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Galactic Civilizations III beta 4 begins; sit back and watch some space battles

Galactic Civilizations III beta 4

When Galactic Civilizations III’s Early Access kicked off, there wasn’t much there apart from war. But Stardock immediately started to flesh things out, adding to the ship builder, putting meat on the bones of system management and, by beta 2, there was even peace in the galaxy, thanks to diplomacy. 

Since then, the blood lust has taken over. The game has now reached beta 4, and with it comes the battle viewer. Finally, you’ll be able to watch your entire fleet get smashed to bits by a moody Drengin. 

Galactic Civilizations II’s battle viewer was a bit rough and a bit hard to follow, but this new version what looks like a proper space battle rather than a hectic mess of ships flying around and blowing up.

Extreme worlds also make their Galactic Civilizations III debut. Whole planets filled with snowboarders and people who like to randomly climb things without a rope – what wonders will they hold? You’ll need advanced technology to establish a settlement on one of these radical planets, though.

The new ideology tree is now an even newer ideology tree, thanks to a big overhaul.”Now you progress down five different branches of each ideology, going deep or wide or some combination of the two,” explains Stardock. “How does finding hidden planets, or adding a free fighter escort to every fleet sound?”

A game of Galactic Civilizations is, for me, something to be savoured; something to be laboured over for many nights, until the galaxy is mine, or I’m dead. And in the game. So I favour maps that are on the larger side – massive bloated things with countless worlds, where the exploration phase of the game lasts for days. Maps of that scale have been missing from the third outing, but with beta 4, immense and gigantic maps have arrived. They aren’t the largest, though. That’s the insane size, which has yet to be shoved into the game.

You can browse the large changelog over on the next page.


