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Freeciv-2.1.0-beta3-sdl slack11.0.jpg
Freeciv 2.1.0 beta3 SDL client
Latest release2.5.7  (Announcement)
Release dateMay 13th, 2017
DeveloperFreeciv team
Code licenseGPL
Media licenseGPL
P. languageC, HTML5

Freeciv is a 2D turn-based strategy game, inspired by Sid Meier's Civilization series. Both code and media are licensed under the GNU General Public License.[1] Freeciv supports online play via the GGZ Gaming Zone since version 2.1.[2][3]. Freeciv is mostly written in the C programming language.[4] This game does not require 3D hardware acceleration. The game is also playable as an HTML5 Web game.


Freeciv can be played via different clients, the majority of which are in an early stage of development.

  • Freeciv-gtk2, currently the official and most stable client.
  • Freeciv-sdl, also official, but yet unstable.[5]
  • Freeciv-Xaw3D
  • Freeciv-QT
  • web client, an online version of Freeciv playable in a web browser.


There are several ways to win a Freeciv game. The simplest is to wipe out all the enemy players. Another option is to become the first to colonize space. There is also a time limit, so if after a certain amount of time has gone by and no one has won, the player with the highest score wins by default.

Freeciv can use three sets of rules: the standard Freeciv rules, the Civilization II rules, and the Civilization I rules. However, the basic gameplay stays the same.

Development history[edit]

On November 14, 1995, the Freeciv project started, to replace the broken Openciv.[6] The original developers were Claus Leth Gregersen, Allan Ove Kjeldbjerg, and Peter Joachim Unold. Gregersen coded the game mechanics, Unold wrote the client architecture, and Kjeldbjerg provided the graphics.[7][8]

However, when the game approached playability, they lost interest and moved on to playing the game XPilot. Since then, a great number of new developers and contributors have allowed the project to grow.

Version history[edit]

We have documented that The Freeciv project have a long and extensive release history.


As of April 27, 2012, Freeciv received 4.63 points out of 5 based on 125 votes on the now-defunct Linux Game Tome.[9]

Freeciv on the web[edit]

Freeciv can also be played online on This project, created by Andreas Røsdal, has developed a rich web client using AJAX, Javascript and the HTML5 standard based on the existing Freeciv C codebase.[10] It is playable on most modern web browsers which support HTML5. The project was shut down in July 2011, but resurfaced in May 2013.[11]


  1. Freeciv website on licensing
  2. Freeciv technical information for GGZ Gaming Zone
  3. Factsheet on Freeciv from GGZ Gaming Zone
  4. Freeciv project data from
  5. Freeciv download page
  6. Freeciv wiki's timeline on civilization like games
  7. Historical account by Allan
  8. The original contributors section of People page at Freeciv wiki.
  9. List of games sorted by rating on the Linux Game Tome, through's Wayback Machine
  10. FreecivWebClient on the Freeciv wiki
  11. Play Freeciv online at on the Freeciv forums

External links[edit]