Freeware Garden: Star Commander

Starry-eyed pilots killing each other in outer space in traditional turn-based battles.

Having distilled the core elements of 4X strategizing into a sleek and easy to get into game, and thus having done away with lengthy tutorials and hefty pdf manuals, I am happy to declare that Star Commander has achieved an uncommon straightforwardness.

It’s the most accessible explore, expand, exploit and exterminate sim I have ever played. Not that I’ve played many in the past few years, but that’s all the more reason to be impressed and surprised with how gentle Star Commander was with me. Besides, I can’t think of many freeware turn-based 4X games of this scope.

A Starbase is not a lavish thing, but it does get the job done.

Star Commander progresses in the traditional fashion of turn-based decision making, as you aim to claim a strategic victory via superior technology, well-run star bases and vast fleets, and canny maneuvering upon spacey, turn-based battlefields. All for the greater good, obviously.

Managing crew, hiring officers, harvesting planets for resources, and designing your very own, specialized ships are both beautifully handled and deeply addictive, as your craving for one more turn while, ignoring important deadlines and/or sleep will undoubtedly prove. The satisfaction of conquering one of Star Commander’s procedurally generated galaxies can be immense, especially when your strategies and tactics have refined themselves to the point of allowing you to tackle the hardest difficulty setting.

Star Commander is available for Windows, Mac and Linux right here.


  1. wooster84 says:

    This game looks really similar to a freeware game I used to play many moons ago. Looks wicked.

  2. cafeoh says:

    Is this supposed to be straight-forward? Man, I must suck really bad at those games hehe…

    I’m not sure I entirely understand the game mechanics, but it does feel like it’s very slow, doesn’t it? You have to click on a planet, zoom in, click on your shipyard, build the ship, go back to the starmap, wait for a turn and do that again for every ship you want to create. I obviously didn’t go very far into it, but doesn’t that become a hassle after you’ve conquered a few systems? Same for the combat, even on fastest setting it takes ages for the drones to move…

    The interface does seem sleek and reactive though, and I like the oldschool freeware style of it for some reason.

  3. FireStorm1010 says:

    Looks interesting. As an avid 4x fan will try it out for sure

  4. TekknoTroll says:

    Seems interesting, just wish the installation would let me choose where to install the game though.

  5. GentlemanRaptor says:

    The greater good? You some kinda heretical Tau sympathizer?

    • Konstantinos Dimopoulos says:

      Shhhhhhh…. Of course not, of course not, the Emperor is all I care about.

  6. sinister agent says:

    Hi, I’m making a new game about spaceships, it’s called Star You’ve Already Forgotten This Game.

  7. E_FD says:

    So, how’s it compare to Master of Orion 2?

    • Konstantinos Dimopoulos says:

      It’s good, really good, but nothing could ever be as good as Master of Orion 2. Then again, getting into Star Commander is way easier.

  8. padger says:

    Old SKOOL.