Technology is a beneficial and completely necessary part of Victoria that is able to benefit nearly every part of the player's nation. Technology is critical to the point where the existence of a nation can depend on it, and beyond that the difference between becoming and staying a great power and mediocrity as a nation. Technology and more specifically choice of technologies can make or break the player's nation as it is critical to get to technology first or at least not fall too far behind in certain technologies. In sum technology is the difference between a won and a lost battle or war, an industrial behemoth and a feudal society, a society of educated elites or a society of uneducated serfs.
Since research points are limited, and there exist a vast amount of different technologies, this guide helps the player make decisions on the order of acquisition of technologies. Certain priorities will of course be different for the circumstances of different nations.
There are 5 research categories: Army, Navy, Commerce, Culture and Industry. Each one has 5 individual research branches, each with 6 techs which grant a bonus and/or have inventions that provide a bonus when their respective invention events triggers. A brief overview of the technology category is provided at the beginning of each section and a commentary on the applications of a specific technology branch is provided under each technology branch heading.
To do research a nation must first acquire research points. The amount acquired of course varies, in order to acquire more research points see the research speed guide.
Different tech schools also alter the research point cost of certain tech categories for more details on this see the tech schools page.
This category makes a nation's land military better. Unless they have powerful allies, all countries will have some military involvement, whether they be attacker or attacked; thus it is beneficial to have at least some technologies in this category. For better understanding of the army see: Land combat guide
The player's level of development of their land forces is a dominant factor in deciding the outcome of battles and thus the outcome in wars. If a player decides to focus in army tech, they may also be interested the benefits of other technology branches outside the army category such as:
- Psychology branch of culture technology which improves reinforcement rate and starting regiment experience
- Chemistry and Electricity branch of industry which improves supply limit (larger armies), war hospitals (reduces combat casualties to a population) and increases birth rate (increase of recruits)
- Army Doctrine: This branch of technologies increases dig-in cap, max fort level, army defence rating and supply consumption. Ultimately the bolstering of defensive power over mobility led to the historical development of trench warfare. Though initially only providing boosts to defense, later levels provide moderate attack and recon boosts, essential for an offensive campaign.
- Infiltration unlocks Armor. Armor is exceedingly powerful but expensive to operate. Unfortunately it is classified as an artillery type unit, meaning it gets prioritized as a back line unit where it cannot do damage without a support statistic.
- Light Armament: Each level provides increasingly large attack and defense bonuses, while decreasing the combat width. Particularly important for nations who need to make do with less and not be overwhelmed by a much larger force, the decrease in combat width will allow small armies to put up a fight with larger ones.
- Muzzle-Loaded Rifles: Allows the building of the Engineer Unit, which has a bonus attacking forts
- Breech-Loaded Rifles: This technology unlocks the Guard Unit which are elite infantry that require soldiers of the nation's primary or secondary cultures to build. This unit is an infantry designed to be used only for offensive battles and comes with maneuver to flank enemy units.
- Machine Guns: This technology provides a very significant +5 to Defence Rating due to their ability to mow down entire columns of men. Machine Guns also provides a chance to unlock the Colonial Negotiations invention which reduces the minimum Life Rating for colonizing.
- Heavy Armament: Each tech improves artillery in almost every way.
- Artillery attacking from the second row deal damage modified by their support ability. With each level providing bonuses to both base artillery stats and the support ability, Artillery experience an exponential power growth with each tech level. Artillery in the front row lose their support benefit and deal very little damage.
- Military Science: Each level provides bonuses to the max organization of an army along with some small bonuses to mobilization. Not as initially essential to develop as other branches, but powerful inventions make this a requirement for any nation looking to survive modern warfare in the 20th century.
- Military Staff System: Unlocks specialized cavalry units. Cavalry is useful for providing reconnaissance to attacking forces (except cuirassiers) and to flank an outnumbered enemy force.
- Military Directionism: Unlocks Gas Attack and Defence gas attack gives a massive +3 modifier in both defense and attack.
- Aeronautics: Unlocks the Airplane unit, the best reconnaissance unit in the game. The player however needs the Combustion Engine technology in the industry category which has the invention needed to build airplane factories, which provide the aeroplanes needed to built the airplane unit. Unfortunately, similar to Armor units Airplanes are categorized as a Cavalry-type unit, forcing them to be front line units when they would perform much better in the rear line by utilizing their support statistic.
- Army Leadership: Each level increases the army's overall staying power by increased morale and military tactics. Military tactics directly decreases all damage a regiment takes in combat, while Morale speeds the rate of Organization regain. While Military Tactics was heavily nerfed in HoD, this is still a powerful tech for any army. Some inventions increase Army Speed:
- Army Decision Making: has an invention that gives +1KPH to all armies
- Army Risk Management:has an invention that gives +1KPH to all armies, the triggering of this invention will allow for army movement at such a rate the players army will be able to move to retreat points before even the retreating enemy armies can arrive there if they do not have their own speed inventions, allowing for the rapid defeat of enemy units
- Army NCO Training: has an invention that gives +1KPH to all armies
This category improves the player's navy by provision of larger ships and naval bases, as well as improved naval stats. The player's need for a strong/advanced navy depends on whether the nation has overseas colonies, is an island or is landlocked; in the former two it is critical, in the latter it is completely useless. However it is likely the case that a player's navy has at least some role whether it be colonization or attack overseas enemies.
- Naval Doctrine: Each level provides a higher maximum Naval Base Level. Higher level bases add supply throughput, build ships faster, improve colonial range, and add colonial power. There are also additional naval bonuses via inventions in these branches. Larger ships require higher level bases to be built.
