Civilization III

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Sid Meier's Civilization III
Sid Meier's Civilization III cover
Firaxis Games
Mac OS (Classic) Westlake Interactive
macOS (OS X) Westlake Interactive
2001-2005 Infogrames
2005-present 2K Games
Mac OS Aspyr Media
macOS (OS X) Aspyr Media
Release dates
Windows October 30, 2001
Mac OS (Classic) October 30, 2001
macOS (OS X) January 12, 2006
Metacritic 90
Monetization Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Isometric
Controls Point and select
Genres 4X, TBS
Themes Historical
Series Civilization
Civilization III on HowLongToBeat
Civilization III on IGDB
Civilization III guide on StrategyWiki
Civilization III on MobyGames
Civilization III on Wikipedia
Civilization 1991
Civilization II 1996
Civilization II: Test of Time 1999
Civilization III 2001
Civilization IV 2005
CivCity: Rome 2006
Civilization IV: Colonization 2008
Civilization V 2010
Civilization: Beyond Earth 2014
Civilization VI 2016


GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

Key points

Disc/retail versions can be migrated to Steam by contacting 2K Support.[1]

General information

Civilization Wiki - A detailed wiki for all Civilization games and their spin offs
Apolyton Civilization Site's Civ III section - A huge forum dedicated to all Civilization games and their spin offs. Modifications for the game can be found here
Civilization Fanatics Center's Civilization III Page Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SafeDisc DRM[Note 1] or SecuROM DRM disc check (varies by release).
Mac OS
Green Man Gaming
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Gamesplanet logo.svg
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SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Play the World Adds additional civilizations, game modes, and multiplayer support.
Conquests Adds additional civilizations and scenarios to the game, as well as new government types and other features.
Contains all content from Play the World.

Version differences[edit]

The Game of the Year Edition contains the base game with a bonus CD containing additional maps and behind-the-scenes videos.
The Gold Edition contains the base game and Play The World.
Civilization III Complete is a complete version with both expansion packs.
Digital releases omit the executables for the base game and Play the World, however, leaving only the Conquests executable with a Complete-themed menu and icon. The base game and Play the World can, however, be played by including no-CD versions of their respective fully patched executables, as no other assets are missing.

Essential improvements[edit]


v1.29f (base game), v1.27f (Play the World), v1.22 (Conquests) are available here.
Patch v1.22 Rev A is the latest patch for the OS X version.[4]


fan patch v8 - Multiple fixes to v1.22 Conquests.
Fitted Irrigation with Farm Houses - Makes irrigation look more natural and not jut out into the water.
River Deltas - Covers up the problem where some deltas are too far out to sea and others are too recessed
Fixed Transport Window Leftovers - Fixes left over artifacts from the transport window

Skip intro videos[edit]

Edit conquests.ini in game-folder[citation needed]
  1. Open the configuration file.
  2. Add the following line at the end of the file: PlayIntro=0.
  3. Save your changes.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Civilization3.ini
[Note 2]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3910/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Saves
[Note 2]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3910/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


In-game options menu.
In-game options menu.

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Set KeepRes mode[5]
  1. Open the configuration file.
  2. Add the line KeepRes=1
  3. Save your changes. The game will now run at the desktop resolution as borderless fullscreen.


Set windowed mode[citation needed]
  1. Open the configuration file.
  2. Add the line KeepRes=1
  3. Add the line Video Mode=1152
  4. Save your changes.
Video Mode is the horizontal window size, with the vertical height calculated based on the 4:3 aspect ratio.
The game window will have no border.
The game area can't be resized after the game is launched - doing so causes graphic corruption and may crash the game.


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Uses OS cursor.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
No spoken text.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only.
Retail only; download for digital versions
Fan translation, link #1, link #2.
Retail only.
Retail only
Retail only, download.


Either expansion pack is required, as the base game does not have multiplayer support.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
8 Hot seat
LAN play
8 Versus
Removed from Steam version after the Steamworks update.
Online play
8 Versus
Online server browser no longer works in non-Steam versions. Steam version has been updated to fix this.[1][6]
Asynchronous multiplayer
Possible option. Used by default.

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
Removed from the Steam version.[1]


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 3783, 6500, 6667, 28900, 29900, 29901
UDP 2302-2400, 6500, 6515, 13139, 27900
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed[edit]

Compatibility settings[edit]

Issues with the game may be corrected with compatibility settings. For the Steam version go to <path-to-game>\Conquests\ and right click on Civ3Conquests.exe. Select properties and set the compatibility settings.

No music or sound effects during diplomacy[edit]

This is an error caused by a Windows 10 update limiting sound to two channels.

Install IndirectSound[7][8]
  1. Download and extract IndirectSound.
  2. Copy the two files, dsound.dll and dsound.ini.
  3. Paste into <path-to-game>\Conquests\.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 8.0a, 9.0b
OpenGL 1
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
Install the version 1.22 Rev A patch for Intel support.


Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer GameSpy Removed in Steam update.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 400 MHz
System memory (RAM) 32 MB (base game), 128 MB (Conquests)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.8 GB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 8.0a (base game), 9.0b (Conquests) compatible


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[2] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[3]
  2. 2.0 2.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  3. 3.0 3.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/3910/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (3910) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.