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Civilization 5: Technology


  • Civilization 5: Technology


    How Research Works
    Planning Toward Technological Goals
    Mao's Folly: How the Great Leap Forward Gets You Killed
    Acquiring Technology Outside of Research
    Tech Trees

    How Research Works

    Technology serves three purposes. The first and primary use of Technology is unlocking new Improvements, Units, Buildings, Wonders, Special Powers and available Treaty stipulations. Every Technology the player acquires makes specific abilities available. For example, discovering Gunpowder unlocks the ability to build the Musketman Unit.

    New Technologies also open the ability to Research Technology from higher Tiers in the Tech tree. Secondly, Technology tree can lead to construction of a Spaceship and the science Victory. Third, Technology advances you through Eras, which make new Policies available and increase benefits from City-State relationships.

    Planning Toward Technological Goals

    Depending on what strategy you intend to follow, you will likely prioritize your Research toward specific Technologies. It is ill advised, however, to allow any branch of your tech tree to lag more than two generations behind your most advanced Technology. Doing so risks losing access to necessary Units and Buildings to keep your Tech, Culture, Gold, Happiness and Military Units production to scale with increasing costs and demands.

    Specific strategies for Technological development for each Victory Condition are covered in Part II. Regardless of your game plan, do not ignore The Wheel, Trapping, Animal Husbandry, Masonry or the Calendar, as these allow access to vital early-game Improvements: Roads, Trading Posts, Camps, Pastures, Quarries and Plantations.

    Mao's Folly: How the Great Leap Forward Gets you Killed

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    Don't neglect primitive Technologies.

    One of the easiest mistakes to make in Civilization 5 is overspecialization. There is a temptation to allow the development of one Technology or Index to slip in order to concentrate on another. This enticement is especially significant when attempting to forge Policy Victories, as each new Era entered opens the door on desirable Policies, and in Domination games when pursuing a powerful Military Unit.

    Adopting this strategy in the short term can be beneficial, but neglecting any resource for more than a few turns can stunt your development across the entire spectrum of Gold, Production, Research, Culture, Happiness, Golden Age Progress, Military Units and Population Growth. This in turn hurts your Research output, which ultimately puts you farther behind than a more measured approach would have accomplished.

    Acquiring Technology Outside of Research

    Technology is funded by Research, which is primarily generated by Citizens. The more Citizens you have, the more tech you can create. Certain Buildings and Wonders can also increase Research. The Great Library grants a free Technology, a Great Scientist can be sacrificed to discover a free Technology, and a Research Agreement between two powers allows nations to combine their Gold resources to learn a random Technology.


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    Advancing into a new Era unlocks new Policies.

    Technologies are classified by Eras. Discovering a Technology from a new Era propels the player's society into that Era.

    There are seven Eras: Ancient, Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Industrial, Modern and Future. The inauguration of new Eras allows access to the following Policies:

    • Ancient Era: Tradition, Liberty, Honor
    • Classical Era: Piety
    • Medieval Era: Patronage, Commerce
    • Renaissance Era: Freedom, Rationalism
    • Industrial Era: Autocracy, Order

    Tech Trees

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    There are 73 Technologies to explore. Most of them are worth having.

    The Tech tree maps the Research paths that will lead you to new discoveries. Discovering primitive Technologies allows access to more advanced Technologies.

    Each tech has a Research cost. More advanced Technologies cost more Research points to discover. As your economy grows, purchasing advanced Technology becomes less expensive.

    There are 73 Technologies divided among the seven Eras. These are spaced in a 17 Tier Tech tree. Below the Prerequisites, Features and Subsequent Technologies opened for each Technology are mapped out by Tier.

