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Master of Orion

aka: MOO, Master of Orion 1, Master of Orion Classic

Description official description

Master of Orion overlaps with Civilization insofar as you are the leader of one of several races. Technological advance, realm expansion and combat are all key elements. Where it differs is in being set in space.

The planet Orion itself is a lush, fertile planet with vast mineral resources. It is guarded by the Guardian - a powerful vessel which you have to defeat in order to plunder Orion's riches.

As you attempt to expand your empire, you will have to trade and steal technologies form rivals, again much like Civ. Your ships can be improved over the game, in terms of engine power, shields, cloaking devices and weapons, and different combinations of these can be integrated. Resource management is largely set using sliders, which reduces the amount of time spent on micro-management.

Groups +



Credits (DOS version)

43 People (29 developers, 14 thanks) · View all

Sound Software
Music Producer
Music Composer
Lead Testers
Manual Art
Package Design
Manual Writer
Manual Design & Layout
Director of Publications
Product Manager
[ full credits ]



Subject User Date
Help me get into this game Mobygamesisreanimated (11072) 2009-04-29 18:33:40


Jerry Pournelle

Famous Sci-Fi novelist and long time technology columnist Jerry Pournelle frequently mention his appreciation for Master of Orion i his Chaos Manor columns. He's often stated its one of his all time favorite games.


When playing against the Meklars, one of the names for the leader (picked randomly from a pool in the NAMES.LBX file) is TX-1138. Likely a reference to George Lucas's movie THX-1138, which he himself has referred to in little in-jokes throughout the Star Wars movies.

Star Lords

Star Lords was a sort-of prototype game for Master of Orion. It was released as freeware in 2001.

Spaceward Ho!

Master of Orion borrows several game elements from Spaceward Ho!.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • June 1994 (Issue #119) – Strategy Game of the Year
    • April 1996 (Issue #141) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #33 in the β€œ150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • Game Bytes
    • 1993 - Strategy Game of the Year
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #64 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Gaming World
    • 1993 - Premier Award Computing
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #37 in the "Readers All-Time Top 50" poll
    • October 2001 - #31 in the "Top 60 Games of All Time" list (They go on to credit the game for the creation of the '4X' genre of strategy gaming ('explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate').)
    • April 2005 - #44 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • Pelit Magazine
    • 1994 - Best PC Game
  • Strategy Plus
    • 1993 - Strategy Game of the Year

Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Entorphane, Michael Palomino, PCGamer77, Scott Monster and Technocrat

Related Games

Master of Orion 3
Released 2003 on Windows, Macintosh
Master of Orion
Released 2016 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh
Orion: Prelude
Released 2013 on Windows
Orion Quest
Released 1984 on Commodore 64
Orion Burger
Released 1996 on DOS, Macintosh
Star Wraith 3: Shadows of Orion
Released 2002 on Windows
Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares
Released 1996 on DOS, Windows, 1997 on Macintosh
Invasion Orion
Released 1979 on Commodore PET/CBM, 1979 on Apple II, 1981 on Atari 8-bit
Master of Magic
Released 1985 on Commodore 64, 1986 on ZX Spectrum

Related Sites +

  • 1oom
    unofficial game engine recreation under GPLv2 - requires a copy of the Master of Orion (v1.3) LBX files.
  • Fan-made Patch 1.40m
    fan-made patch for Master of Orion (v1.3)
  • Master of Orion on the Mac
    An article on Low End Mac about the Macintosh version of the game. The writer describes his experiences originally running the game on his PCs when it was released and his attempts to enjoy the game on his Macs. The article effectively takes the form of a retrospective appreciation of the game, with an underlying point regarding the backwards compatibility of Apple's hardware (Jul. 1st, 2008).

Identifiers +


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Kalirion, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger, Plok, J D.

Game added August 13th, 1999. Last modified March 9th, 2023.