If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Unciv is a free, open-source take on Civilization 5 that's coming to Steam

Runs on a potato

When is Civilization not Civilization? When it’s Unciv, a free to play, open-source reimagining of Sid Meier’s Civilization V that’s being developed by volunteers on GitHub. After nearly three years in development and releases on Android, Linux, and through itch.io, Unciv’s now moving its units onto Steam. You'll be able to play multiplayer Unciv, but that involves using Dropbox for syncing, which isn’t free to use.

Liam and James test some intriguing Steam Deck accessories they found on Etsy.

Describing Unciv as “an open-source reimplementation of the most famous civilization-building game ever”, dev Yair Morgenstern is working with volunteers using the cross-platform framework libGDX. Morgenstern says that Unciv is good if you’re looking to play something that’s a “small, fast, moddable, FOSS [free open source software] and in-depth 4X that can still run on a potato”. If you’re more interested in graphical excellence, animations, and a soundtrack then Morgenstern instead suggests sticking with Civilization V.

Unciv should eventually have every feature of the original Civ 5, Morgenstern hopes. As for potential legal issues with the project, the dev doesn’t believe there should be any and points to the example of Flappy Bird clones. Unciv doesn’t use the Civilization name, impersonate the game, or take assets from the original Civ 5. The Unciv team are still looking for more people to help with the project, including programmers, translators and modders. You can read more about Unciv and its development on the GitHub page here.

Although there’s no release date yet, you can wishlist Unciv on Steam for now. If you don’t want to wait then you can download the latest build from itch.io, or from Google Play on Android.

You're not signed in!

Create your ReedPop ID & unlock community features and much, much more!

Create account
About the Author
CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Buy RPS stuff here
Rock Paper Shotgun Merch