Sid Meier's Civilization III

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Sid Meier's Civilization III
Sid Meier's Civilization III cover
Developers
Firaxis Games
Conquests expansion BreakAway Games
Mac OS (Classic) Westlake Interactive
macOS (OS X) Westlake Interactive
Publishers
2001-2003 Infogrames
2003-2005 Atari
2005-present 2K Games
Re-release Sold Out Software
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
Reception
Metacritic 90
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase, 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
Sid Meier's Civilization III on HowLongToBeat
Sid Meier's Civilization III on IGDB
Sid Meier's Civilization III guide on StrategyWiki
Sid Meier's Civilization III on MobyGames
Sid Meier's Civilization III on Wikipedia
Sid Meier's Civilization 1991
Freeciv (unofficial) 1996
Sid Meier's Civilization II 1996
Civilization II: Test of Time 1999
Sid Meier's Civilization III 2001
Sid Meier's Civilization IV 2005
CivCity: Rome 2006
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization 2008
Sid Meier's Civilization V 2010
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth 2014
Sid Meier's Civilization VI 2016

Warnings

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

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
GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Disc check, although the DRM depends on the region:
North American versions use SecuROM DRM
European versions use SafeDisc V2 DRM[Note 1]
Windows
Mac OS
Gamesplanet logo.svg
Icon overlay.png
Complete
Windows
GOG.com
DRM-free
Complete
Windows
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Complete
Windows
Steam
Icon overlay.png
Complete
Windows
GamersGate (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Complete
Windows
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
A free trial version of the Gold Edition is available from GameFront.

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, 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.

Monetization[edit]

Type Notes
Expansion pack Expansion packs include multiple civilizations, scenarios, and secondary game modes. Unlike the base game, they include multiplayer support.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Play the World
Windows
Conquests Contains all content from Play the World.
Windows

Essential improvements[edit]

Patches[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.[3]

Unofficial[edit]

fan patch v8 - Multiple fixes to v1.22 Conquests.
flintlock's patch - Multiple bugfixes and QoL improvements to v1.22 Conquests (GOG/Steam version only), more stable than the fan patch above.
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 configuration file[4]
  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]

The configuration file is generated only after the first time the game is started.
System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Civilization3.ini
<path-to-game>\Civ3PTW\Civilization3X.ini
<path-to-game>\Conquests\Conquests.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
<path-to-game>\Civ3PTW\Saves
<path-to-game>\Conquests\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

Video[edit]

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.

KeepRes=1

Windowed[edit]

Set windowed mode[6]
  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.

Input[edit]

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

Audio[edit]

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

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
French
Retail only.
German
Retail only; download for digital versions
Hungarian
Fan translation, link #1, link #2.
Italian
Retail only.
Japanese
Retail only
Spanish
Retail only, download.

Network[edit]

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
The official GameSpy service has been shut down; Steam version has been updated with Steamworks support.[7][8]
Asynchronous multiplayer
Possible option. Used by default.

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Matchmaking
Peer-to-peer
Dedicated
Self-hosting
Direct IP
Removed from the Steam version.[7]

Ports

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 Steam version of the game may be corrected with compatibility settings. Go to <path-to-game>\Conquests\ and right click on Civ3Conquests.exe. Select properties and set the compatibility settings for Windows XP SP2.[citation needed]

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[9][10]
  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]

API[edit]

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

Middleware[edit]

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

System requirements[edit]

Windows
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

Notes

  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] 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.[2]
  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.

References

  1. Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of - Microsoft Community - last accessed on 2017-01-16
  2. Microsoft - MS15-097: Description of the security update for the graphics component in Windows: September 8, 2015 - last accessed on 2018-02-16
  3. Aspyr Support Center - last accessed on 2011-05-12
  4. Verified by User:Plok on 2022-03-31
  5. Verified by User:Plok on 2021-09-15
    Works on retail, GOG.com and Steam releases.
  6. Verified by User:Plok on 2022-03-31
  7. 7.0 7.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Steamworks
  8. 2K Online Server Migration from GameSpy Technology – 2K Support
  9. [1]
  10. [2]