Civilization: Beyond Earth Technology Guide – Tech Tree, Research Tips and Science

By   /   Oct 29, 2014

One of the biggest overhauls in Civilization: Beyond Earth compared to its predecessors is the Technology development.

Technology becomes even more important in Civilization: Beyond Earth because of its more varied and evident applications in your city’s success – so much so that if you are slow with your researches or pick the wrong Technology to upgrade, you could pay a heavier price than what you would anticipate.

For more help on Civilization: Beyond Earth, read our Terrain Tips, Resources Tips and Beginner’s Guide.

Civilization: Beyond Earth Technology

The basic style of Research is done in the same manner as before; you start your research in a specific Technology and wait till it is completed.

However, the complexity (and depth) of Technology in CivBE is introduced by changing the overall structure of the development tree.

Technology is now a large interconnected web, and will give you lots of choices for Research. This can be quite daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll begin to admire the freedom and depth this new system offers.

The Technology Web

The Technology Web has sections divided into multiple pieces. The top is where the branch is. The branch is the core principles that you research as you make your way through the web.

However, these branches also have Leaf Researches, which are located below them. These are sub-researches that allow you to develop the branch you researched even further.

Each branch has either one or two leaf researches to be carried out. Note though that in order to carry out a leaf research, you need to have the branch Research completed.

Every time you complete a branch research, you unlock its leaves and also other branches connected to it. It is up to you then to either specialize that branch by performing the leaf researches, or to take up a completely new technology branch to research.

This allows you to identify and rush towards specific Technologies that you feel are needed more than others in the near future.

The perk to this system is that you can always come back and specialize in the leaf researches whenever possible, or if the cost of researching further into the web becomes too expensive (we’ll get to that in a bit).

You can identify the portion of the web you have covered by the color of the Technologies. White indicates that the Technology has already been researched.

Purple is Technology that is available for research (unlocked), while Blue is Technology that is being researched. All the Technology that is Greyed out is currently locked and cannot be accessed yet.

The most important part of Researching though is Science. Having good Science stats will allow researches to be carried out much faster (you can only research one branch/leaf at a time).

If you feel your researches are going slow, you should start investing in Science.

Technology Web Layout

The Technology Web hasn’t been laid down in random order – there is a subtle yet noticeable pattern to the layout which becomes more evident as you start to cover the grid.

When you start off with your researching, you might be overwhelmed by the large amount of choices present. Don’t worry – you don’t have to get it right from the first go.

The most important thing to do in this fresh scenario is to identify the Technologies that are the most generic. You’ll probably come across some things that go over the top of your head – avoid those and only focus on the more generic Technologies.

Simply highlight an available Technology (one that is Purple) and a description will come up, giving you the necessary information as to what purpose it serves and what it does.

The same is true for the leaf researches underneath each branch. Technologies that give basic upgrades like increase in Health or Combat, or certain buildings/units that would improve your nation’s performance should be isolated first.

Next up, you want to evaluate what you currently need the most, or will be needing the most in the immediate future. Are you having difficulties defending your nation? Look for Technologies that will give you firepower in the form of units and affinity.

These are the Technologies you should be researching first, and then gradually working your way across the web. Once you have researched a sufficient amount of Technologies, it is time for you to look at the bigger picture.

The Technology web is designed in a way that the Purity units and research is on the left side. The affinity towards Purity victory with their units and bonus 40% experience based on Purity is all located on the left side of the tree.

Similarly, Harmony affinity can be identified on the right side of the web, with even greater bonus experience. The Supremacy affinity is located along the bottom.

The top of the web has Technologies associated with different buildings that would suit all types of players, irrespective of their affinity.

You might have a clear cut idea of where you want to head, but it is important to understand that the best nation is one that covers a larger part of the web.

Sure, having more focus on one side is never too bad, but you want to make sure you have taken use of all Technologies applicable to you before smoothly moving towards the portion of the web that you have selected for yourself.

In addition to it benefitting your nation, it may also be a tactic that comes out of necessity.

The Technologies located on the out parameters of the web have much more cost as compared to the ones in the center, which may force you to take up research in branches all over the place.

It’s generally good to sway towards your preferred corner, but if going ahead becomes too costly, consider backtracking and filling out some of the branches that you may have overlooked earlier.

How You Should Research Technology

Why Changing Research is Not Such a Bad Thing – Sometimes you’ll be investing valuable time researching in a wonder or building that will give your nation prosperity.

