How Does Master of Orion Compare to the Civilization Series?

If you’re looking for an alternative to Civilization, why not try out Master of Orion?

If you ask people what they know about 4X games, many will either say Master of Orion or Civilization. Because of the constant comparisons we see between the two so often, we wanted to take a moment to see just how Master of Orion fairs up against the Civilization series. While the two do share a few basic components, for the most part, they are two completely different experiences. 

How are Master of Orion and Civilization Similar? 

First, the easiest component to compare is the basic genre. Both Civilization and Master of Orion are part of the 4X genre, which stands for expand, explore, exploit, and exterminate. These four basic components make up the foundation of both games. However, aside from this they are two different experiences altogether.  

Civilization is a game built around a single planet, where players must work to take control of the world through naval, air force, and military tactics. Meanwhile, Master of Orion takes place among the stars, with players capturing entire worlds and planets versus focusing on the inner workings of continents. 

This can lead to some confusion between players looking at the two. Both offer a great 4X experience, and while Civilization does offer a bit more complexity, it won’t offer the science fiction themed campaigns that Master of Orion brings to the table. This means that comparing the two titles to each other doesn’t make a much sense in the long run as they’re technically two different types of the same basic foundation.  

Both Master of Orion and Civilization offer outstanding 4X strategy experiences for players, and while Master of Orion has a much larger scope of the galaxy, Civilization offers a more complex setup of systems that may make it a bit more popular with those looking for more depth and complexity. That doesn’t mean you should write off Master of Orion though, as it offers plenty of goodness for its price, and is a spitting image of what we should all hope to see in future 4X games as a whole.