This is an updated (rewritten by Fraktik, Pepeto and EMbo) guide for the online multiplayer version, which reflects differences to standard Freeciv tactics as of 2006-2007. See A Succinct Guide to Freeciv 2.0.8 for the previous (not so up-to-date) guide, though you may find some useful information there. This article is mainly useful for players which are good at single-player games and have just started network play.

This guide is primarily for Warclient/Warserver. By now there are a lot of gameplay changes from standard Freeciv, the most important being the "experimental" traderoute revenue formula (inner traderoutes give the same revenue as foreign ones). For more changes, see the list of changed settings and rules commonly used for multiplayer games.

Executive Summary[]

10 cities, trade, traderoutes with caravans, republic, marketplace, harbors and RAPTURE!!  :)

The Order of Science Goals[]


[x] = goal x is optional
{x, y, z} = no defined order for goals x, y, z

At start: [Monarchy] - Trade - Republic - Map Making - Seafaring - {Banking - Construction} - [Democracy] - Sanitation - Economics - Industrialization - {Flight - Tactics - Amphibious Warfare}


  • Miniaturization - Computers - Nuclear Power - Stealth - Combined Arms - Rocketry - Labor Union


  • Radio - Rocketry - Combined Arms - Miniaturization - [Labor Union] - Computers - Nuclear Power - Stealth

Basic Strategy[]

Remember, every turn counts. Don't lose tempos and plan well. The ramifications of being even one turn too late can make or break a game. At the start, you need to find a good place for your capital as it decides the science income you can get with your next cities. All cities that are placed in 3 or less tile distance (diagonal steps count as one step) to the capital are able to get 2 science points if they have at least 3 trade points. Nearly all other cities will get only 1 science point a turn (except if you have 0 trade). So it is good to have a capital, that can get 2-3 science points, and two more cities that can get 2 science. However, for the first three cities you build, it is also recommended to look for fast growing (i.e. lots of food) and good production spots. If you can get both these and good science, take it. But if you must decide between them, I prefer having good growth and good production with my first three cities while having ~5 science points a turn. Well everybody does it slightly differently and you have to try it out on your own.

Set science rate to 60% and your science goal to Trade. Most of the cities should be on the seaside, near whales or fish in the best case. A typical city gets +2 food, +2 shields and +1 science. All extra points give you advantages. Cities are best on the tips of your island, because that way they will have access to more ocean tiles when rapturing. It is recommended to build at least two inland cities of which one is at the coast so that you can build a trireme later on for exploring your coast and so making even more ocean tiles available for your cities.

Use workers to make roads between your cities (and your future cities too, for the settlers to get there faster).

Disband explorers inside your city to help build settlers faster (after you have explored all of your island). If your city grows to size 2, you should generally buy the settlers, unless it costs a lot of money, in which case change the city workers to work on tiles with more production (e.g. forests) so that the settler is built faster. Produce settlers until your island is full (about 7-10 coastal cities).

After you get Trade, the new science goal is The Republic. Set tax to 60% and science to 40%, and start buying caravans. Every city can have 4 traderoutes, but you only need traderoutes in the coastal cities that you intend to grow via rapture. Hence in each of these cities you only need to build 2 caravans in order to get 4 full traderoutes. But cities need to be at least 9 tiles apart to be able to establish a traderoute between them (the setting can be changed and is often on 8 for online games - type /help trademin to check; in this case, diagonal steps count as 2) so if your cities are not arranged correctly you may have gaps and may need to buy more or less caravans. You can use some Warclient features to make traderoute production easier, look below for more information.

When you have The Republic make a revolution (try starting the revolution two turns before you get it, smart use of caravans is the key: with exp. traderoute settings you get about 50 science every time a caravan arrives) and set the new science goal to Seafaring. As soon as you are in republic, increase tax for gold again (to 80%) and build marketplaces after all your caravans have been built, and build one trireme or two to explore your coast.

Around turns 48-50 (1600BC) you should have several size 3 cities. Don't wait for all cities to get to size 3 and full trade, start buying harbours and marketplaces, set luxury to 20-30% and rapture your cities (set +1 food and keep celebrating). Try buying marketplaces first, however several cities will not start rapturing without harbours.

Try to continue rapturing as smoothly as possible. You will need to learn Construction, Banking, Sanitation, Economics and possibly Democracy (the order may vary, the key is building aqueducts and sewer systems at the right time, and marketplaces, banks and stock exchanges as soon as possible). Build libraries after banks and universities after stock exchanges, switch to democracy when it's available (if you chose to get it). Tax should be maintained at 70-80%, but you will sometimes change the science to 70% (to get several techs faster).

Continue rapturing until your cities are size 16-20. Usually temples, coliseums, courthouses and cathedrals are useless as the marketplace, bank and stock exchange together will generate enough luxury to keep your citizens happy.

Your development may vary from this point. One good idea is to learn Industrialization and use transports for scouting the area around your island. Use marines to rush on your weak enemies. To raise your war potential, learn Tactics (barracks II, alpines troops for protection, cavalries to conquer enemy lands or beat back early attacks on your island), Combustion (use submarines to protect your waters or dominate enemy water space), Flight (for fighters).

After Flight, more often than not fighting erupts (maybe you should consider initiating it on your own!). You should be using your fighters as they are extremely mobile and versatile. Other sea units are usually of no interest, being easy prey for submarines. Useful future science goals are Radio (for airports), Miniaturization (for offshore platforms), Robotics (for howitzers) and Rocketry (for SAM batteries).


