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Research is used to unlock technologies, offering new recipes and bonuses. Research is performed by labs consuming different types of science packs.


The technology screen

In single player games, only one technology can be researched at a time, while in multiplayer, research progress is shared within forces.

The technology to be researched is selected from the technology screen, opened by pressing T . The current active research can be changed at any time from the technology screen; if another research is in progress, that progress will be saved. Multiple research topics can be partially researched like this at any one time.

Research progress for a technology is divided into units. Each unit has a time and a science pack cost. When research is in progress, labs with the required amount of science packs for one unit will consume the amount and contribute towards research progress.

The progress bar shown in the top right corner of the screen when research is in progress

The time T it will take to research a particular technology is given by:

  • T = (T[0] × P) ÷ (L × S) seconds,


  • T[0] is the time cost per unit (as shown in Research screen)
  • P is the price of the research, in units (as shown in Research screen)
  • L is the number of labs used
  • S is lab speed, which is given by:
    • 1 + B[r]
    • where B[r] is the total research speed modifier from lab research speed research and any module effects

Note that P represents the research price in units, not in individual science packs summed across all their types. For example, a research that costs 100 science packs 1 and 100 science packs 2, grouped into 100 units of 1 each of science packs 1 and 2, would have a P of 100, not 200.


A simple lab setup using science pack 1 and 2, belts, and inserters

Crafting science packs by hand is not feasible, mainly because of the amount of resources and time needed to craft them. Some science packs also require ingredients that cannot be handcrafted, such as oil products. Science pack production automation is the primary incentive for factory development throughout the game.

The insertion of science packs into labs may be automated using inserters and transport belts, as shown to the right, or using robots and the logistic network.

Note that inserters can take science packs from labs and hand them to other labs, making a lab chain a feasible solution. Other options include using 3 belts (before space science packs are needed), or a sushi belt.


Tech-maniac-achievement.png Tech maniac

Research all technologies.

  • Completing infinite technologies of any level is not required for Tech maniac. All non-infinite levels of technologies that have infinite continuations are still required.


  • 0.15.0:
    • Research system overhauled
      • There are now 7 science pack types instead of 4, research prices have been changed to compensate.
      • Top-tier science pack is no longer obtained by destroying alien nests, but by launching rockets with satellites.
      • "Infinite research" mechanic introduced.

See also