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One of the best Civilization rivals is free to keep if you’re quick

4X strategy game Endless Legend is yours for free on Steam, so don’t miss the chance to get one of the most interesting Civilization rivals.

Forget Civilization 7, 4X strategy game Endless Legend is free to keep right now - A bearded man clasps his hands together in front of his chin.

It’s been a while since Civilization 7 news crossed our plates, but if you’re in the mood for a fantastic 4X game then one of the best rivals to ever contend with the iconic Sid Meier’s series is yours as a free Steam game to keep. Adopting some of the best parts of the Firaxis strategy games and mixing in RPG elements akin to those of Stellaris or Crusader Kings, along with more involved battles, Endless Legend delivers a true evolution of the format, and you can get it right now as a free game on Steam if you’re quick.

Arriving in 2014, neatly between Civilization 5 and Civ 6, Endless Legend comes from developer Amplitude Studios and brings a more fantastical spin on exploring, exploiting, expanding, and exterminating to compete among the best 4X games. We here at PCGamesN scored it a worthy 9/10 in our Endless Legend review, praising its “strong design philosophy” that keeps the tenets of the genre while also bringing fresh ideas to the table.

Those fundamentals include building out cities across a hex-grid map and accumulating resources – food, industry, dust, science, and influence – to spend on expansions, upgrades, new units, trading with other factions, and so on. When battles start, however, they play out in full, transforming a small section of the map to a battlefield that the involved forces can move around as they clash.

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Where Endless Legend really shines, however, is in the distinctions between its factions. Each feels unique and lovingly hand-crafted, going far beyond simple bonuses and detriments. The wise, dragon-like Drakken are peaceful masters of diplomacy, capable of forcing truces or alliances using their influence. The Broken Lords, meanwhile, are warrior ghosts trapped in armor that have no need for food and instead must sustain their population using dust (which you can functionally think of as gold, although the lore on its actual nature goes far deeper).

Just a few short months ago, the Endless Legend player count skyrocketed to a new all-time record of over 50,000 concurrent players courtesy of a free giveaway. Amplitude Studios said this “amazing response far outstripped our expectations,” and in an attempt to further secure the game’s legacy among a wider audience has decided to make it even easier to get your hands on a free copy of its magnum opus.

Endless Legend is available as a free game on Steam until Thursday May 23. It’s yours to keep forever once you’ve claimed it. You can also get its DLC on sale with discounts of 50-80% off through this period. To claim your free copy, simply head over to Steam.

If that’s not enough to satisfy your needs, here are the best grand strategy games for even more deep-dive societal micromanagement. Alternatively, we’ve picked out the best free Steam games that you can play right now without spending a thing.

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