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Thousands of years ago, the highly advanced precursors split into two factions: The peace-loving Arnor and the paranoid war-like Dreadlords. They fought a great war in which the outcome was that both races disappeared from the galaxy. In the year 2225, the young Human race invents the Hyperdrive and a new age of expansion blossoms throughout the civilizations of the galaxy. Each of the various races wishes to create its own empire and bring prosperity to its people. Following the events of the first game and its expansion pack, the Humans and Altarans are united in an alliance against the Dregen Empire and The Yor Collective. Victory seems assured for the Human-Altaran fleets until information surfaces about an ancient artifact which may return the Dreadlords to this universe.

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords is the sequel to the 2003 game and revisits the 4X space strategy of its predecessor. In the standard game the player will choose one of the ten major races in the game (or a custom race can be created) before setting out on an unexplored randomly-generated galactic map. Each race has its own strengths and weaknesses which give it bonuses in certain areas. As well, the controlling political faction of each race assigns bonuses. With planets and resources limited, the race to conquer the galaxy begins. Planets can be colonized, resources mined and fellow civilizations befriended or destroyed. Victory can be achieved through conquest (killing all other major races), diplomacy (being allied with every remaining major race), influence (influence controls 75% of the galaxy) or technology (researching Technological victory in the tech tree).

The game contains a highly customizable ship design feature allowing players to implement newly researched ship modules as they see fit. There is also a campaign mode beside the standard game, where a story of ancient Precursor civilizations unfolds mission-by-mission, and support for an online "Metaverse" where players can upload games to the website and be ranked against other players.


Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Windows Choosing the campaign Dread Lords.
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Windows Title menu
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Windows Planet details
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Windows Choose and customize your civilization.

Promo Images

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Magazine Advertisement


Alternate Titles

  • "银河文明II:恐惧之王" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Космическая Федерация 2" -- Russian spelling
  • "Gal Civ II" -- Informal name
  • "Galactic Civilizations II: Władcy Strachu" -- Polish title
  • "Galactic Civilizations II" -- German title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

An Excellent 4X Game, an Excellent Way to Rule the Galaxy! Tom Cross (31) 3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars
Phenomenal! D Michael (232) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
An average copy-cat of Master of Orion that can't "meow" very well... Indra was here (20905) 2.17 Stars2.17 Stars2.17 Stars2.17 Stars2.17 Stars

Critic Reviews

GameSpy Mar 03, 2006 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Game Captain Mar 19, 2006 85 out of 100 85
Game Informer Magazine Apr, 2006 8 out of 10 80
Game Informer Magazine Apr, 2006 7.75 out of 10 78 Aug 18, 2006 15 out of 20 75
PC Action Mar 24, 2006 74 out of 100 74
PC Powerplay Mar 29, 2006 69 out of 100 69
PC Games (Germany) Mar 27, 2006 64 out of 100 64
GameStar (Germany) Apr, 2006 62 out of 100 62
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Jun, 2006 Unscored Unscored


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1001 Video Games

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


In the campaign mode of the game, the mission titled "Siege" starts the player with three planets named: Sabin, Celes and Locke. The names are references to three of the main characters of Final Fantasy VI.


When the game was released and topped the American charts, without relying on copy protection, a StarForce administrator, working for the StarForce company providing copy protection for media, posted a torrent link to an illegal version of the game on the company's forum, with the message:
Right now several thousands are downloading the pirated version from that web-site. Is it good for the sales? Unlikely. Good game [sic] surely would have the high sales rate even if it doesn't have any copy protection, but not because of that. Good protection is the tool, which increases the rate.

The offending post was soon removed, but this move raged gamers worldwide, accusing StarForce of relying on mafia-style blackmail activities to run its business.


  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2007 - #6 Game of the Year 2006
  • Games for Windows Magazine
    • March 2007 - #3 Game of the Year 2006
  • GameSpy
    • 2006 – #6 Game of the Year
    • 2006 – PC Turn-Based Strategy Game of the Year
Information also contributed by PCGamer77 and WildKard

Related Web Sites

Kilmaat (27) added Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords (Windows) on Apr 24, 2006