano
Alexander Antoniades
D Dominic Breeze
Jean-Paul Cardinal
Christopher Conley
David Craft
Pierre Fricke
Frank Fujita
Jay Greogry
Chris Hamp
Nathan Hogue
Fredrik Jacobsson
Adam R Kelm
John Kistler
Jeffery s Legere
Frank Leon
Martin Leuschen
Kris D McCann
Brian McClure
Paul McEvoy
Ian Meddings
Simon Morgan
Robert F. O'Connor
Paul Ollenberger
Laurence Parry
Christopher Prahl
Kenneth Rabe
Emily Rogers
Dave Rosen
Rob S
Bill Sawyer
John Schmid
John Sherrill
Tony Smith
James Thibault
Matthijs Vermeulen
Steve Williams
Jonas Wills


Special Thanks to

Java Scout (Trevor Powdrell)



 At Strategy First



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