You’ll select that Technology for research and let it run its course. However, tensions between your city and another neighboring one may rise and a time of war may be upon you.

In such cases, it wouldn’t be very wise to continue researching in a wonder, would it? This is where you might have to force yourself into changing your research. You can do so any time by selecting a completely different Technology for research.

The ongoing one will simply ‘pause’, and research on the newly selected one will begin immediately. This isn’t a situation you necessarily want to get yourself in.

It is always advisable to carefully plan out your research fields and extrapolate from current situations to predict the near future, but when a time of desperate measures does unexpectedly arrive, you shouldn’t hesitate in suspending your current research and opting for something that requires immediate attention.

Generally, to avoid this scenario, it is wise to alternate between the types of Technologies you research.

You might be researching a pretty building for your city, but once it’s done, be sure to balance the books by researching into military and defense next, so that pretty building (along with your entire city) isn’t conquered by someone.

Investing in Science

In order to get more Science for faster research, you will need to invest in buildings that would give you more beakers. These include labs, clinics, and other research buildings.

It is also important that you excavate as much Silica as possible, as that plays a vital role in boosting your Science. Another method of greatly boosting your Science is through Virtues.

Knowledge Virtues will earn Science to your nation and let you research Technology at a very fast rate. Here are some of the virtues you should be looking out for:

  • Foresight: +10% Science when your nation is healthy.
  • Field Research: Raises Science when you complete each expedition.
  • Laboratory Apprenticeship: Generates Science from every citizen in your cities.
  • Networked Datalinks: Reduces the Science penalty from the number of cities in your nation.
  • Metaresearch Methods: Reduces the cost of leaf Technologies.
  • Learning Centers: +2 Science from academies.
  • Technoartisans: Earn extra Science from your Culture output.

Civilization: Beyond Earth Technology Tips

Alien Adaptation
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Alien Sciences
Unlocks alien preserve (building), +1 Culture from Paddocks

Alien Biology
Cost: 249
Prerequisite: Ecology
Unlocks alien preserve (building), +1 Culture from Paddocks

Although Alien Biology is primarily meant for Harmony players, almost everyone can take use of it for its Knowledge and how it gives workers ability to remove miasma and construct in terrain infested by it.

You won’t be needing this early on, but make sure you do grab onto it whenever miasma fields become an issue.

Alien Domestication
Cost: 1820
Prerequisite: Alien Ethics
Unlocks alien preserve (building), +1 Culture from Paddocks

This is a Harmony focused Technology that is almost entirely useless to non-Harmony players. However, those going towards this affinity will want to prioritize this Technology for how well it can aid in your military options and the benefit it gives with Xenomass Wells.

Alien Ecology
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Alien Sciences

If you are a Harmony player, miasma will be a huge offensive weapon for you to spread through your workers and orbitals. This makes Alien Ecology a must for such players during mid game.

Others will have already learned to get rid of miasma, but spreading it rapidly will keep them preoccupied with it and give you a massive tactical and strategic advantage.

Alien Ethics
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Alien Sciences

You get mind stems and Xeno sanctuaries from this Technology, and both of these make a Transcendence victory much faster to achieve. If you’re a Harmony player, you’ll want to get this as early as possible so you can start work on your buildings.

Alien Evolution
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Artificial Evolution

Though a late-game Harmony Technology, Alien Evolution will give you a powerful military asset in the form of the dreaded Xeno Titan. Just imagine what you could do to your enemies with that thing.

Alien Genetics
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Genetic Design

Though it’s a primarily Harmony-based Technology, Alien Genetics has some kind of bonus to offer to any type of player. Because of its low-ish cost you shouldn’t shy away from researching this, irrespective of your affinity.

Alien Hybridization
Cost: 1820
Prerequisite: Transgenics

This is a fairly expensive tech, but it is very important for any kind of player in the later stages of the game.

The reason? It gives you bonus healing in miasma and also makes you immune to its damage. How wonderful is that? This is especially good against any Harmony opponent who is looking to infect you with miasma.

Alien Lifeforms
Cost: 249
Prerequisite: Genetics

The low cost and early availability of Alien Lifeforms is pretty useful for developing your Culture, and should be worth looking into if your focus isn’t exclusively on creating a powerful military.

Alien Materials
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Artificial Evolution

Costly and not entirely necessary are the two terms for this tech. It unlocks a nice wonder, but it hardly does anything for the amount of investment you’ll be putting in. This is a tech overall suited more to Supremacy players, though they will hardly take it as their side of web is plenty rich. Treat this as a secondary.

