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Research is the primary method through which players can enhance and expand the abilities of their colony. Certain buildings require research in order to be built.

Once a player constructs a research bench, and selects a project from the list of available research topics, a researcher will work at the bench to generate research points. The rate at which points are generated depends on the researcher's skill level. Multiple research benches worked by researchers will further increase the speed at which points are generated.

Only 1 research project can be actively researched at a given time, regardless of the number of research facilities available. However, you can freely switch between research projects, even if another is already underway. The progress towards finishing the research project is retained.

Research difficulty is related to your faction’s tech level. Researching techs above your level is harder. So if you’re a tribe, researching electricity will be difficult, while industrial colonies will find mastering spaceflight harder.

Research is presented in a tech tree form, with earlier research placed to the left and later research more dependent on the earlier ones placed on the right. Mods can add their own research projects; they can be manually placed, or automatically placed if not specified. Projects will be moved apart if they overlap.

Besides the main research tab, modders can add separate research tabs for their research projects, so any new research projects appear there instead.

Research Projects

As of Beta 18, the following research projects are available. Prerequisite research listed in (parentheses) is not officially a prerequisite, but is required for the necessary research bench.

Name Description Tech level Base cost Industrial start cost Tribal start cost Required Research Required Research Bench Required Facilities
Batteries Build batteries for storing electricity. (Needed for tribal starts only) Industrial 400 400 1200 Electricity Simple None
Autodoors Build autodoors which open to permit movement without slowing anyone down. Industrial 400 400 1200 Electricity Simple None
Passive cooler Make passive coolers, a way to cool indoor spaces without using electricity. Neolithic 400 400 400 None Simple None
Psychite refining Learn to refine psychoid leaves into flake and yayo, different forms of the euphoric drug psychite. Industrial 400 400 1200 Drug production Simple None
Devilstrand Allows colonists to plant devilstrand, a slow-growing mushroom which yields a valuable plant fiber (also called devilstrand) that can be used to make clothes. Neolithic 500 500 500 None Simple None
Pemmican Make pemmican, a preserved mixture of meat and plant matter that doesn't go bad for a long time. Great for traveling. (Research needed only for non-tribal starts) Neolithic 500 500 500 None Simple None
Complex clothing Sew complicated garments like pants, dusters, and cowboy hats. (Research needed only for tribal starts) Medieval 500 500 1000 None Simple None
Electric cremation Build crematoriums that can vaporize unwanted corpses. Industrial 500 500 1500 Electric Smelting Simple None
Colored lights Allows colonists to construct colored lights for decorative purposes. Industrial 500 500 1500 Electricity Simple None
Microelectronics basics The basics of working with delicate, complex electronics. This unlocks the Hi-tech research bench, comms console, orbital trade beacon and other research projects like tube televisions, and cryptosleep caskets. Industrial 700 700 2100 Electricity Simple None
Shipbuilding basics Allows you to start researching more advanced shipbuilding technologies and eventually build a ship to escape the planet. Spacer 1000 2000 4000 (Microelectronics basics)


Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Drug production The basics of drug preparation and synthesis. Allows creation of the drug lab. Further research is required to make specific drugs. Industrial 500 500 1500 None Simple None
Penoxycyline production Learn to produce Penoxycyline which blocks against 3 diseases: malaria, sleeping sickness, and the plague. Taken every 5 days for full protection. Industrial 500 500 1500 Drug production Simple None
Solar panels Build solar panels for electrical generation. (Needed for tribal starts only) Industrial 600 600 1800 Electricity Simple None
Air conditioning Build air conditions to cool rooms in the heat, or to keep freezers. Industrial 600 600 1800 Electricity Simple None
Wake-up production Your chemists learn the formulas and techniques for synthesizing wake-up, a work performance-enhancing drug. Industrial 600 600 1800 Drug production Simple None
Nutrient paste Build nutrient paste dispensers which efficiently produce edible meals from raw nutritive feedstocks. Industrial 600 600 1800 Electricity Simple None
Packaged survival meal Learn to produce packaged survival meals, a preserved and sealed food that never goes bad. Great for travelling. Industrial 2000 2000 6000 Nutrient paste Simple None
Hydroponics Allows you to build hydroponics basins to rapidly grow crops indoors regardless of the terrain or weather outside. Industrial 700 700 2100 Electricity Simple None
Brewing Allows you to build a brewery to transform hops into tasty, tasty beer. Neolithic 700 700 2100 None Simple None
Smithing Build smithies for crafting metal weapons and tools. Medieval 700 700 2100 None Simple None
Tube television Allows the production of tube televisions Industrial 800 800 2400 Microelectronics basics Simple None
Firefoam Allows the construction of firefoam poppers; fire-safety buildings which spread fire-resistant foam in response to encroaching flames. Industrial 800 800 2400 (Microelectronics basics) Hi-tech None
Multi-analyzer Allows colonists to build [multi-analyzer]]s which increase research speed, and allow higher level research projects, if placed near a research bench. Industrial 800 800 2400 Microelectronics basics Hi-tech None
Go-juice production Learn to produce the synthetic combat-performance-enhancing drug go-juice. Industrial 1000 1000 3000 Drug production Simple None
Carpet making Allows colonists to build carpets to increase the quality of their environments. Medieval 1200 1200 2400 None Simple None
Electricity Generate and use electricity for cooking and other simple tasks. (Research only needed for tribal starts) Industrial 1200 1200 3600 None Simple None
Moisture pump Allows the construction of moisture pumps, which turn wet ground dry. Industrial 1200 1200 3600 (Microelectronics basics) Hi-tech None
Machining Build machining tables to craft guns and machinery or disassemble dead mechanoids. Industrial 800 800 2400 Smithing
Simple None
Medicine production Produce medicine from herbal medicine, neutroamine, and cloth. Industrial 1500 1500 4500 Drug production
Microelectronics basics
Hi-tech None
Deep drilling Allows you to build deep drills for extracting resources from deep underground. You'll need a ground-penetrating scanner to find the resources. Industrial 1500 1500 4500 Microelectronics basics
Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Ship cryptosleep caskets Allows you to construct ship cryptosleep caskets for transporting cryptosleeping colonists between the stars. Spacer 1200 2400 4800 Shipbuilding basics

