Created by the same renowned team responsible for many of Stardock's leading titles, Galactic Civilizations II takes place in the distant future, when mankind has become a space-faring civilization and must contend with other extraterrestrial powers for domination of the galaxy. The sequel is a true evolution for the series, with rethought fundamentals and exciting new changes.
- Ship Design - Players can research technology to use when designing their own ship classes, and there are also ways for players to alter the exterior appearance of the ships.
- Unique Planets - Different classes of planets offer a variety of locations to explore and exploit.
- New Map System - Planets are now part of the map, and multiple players can share the same star system - player influence is based on planets rather than sectors.
- Many Distinct Races - Pick any of the 10 races, or create your own. Each race has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
- 3D Engine - A new engine delivers greatly improved visuals, which adapt to systems' capabilities to deliver the best experience possible.
- Stacks of ships as well as real fleets that can be taken advantage of in combat.
- Enhanced Combat System - Ships have 3 types of attack (beam weapons, mass drivers, and missile weapons) and 3 types of defense (shields, armor, and point defense).
- Non-Linear Campaign - There's more than one way to rule a galaxy!
- Both Random and Pre-made Maps - Get to know the ins and outs of favourite maps or explore new space.
- Enhanced AI - Challenging opponents are always at hand.
- Revised Star Bases - Several different types of star bases offering their own improvement trees.
- Cleaner and more linear technology tree, with focus on different categories of technology (weapons, propulsion, economics, culture, etc.).