Alien Sciences
Cost: 380
Prerequisite: Ecology or Genetics

This is a core Harmony tech that will aid in you collecting Xenomass, so Harmony players should get it as early as possible, while the rest can wait it out if they have to.

Artificial Evolution
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Alien Ethics or Transgenics

This expensive but useful tech will help you with fulfilling your Health needs, especially during late game. While investing in it early on isn’t recommended, but you should come to this in mid to late game if you are facing any Health deficiency.

Artificial Intelligence
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Fabrication or Computing

This is a brilliant technology that helps in everything – spying, intelligence, military, and culture. Because of its versatility, you should consider it as one of the important generic techs in the web.

Astrodynamics
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Mechatronics

Planet Carvers! This is one hell of a defensive and possibly offensive tech that, with proper assistance of plenty of orbitals, can shred your enemy lines apart with Planet Carvers. This should be a must-have for anyone who has an aggressive neighbor.

Augmentation
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Bionics

Save this up for extreme late stages as a Supremacy player, as it gives you a nice rounded set of perks for your city that will prove useful only after you have exhausted every other option.

Autogyros
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Cybernetics

If you have abundance of Firaxite, you might want to get this tech for some CARVR units. However, those dudes are extremely expensive, so only invest in this when you’re in desperate need of firepower.

Autonomous Systems
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Computing

This is a powerful Supermancy-focused tech that even non Supremacy players prioritize for its brilliant Master Control worker, which accelerates the movement and speed of your workers. A must have for anyone during early to mid game stage.

Ballistics
Cost: 249
Prerequisite: Physics

Ranged defense is must for your land, which makes Ballistics a must for any kind of city. Your batteries will defend the borders of your state, and they can pack quite a punch.

Ballistic LEV
Cost: 1820
Prerequisite: Mechatronics

Having a problem with enemy orbitals? Worry not, as Ballistic LEV will save the day. For those who aren’t facing orbital issues, there are better places to make your investments.

Biochemistry
Cost: 249
Prerequisite: Chemistry

Are you living near the ocean? Do you have a decent supply of Petroleum? If the answer is yes to either one of those questions, then close your eyes and start researching in Biochemistry.

Bioengineering
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Biology or Organics

Irrespective of what kind of affinity you have, you’ll love what Bioengineering has to offer because of its affinity-focused buildings and powerful leaf technologies. Consider this as a luxury instead of a necessity though.

Biology
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Chemistry

You don’t have to exclusively be a Purity player to invest in Biology, though you will likely do it earlier than the rest. Biology has enough uses to be considered by everyone – it’s just a matter of ‘when’.

Biometallurgy
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Bioengineering

If you’re still in the need of Supremacy experience, then you should get Biometallurgy. For most people, this is a tech that will be pushed to the side.

Bionics
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Physics

Bionics is just too good to ignore, which is why you shouldn’t be ignoring it at all. You’ll be leaking Science with all those institutes and buildings, not to mention health and all other kinds of essentials that will only make your nation better.

Biospheres
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Terraforming

It’s a bit expensive for early game investment, but you should consider researching this tech early on (especially Purity players) to get a boost to your Growth to really make your city proper.

Chemistry
Cost: 95
Prerequisite: Habitation

If your folks don’t even know chemistry, then shame on you. Go after this very early.

Civil Support
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Fabrication

Are you someone who likes Culture? You can preserve and progress your city’s culture with this tech, which is great of Purity experience, a new Culture orbital, and a pretty awesome Holomatrix that can protect your cities from covert operations.

Climate Control
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Terraforming

Food and Growth is what you’ll be getting if you invest in this. It’s not entirely necessary, but if you’re facing a famine or just having difficulty expanding your nation, then artificially controlling the weather would be a nice way to solve the problems.

Cognition
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Genetics or Organics

It’s not impossible to maintain a city filled with stupid people, but it’s always a lot easier if they have better cognitive abilities. Most of the benefits from this tech are for Supremacy players, but all men of Science will find a boost through academics from Cognition.

Collaborative Thought
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Cognition

If you’re having problems with constantly having to defend your city, consider this tech. Though primarily for Supremacy players, it gives access to the Precog Project that grants combat bonuses when defending your nation.

Communications
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Computing

Communications is versatile and important, be it for coverage of your orbitals or simply trade, which is why you should certainly consider investing in it mid-game.

