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Freeciv-2.1.0-beta3-sdl slack11.0.jpg
Freeciv 2.1.0 beta3 SDL client
Latest release3.0.10  (Announcement)
Release dateFebruary 9th, 2024
PlatformsLinux, Windows, FreeBSD, Haiku , Mac
DeveloperFreeciv team
Code licenseGPL
Media licenseGPL
P. languageC, HTML5
Freeciv is a free game. This means that the source code is available to be studied, modified, and distributed. Most projects look for help with testing, documentation, graphics, etc., as well.
Available as a package in:  
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Slackware logo.svg Slackware: freeciv 
Openlogo-debianV2.svg Debian: freeciv 
Fedora logo.svg Fedora: freeciv  
Gentoo Linux logo matte.svg Gentoo: games-strategy/freeciv 
UbuntuCoF.svg Ubuntu: freeciv 
OpenSUSE Logo.svg OpenSUSE: freeciv-gtk3 
Mageia logo small.jpg Mageia: freeciv-client 
Flatpak logo.png Flatpak: org.freeciv.Freeciv 
Snapcraft-logo.svg Snap: freeciv-gtk 
Daemon-phk.svg FreeBSD: freeciv 
Haiku (operating system) logo.svg Haiku: games-strategy/freeciv

Freeciv is a 2D turn-based strategy game, inspired by Sid Meier's Civilization series, where players control an empire to "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate" (4X). Both code and media are licensed under the GNU General Public License.[1] Freeciv is mostly written in the C programming language.[2] 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-gtk3.22, currently the official and most stable client.
  • Freeciv-sdl2, also official, but yet unstable.[3]
  • Freeciv-QT
  • freeciv-web, 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 various 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.[4] 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.[5][6]

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. In May 2017 Gna! was closed and the Freeciv code repository moved to Github.[7]

Version history[edit]

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

Freeciv supported online play via the GGZ Gaming Zone from version 2.1 until 2.5.[8][9]

A version was included on the 100 Great Games for Linux shovelware collection, Linux Games & Entertainment for X Windows, Linux Games, Linux Games++, Red Hat Powertools, and on OpenSource Game Power volume 1.


As of April 27, 2012, Freeciv received 4.63 points out of 5 based on 125 votes on the now-defunct Linux Game Tome.[10]

Freeciv on the web[edit]

Freeciv can also be played online on sites hosting freeciv-web. 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.[11] It is playable on most modern web browsers which support HTML5. The project was shut down in July 2011, but resurfaced in May 2013.[12]


External links[edit]