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What is FreeOrion?

A: An open-source, platform independent galactic conquest game in the tradition of the Master of Orion games.

How far along is it?

A: The game is currently playable, but probably only fun to the more hard-core fans of the genre. Many features have been implemented, but many others are not. Much of the content is provisional, and unbalanced. In other words, it'll be a while till it is finished. See the Roadmap for the big picture on our progress.

Where do I post bugs?

A: Bugs should be posted on the project Github Issues page. Please check for recently closed bugs that duplicate the one you're posting, particularly if you're using a precompiled download version that's more than a week old.

Is FreeOrion dead?

A: No. If you want proof, look at the commit history at Git Hub.

Why can't I edit the wiki?

A: Unfortunately, the FreeOrion wiki is continually targetted by link spam bots. Almost any page linked off the main page will be repeatedly defaced unless it's protected from edits. Limiting editing to registered users doesn't seem to help, as the spammers seem to be easily able to make throwaway accounts (see the block log).

If you want to discuss the FreeOrion project, the wiki or anything else, you should register on and use the forums. We would welcome volunteers to help maintain the wiki regularly, this doesn't require coding skills but does require knowing how the project is run, so regular forum involvement would be encouraged. Registered forum users can post, but the first few posts are put in a moderation queue (again, due to spam problems).

What happened to the 2.5D interactive space combat?

A: The volunteers that were working on that area of the project are no longer involved, the feeling amongst the current dev team is that the game is perfectly playable without it and it's outside our current skillset, if new volunteers want to work on it it may be reconsidered.

Problems Running FreeOrion

When I start a single player game, my firewall reports that the program is trying to access the internet. Why?

A: FreeOrion never tries to access the internet in single-player mode. It does use TDP/IP to communicate with the FO server, which it launches on your machine. Some firewalls have settings that disallow this, even though all the traffic is on the same machine. You can change your settings, or answer "no" when it asks you if you want to block freeoriond.exe, freeorion.exe and freeorionca.exe.


How do I start in fullscreen mode?

A: If running freeorion from a command-line, instead run freeorion -f to start in fullscreen mode. If using a Windows Desktop or Start Menu shortcut, use the "Windowed" shortcut, or edit the shortcut you're using to have -f or --fullscreen. For example: "C:\Program Files\FreeOrion\freeorion.exe" --fullscreen

How do I move fleets?

A: Short answer: Click with the right mouse button after selecting the fleet in the fleets window. Long answer: See the V0.4 Quick_Play_Guide.


What is this "Design Document" that people in the forum keep referring to?

A: The most official design document is the most recent Requirements Document.

People in the forums refer to previously made decisions that aren't in the Requirements document(s). What's going on?

A: Some decisions and accompanying discussions may be found in the Design Archive of the forms.

A number of discussion and decisions were made on an old forum system that was lost. There is no written record of these discussions. Forum members who participated in these discussion still refer to these discussions and the decisions that were reached in this, however. Some of these decisions are mentioned in this FAQ, however.

I'd like to contribute to FreeOrion, but I don't know where to start...

A: Check out the Game_Design page.

Could someone summarize all important discussions from the forums?

A: There are very few official design decisions that have been made that aren't in the Requirements document. Anything in brainstorming is just that: brainstorming. When we reach the appropriate point in the Roadmap, there might be a public review or design discussion on a subject. Until then, while it may seem that a consensus has been reached amongst people who have been brainstorming for months or years, this is not an official design decision.

As for which brainstorming threads prorducing particularly interesting ideas, you'll have to ask on the forums for links to specific threads relating to specific topics. There have been many threads on many topics, and some threads have hundreds of posts in them, some contradictory or irrelivant and some useful. It would be practically impossible for one person to make a single comprehensive list of "important" threads (though you're free to try once you get up to speed).

So, you're just going to have to get down to reading and asking. It'll take a few days or weeks to get a good sense of what's going on, but forum members will help you with links or answers to specific questions when they can.

As well, it's probably best that you form your own opinions on various issues and about which issues are important. A major benfit of a public design forum is the variety of different opinions and ideas it can generate.

Unexpected Differences

FreeOrion is not a clone of any of the MoO series. Here's a quick list of differences that often throw off new players or contributors {under construction}


Can ships travel freely between stars, not on starlanes?

A: Other than wormholes and special events, no. In the current design, most travel is on starlanes between specific stars, and ships never travel through empty space. Wormholes are also between two specific endpoint stars, a

Why not?

A: Aquitaine wrote: No offroading was in one of the first public reviews we had. A lot of people wanted it, actually, but it came down to the fact that a strict, simple set of rules about galaxy movement means only one set of rules that the AI has to follow; offroading is one of those things that a player can take advantage of but not an AI. Without offroading, the AI can deduce strategic choke points and defend things appropriately; with offroading, it would be trivial to do an end-run around the AI's Krak de Chevaliers and go straight to the chewy nougat center.

I believe our caveat when we passed it was that, if (one day) after we make Slashdot or become famous or whatever, we get some brilliant AI programmers who want a challenge, we would add this feature, since there certainly is demand for it. But until then, it is indeed the case that offroading is out.

Will FreeOrion be playable without starlanes?

A: Starlanes are mandatory. This follows from the decision that all travel is on starlanes. Without starlanes, it would be impossible to move ships.

Why not just connecting all systems to all other systems with starlanes?

A: No. Having starlanes between all stars is effectively the same as having no starlanes for the AI reasons mentioned above.

What is the order of planets from best to worst?

A: FreeOrion is different than MoO, in that there is no one best planet type. Each type of planet, "Terran", "Barren", "Toxic" etc. is idea for certain species and bad for most others. It's all relative to who is living on it.