The objective of the game is to create an independent nation. You start with only a few colonists defying the stormy seas in their search for new land. Will you guide them on the Colonization of a New World?

The FreeCol team aims to create an Open Source version of Colonization (released under the GPL). At first we'll try to make an exact clone of Colonization. The visuals will be brought up to date with more recent standards but will remain clean, simple and functional. Certain new 'features' will be implemented but the gameplay and the rules will be exactly the same as the original game. Examples of modern features are: an isometric map and multiplayer support.

This clone will be developed incrementally and result in FreeCol 1.0.0 which will be an almost exact Colonization clone. Incremental development basically means that we'll add features one at a time. This allows us to have a running program at all times and also to release an unfinished but working game once in a while.

Once FreeCol 1.0.0 is finished we'll start working towards FreeCol 2.0.0. FreeCol 2 will go beyond the original Colonization and will have many new features, it will be an implementation of our (and our users') image of what Colonization 2 would have been.

What's New

We have been working on the main parts of FreeCol since our last release. Six new musical tracks have been added to the game. In addition, we have included a new mod that adds hitpoints and ranged combat. All savegames from 0.12.0 and up should continue working with 1.1.0.

All user visible changes since 1.0.0


  • New track: El Dorado
  • New track: Free Colonist
  • New track: Lost City
  • New track: Rainy Day
  • New track: Royal Troops
  • New track: Wagon Wheels
  • Updated the old tracks with new updated versions.


  • New graphics for hills and mountains.

Rule changes

  • Jesuit Missionary can now recommision itself in colonies without a church.
  • Added the mod "Hitpoints and Combat" that adds hitpoints and ranged combat to the game.

Map Generator

  • Great rivers (ocean like, navigable by ships only) are no longer generated by default, but can still be generated if enabled using the Map Generator Options.
  • The number of rivers generated can now be properly controlled using the "Number of rivers" map generator option even when changing map sizes and/or amount of mountains.
  • Enabled generation of rivers that are only two tiles long (the previous limit was three).

User Interface

  • Units in Europe are no longer included in the list of possible active units.
  • Game options and Map generator options are no longer automatically saved and loaded. The default values are initially displayed for all new games.
  • Panels/dialogs are now automatically resized and relocated when changing the size of the application window (including when switching between full screen and windowed mode).
  • Allows the player to easily view all files while loading savegames/maps.
  • The start game panel can now be resized to smaller than the initial size.
  • The chat panel (start game panel in multiplayer) is now placed directly below the list of players making the dialog work better on small screens.
  • The displayed occupation string on a pioneer now shows "C" for clear forest instead of "P".

AI/computer players

  • Greatly reduces the time needed by the AI (the wait time after ending the turn).
  • The AI now gets less benefits on lower difficulty levels to make everything easier.
  • Escort unit missions are now immediately aborted if the protected unit gets destroyed.
  • More efficient transportation of goods and units (better utilization of the capacity of ships and wagon trains).
  • The AI now produces fewer and better colonies.

Mod development

  • Allow mods to be loaded when making maps in the map editor. This allows maps to be made with new terrain types, and other resources, added by mods.
  • New types of mountains and hills defined by mods are now used when generating maps. The specific type of hill/mountain is determined by the latitude.
  • Partial modifications to the specification is now possible again. This fixes a regression introduced in 0.11.x that prevented the "partial" flag from working.
  • Mods can now define new order buttons (and have them applied without having to restart the game).
  • Bugfix: Mods are no longer loaded twice (thereby causing varius problems in the colony panel and other places when modifications were made).
  • Bugfix: Units that are not available to a player can now be captured if a valid "unit-change" exist.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug that caused the same maps always being generated when starting a new game.
  • Fixes game hangs on end turn in some specific cases.
  • Fixed scaling and placement of goods production icons on colony tiles.
  • A unit in a building is no longer drawn at the top of the building (that is, the area for showing goods production) if the production is zero.
  • Sound effects are now properly played when attacking.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the map shortcut buttons on the Map Generator dialog from working properly. The bug caused the button to have no effect the first time it was clicked after restarting the application.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented mods from being deactivated in the Preferences.
  • The game now fails gracefully if the server cannot be started. This prevents an application freeze when failing to start a new game or failing to load a savegame.
  • Revenge mode is now working again.
  • Fixes an issue that allowed a malicious client (in a multiplayer game) to attack with a unit that had no moves left.
  • The "Train" panel in Europe now has five columns of unit buttons instead of just three.
  • Fixes a bug that sometimes stopped trade routes / goto orders from working. For example, this happened if there was a lost city rumor in the search area of a wagon train on a trade route.
  • Fixes activation of tile improvement actions (like "Plow") after reconnecting.
  • Allows the founding father selection to be postponed without an error message.
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented the map from being redrawn properly after a unit move/attack animation.
  • Highscores can now be stored and displayed again.