Galactic Civilization 2 Gets AI And Tech Tree Update

That’s not a typo in the headline. This patch is not for the recently released Galactic Civilizations 3, but for the nearly ten year-old Galactic Civilizations 2. Released last Thursday, version 2.20 incorporates a number of community mods into the base game, as well as making tweaks to its already formidable AI.

As the forum post describes, there are changes to the game’s tech tree, “AI value judgement” and more by users Gaunathor and MabusAltarn, as well as other tweaks – including lots of changes to in-game tech descriptions – from other long-time players. Stardock CEO Brad Wardell also says that the community “gave me a long list of areas where they thought I could improve the AI, which I used to dig into the now 10 year old AI source code base to implement.”

Galactic Civilizations III left early access earlier this year and has been receiving regular updates of its own, including a revision of its diplomacy system at the start of the month. Adam’s review of that game rightly noted at the end that updates were likely:

It’s also worth noting that GalCiv III will most likely be a better game in two, three, five and seven years than it is now. Currently, it’s neither a perfected version of its predecessor or a successful step in a radical new direction. So what is it? On a medium map (maybe large with scarce habitable planets if you fancy losing a couple of weeks), with a good mix of AI opponents, it’s a fantastic update to one of the best 4X games in existence. Whether that’s enough, only you can decide. Don’t be surprised if I’m revisiting in a couple of years to tell you it’s become something much more remarkable though.

While updates are standard practice these days, I still find something fundamentally delightful about developers going to patch their more ancient works.


  1. Vacuity729 says:

    Urgh. Argh. That pile of shame never seems to get smaller, and this one’s on the top tier of “really need to try.”

    Oh, wait! What did you say? Another Steam sale starts tomorrow? Oh, look! Steam wallet gift cards from my family back home? Right… That’s really going to help shrink my pile of shame.

  2. pack.wolf says:

    So far I am somewhat disappointed with GC3. So a new patch for GC2 will do nicely to fill the time until GC3 is actually finished and polished (Don’t believe them when they say it’s already out of early access/past 1.0. That is only objectively true – the game feels quite unfinished and core gameplay mechanics are still and sometimes radically being reworked every few months).

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Shame, I’ve been hearing that a lot and was rather fond of GC2.
      Gonna wait some 5 years then.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Probably not 5 years, but maybe at least another year to get all the parts working together and the AI tweaked into shape.

        It is a bit disappointing to me that GalCiv 3 didn’t turn out to be more of an evolutionary step past GalCiv 2 in both mechanics and graphics. I guess they felt they had a winning formula, but the look and feel just doesn’t scream “new version” to me. I’m still keeping an eye on development, since I did buy it.

        Meanwhile, Endless Space 2 and Stellaris are on the horizon, so we’ll have more choices before long.

        • hungrycookpot says:

          Seemed like one of the increasingly common misuses of early access. They’re an established publisher with a number of well-liked games under their belt, early access on GalCiv3 imo was definitely a negative for the game. So many series fans I know just skipped over it or bounced off immediately (me being the latter) because of the systems that were incomplete and missing. I don’t know when it will be “finished” enough to feel like a complete GalCiv, but it wasn’t the day they released it, that’s for sure.

  3. peterako1989 says:

    will it be available for retail versions of the game?

    • Premium User Badge

      Rublore says:

      For retail versions, you may have to register an account with Stardock. They sent me an email with a link to the patch, available under My Account > My Downloads.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    Played GalCiv2 for the first time earlier this year and got utterly sucked in (2am “I really need to go to bed for work tomorrow” sucked in). Looking forward to going back to the expansions at some point 2.
    The screenshot at the top of this post really puts my piddling ship building efforts to shame though! Must try harder next time…

    • Zenicetus says:

      If you’re enjoying GalCiv2 (and I did too), then I’d recommend getting the expansions ASAP.

      Especially the last one, Twilight of the Arnor. That one added unique tech trees for each race, which means you can’t always rely on a single strategy every time. The military side is basically the same, but in every other respect the races play differently. That last expansion was the point where the game really came together for me.

  5. Ejia says:

    Did they fix the 50% chance of the game crashing whenever the Dread Lords show up?

  6. Darloth says:

    Huh. That’s unexpectedly nice.

  7. NephilimNexus says:

    I had sincerely hoped that GC3 was going to be something more than GC2 with better graphics. I was wrong. So they may as well just update GC2 instead.