  • Added the ability to pause, restart or change the battle speed
    • Added a free camera so you can view the battle form whatever angle you’d like
    • Added a cinematic, top down, side, chase, orbiting and front camera to the battle viewer
    • Added the ability to click on any ship in the battle to see its stats
    • Added a full battle log if you want to see the log of what is happening
    • Added lots of explosions, weapon and defense effects. There are more to come.
    • Added lots of sound fx for the various shots and explosions, more to come.
  • Added a new ideology system. Instead of the old pyramids new paths have been implemented and lots of new ideology unlocks that do crazy things from giving all your fleets free fighter escorts to allowing you to discover a hidden planet.
  • New Benevolent traits:
    • Pioneering- Grants a free, fully loaded, colony ship.
    • Explorers- A previously unnoticed class 10 planet is revealed near your home system.
    • Prolific- All new colonies start with 5 extra population.
    • Adept- Each existing colony receives 1 additional tile.
    • Beacon- Grants a Class 16 planet.
    • Dignified- Home world Approval increased by 50%.
    • Elevated- Unlocks the Elevation Foundation achievement.
    • Appreciative- Your first 5 worlds receive an Approval bonus.
    • Noble- All colonies receive a 50% Approval bonus.
    • Mindful- Planets with a high Approval receive additional production.
    • Admirable- Doubles the Influence of your first 3 worlds.
    • Eminence- Unlocks the Missionary Center improvement.
    • Enticing- All planets and starbases within our Influence join our civilization.
    • Alluring- All starbases generate Influence, regardless of type.
    • Radiant- All worlds have their Influence increased by 50%.
    • Educated- Grants 125 free Research points.
    • Skilled- All starbases give an extra 10% research bonus to colonies in their Area of Effect.
    • Breakthrough- Grants 250 free Research points.
    • Enriched- Unlocks the Temple of Enlightenment Achievement.
    • Quantum Leap- Grants 500 free research points, and all colonies gain 5 research per turn.
  • New Pragmatic traits:
    • Prepared- Unlocks the Preparedness Center improvement which grants Pragmatic Ideology for each center that is built.
    • Favored- Anyone at war with us receives a 25% penalty to Approval.
    • Reserved- Enemy ships in our Zone of Control receive a 25% penalty to their sensor and ship range.
    • Cautious- All planets receive 3 free defending ships.
    • Watchful- All our ships receive a free Escort fighter when in our Zone of Control.
    • Constructive- Grants 3 free constructor vessels.
    • Coordinated- Our shipyards operate at 100% at twice the distance from your colonies.
    • Resourceful- All mined resource yields increased by 2.
    • Efficient- All construction modules now gives 2 points instead of 1.
    • Inventive- All existing starbases get one free construction module.
    • Exporters- Grants a free freighter and trade license.
    • Merchants- All trade income increased by 25%.
    • Luxury- Allows Civilization to establish luxury trade routes.
    • Indispensable- Improves relations with civilizations we have trade routes with.
    • Shrewd- Diplomatic trades for credits pay an additional 25%.
    • Neutral- No one will declare war on us for the next 100 turns.
    • Amiable- Improves relations with all races.
    • Popular- Races that declare war on us anger all other races in the galaxy.
    • Arbiters- Unlocks the Arbitration Center improvement.
    • Venerable- All civilizations declare war on any race that invades our home world, unless they are allies.
  • New Malevolent traits:
    • Militaristic- Grants a free frigate.
    • Eager- Every planet we conquer provides our people a permanent boost to Approval.
    • Threatening- Grants 5 free, fully loaded, transports.
    • Dangerous- Unlocks Advanced Transport Modules that come with their own escort fighters.
    • Bloodthirsty- All planets receive a fully armed Overlord class ship.
    • Relentless- Grants free production to our home world.
    • Intimidating- Unlocks the Intimidation Center improvement.
    • Ruthless- Doubles the Military production of our home world.
    • Implacable- Unlocks the Death Furnaces achievement.
    • Unforgiving- All colonies receive a 25% Production bonus and unlocks the Culling planetary project.
    • Uncharitable- Provides a 10% increase to planetary income.
    • Utilitarian- Improves the class off our first five worlds by 1.
    • Slavemasters- All trade routes now bring back slaves in addition to credits.
    • Tightfisted- Unlocks the Citadel of Revenue achievement.
    • Relentless- Each planet receives additional usable land.
    • Scary- No penalty from sharing borders with another civilization.
    • Unnerving- Enemy ships in our Zone of Control suffer a 25% penalty to their hit points.
    • Undaunted- Our planets and starbases are immune to culture flipping.
    • Feared- Minor races in our Zone of Control will trade more favorably with us.
    • Exalted- A foreign colony near your borders defects to your civilization.
  • Added extreme planets which are planets that can’t be colonized until a particular tech is unlocked like Aquatic, Frozen, Radioactive and Toxic worlds. New worlds give midgame colonization opportunities for the players that research the correct techs and can offer significant advantages to the players that own them.
  • Enabled Gigantic and Immense map sizes.
  • Added a new option for Yor players for a fixed population manufacture amount (instead of using an open ended project for it).


  • Lots of crash fixes
  • Fixed an issue where Ascension points weren’t being calculated and tracked correctly.


  • Generally lowered the cost of starting ships to get players into the game faster.
  • Decreased the amount of techs required to get to the 2nd age (the Age of War).
  • Map generation significantly altered to make tight clusters (the default map type) create more interesting pockets of inhabitable worlds instead of the more even process it used to use.
  • Lowered the maintenance of ship components slightly.
  • Lower influence growth of capitals.
  • Lower starting influence of starbases


  • AI now creates and sends out trade ships.
  • AI will now try to max the range for colony ships and freighters.
  • New AI process for determining a research strategy that does a much better job of having different AI player pursue different tech goals.
  • AI is much better at pursuing a Conquest victory.
  • AI logic added for dealing with extreme worlds.
  • AI logic added for selecting ideological traits.


  • Added a new intro window that introduces the player to the game and the faction he/she is playing as.
  • New full screen research unlocked window.
  • Added support for dynamic adjustment of particles from strategic to normal view (so black holes transition to a less hot color when you are viewing the universe from strategic view).
  • You can no long see other players rally points (we were using this to watch the AI).
  • Sarah went and added real code to show the planet description instead of my modtastic weekend version (modtastic sounds like a compliment, but I think the programmers here use it to refer to any time I’ve added a feature that they will then rewrite correctly).