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GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #7 - What's New in Supernova

Published on Thursday, March 30, 2023 By Frogboy In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

A recap of what Galactic Civilizations is

To recap, Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova is a turn-based 4X space strategy game set in the 24th century with players taking on the role of leader of a civilization that has just developed faster than light (FTL) travel. Supernova adds an additional layer – civilizations are on the verge of discovery subspace streams which allow for intergalactic travel.

Civilizations must explore their area of space, expand their influence through colonizing and building starbases, exploit the resources with their territories and ultimately deal with other civilizations that stand in their way.

In this space-based strategy game set in the 24th century, players take on the role of a leader of a spacefaring civilization, tasked with exploring and colonizing the known universe. With an array of new features and improvements, Supernova offers an unparalleled 4X strategy experience for players of all skill levels. 


What has come before

Eight years after releasing Galactic Civilizations III, Stardock launched Galactic Civilizations IV exclusively on Epic in 2022. This partnership allowed us to experiment with innovative yet potentially controversial game design ideas.

While most new concepts were well-received, the AI-driven invasion system proved frustrating for players. The multi-parameter AI efficiently divided fleets to attack every enemy world simultaneously, prioritizing its objective over player enjoyment. This resulted in an engaging game design overshadowed by "toxic AI players."

The lesson learned here is that smart AI isn’t necessarily fun AI. But the answer isn’t to make the AI dumb, it is to re-design the game so that the smartest strategies are also fun to execute.


Supernova: What’s new

Supernova builds on and often time reinvents concepts that first appeared in Galactic Civilizations IV.

We can't talk about everything coming in Supernova yet but. We have some amazing stuff to show off when we go into early access but for starters:




Players now have the option to play with multiple sectors, each acting as a separate map, or continue with a single large sector if they prefer.

Executive Orders

Introducing a new resource, Control, which enables players to instantly execute actions across their empire by spending it as needed.

Cultural Progression

Throughout the game, civilizations gradually develop culturally, allowing players to select unique traits that set them apart from others. The cost of these traits varies based on the player's actions and choices made during gameplay.

New Combat System

Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova presents a brand new combat system for the first time since the original game. Now, various weapon and defense systems have distinct behaviors and damage-handling capabilities. Players can enjoy highly detailed battle views and access comprehensive information to assess their ships' performance in combat.

Governmental Policies

Besides traditional power levers like adjusting taxes, players can now select from a range of policies to influence their civilizations' functions. Opt for coerced research to accelerate technology gains, or implement mandatory conscription for more soldiers during wartime. These policies grant players unprecedented control over their civilization's development.


Players can influence their civilization's functionality by recruiting leaders from across the galaxy and assigning them to key positions. Each leader has a unique backstory and traits that impact their assigned roles, adding an interesting layer of complexity and unpredictability to the game.

Multi-Species Civilizations

Population is represented by citizens with diverse strengths and weaknesses. These citizens hail from various planets and can create multi-ethnic societies in a galactic sense, as different species come to inhabit the same planets. Each species has unique natural abilities, making them suitable for distinct roles within your civilization.

Core Worlds

Habitable planets are now divided into two types: Colonies and Core Worlds. Players fully manage Core Worlds, while Colonies are minor planets that contribute resources to their associated Core Worlds. This system allows players to maintain vast interstellar empires without the burden of micromanagement or reliance on AI governors.

Starship Classes

The new Starship classes system offers players enhanced control over their starships' performance. Classes like Fighters, Cruisers, and Dreadnoughts have unique priorities during battle, encouraging players to build diverse fleets with careful consideration of composition, rather than simply amassing the largest ships possible.

New Research System

Galactic Civilizations games are known for their expansive technology trees. Galactic Civilizations IV offers an even deeper tree with more civilization-specific distinctions. Supernova introduces breakthroughs—technologies that a civilization is naturally attuned to and are significantly cheaper to research. While players can freely research any technology they have prerequisites for, breakthrough techs come with a 50% cost reduction, adding strategic depth to gameplay.



GalCiv IV Supernova
Encounter several brand-new alien civilizations or create your own using the updated Civilization Builder.


GalCiv IV Supernova
Prepare your fleets and wage epic battles in a new and improved combat system that features starship classes.


Some of the new and improved features of Supernova include a new combat system, Terror Stars that can destroy entire stars and the surrounding planets and ships with a single shot, new alien civilizations to play as or against, a new culture progression system, and a new research system with breakthrough technologies. 

In addition, Supernova also features an improved diplomacy system with more complex negotiations and alliances, a streamlined galaxy setup system, enhanced modding capabilities, and an improved graphics engine for stunning visuals. Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova is coming soon.


Design unique ships, assigning them classes and roles that you can utilize both in and out of combat to keep a step ahead of your enemies.

GalCiv IV Supernova
Spread your influence, conquer enemy planets, and maintain tenuous diplomatic relations as you fight for galactic dominance.


GalCiv IV Supernova
Make diverse and interesting decisions on how to strengthen your civilization's tourism, weaponry, science, and more.


Court the good graces of other civilizations and monitor your relationships in a detailed and intuitive diplomacy screen.

GalCiv IV Supernova
Easily navigate the improved UI for the Ship Designer and build your own custom fleets to crush your enemies.


GalCiv IV Supernova
Terrorize the galaxy with powerful ancient technology that can destroy planets with a single shot.
Looking for Galactic Civilizations IV Standard Edition? Get it here.


Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals