New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 21 Ulysses

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of 0 A.D. Alpha 21 “Ulysses”, the twenty-first alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features new game modes, plenty of new maps, the official introduction of the final civilization: The Seleucid Empire and more!

Easy Download and Install

Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. 0 A.D. is free of charge and always will be. Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers.

How to Download 0 A.D.

Instructions for Windows

Instructions for Linux

Instructions for OS X

Moreover, you can redistribute the game and modify it freely as long as you abide by the GPL. You can even use parts of the art and sound for your own projects as long as you abide by CC BY-SA. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch.

Top New Gameplay Features In This Release

  • Herocide/Regicide: You start with a hero and are defeated when he or she dies.
  • Wonder Victory: Now you can change the time from when the wonder is built to when you win. Either set it to 0 so you win as soon as the wonder is built or to anywhere between 1 and 120 minutes for a chance for the opponents to destroy it before the match is won.
  • Last Man Standing: Only one player can win the game. Form temporary alliances to eliminate common competitors. But be careful: as the remaining players struggle for victory, allies are forced to turn against you. This mode can be played with every victory condition.
  • New buildings and champions
    • The Persian Hall and Hellenic Royal Stoa can train new Infantry Champions in town and city phase.
    • The Briton Crannog acts as a civic center and dock, providing economic stability on both land and water.
    • Romans and Persians benefit from the new Temple of Vesta and Gate of Ishtar, making buildings harder to capture.


The Temple of Vesta, Thracian Black Cloak Champions and the Crannog

  • Patrolling: When clicking the button or pressing the hotkey (P + Right Click), units move along the path you set for them and attack enemy units they encounter along the way, then return to the beginning and continue doing so until you give them another order.
  • Tech Cost Modifiers and Team Bonuses: The costs of technologies can now be modified by Auras and Technologies, demonstrated by faster and cheaper research when a Library was built. Players get a bonus if they are on a team with a player of a certain civilization. For example allies of Iberians have 20% cheaper skirmishers, allies of Seleucids have 20% cheaper civic centers.
  • Stackable Auras: Capturing further Wonders, Libraries or Theatrons increases the building bonus proportionally. Losing a wonder means losing the population bonus, capturing a wonder means further increasing the maximum population, making the Wonder a crucial part of the empire.
  • New Balancing: The aim of the new balancing is to stop players from destroying buildings with infantry and cavalry, enforce the use of siege engines, reduce the spamming of champions by making them more expensive and slower to train. With the addition of town phase champions and the lessening of attack damage of defensive buildings, early attacks are more feasible. Capturing of buildings is only feasible if they are heavily damaged or left unguarded. More details are found in the Balancing section of the changelog.

Upgrading System:

Buildings and units can now be upgraded. For example the new Sentry Towers can be upgraded to Defense Towers.

Sentry Towers

New Maps

Alpha 21 adds no less than eleven random map scripts and two skirmish maps.

Nine of these random maps teleport players to actual geographical regions: Amazon, Mediterranean, Red Sea, Marmara, Pompeii , Bahrain, Howe Sound, Ngorongoro and Rouen.


The Mediterranean




Red Sea


Howe Sound

On the random map Caledonian Meadows, wide grasslands, deep forests and seas lie between opposing teams which are yet connected by paths. The map demonstrates realistic terrain generation, distributing resources by height.


Caledonian Meadows

The Skirmish map Dueling Cliffs uses the new height limit, that was introduced in Alpha 19:


Dueling Cliffs

New Models

The Seleucid faction was completed by adding the models for the Colonnade, Barracks, Wonder, Market, Corral, Blacksmith, Dock, Library, Military Colony and City Walls.


Seleucid buildings (from the top left): Walls, Wonder, Market, Military Colony, Blacksmith, Corral, Library, and the Dock

New Fields and Oak trees beautify the landscape. The Gaul Fortress, Tavern and the Ptolemaic Military Colony received new models as well.


New fields, the Gaul Fortress, taverns on the left and right, and Sentry Towers, Defense Towers, and the new oak trees in the background.

User Interface

The new Objectives dialog reveals the chosen matchsettings in running games:


Objectives Dialog

New Tooltips lift some secrets, like the loot that attackers are rewarded with when killing enemy units or destroying their buildings, the garrisoning- and arrow limit of buildings, healing statistics and assigned hotkeys:


Loot Tooltips

Resources of allies are now visible in the tooltip of the top panel and in the summary screen after having researched cartography:


Allied Resource Tooltips

Finally a Multiplayer Pause Screen indicates who took a break:


Pause Screen

An in-game chat history dialog and acoustical chat notifications ease communication:


Chat History

More Multiplayer Lobby Match Details help to coordinate upcoming matches:


Multiplayer Lobby Match Details

Under the hood

  • The Javascript engine was updated to Spider Monkey 38.
  • Windows binaries can now use more than 2GB of RAM, which should fix crashing on Windows.
  • The game now supports hosting on arbitrary UDP ports, which can be useful if your ISP blocks the default port.

And many more smaller additions and bug fixes, if you want to read a more detailed list see the full Alpha 21 Changelog.

Getting Support

Please see the “Get Support” page on our website to find ways to get help from the active and friendly 0 A.D. community.

We are well aware there is some room for improvement in 0 A.D. Some known issues are: Lag, visual glitches or textures not loaded, missing animations and more. When you provide feedback, we would ask you to focus on some of the other points that could be improved. Thanks.

Please Contribute!

We are seeking volunteer contributors in programming, art, sound, documentation and more. Programmers are especially welcome and can get started immediately.

Interested? Log onto #0ad-dev on QuakeNet on IRC and meet the developers. Also, you are invited to register on our forums and start participating!

Why “Ulysses”?

We name our releases according to development status (“Alpha” or “Beta”), successive release number (1, 2, 3, …) and a word relating to the ancient world, in alphabetical order (“Argonaut” for A, “Bellerophon” for B, …).

“Ulysses” is the Latinized name for the Greek mythological figure Odysseus. This name is relevant for the release because we added the Herocide game mode, and Odysseus is one of the most well known heroes of all time.

For the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter V. Keep it original and related to the time frame portrayed in 0 A.D. (appx. 500 BC – 1 BC)!

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Contact info for press, bloggers, etc.: without the capitalized name of a city Ulysses spent some time in.