    Tier 1 Technology (Ancient Era Part I)


    Prerequisite: None
    Unlocks: Granary
    Allows: Sailing, Calendar, Writing

    Animal Husbandry

    Prerequisite: None
    Unlocks: Pasture, Reveals Horses
    Allows: Trapping, The Wheel


    Prerequisite: None
    Unlocks: Archer
    Allows: Mathematics (with Archery)


    Prerequisite: None
    Unlocks: Mines, Chop Down Forest
    Allows: Masonry, Bronze Working

    Tier 2 Technology (Ancient Era Part II)


    Prerequisite: Pottery
    Unlocks: Work Boat, Trireme, Great Lighthouse, Fishing Boat
    Allows: Optics


    Prerequisite: Pottery
    Unlocks: Stonehenge, Plantation
    Allows: Theology (with Philosophy)


    Prerequisite: Pottery
    Unlocks: Library, National College, Great Library, Open Borders Treaty
    Allows: Philosophy


    Prerequisite: Animal Husbandry
    Unlocks: Trading Post, Camp
    Allows: Civil Service (with Philosophy)

    The Wheel

    Prerequisite: Animal Husbandry
    Unlocks: Chariot Archer, Water Mill, Road
    Allows: Horseback Riding, Mathematics (with Archery)


    Prerequisite: Mining
    Unlocks: Walls, Pyramids, Quarry, Clear Marsh
    Allows: Construction

    Bronze Working

    Prerequisite: Mining
    Unlocks: Spearman, Barracks, Colossus, Clear Jungle
    Allows: Iron Working

    Tier 3 Technology (Classical Era)


    Prerequisite: Sailing
    Unlocks: Lighthouse, Embarkation
    Allows: Compass


    Prerequisite: Writing
    Unlocks: Temple, National Epic, the Oracle, Research Agreement Treaty
    Allows: Theology (with Calendar), Civil Service (with Trapping)

    Horseback Riding

    Prerequisite: The Wheel
    Unlocks: Horsemen, Stable, Circus
    Allows: Chivalry (with Civil Service and Currency)


    Prerequisite: Archery and The Wheel
    Unlocks: Catapult, Courthouse, Hanging Gardens
    Allows: Currency, Engineering (with Construction0


    Prerequisite: Masonry
    Unlocks: Colosseum, Great Wall, Bridges
    Allows: Engineering (with Mathematics)

    Iron Working

    Prerequisite: Bronze Working
    Unlocks: Swordsman, Armory, Heroic Epic, Reveals Iron
    Allows: Metal Casting

    Tier 4 Technology (Medieval Era Part I)


    Prerequisite: Calendar, Philosophy
    Unlocks: Monastery, Garden, Angkor Wat, Hagia Sophia
    Allows: Education

    Civil Service

    Prerequisite: Trapping, Philosophy
    Unlocks: Pikeman, Chichen Itza, Increased Food Production from Farm Tiles Near Fresh Water
    Allows: Chivalry (with Horseback Riding and Currency)


    Prerequisite: Mathematics
    Unlocks: Mint, Market, Machu Pichu, Conversion of City Production to Wealth at 25% ratio
    Allows: Chivalry (with Civil Service and Horseback Riding)


    Prerequisite: Mathematics and Construction
    Unlocks: Lumber Mill, Fort
    Allows: Machinery, Physics (with Metal Casing)

    Metal Casting

    Prerequisite: Iron Working
    Unlocks: Forge, Workshop
    Allows: Steel, Physics (with Engineering)

    Tier 5 Technology (Medieval Era Part II)


    Prerequisite: Optics
    Unlocks: Harbor
    Allows: Astronomy (with Education)


    Prerequisite: Theology
    Unlocks: University, Oxford University, Notre Dame, Porcelain Tower, Conversion of City Production to Wealth at 25% ratio
    Allows: Acoustics, Astronomy (with Compass), Banking (with Chivalry


    Prerequisite: Civil Service, Horseback Riding, Currency
    Unlocks: Knight, Castle, Himeji Castle, Defensive Pact Treaties
    Allows: Banking (with Education)


    Prerequisite: Engineering
    Unlocks: Crossbowman, Increased Unit Speed on Roads
    Allows: Printing Press (with Physics)


    Prerequisite: Engineering and Metal Casing
    Unlocks: Trebuchet
    Allows: Printing Press (with Machinery), Gunpowder (with Steel)


    Prerequisite: Metal Casing
    Unlocks: Longswordsman
    Allows: Gunpowder (with Physics)

