Galactic Civilizations III

Galactic Civilizations III

179 ratings
Advanced Player Start Guide -updated 5Jan17
By Sycloness
How to set up your empire in the first few turns to have a minimum of 6 planets, 7 technologies, and most of your starting area visible.
Custom Race Creation
Traits & Abilities

The custom rase has a good bonus to production, research, growth, ship space and faster ships. The negative traits are useless to me in my play style. I only send out trade ships to build up relations with aliens I want on my side. The negative planet defenses are worthless because I rarely let an AI get near a core planet.

Racial Abilities
Colonizers - First building is free. I use this for fast shipyards and build colony ships to expand faster.
Wealthy - The bonus credits are used to buy more colony ships to expand faster.

Iconian Tech Tree
I like this because of the bonus to capacity, early ship regeneration, and colony management. This fits my play style of building an empire while researching techs to build and maintain many fleets. To be honest the the Lv2 Healing Hulls in the Engineering tree is a little to helpful. Currently ships heal for 5-10% of total hps after ever round of combat. Also has the best end game colony and ship bonus technologies.

Opening Turns
Goal – Expand as fast as possible, unlock tiny colony ships, use tiny colony ships to colonize planets. Use free shipyards to move your boards very fast to colonize all the planets you can before you run out of credits. Use survey ships to keep income in the green.

Home Planet – Rush a lv1 research building. Find a research tile bonus to place the research building. On the home system it is best to find as many hubs, with a hub being 1 tile with 6 tiles around the center tile, as possible. One hub is needed for factories and one for laboratories, with the leftovers for population and other improvements. Note: Terraforming will be used to complete hubs, not every start gets 1 or more complete hub on creation.

Economy – Set to 100% research (A building was bought nothing to put production into)

Research Path - Goal to make colony ships on tiny hall. These can be bought for 300 credits.
  1. Interstellar Travel
  2. Transportaion Specilaization
  3. Precursor Traditions
  4. Orbital Manufacturing
  5. Storage Maximization

Ships – Scout for a good planet cluster on the edge of your space. When you colonize pick the shipyard as first pick to get it for free. Wait until the ability to buy tiny hall colony ships.

Mercenary Ships – The Ysengard is your best friend 100 credits for very anomoly. Buy any other survey or scout ships to get all the anomolies before the AI can. This is key to keep up your income until your colony and trade income is setup.

First Colony – place the improvements like your home planet. Pick the ideological trait (Constructive) and move the constructors into your home planet. Once you have researched Precursor Traitions upgrade the constructors to colony ships. I use colony ships with 2 engines, 2 range, and 1 colony module. My old way was a ton of sensors so you can see everything around your home planet in a few turns. With the changes to sensor cost I no longer do this.

Expansion Colonies - Use your 3 new colony ships and send them off in 3 directions that are at the edge of your ship range. Colonize any good planets in that outer range. Once all colonies are founded these are your final boarders for a very long time. Make sure you have a shipyard in each of these 3 colonies. Once tiny colony ships are unlocked colonize all of the planets inbetween your home world and these out planets.

Spend your credits on tiny colony ships to grab all open planets within your borders.

Set 50/50 Manufacturing/Research and 100% Social. Any planets that are idle set to Military Subsidies and build tiny colony ships until all planets are claimed. Then build tiny constructors to claim all the resources and build economy starbases around your planets.

Change focus to planet improvements. I prioritize manufacturing and food. I then work on morale and research improvements.

Tip - Artifact anomalies are huge research opportunities. Before you survey one change what you are researching to any high level tech. You might get lucky and get a free tech. I almost always get my ship hall techs for free this way.
Military Build Up
Fleet Build Up
Depending on galaxy size you will need a few medium ship fleets to defend your territory. I play on huge maps and 4 medium ship fleets with 8+ ships are more than enough to defend my territory.

Ship Type
I only use 2 ships and I rarely lose a game. I use a mass driver medium ship until I build carriers late game. Some games I do use large hulls and just double everything I put on the medium ships.

Mass Driver Ship Setup
3 to 4 engines
2 durantium drivers
1 to 3 of each defensive type (3 for any AI weapon type counter)
1 range
1 sensor
Rapid Reload module (-50% cooldown)
Kinetic Accelerator module(+50% range)

Research Needs
Healing Hulls +2 tactical repair
Medium Hulls
Storage Maximization +10% capacity
High Capacity Hulls +20% capacity
Precursor Traditions +10% capacity
Kinetic Augmentation
Kinetic Range Extension +20% range Later Frictionless Acceleration +15% range
Defenses select mass reduction

Hyperion Shrinker
Max out this building to increase capacity. I try to hit 60-75% increased capacity.

I level this up so I can have at least 8 medium ships in a fleet. If at any time I notice I am losing 2 or more ships in my fleet I will research another level. It is far easier to increase fleet size and add extra ships than it is to design a new large ship then build up fleets.

Planet Goals
Home Planet
Full hubs for Manufacturing (orange tiles) and Research(blue tiles)
Partial hubs for Financial (yellow tiles) and Agricultural (green tiles)
Two tiles for Morale (light blue)

Colony Planets
Focus either for a Manufacturing, Research, or Financial hub. This depends on what event selection is made at the colony’s creation and tile bonus improvements. Build up the colony on the path selected and when there is nothing to build select the appropriate project to give your empire a boost.

