🐳 Check out #guessing-game in our Discord to play a new game made using MobyGames screenshots

atari gravitar
Not an American user?


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.


Master of Orion DOS New research
Master of Orion DOS Intro sequence 2
Master of Orion DOS Your first contact with the human race
Master of Orion DOS Build a new colony

Promo Images

Master of Orion Screenshot
Master of Orion Other
Master of Orion Screenshot
Master of Orion Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "MOO" -- Informal abbreviation
  • "Master of Orion Classic" -- Later GOG.com title
  • "Master of Orion 1" -- Later Steam title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The pinnacle of 4x gaming, infinitely playable even today, and one of the only empire games that eats formulaic players for breakfast DOS J. P. Gray (120)
Quite simply, the best TBS ever! DOS Jeffrey Graw (61)
Fantastic DOS Cyric (50)
Total Classic DOS William Shawn McDonie (1180)
A great game. DOS Wolfang (168)
Most addicting turn based strategy ever DOS Darryl White (9)
Strategy players looking for a challenge will love it. DOS Yeah Right (57)
A great classic by all standards. DOS Tomer Gabel (4634)
An addictive and epic game DOS Jonathon Howard (120)
Space Conquest just got much better DOS MaiZure (126)

Critic Reviews

All Game Guide DOS 1998 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Computer Gaming World (CGW) DOS May, 1994 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Games Finder Macintosh Apr 24, 2014 8.5 out of 10 85
Play Time DOS Dec, 1993 79 out of 100 79
PC Games (Germany) DOS Nov, 1993 78 out of 100 78
PC Joker DOS Nov, 1993 75 out of 100 75
Power Play DOS Nov, 1993 70 out of 100 70
Svenska Hemdatornytt DOS Mar, 1994 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 67
High Score Macintosh Jul, 1995 3 out of 5 60
Dragon DOS Feb, 1994 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60


Topic # Posts Last Post
Help me get into this game 4 Indra was here (20853)
Apr 29, 2009


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 “150 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 Web 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).)
Contributed to by Terok Nor (32473) and Tomer Gabel (4634)