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Freeciv is a free and open source turn-based strategy game inspired by Sid Meier's Civilization. The game supports both single-player and multiplayer game modes and is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X*, Android and there's even a HTML5 version you can play using only a web browser.

Freeciv 2.4.0

The game supports up to 126 players, AI players, Internet and LAN mltiplayer and features 50 playable units, over 300 nations, modpack support as well as a nice in-game help system. Also, Freeciv is highly configurable and can be played in multiple modes: Freeciv, Civilization, Civilization II or a custom mode.

After more than 2 years of development, Freeciv 2.4.0 has been released recently, introducing a huge list of improvements and bug fixes, such as:
  • the maximum theoretical map size has increased from 128,000 to 2,048,000 tiles; the maximum linear map dimension has increased from 512 to 32,768;
  • the number of playable nations has increased from 387 to 541;
  • the server now supports a "delegation" feature similar to that in Longturn, where one user can nominate another to temporarily take over control of the game;
  • there is a new "map image" feature to save an overview map as an image
  • new server settings: "revealmap" allows the map to be shown to all players at game start or dead players and "first_timeout" allows the first turn to have a different timeout from subsequent turns;
  • revamped player authentication;
  • player colors are now assigned centrally, and can be changed with the "/playercolor" server command;
  • the 'autosaves' setting gives finer control over when savegames are generated;
  • the freeciv-modpack utility supports more modpack types, more options (see --help), and uses the Curl library for network access;
  • the AI code has been heavily refactored, with a view to making it easier for people to start their own projects to write better Freeciv AI;
  • the unit selection dialog has been revamped to allow browsing and selecting units by combinations of location and activity, anywhere in the world;
  • the orientation of units is now tracked, so tilesets can provide different graphics for different unit orientations;
  • Many gameplay, AI and other changes.

This release also introduces a GTK3 client which, even though is fully playable, is currently considered experimental. The GTK3 client should become default in the next major release. Also, work has started for a new Qt client but for now it's not usable.

For a complete list of changes, see THIS page.

Note: 2.4 clients cannot interoperate with servers older than version 2.4 and vice versa.

Install Freeciv 2.4 in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 13.04 and 12.04 users can install the latest Freeciv 2.4 by using the PlayDeb repository. Because PlayDeb seems down at the time I'm writing this article, I suggest using a mirror which you can add by using the commands below:

- Ubuntu 13.04, Linux Mint 15, etc.:
echo "deb http://mirrors.dotsrc.org/getdeb/ubuntu raring-getdeb games" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playdeb.list
echo "deb-src http://mirrors.dotsrc.org/getdeb/ubuntu raring-getdeb games" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playdeb.list

- Ubuntu 12.04, Linux Mint 13, elementary OS Luna:
echo "deb http://mirrors.dotsrc.org/getdeb/ubuntu precise-getdeb games" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playdeb.list
echo "deb-src http://mirrors.dotsrc.org/getdeb/ubuntu precise-getdeb games" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playdeb.list

Then, add the repository key, update the software sources and install the Freeciv 2.4 GTK client using the following commands:
sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 46D7E7CF
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install freeciv-client-gtk

The PlayDeb repository provides the stable GTK2 client and not the new experimental GTK3 client.

Download Freeciv (Windows binaries, source code)

* Mac OS X packages are no longer being created for new releases. The latest Mac version available is 2.3.0.