    Tier 6 Technology (Renaissance Era Part I)


    Prerequisite: Compass, Education
    Unlocks: Caravel, Observatory, Increased Speed for Embarked Units, Embarked Units May Cross Deep Water
    Allows: Navigation


    Prerequisite: Education
    Unlocks: Opera House, Sistene Chapel, The Kremlin
    Allows: Scientific Theory (with Navigation)


    Prerequisite: Education, Chivalry
    Unlocks: Bank, Forbidden Palace
    Allows: Economics (with Printing Press)

    Printing Press

    Prerequisite: Machinery and Physics
    Unlocks: Theatre, Taj Mahal
    Allows: Economics (with Banking)


    Prerequisite: Physics, Steel
    Unlocks: Musketman
    Allows: Chemistry, Metallurgy

    Tier 7 Technology (Renaissance Era Part II)


    Prerequisite: Astronomy
    Unlocks: Frigate, Seaport
    Allows: Archeology, Scientific Theory (with Acoustics)


    Prerequisite: Banking and Printing Press
    Unlocks: Windmill, Big Ben
    Allows: Military Science (with Chemistry)


    Prerequisite: Gunpowder
    Unlocks: Cannon, Ironworks
    Allows: Fertilizer, Military Science (with Economics)


    Prerequisite: Gunpowder
    Unlocks: Lancer
    Allows: Rifling

    Tier 8 Technology (Renaissance Era Part III)


    Prerequisite: Navigation
    Unlocks: Museum, Hermitage, Louvre
    Allows: Biology (with Scientific Theory)

    Scientific Theory

    Prerequisite: Navigation, Acoustics
    Unlocks: Public School, Reveals Coal
    Allows: Biology (with Archeology)

    Military Science

    Prerequisite: Economics, Chemistry
    Unlocks: Cavalry, Military Academy, Brandenburg Gate
    Allows: Steam Power (with Scientific Theory)


    Prerequisite: Chemistry
    Unlocks: More Food from Farms not near fresh water
    Allows: Dynamite (with Rifling)


    Prerequisite: Metallurgy
    Unlocks: Rifleman
    Allows: Dynamite (with Fertilizer)

    Tier 9 Technology (Industrial Era Part I)


    Prerequisite: Archeology and Scientific Theory
    Unlocks: Hospital, Well, Reveals Oil
    Allows: Electricity

    Steam Power

    Prerequisite: Scientific Theory and Military Science
    Unlocks: Ironclad, Factory, Increased Production from Lumber Mill, More Movement for Embarked Units
    Allows: Replaceable Parts, Railroad, Electricity (with Biology)

    Tier 10 Technology (Industrial Era Part II)


    Prerequisite: Biology and Steam Power
    Unlocks: Destroyer, Stock Exchange, Reveals Aluminum
    Allows: Refrigeration, Telegraph, Radio

    Replaceable Parts

    Prerequisite: Steam Power
    Unlocks: Anti-Tank Gun, Infantry, Statue of Liberty
    Allows: Flight, Combustion (with Railroad and Dynamite)


    Prerequisite: Steam Power
    Unlocks: Arsenal, Railroad (Improvement)
    Allows: Combustion (with Replaceable Parts and Dynamite)


    Prerequisite: Fertilizer and Rifling
    Unlocks: Artillery
    Allows: Combustion with Replaceable Parts and Railroad

    Tier 11 Technology (Industrial Era Part III)


    Prerequisite: Electricity
    Unlocks: Submarine, Offshore Platform
    Allows: Plastics, Penicillin


    Prerequisite: Electricity
    Unlocks: Battleship, Military Base, Cristo Redentor
    Allows: Electronics


    Prerequisite: Electricity
    Unlocks: Anti-Aircraft Gun, Broadcast Tower, Eiffel Tower
    Allows: Mass Media, Radar (with Flight)


    Prerequisite: Replaceable Parts
    Unlocks: Carrier, Fighter
    Allows: Radar (with Mass Media)


    Prerequisite: Replaceable Parts, Railroad and Dynamite
    Unlocks: Tank
    Allows: Atomic Theory, Lasers (with Radar)