Computing
Cost: 380
Prerequisite: Engineering or Ecology

Yes, yes, and yes. This isn’t the middle-ages anymore, so computing is an absolute must, and worth your time and effort.

Cybernetics
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Fabrication

If you like investing in military defense, then Cybernetics will help you a lot, as it grants you certain defensive structures and orbitals. For the peace-loving folks, this can be passed.

Dark Networks
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Astrodynamics

There is only one reason to research Dark Networks: if you are facing severe enemy spying issues.

Defense Grid
Cost: 249
Prerequisite: Engineering

The Defense Grid offers a lot of military defense buildings and tech that would aid you greatly in war time. If you’re doing things peacefully, consider this as your first option if and when things get heated.

If you’re an all-out conqueror, this is one of the first techs you should be researching.

Designer Lifeforms
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Synergetics

This is a technology only useful for Harmony players, who will enjoy the bonus affinity experience and the Pocktopus. The rest don’t really need to take this one too seriously.

Ecology
Cost: 95
Prerequisite: Habitation

Ecology is versatile and amazing, and its less cost makes it one of the best techs for all types of players in early game.

Engineering
Cost: 95
Prerequisite: Habitation

Whether you want a strong economy or a robust military, Engineering is an early game must-have for everyone.

Euthenics
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Social Dynamics

Euthenics isn’t critical to any major strategies, and only really benefits Supremacy players if they need some bonus experience.

Exotic Matter
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Field Theory

There’s all likelihood that you’ll ignore this tech entirely even as a Harmony player because of how displaced it is, and only research in it when back-filling becomes compulsory.

Fabrication
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Engineering, Mechatronics, Artificial Intelligence

Fabrication is extremely important irrespective of the kind of nation you are trying to build. It is only a matter of when you can afford to research in this versatile technology – do so whenever you have the resources and time.

Field Theory
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Communications

Field Theory mainly deals with high-tech buildings that you would only need as finishing touches to make your society thrive.

You should only invest in this when you are stable in most of the important areas, though the Quantum Computer wonder is something you should look to get as early as possible.

Genetics
Cost: 95
Prerequisite: Habitation

A very basic and absolutely necessary tech that you should get your hands on, so you can acquire Genetic Design.

Genetic Design
Cost: 380
Prerequisite: Genetics

Speaking of Genetic Design, it’s probably one of the best second tier techs available considering its relatively low cost. It will help players of all affinity styles and the Ectogenesis Pod will really aid in your Growth.

Genetic Mapping
Cost: 249
Prerequisite: Genetics

This tech is best for Purity players early in the game who are looking to spurt their Growth. For the rest, it is quite redundant.

Geophysics
Cost: 249
Prerequisite: Ecology

If you have scanners before this technology is available, then go for it. If not, then it is a waste of time and space. Only research this when you have scanners that could scan for Geothermal locations nearby.

Geoscaping
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Planetary Engineering

Geoscaping in theory is a great tech, but it is available quite late and thus only really useful for those with the Supremacy affinity.

Habitation
Cost: 50
Prerequisite: N/A

You will start each game with Habitation, which branches off to all the other Technologies.

Human Conservation
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Social Dynamics

It’s expensive and not available early game, but if you are having troubles that can be solved by Virtues, then this will give you two of them instantly.

That is probably the only really useful part of this tech for most. Purity players however will benefit from it greatly.

Human Idealism
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Social Dynamics

If you are going to take this, you’ll only do so to add Culture through the New Terran Myth wonder. There is no other reason for it.

Hypercomputing
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Artificial Intelligence

This is almost exclusively for Supremacy players and will give them their victory project along with extremely powerful Science buildings. This is the first tech to grab for Supremacy users.

Hyperconductors
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Hypercomputing

There’s nothing special about this tech that would justify wasting time and resources in it.

Industrial Ecology
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Bioengineering

If you need Purity experience for your master plan or Growth, you should consider getting this as quickly as possible when you reach the third tier of the web.

Mechatronics
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Robotics or Fabrication

Mechatronics is closely tied to other techs that would greatly benefit Purity and Supremacy players, which is why it should be prioritized by the two affinities.

Nanorobotics
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Nanotechnology

Nanorobotics is only really beneficial (and almost essential) to Harmony players to get their Mind Flower.

Nanotechnology
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Robotics

Nanotechnology is a necessity for both Purity and Harmony players for them to unlock their victory conditions. In addition to being strategically important, it also has many perks that both types of players could take great aid from.

