You can enable cheats by creating a shortcut to GalCiv2.exe and using that to start the game. In Galactic Civilisations III cheats can be activated by the ingame Command Prompt
Enabling cheat mode
- Use Windows Explorer to find GalCiv2.exe, or right-click the game in Stardock Central and select Open Folder
- Right click on GalCiv2.exe (not GC2Launch.exe) and choose create shortcut
- Right click on the shortcut and choose properties
- Click in the target field and hit end, then hit space followed by the word CHEAT (no switch marks necessary), it may have an error like mine.
"C:\Program Files\Stardock\TotalGaming\GalCiv2\galciv2.exe" cheat
For Dark Avatar, the shortcut should be:
"C:\Program Files\Stardock\TotalGaming\GalCiv2\DarkAvatar\GC2DarkAvatar.exe" cheat
For Twilight of the Arnor:
"C:\Program Files\Stardock\TotalGaming\GalCiv2\Twilight\GC2TwilightOfTheArnor.exe" cheat
The cheats can then be enabled in game by pressing control and one of the key listed below. For example, pressing control and m at the same time will add 10,000 bc to the treasury.
Note that if you're trying to cheat with Galactic Civilizations: Ultimate Edition, the exe you'll need to create a shortcut to is named "GC2TwilightOfTheArnor" inside the Twilight folder.
- T - Spawns several Arnorian units under your control.
- W - Wins the game.
- L - Loses the game.
- A - Upgrades selected ship without changing its components. (adds 8 hp, 2 movement, 5 points to each weapon and 6 points to each defense. Offensive and defensive points won't be added if the ship started with 0)
- B - Spawns Battleship at cursor
- C - Clones selected ship, which appears in the same square. (does not work on starbases, and may result in crash to desktop as of 1.1) Also colonizes empty worlds (identical to Ctrl+Shift+Q?)
- F - Brings up what appears to be a framerate meter.
- H - Fully heals selected ship.
- I - Shows selected ship info.
- J - Completes the next planetary improvement or military project in the build queue of every world in your civilization
- L - Assigns remaining planets to major races
- M - Adds 10,000bc
- N - Restarts the current game, randomizing the map.
- P - Adds 1 to planet class — does not add terraformed squares to colonized planets; instead, destroy the colony, run , re-colonize. Note that the game caps the planet class at 36 instead of the expected 26 when it is increased in this manner. (Ctrl + Shift + N on Twilight, EXCEPT Ultimate Edition)
- R - Research current tech (Hold Shift for ALL techs, except tech victory)
- T - Teleports selected ship to cursor
- U - Reveals the entire map
- V - United Planets meeting
- W - Selected race loses during their next turn (If none is selected you lose)
- Y - Create a Mega Event
- Z - Causes the AI to play against themselves. Works best if a planet is not selected while the is pressed. Prior to using the code, you can either surrender to an AI player or destroy all your colonies (and ships if you wish).
Ctrl + Shift +
- B - Spawns a random type of starbase, including terror stars. If you spawn a base on top of a resource of ascension crystal, the appropriate mining starbase may be spawned. May also spawn a constructor ship..
- D - Adds a minor race to the galaxy
- E - Triggers all planetary events
- H - Does 5 damage to selected ship
- J - Completes other races' projects
- M - Triggers the Alignment Selection Screen - Still costs money [ Also gives you all techs except Miniaturization and Technology Victory ]
- P - Increases the Planet quality of all uninhabitable planets to PQ 10.
- Q - Colonizes selected planet. Make sure it has quality > 0 (for instance, use Ctrl+Shift+N or P) or the game will crash.
- R - Research ALL technologies (except for tech victory)
- T - Hail yourself
- U - Free Camera - Perfect for screenshots
- V - Force vote for political party
- X - Quarterly Reports
- Z - Enables autoplay/Quasi-Hot Seat Game (the AI takes turns without waiting for the user)
- W - Selected ENEMY SHIP or PLANET will turn into your unit or base.
Another method to do this, that does seem to work especially in TA is to start up a game as any race, doesn't have to be Terran, and select either a normal or Dread Lords Domination type game. Start the game, but even if you select the Dread Lords Domination game type in sandbox mode the Dread Lords don't seem to show up. To do this make sure you're in cheat mode by clicking a ship and Ctrl + T to see if it teleports to the cursor. If it does, then you're set for the next step. If not then you will have to go activate cheat mode using the method listed above on this page. Once you are in cheat mode you will want to press Ctrl + Y to initate a major event. The Dread Lords will appear from an major event, but you might have to press Ctrl + Y a few times until they do. You'll know when they have been spawned...
Once the Dread Lords are spawned then you'll have to find them using Ctrl+ T to teleport your ship around the map, or alternatively you can press Ctrl + U to reveal the entire map (might take a few minutes especially on large to immense maps, and it might also slow game play on slower machines too.) which ever method you employ, look for the Dread Lords Logo that is reddish in color and has a flaming crystal in the middle of it. They will always be located on their homeworld of Amalda in the Amaldia star system (how original!) Once you have found the Dread Lords then you can either select their planet or one of their ships and press Ctrl + Shift + Z all at once then click it again. If your successful you are now the Dread Lords though you might have to hit next turn as the game might take a turn to fully recognize the switch. Your starting race you began the game with will now be a "fool" AI regardless of AI difficultity settings.
As previously mentioned the Dread Lords while very powerful have a practically non-existent economy, and only industrial sectors provide any benefit even though other buildings are available in the planet surface production screen. Don't wait your time with non-industrial buildings except for shipyards as they provide no benefit and your morale will ways be 100% regardless, plus influence isn't an issue either as your planets won't revolt no matter how high an opponents influence is over you. However in order to keep from going bankrupt, you'll have to use the money cheat a lot (Ctrl + M) to add additional money to your treasury as you'll always be in the red no matter what you do.
Other than that they are fun to play and you can design colony ships and troop transports for them so that you can colonize worlds and attack other planets, but be careful as you can only have 20 million people on any planet regardless of planet class or improvements (ex: a class 1 planet will have a 20 million pop max as would a class 36+ planet), and sending off a colony ship or transport can leave your worlds vunerable despite otherwise immense soldiering abilities. Always, and I mean always have a combat ship or two minimum guarding your planets at all times, especially if you plan to use transports and colony ships as part of your strategy for galactic domination!
Letting the AI pick its own research project
If you're testing a modification you might want to know which research project the AI will go by itself. You can do this by first hitting CTRL-Z to enable auto play then hit CTRL-N to generate a new game. When the map loads the AI will pick its first research project by itself.
- Keyboard shortcuts Non-cheat mode keyboard shortcuts