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Getting Started

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So you've started a new game of GalCiv3, and you chose NEW GAME from the GAMEPLAY OPTIONS screen. Now what? This page will walk you through and explain your options.

What is Sandbox mode? If you’re new to gaming, Sandbox mode is a reference to being able to freely play the game without any pre-set story or campaign to drive you. If you’re new to gaming or new to Galactic Civilizations III, we recommend that you play the Tutorial.

Step 1: Choose or Create your Race[edit | edit source]

The CHOOSE CIVILIZATION screen is your first set of choices for what sort of game you'd like to play.

This screen allows you to choose your race by clicking on the thumbnail picture of one of the eight preset races. You can read specifics for each of these races in the main window. To the right of the race’s image is its name, the name of its homeworld, the name of its leader, and the symbol that will represent it in the game. Beneath that is the race’s default abilities, its racial traits, and the bonuses those traits confer.

You can also create your own race by clicking the CREATE CUSTOM RACE button on the main screen. This will take you to the CUSTOMIZE CIVILIZATION screen.

Customize Your Civilization[edit | edit source]

Use the CUSTOMIZE CIVILIZATION screen to create and save your own race. You can then play as this race or play against them, and even export your race for others to use.

The first option to customize your race is the LEADER section. Here you can choose from a gallery of images for your race, background and leader's portrait, or you can upload graphics of your own creation.

  • CUSTOMIZE FOREGROUND: The foreground is a still picture or video of your leader, and your leader can be anything or anyone you choose it to be.
    • PICTURE: Click this link to change the still picture
    • VIDEO: Click this link to change the video of your leader
  • CUSTOMIZE BACKGROUND: The background provides a nice backdrop for your fearless (or fearful) leader. It can be a still or a video, but it will only show up if your foreground has transparency.
    • PICTURE: Click this link to change the still picture
    • VIDEO: Click this link to change the video of your leader
  • EDIT: Click this link to edit the LEADER NAME, LEADER PORTRAIT and SIMPLE DESCRIPTION of your leader.

Now you can choose to customize the RACE OVERVIEW section. This section allows you to enter your race's name, the callsign for your ships, your homeworld name, and a simple description of the race, as well as choose your racial logo and beginning star system.

In the TRAITS & ABILITIES section, you can spend five points on special racial traits. You can gain additional points for further bonuses by first selecting various penalties that apply to your race. You can also spend two points on racial abilities.

The APPEARANCE section offers an assortment of options to customize your ship style, ship colors and textures, as well as race colors and themes that are used in your interface.

Finally, the PERSONALITY section will let you select your tech tree and, in those games where you choose to play against your custom race, modify how this race will behave when being controlled by the game's Artificial Intelligence (AI). This includes ideology, character traits, and goal priorities.

When you are finished creating your custom race, click the SAVE RACE button in the lower-right corner of the screen. You will return to the CHOOSE RACE screen, where you can now choose your custom race and click the NEXT button to continue.

Step 2: Choose your Galaxy Type[edit | edit source]

When you start a new game you will need to set up the galaxy in terms of size, how you will win, and who your enemies will be.

The GALAXY TYPE section is where you can choose the size and shape of your galaxy. By using options in the GALAXY SIZE drop-down menu you can set your size as one of the following options: Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge, Gigantic, Immense, Excessive, or Insane. The TYPE drop-down controls how far apart different stars are from one another and whether they're in groups or spread out evenly. Your options include Spiral, Loose Clusters, Tight Clusters, or Scattered.

Map Size hexes per map edge
Tiny 31
Small 41
Medium 61
Large 73
Huge 96
Gigantic 181
Immense 241
Excessive 291
Insane 381

Step 3: Choose a Star System[edit | edit source]

The GALAXY OPTIONS section allows you to fully customize the contents to be found in your game.

STAR SYSTEMS determine how frequently stars and planets will be generated on the map. Your options are as follows:

  • STAR FREQUENCY: How often you will find stars, which may or may not lead to more habitable planets.
  • PLANET FREQUENCY: “Planet” refers to all worlds in the galaxy, both habitable and uninhabitable. This control will allow you to choose the overall frequency of planets in your galaxy.
  • HABITABLE PLANET FREQUENCY: These are planets you can colonize, and can be valuable resources. Careful though, if you set them to be very frequent, you may spend all of your time and resources trying to colonize and not having time for anything else!
  • EXTREME PLANET FREQUENCY: These are planets that are colonizable but require special techs to do so.

RESOURCES include the various types of bonuses and advancements that can be discovered, and each of these include their own drop-down menus that will set how often they appear. Your options are:

  • ASTEROID FREQUENCY: Asteroids often contain strategic resources like Durantium that you can mine. They also impede movement.
  • NEBULAE: Are interstellar terrain that have global effects on ships as they travel through space, and also contain Elerium, a rare strategic resource.
  • BLACK HOLE FREQUENCY: Black holes are scary, but for those not too frightened by them you can mine the resulting Anti-matter as a strategic resource.
  • RESOURCE FREQUENCY: Each Resource allows you to build special, powerful components for your space ships. Resources are:
    • Durantium
    • Elerium
    • Anti-matter
    • Promethion
    • Thulium
  • PRECURSOR RELIC FREQUENCY: These are ancient artifacts that when studied provide civilization-wide bonuses.
  • ASCENSION CRYSTAL FREQUENCY: These are a special type of precursor artifact that when studied can unlock the secrets of ascending to a higher plane.

ANOMALIES are much like resources that can provide random bonuses, and can also be set via the drop-down menu. Your options include:

  • ANOMALY FREQUENCY: Anomalies are artifacts and other unknown items that when surveyed unlock special rewards, such as ships, money, bonuses and techs.

Step 4: Choose your Victory Conditions[edit | edit source]

The VICTORY CONDITIONS section lists the variety of ways you can achieve success in your game. Choose as many paths to ultimate victory as you wish. Keep all of your options open, or narrow your focus to take advantage of your race's greatest strengths.

Step 5: Customize the Game Settings[edit | edit source]

The GAME SETTINGS section displays overarching settings that affect your game.

In the CUSTOMIZE GAME SETTING section, your options include:

  • GALAXY DIFFICULTY: The overall difficulty of the map, which includes pirates and all the races. However, you can override this individually per race by making other adjustments in your game options or in the way you set up your game.
  • GAME PACING: Makes the game play faster or slower by modifying things like production
  • RESEARCH RATE: Make researching more expensive or cheaper. If you want to be able to get techs faster you have that option.
  • PIRATES: Adjust this to determine how many pirate bases will exist on your map. You can also choose to have no pirates in the game.
  • UNITED PLANETS FREQUENCY: This setting lets you determine how often the United Planets (the galactic government) meets.
  • GALACTIC EVENTS: Galactic Events are game-changing incidents that can alter the way your empire grows.
  • MINOR RACES: Determines how many minor races will be in the galaxy. Minor races are civilizations that have not expanded out into the galaxy, but you can trade with them and make them your allies.

In the ADVANCED SETTINGS section, your options include:

DISABLE TECH TRADING: Enable this option to remove the feature for trading technologies with other races.

Step 6: Choosing Opponents[edit | edit source]

Any pre-set race is available for you to play against, and if you've saved a custom race they will show up in the list and you will be able to play against them too. Choose as many opponents as you want. You can then set the difficulty of each race's AI for a more customized experience.

Once you've completed your setup, click the START button. You will see the main game screen.