Barbaricum is the Barbarian capital city.

Genseric wanted to own the wealth of the world. Genseric rallied many Barbarian Leaders, who recruited many free units to fight for Genseric. So Genseric pondered how to raid some cities. Genseric created a simple plan. All units will act berserk and attack the nearest city. Bored units will disband.

But you intervened.

You were formerly a tactician for one of the world's major civilizations. You defected to the barbarians, because Genseric inspired you. You understood that the barbarian civilization has a permanent advantage over other civilizations, because Genseric can inspire free units. You changed the plan. You will conserve your units, defend your cities and take the world.

This guide is for playing as barbarians, thus cheating. This guide will uncover some special facts about Freeciv, whether you play as barbarians, against barbarians or without barbarians.

How to control barbarians

This is the procedure for Freeciv 2.1.10. Other versions of Freeciv might work, or might be different.

This is cheating. Freeciv allows you to take barbarians, if you add the letter 'b' to the server option 'allowtake', but Freeciv never allows you to disable the barbarian AI. Any attempt to /aitoggle Genseric replies with, "Cannot toggle a barbarian player." The only way to disable the barbarian AI is to edit a saved game.

So you need an existing save file that you can convert for playing as barbarians. You want a save file where the barbarians already control one or more cities. (This is more probable if the game has "raging hordes, lots of barbarians": /set barbarians 4.) You might already have a save file with barbarian cities. Otherwise, you can play a normal game on your own civserver, and you can save when you see barbarian cities.

Converting a save file

A save file is an ordinary, compressed text file. You can decompress your chosen save file, then open it in some text editor.

  1. Find your save files. Unix clones (like Linux, BSD) tend to have ~/.freeciv/saves, but other systems might have a different location.
    • Example: $ cd .freeciv/saves
  2. Decompress your chosen file, but keep the original save file. Freeciv 2.1, with default server options, saves .sav.gz gzip files. (Freeciv 2.2 saves .sav.bz2 bzip2 files.)
    • Example: $ zcat game5-turn270.sav.gz > barbarian5-turn270.sav
  3. Open the decompressed file in a text editor.
    • Example: $ mg barbarian5-turn270.sav
  4. In the open file, find the allow_take= line, and add the letter 'b', to allow players to take barbarians. (You can instead use /set allowtake after you start the server, but this is easy to do now.)
    • Example: Change allow_take="HAhadOo" to allow_take="HAhadOob".
  5. In the open file, find a section for the barbarian player (nation="Barbarian") who is alive and has some cities. Note the name of the player. Disable the AI by changing ai.control=1 to ai.control=0.
  6. Save the file. (Freeciv can already open .sav files, so there is no need to compress the file.)

Identifying a section for the barbarian player

Inside the save file, a barbarian player has a section with nation="Barbarian" and either ai.is_barbarian=1 or ai.is_barbarian=2. Here is an example.


To disable the AI, change ai.control=1 to ai.control=0. Also remember the name of the player. In this example, the name is Genseric.


(insert procedure to load a converted save file)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+