Neural Uploading
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Hypercomputing

If you want the ultimate Supremacy unit, the ANGELs, then close your eyes and take this. They may be costly, but these units will wreak havoc and destroy even the best oppositions.

Orbital Automation
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Astrodynamics

Orbital Automation is situational and for players looking for a Contact victory, though others may not necessarily look at it with the same importance.

Orbital Networks
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Communications

This technology will get you the Lasercom Satellite, and is extremely important for both Purity and Supremacy players.

Organics
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Chemistry, Biology, or Cognition

Organics deals with a highly specific set of perks that you will either need very early or won’t need at all. Decide which category you fall into and act accordingly.

Photosystems
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Chemistry

Harmony players and those looking for a Contact victory will love Photosystems. The Harmony experience boost will attract the likes of those looking for the affinity, while the Solar Collector will power your empire and enjoy the massive amounts of orbitals.

Physics
Cost: 95
Prerequisite: Habitation

Your nation deserves no love if it doesn’t know basic physics. There are way too many technologies dependent on Physics for it to be ignored.

Pioneering
Cost: 80
Prerequisite: Habitation

How you settle is heavily dependent on this technology, so it is all likelihood that you will be going after this immediately after Habitation or just after a few other basic ones.

Planetary Engineering
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Terraforming

Planetary Engineering mainly provides for Purity and Supremacy players, though the increase in production is something even others could take advantage of.

Planetary Survey
Cost: 80
Prerequisite: Pioneering

This tech is essential for all those wishing to explore (only fools won’t want to), so get it as soon as you’re ready to search the bottomless oceans and the vast terrains for discovery.

Power Systems
Cost: 249
Prerequisite: Engineering

For Supremacy players Power Systems is great, but for the rest it comes as a secondary option despite having multiple global bonuses under one tech.

Protogenetics
Cost: 1820
Prerequisite: Transgenics

Protogenetics really works well in late game scenarios when you need a bit of Culture out of your Science cities.

Robotics
Cost: 380
Prerequisite: Physics or Engineering

Versatile, loveable, attractive, and highly useful, Robotics is a tech that you should certainly be researching in for multiple reasons.

Seismic Induction
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Planetary Engineering

You will only need to come after this tech near the end-game for some Purity boost or the Archimedes Lever.

Servomachinery
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Bionics

This is a fantastic tech for Purity players, as it gives Battlesuits and affinity experience. The rest won’t be too interested though.

Social Dynamics
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Cognition or Genetic Design

If you’re looking for some extra points and additional resources, Social Dynamics is here to serve you with buildings galore.

Surrogacy
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Augmentation

This is only useful for Purity focused players who can rush to this for the Aegis units. The rest will probably ignore Social Dynamics altogether.

Swarm Intelligence
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Artificial Intelligence

You should look to research into this only in late game to get the Bytegeist, which can help you accomplish several virtues.

Swarm Robotics
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Robotics

This is a requirement for the Harmony victory, but others can also take use of it thanks to the wonderful Drone Spheres.

Synergetics
Cost: 2480
Prerequisite: Organics

Harmonay and Supremacy players will get huge boosts from Synergetics in the form of the Microbial Mine and Organ Printer.

Synthetic Thought
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Artificial Intelligence

Supremacy players will be licking their lips when they find out you can get the amazing SABR artillery unit (best artillery unit in the game). It’s highly unlikely that any other type of player will research this though.

Tactical LEV
Cost: 3216
Prerequisite: Nanotechnology

Purity players, this is your LEV. Take it, and destroy all things that dare stand in your way.

Tactical Robotics
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Robotics

This is a Supremacy tech that will give you bonus affinity experience and also unlock the CNDR units.

Terraforming
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Ecology

Terraforming is a major Purity tech and grants you Floatstone Quarries and Energy buildings that are vital for the growth of their cities.

Tissue Engineering
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Bionics

The global healing bonus that comes with this tech is useful for anyone looking for added bit of survivability.

Transcendental Math
Cost: 770
Prerequisite: Computing

This technology really only helps in getting to the Contact victory. For the rest: move on please.

Transgenics
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Genetic Design

This is an extremely important tech for Harmony players to get their victory, and they should push for it as early as possible.

Vertical Farming
Cost: 1160
Prerequisite: Biology

If you love farming and have an empire located in a grassland, this tech is a must-have for you. You will get massive amounts of food and also acquire Energy as well through this tech, making it amazing if you’re into agriculture.