Play Civ 5 for Free While Preloading Civilization: Beyond Earth

If you've pre-purchased Beyond Earth, you can begin preloading it on Steam now.

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The latest game in the Civilization series, Civilization: Beyond Earth, launches later this week. Preloading has begun, but one thing you may want to download first is Civilization V, which you can play for free from now until Thursday.

Anyone with a Steam account can now download Civ V for free and play it until Thursday, October 23 at 10 am Pacific. That's hardly enough time to spend with a game that can easily eat up hundreds of hours of your life, but it's a good way to kill time between now and Beyond Earth's release this Friday, October 24.

If you've already pre-purchased Beyond Earth on Steam, you can begin preloading the game now so that it's ready to go as soon as possible on Friday. The exact times for when it will unlock for Steam buyers haven't yet been announced, but 2K says it'll be sharing those "soon" for everyone around the world.

You can still pre-purchase Beyond Earth before Friday to get the free Exoplanets Map Pack, which consists of six bonus custom maps. For more on Beyond Earth, check out our latest preview, as well as our look at multiplayer in the video above.

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