Research is used to unlock new technologies, structures, other opportunities that provide additional options for the colony. There are 120 regular technologies and 61 breakthroughs in the game.
Technologies are divided among 6 tech trees and the breakthrough list. Tech tree technologies normally have to be researched in a specific order randomized at the start of the game. Breakthroughs are obtained through Anomalies and can be researched in any order. Mystery and Story Bits technologies are also shown in the Breakthrough tree.
All technologies have a range of positions where they can appear in the tech tree. The range is increased by the Tech Variety Game Rule and Chaos Theory makes every tech tree position valid for all technologies. The order of technologies is determined by the map coordinates so starting in the same location will create the same order for technologies.
Research points are awarded at the beginning of every hour. The total amount of points is a combination of the following:
- Most Sponsors provide a set amount of research per Sol. This amount varies by sponsor from Church of the New Ark's 0 up to a maximum of 400/Sol with Europe. Most sponsors provide 200/Sol. The Earth-Mars Initiative tech will increase this by 100.
- For a nominal fee, additional scientific research can be outsourced to laboratories back on Earth. Outsourcing lasts 5 Sols. There are two possible research plans: 1000 research points for $200M (200 research points/Sol) and 5000 research points for $1000M (1,000 research points/Sol). Both cost $0.2M/research point.
- Exploration Rover
- RC Explorers can visit certain anomalies on the surface of Mars to obtain a boost to research output. RC Explorers also contribute 100 research points to the research generation directly once the Explorer AI (Robotics) technology has been researched. Multiple vehicles result in collaboration losses. Adding another vehicle results in diminishing returns for each additional vehicle. (i.e. a 2nd vehicle adds only 80 research points [20% reduction], a 3rd adds 60 research points [40% reduction], etc. ...)
- Planetary Expeditions
- High-speed Comm Satellite is a Planetary Expedition, which can be completed by launching a rocket loaded with 100 Fuel, 100 Metals, and 100 Electronics. The expedition requires just over 4 Sols to complete, after which a permanent research bonus of 400/Sol is granted.
- Certain Planetary Anomalies, which will require sending either Colonists or an RC Explorers, will grant a one-time research bonus, ranging from 2000 to 4000 points. These Planetary Anomalies can be identified by their descriptive text.
- Research Labs and Hawking Institutes
- Colonists on Mars can directly contribute to the ongoing research in Research Lab and Hawking Institute buildings, which can each be constructed inside domes. Adding another building results in diminishing returns for each additional building of the exact same type. (i.e. a 2nd Research Lab makes both function at 90% production, a 3rd, 80%, etc. to a max reduction of 50%)
- Mission Goals
- Most Sponsors have one Mission Goal that provides Research when accomplished. Some Mission Goals grant a flat number of Research points while others increase the amount of Research the sponsor provides at the end of each Sol.
- Genius Colonists
- Colonists with the Genius perk will also generate 150 research per Sol simply by being a part of your colony when they are at 70 or higher Sanity.
- Excess Power
- A breakthrough called Superconducting Computing allows you to directly funnel extra power not being banked by your collectors into excess science at the rate of about 1 power per hour per day granting 2.3 research per sol.
- Alien Artifacts
- Another breakthrough called by this name generates a number of anomalies that grant a flat research amount. Once it has been researched itself, and a explorer rover investigates each anomaly.
The cost of researching a technology depends on how far to the right it is on its technology branch.
On the final position of every tech chain is that field's Wonder technology.
|Position||1 - 2||3 - 4||5 - 6||7 - 8||9 - 10||11 - 12||13 - 14||15 - 16||17 - 19||20|
The Futurist commander profile reduces breakthrough costs by 30%.
Various anomalies may provide discounts to one or more branches. Typically, an anomaly gives a 10% discount to a specific branch.
The Omega Telescope wonder provides a 20% boost to Research.
A Network Node spire boosts output of research facilities (20%) in the same dome.