Cryptosleep casket Microelectronics basics (Multi-analyzer)

Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Explosive IEDs Allows colonists to build improvised traps from explosive, EMP, firefoam and antigrain mortar shells. Industrial 1600 1600 4800 Electricity Simple None
Incendiary IEDs Allows colonists to build incendiary explosive traps from incendiary shells. Industrial 1600 1600 4800 Electricity Simple None
Mortars Learn to build mortars which can lob mortar shells long distances over walls. Industrial 2000 2000 6000 Machining
Simple None
Gunsmithing Craft simple manually operated guns like revolvers, pump shotguns, bolt-action rifles, and incendiary launchers. Industrial 700 700 2100 Machining Simple None
Blowback operation Craft simple semi-automatic and automatic guns like autopistols, machine pistols, and heavy SMGs. Industrial 700 700 2100 Gunsmithing Simple None
Gas operation Craft more advanced semi-automatic and automatic guns like chain shotguns and LMGs. Industrial 700 700 2100 Blowback operation Simple None
Precision rifling Craft assault rifles and sniper rifles. Industrial 1400 1400 4200 Gas operation Simple None
Gun turrets Allows the production of automated gun turrets. Industrial 800 800 2400 Microelectronics basics
Blowback operation
Simple None
Vitals monitor Allows colonists to build vitals monitors which increase treatment quality if placed next to medical beds. Industrial 1600 1600 4800 Microelectronics basics

Hospital bed (Multi-analyzer)

Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Electric smelting Build electric smithy and smelters.

The electric smithy allows smithing items without fuel. The electric smelter uses heat and powerful electromagnets to extract useful metal from slag chunks and other items.

Industrial 1700 1700 5100 Electricity Simple None
Geothermal power Allows you to build geothermal power plants on top of steam geysers, for uninterrupted power. Industrial 1800 1800 5400 (Microelectronics basics) Hi-tech None
Refining Build refineries to make chemfuel from wood. Industrial 1200 1200 3600 Electricity Simple None
Smokepop belts Learn to build smokepop belts which can provide an automatic defensive smokescreen. Industrial 1000 1000 3000 Refining
Simple None

Hospital bed Allows colonists to construct hospital beds which increase the chance of successful medical work. Industrial 2000 2000 6000 (Microelectronics basics) Hi-tech None
Hydroponics Allows you to build hydroponics basins to rapidly grow crops indoors regardless of the terrain or weather outside. Industrial 700 700 2100 Electricity Simple None
Cryptosleep caskets Allows colonists to construct cryptosleep caskets, which can put living beings in a state of suspended animation. Spacer 1100 2200 4400 Microelecronics basics


Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Ship antimatter reactor Allows you to use an antimatter containment core to build a working antimatter reactor to power a ship. Spacer 8000 16000 32000 Shipbuilding basics

Microelectronics basics (Multi-analyzer)

Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Component assembly Allows you to build the Component assembly bench, where colonists can make components from simple materials. Industrial 3000 3000 9000 Microelectronics basics


Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Transport pods Construct launchable transport pods that you can use to launch people and supplies long distances across the planet's surface. Industrial 1100 1100 3300 Microelectronics Basics Hi-tech None
Powered armor Neuro-mimetic robotics and advanced plasteel weaving technologies allow you to build the power armor and power armor helmets. Spacer 1600 3200 6400 Microelectronics basics


Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Shield belt Momentum-repulsion field technology allows you to build shield belts, which block ranged attacks coming in or going out. Spacer 1500 3000 6000 Microelectronics basics


Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Charged shot Understand the secrets of pulse-charged energy/projectile munitions. Allows you to build the charge rifle. Spacer 1000 2000 4000 Microelectronics basics


Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Multibarrel weapons Allows you to build miniguns. Industrial 2100 2100 6300 Microelectronics basics


Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Ship computer core Allows coercing an existing AI persona into a usable AI computer core for ship guidance. Spacer 1500 3000 6000 Shipbuilding basics

Microelectronics basics (Multi-analyzer)

Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Ship antimatter propulsion Allows you to use an antimatter containment core to construct an antimatter drive for a ship. Spacer 4000 8000 16000 Shipbuilding basics

(Microelectronics basics) (Multi-analyzer)

Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Long-range mineral scanner Allows the construction of long-range mineral scanners which automatically detect precious minerals like gold or jade in the nearby areas (but not in which the scanners were built). Industrial 700 700 2100 Microelectronics basics Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Ground-penetrating scanner Allows you to build ground-penetrating scanners that can detect drillable resources deep under the surface. Industrial 7000 7000 21000 Microelectronics basics
Hi-tech Multi-analyzer
Ship sensor cluster Allows you to construct long-range sensors for a ship. Spacer 3000 6000 12000 Shipbuilding basics
Ground penetrating scanner
Long-range mineral scanner

Microelectronics basics (Multi-analyzer)

Hi-tech Multi-analyzer