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Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords cover
Retail Paradox Interactive
Digital Stardock
Release dates
Windows February 21, 2006
Metacritic 86
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Point and select
Genres 4X, TBS
Themes Sci-fi, Space
Series Galactic Civilizations
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords on HowLongToBeat
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords on IGDB
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords on MobyGames
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords on Wikipedia
Galactic Civilizations
Galactic Civilizations 2003
Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords 2006
Galactic Civilizations III 2015
Galactic Civilizations IV 2022

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords is a singleplayer bird's-eye view 4X and TBS game in the Galactic Civilizations series.

General information Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
CD key
Updates require a serial key and Stardock account.
Developer website
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Icon overlay.png
Ultimate Edition
Ultimate Edition
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Ultimate Edition
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Ultimate Edition
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Ultimate Edition
A free demo version of Dread Lords is available from

Version differences

Galactic Civilizations II: Endless Universe is a standalone retail-only version from 2008 which contains both expansion packs but not the base game content.
The Ultimate Edition includes the base game content and both expansions.


Type Notes
Expansion pack The expansion packs include new features, technologies, campaigns, victory conditions, units, and more.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Dark Avatar
Twilight of the Arnor

Essential improvements

Skip intro videos

Delete or rename movie files[1]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Movies\.
  2. Delete or rename GC2_intro.bik.

Game data

Game settings.
Game settings.

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\GalCiv2\Prefs.ini
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\GC2DarkAvatar\Prefs.ini
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\GC2TwilightArnor\Prefs.ini
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/202200/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\GalCiv2\*.sav
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\GC2DarkAvatar\*.sav
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\GC2TwilightArnor\*.sav
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/202200/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud


Video settings.
Video settings.
Interface settings.
Interface settings.


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


Audio settings.
Audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music, event music (includes main menu music), sound effects
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation, available here or alternative version here.

Issues unresolved

Dread Lords reports an old video card on a modern system

On Windows 10 and 11, possibly also with recent-enough drivers for other systems as well, Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords will report that it considers the video card to be too old to run upon launch. This warning can be ignored, but it will occur every time this version of the game is launched.

Neither expansion pack suffers from this issue, so it is best to run them instead.

Issues resolved

Flickering mouse issues on Windows 10 and 11

Use hardware cursor[3]
  1. Go to the game's options menu.
  2. In the Video tab, check the "Hardware mouse cursor" option.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System
Cutscenes Bink Video

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98, ME, 2000, XP
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium III 800 MHz or AMD equivalent
System memory (RAM) 256 MB (98/ME/2000)
512 MB (XP)
1 GB (Vista or newer)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible


  1. 1.0 1.1 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>/202200/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (202200) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. Verified by User:Baronsmoki on 2019-04-09
  2. Verified by User:Nico 0 on 2020-06-08
    Seems to stutter between 110-120 FPS, capped at 120
  3. Problems with Win 10 and Win 11 :: Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition General Discussions - last accessed on 2022-07-31