Sometimes Monarchy first and then Trade is optimal (pisto). Most players go straight to Trade with Republic next in the queue... It depends on how much science you can get early in the game (can you build 4 or 5 cities with 2 science?). Estimated time to research Trade should be ~2000 - 2300 so you reach being in Republic ~1850. So you can get all your cities to size 3 by 1500-1650.

Before you discover Trade, build only settlers in your cities, add warriors first (if the city would build a settler next turn, but you don't need any) and disband them later for caravans. Or use the settlers (especially from less important (= inland) cities ) to grow some cities on the seaside, which are smaller than 3 by the time you want to start the rapture.

By rapture time vote for a longer timeout if you need it, timeout is usually about 60 or more at such a phase (e.g. /set timeout 100).

It is good help to set a special rapture CMA which has +1 food and the celebrate button pressed. You should try to get marketplaces, harbours and (if you can) banks before size 8. At size 8 buy aqueducts. Afterwards finish cities with banks. Remember to only buy harbours when you need them as you can use the money for the other improvements. Especially as buying a marketplace or bank when a city stopped celebrating but has food, makes it grow. At size 10 you need libraries and to research Democracy, if you want, or Sanitation if you want to keep playing in as a republic. Rememeber that you'll get less science in republic than in democracy because of corruption, but you can be faster with first techs and sometimes that is very good.

If you switch to democracy, you can set a special CMA with -20 food and max gold or max science for one turn, but remember to make the cities happy again in the following turn, so they don't loose population and that they will continue in rapture when you are in a democracy.

After you are finished the rapture phase (your citie are around 20-23 in size, or you start a fight with others), you can sell your sewer systems and aqueducts.

In last part of the game (in attack or defense) with nothing to research, it is useful to change your government to fundamentalism (no unhappiness and more production).

Technical Issues[]

--This section should be moved to Warclient IMHO --LXj 08:36, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

For better control of game, use the PepClient: Warclient

How to do Trade routes and sending caravans in Pepclient:

When all your cities are built, select the cities you want to have traderoutes. Either right click, drag your mouse over all your cities and then unselect inland cities with left click and then press Shift-A or hold Shift-A + click on each city you want traderoutes for individually. Then press Ctrl-T to see your suggested traderoutes. Make sure the action upon arrival in WarClient menu for Caravans is set to make traderoute. When caravans are built, press Ctrl-J to auto-send them (Ctrl H in older versions). Or press J to choose a city to trade with. When you are done trading, you can press Ctrl-T again to hide the traderoutes.

How to do multi selection in PepClient:

Use Shift-C to make a multi selection. You can use Shift-F2 to change the option to units of the same type on the same tile or Shift-F3 for units of the same type on the same continent and there are many other options which you can see under the multi selection menu. You can set the filters to exclude fortified units or sentried units, and many other options are available.

How to use delayed go-to in PepClient:

Select the units you want to send (maybe using multi selection) and then hold Z and click on the destination (Ctrl-Z for paradrops and nuke attacks) either press Y to start the go-to or choose a time when the go-to should be executed from the menu (like at the end of the turn or at the start of the next turn) For delayed airlifting, add all cities with airports to the airlift queue (Shift-Ctrl-Z) select the unit type in the menu or use the keyboard shortcut listed in the menu and then select the destination with Ctrl-Y. It is possible to add lots of actions to the delayed goto, so that you can make your planes attack, a paradrop, an airlift and the planes move into the city all in one go.

To learn more about CMA (city management agent) In your client click on Help an then City Management.... In those help sections there is also lots of other information that might be helpful to you.

If you hate messages like:

[11:18:43] PepClient: Saved settings to file C:\Program_Files\Freeciv-2.0.9-gtk2-engOnly/.pepsettings

in your Chat, then open Menu/Game/PepClient Settings, go to on tab Main and set Save settings all the x turns on "0".

Try Ctrl+A to set your units to autoattack mode. Look over all the menus to familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts.

Chat Commands[]

-- RTFM Server commands. Warclient-specific things should be noted on Warclient page--LXj 08:36, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Commands available for all connections:

/help <arg>: give you help about commands or settings

/explain <arg>: same as /help, but only about settings

/list [players]: give the list of the players

/list connections: give the list of the established connections

/list teams: give the list of the teams

/list ignore: give the list of your ignored connection patterns (to ignore a user in the chat for example)

/list maps: give the list of the available maps

/list rulesets: give the list of the available rulesets

/show: give the list of the settings, you can used the arguments: all, vital, situational, rare, changed, <settings>

/observe [player-name]: observe a player

/take [player-name]: take a player

/detach: detach yourself from a player

/ignore [type=]<pattern>: ignore a connection pattern, for example a user (/ignore this_user)

/unignore <range>: remove a pattern of your ignoring list.

  • Other commands:

/vote yes (or 'no')

/set timeout 30 (delay for one turn - there will be initiated a vote to change timeout)

end if is decided...

/sc (/score)

/met anything (/metamessage - set comment of internet server)

/wall popUp window for all connected players


/create NAME (AI player) (how to destroy it? :-/ )

/aitoggle name

/hard NAME change IQ of AI ;-) (easy--hard)

/away (turn on AI)

cut ?


and: ctrl-alt-rclick for input of coordinates from map

full list of commands

Special Thanks[]


Pablo z Hradce





and especially to warclient team, which made Warclient and PepClient Yaro, Book and Pepeto

and some other skilled players... (they were my teachers for last 3 days, so this is (almost :)) the whole of their wisdom, which they gave me!)

by --fraktik 19:55, 9 May 2007 (UTC)