    Tier 12 Technology (Modern Era Part I)


    Prerequisite: Refrigeration
    Unlocks: Hydro Plant, Research Lab
    Allows: Ecology (with Penicillin)


    Prerequisite: Refrigeration
    Unlocks: Medical Lab
    Allows: Ecology (with Plastics)


    Prerequisite: Telegraph
    Unlocks: Mechanized Infantry
    Allows: Computers (with Mass Media)

    Mass Media

    Prerequisite: Radio
    Unlocks: Stadium
    Allows: Computers (with Electronics)


    Prerequisite: Radio and Flight
    Unlocks: Bomber, Paratrooper, Pentagon
    Allows: Rocketry, Lasers (with Combustion)

    Atomic Theory

    Prerequisite: Combustion
    Unlocks: Manhattan Project, Reveals Uranium
    Allows: Nuclear Fission

    Tier 13 Technology (Modern Era Part II)


    Prerequisite: Plastics and Penicillin
    Unlocks: Solar Plant
    Allows: Globalization


    Prerequisite: Electronics and Mass Media
    Unlocks: Nuclear Submarine, Mobile SAM
    Allows: Robotics


    Prerequisite: Radar
    Unlocks: Helicopter Gunship, Rocket Artillery, Apollo Program
    Allows: Satellites


    Prerequisite: Combustion and Radar
    Unlocks: Jet Fighter, Modern Armor
    Allows: Stealth, Advanced Ballistics (with Nuclear Fission)

    Nuclear Fission

    Prerequisite: Atomic Theory
    Unlocks: Atomic Bomb, Nuclear Plant
    Allows: Advanced Ballistics (with Nuclear Weapons)

    Tier 14 Technology (Modern Era Part III)


    Prerequisite: Ecology
    Unlocks: United Nations, Sydney Opera House
    Allows: Particle Physics (with Robotics and Satellites)


    Prerequisite: Computers
    Unlocks: SS Booster, Missile Cruiser, Spaceship Factory
    Allows: Particle Physics (with Globalization and Satellites)


    Prerequisite: Rocketry
    Unlocks: SS Cockpit, Guided Missile
    Allows: Particle Physics (with Globalization and Robotics), Nuclear Fusion (with Stealth and Advanced Ballistics)


    Prerequisite: Lasers
    Unlocks: Stealth Bomber
    Allows: Nuclear Fusion (with Satellites and Advanced Ballistics)

    Advanced Ballistics

    Prerequisite: Lasers and Nuclear Fission
    Unlocks: Nuclear Missile
    Allows: Nuclear Fusion (with Satellites and Stealth)

    Tier 15 Technology (Future Tech Part I)

    Particle Physics

    Prerequisite: Globalization, Robotics and Satellites
    Unlocks: SS Engine
    Allows: Nanotechnology

    Nuclear Fusion

    Prerequisite: Satellites, Stealth and Advanced Ballistics
    Unlocks: Giant Death Robot
    Allows: Future Tech (with Nanotechnology)

    Tier 16 Technology (Future Era Part II)


    Prerequisite: Particle Physics
    Unlocks: SS Stasis Chamber
    Allows: Future Tech (with Nuclear Fusion)

    Tier 17 Technology (Future Era Part III)

    Future Tech

    Prerequisite: Nuclear Fusion, Nanotechnology
    Unlocks: Grants Victory Points
    Allows: May be Discovered any number of times, granting Victory Points for each discovery

    An important note about Tech unlocks: remember that some Units require not just the prerequisite Technology, but also access to a Strategic Resource. There's nothing more frustrating than developing Iron Working and then discovering you can't make Swordsmen because you don't have any Iron!


    • Nikolai
      Nikolai commented
      Editing a comment
      A quick looks says this one isn't updated for the newest patch?

    • Zoetstofzoetje
      Zoetstofzoetje commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Nikolai
      A quick looks says this one isn't updated for the newest patch?
      Hey look, a volunteer to point out the differences

    • Nikolai
      Nikolai commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry, not having the time right now.

      But seeing as this was released after the patch, shame on Poly staff.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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