One of your long-term objectives is to unlock new technologies from the branches of the tech tree. In the aftermath, much of mankind’s knowledge was either lost or outright destroyed. Fragments can still be recovered from various locations on the world map to aid the colony. The research locations can be searched for Science points which, unlike other resources, are immediately available for the colony. And the bigger your specialists' research skill is, the faster they can extract all the usable knowledge a particular location has to offer.
Science points can be spent to unlock technological advancements in the tech tree, which is divided into five or six branches:
- Community adds to your housing and general colonist potential.
- Food offers both improvements to production speeds and completely new forms of cultivation and animal breeding.
- Infrastructure increases energy and water production capabilities and unlocks new structures.
- Resources increases advanced resources production and extraction.
- Safety improves your efficiency and possibilities on the World Map while also increasing the settlement's security.
- New Alliances focuses on society buildings and is unique to the New Alliances DLC.
As a general rule of thumb, the further down the tree a particular advancement is, the more it costs, so always keep an eye on museums, old radar stations and observatories while exploring the map. Science is what takes your colony to the next level from just surviving into getting back what was lost.
Each researched technology offer one of eight unlock effect types. These can be determined at a glance by the tech frame's top color and are as follows:
- Building unlock - Unlocks a new building.
- Building upgrade - Unlock a building's upgrade option.
- Durability - Improves buildings' protection against natural deterioration or elements like cold or Pollution.
- Efficiency - Improves the speed or amount of production.
- Ideology - Special improvements based on your chosen ideology (survival, production, safety).
- People - Affects or improves people's lives and Happiness.