Shipyard Hubs
Look for a system or cluster of systems that have 5 good quality planets. Place a shipyard in the middle for greater amounts of production for the shipyard. It is better to have few shipyards with more planets feeding it than to have one shipyard per planet. Also this is much easier to maintain.

Manufacturing Hub
While out exploring space look for a grouping of 4+ planets clustered together with at least one high level planet. Here you will want to build up so that the shipyard is linked to all these worlds. On the larges one you will want to have max manufacturing, max military and high population. This planet will have the Hyperion military buildings linked for the highest bonus to increased ship hit points, range, logistical points, and capacity.

Ideological Traits
I only like the Pragmatic play style. I like this tree for the free colony ships at the start of the game. I also like the extra starbase and trade bonuses.

Here is my Path:
  1. Constructive upgrade for 3 free colony ships
  2. Coordinated
  3. Inventive +1 starbase module
  4. Prepared Pragmatic improvement
  5. Exporters +1 trade route and 1 free trade ship
  6. Merchants +25% trade income
  7. Luxury luxury trade routes for increased trade income

Later Goals
  • Cautious 3 free ships on all planets
  • Resourceful +2 all mining resources
  • Efficient +1 construction module per module on a ship
  • Indispensable diplomacy bonus for trade routes
  • Neutral No one can declare war on you for 50 turns

Most my games play out with me getting all the Pragmatic and Benevolent races allied with me. I then wipe out the Malevolent races or sometimes I just give fleets to my allies and let them kill them off. I just sit back and hit end turn over and over while managing my planets.
Military Hub for Elite Ships
Military Hub
I find it best to max the hyperion shrinker and logistics systems to build the best ships. The hull size on the ships is greatly improved and the extra logistics allows for a bigger fleet. Right now the hyperion shipyard is kind of a waste with only +1 hps per level. This needs to scale better when huge halls have 775 hps.

Example Setup

Results in a level 13 Hyperion Shrinker


Starbase Goals
Mining – Get all the resources in your starting area. If able get the resources near the AI before they can. For module selection pick mining, sensors, and save the last one. If a relic is in range take that over sensors, unless an AI is nearby. Once Support Field Mastery s unlocked go back to all the mining Starbases and increase the range.

Economy – Get one up for the home planet system first. Then after all the mining Starbases are finished go back and ensure every system has at least one economy starbase.

Influence – Put a few of these in the holes in the area of influence and at the edges of your empire.

Military – I do not use these until middle of the game when an AI is either near or close to attacking. I place the bases along the border with my fleet nearby to attack anything that comes within range.

Resources and Relics
Early guide for what resources to obtain.
Icon Color
Offensive Module
Reason to Obtain
Planet Improvement
Reason to Obtain
Prototype Durantium Driver
+8 attack for 24 mass
Duranitum Refinery
+1 production, +3 manufacturing adjacent bonus
Prototype Antimatter Missle
+16 attack for 18 mass
Antimatter Power Plant
+2 all adjacent bonus
Light Blue
Thulium Data Archive
+3 reaserch adjacent bonus
Prototype Elerium Beam
+16 attack for 12 mass
Elerium Defense Shield
+75% planet defence, +3 military adjacent bonus

Relics are extremely useful because they give a raw percentage boost to your empire. The starting bonus is 10% per relic. With research every new level unlocks a module to increase the bonus by 10%.
Icon Color
Starting Empire Bonus
Light Blue
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Pepsi Nov 14, 2017 @ 2:32pm 
Andrew123 Nov 6, 2017 @ 9:38pm 
Well with the new patches, i think synthetic fractions 're way more powerful then any other, u can go for about 200 raw production on each planet within 150 turns, even in multiplayers you will get problems quite fast to deny the synthetic faction his durantium ressources.
Sycloness  [author] Nov 2, 2017 @ 12:13am 
Yes this is outdated. I basicly still follow the same plan and crush the game on all settings save godlike. I kind of miss the old way of playing, but again I played for a few years that way.
Andrew123 Oct 29, 2017 @ 11:49am 
mostly outdated, game has been reworked
Sycloness  [author] Jul 1, 2017 @ 7:01pm 
This guide is completely not for Crusade.
Sycloness  [author] Jul 1, 2017 @ 6:57pm 
Odd wth, steam did something let me fix it.
Thunder Jun 29, 2017 @ 8:23pm 
Not sure if stated earlier in the comments (13 pages! Nice!), but: text on screenshots can be hard to read at times (the first two are good examples).
westonmickey13 Jun 1, 2017 @ 6:44am 
Although i agree crusade did change things up......if you really liked this guide before crusade.....then you need to customize your civ.....the techs that still work for the iconian tree still just have to choose ancient and shipbuilder.....which works great with pragmatic...beforewarned though....with the new DLC....altarians absolutely hate pragmatic and evil Civs
MrFoxAos May 22, 2017 @ 2:41pm 
man as a guy comeing from dreadlords 2 to crusade 3 this guide makes me feel like crusade fucked the game up
Jeruzalem May 17, 2017 @ 9:11am 
i know. i mean, you dont even start with factories or labs. im starting to regret this dlc, especially since it removed all my old saves and creations.