- Post-Nelsonian Thought: Allows Naval Bases which allows sea supply and ship repair.
- Raider Group Doctrine: The last tech in this branch that provides Naval Speed Increase, which nations without a strong navy will at the very least want so that their ships are able to outrun better armed but slower enemy ships
- Ship Construction: Allows for the construction of better ships
- Clipper Design: Allows building the Clipper Shipyard which produces clippers, the good used to supply sailing ships. It also unlocks the sailing ships rebels, which come in three flavours: Man-o-War (capital ship), Frigate (light ship) and Clipper Transport.
- Steamers: Allows construction of the Steamer Shipyard, producing steamer convoys. Steam ships require steamer convoys to supply (produced using coal and steel), and are not affected by the wind and thus can move faster. Their iron hulls or added iron plating allow them to suffer more hits in naval battles. Ships unlocked are: Steam Transport, the fastest transport, and Commerce Raiders, which are the fastest ship as of this tech.
- Iron Steamers: Allows the construction of slow but heavily armoured Ironclads and Monitors. The latter focuses on Armour, the former on speed and attack. Both of these ships will tear the older sailing ships apart, and would make them completely obsolete if they had faster movement.
- Steel Steamers: Allows the construction of the Cruiser warship, the fastest ship in the game, it will easily beat all ships prior in firepower and armour as well as outmaneuver them at the same time, fully out-classing older ships. Arguably this is the best and most cost effective ship class.
- Steam Turbine Ships: Allows building the Dreadnought. Nothing outmatches the firepower or armour of this ship, however it is very expensive and has high upkeep. The lack of mobility however led to the demise of this ship.
- Oil Driven Ships: Cruisers and Dreadnoughts are modernized by this tech; they are faster, have more firepower and more armour
- Naval Engineering: Each tech here reduces ship building time, which in itself is not very useful since the more ports a nation has the higher its ship throughput. However the inventions may be of interest, many of them give boosts to naval stats.
- Naval Science: Each tech here increases naval supply range by 10% and inventions boost organization. However it is probably easier to conquer/establish colonial ports to increase a nation's naval range.
- Naval Leadership: All the techs and inventions in here increase the navy's Naval Organization
This category provides a nation with improved economic efficiency. Financial Institutions and Monetary Systems can provide great benefits to the governmental budget, while Economic Thought and Critique and Organization provide fairly mediocre bonuses to factories. Market Functionality provides a hodgepodge of benefits from the other four along with increased influence and RGO output.
- Financial Institutions: Each level improves tax efficiency which is the true tax rate collected (a percentage of the actual set rate in the budget). Inventions in this branch will also reduce factory cost slightly.
- Though at first glance the benefits may appear small, remember that tax efficiency starts at 20%. An 11% bonus for just the first two levels actually increases tax efficiency to 31%, a 55% increase in the amount of income from taxes.
- Monetary System: These techs increase the base Administrative Efficiency
- Bureaucrats also increase administrative efficiency, so this tech allows better administrative efficiency with less bureaucrats. Inventions give tax efficiency, however beware Market-Determined Exchange Rates has the hyperinflation invention which will increase factory costs. This tech is essential for nations that pass lots of social reforms, as these increase the amount of administration needed.
- Economic Thought and Critique: Each tech here reduces Factory Input Costs. Inventions provide one prestige and biographies of famous economists of the time
- These techs reduce the cost of factory inputs which helps a factory survive. Capitalists also have a similar function however unlike bureaucrats, the Capitalist population groups are hard to grow and do not receive salary from the state
- Early Classical Theory and Critique: This tech allows the Lumber Mill Factory as well as Furniture, Paper and Luxury Furniture Factories through inventions. Capitalize early on it if the nation has a lot of timber, otherwise Great Britain will seize the market
- Market Functionality: The primary benefit of this tech is Influence Points for Great Powers.
- The first three levels provide bonuses to RGO activities, which can go a long way to satisfying the Farmers and Labourers while increasing the tax base.
- The inventions of Market Structure provide surprisingly high bonuses to Factories, making it more valuable than either of the equivalent tiers in the factory-focused research paths.
- Organization: Each tech in this branch improves factory output efficiency
- Although industry category techs provide better output efficiency boosts (10% vs 3%) however in late game their bonuses start dwindle.
This category of technologies can directly and indirectly increase prestige, literacy, research rate, colonial migration, national focuses, pluralism, brigade reinforcement speed and experience, and also allows the construct of radio factories.
- Aesthetics: These techs increase Prestige Gain by 5% each. The inventions from these techs will directly grant prestige, though those who get to them first get more prestige
- Prestige provides international ranking and world market buying/selling priority prestige. However Sphere of Influence and the industrial and military scores can compensate and have more use. A large portion of techs here are tied with this branch in that they influence the chances of other tech's inventions firing
- Philosophy: These techs directly increase Research Points by 50% and the later ones by 100% (stacking total of 450%). The inventions from these techs will also directly grant prestige.
- A player will want to stockpile research points (RPs) to get these ASAP as they provide huge boosts to research points and prestige
- Social Thought: Each one of these increase Education Efficiency (Literacy Gain) by 10% and colonial migration by 5%.
- These techs are the key to strengthening the nation's research capability. For nations with low literacy these are a must at least until biologism, otherwise tech research speeds in these nations will be slow throughout the game (especially for uncivs where literacy accounts for half the base RP). Nations with high literacy can skip this branch, though until the nation reaches 100% literacy there are always RPs to be gained and colonial migration will be useful for imperialist countries in getting primary culture migration
- Biologism: This tech has an invention Darwinism which will increase Educational Efficiency by 50%
- Political Thought: These techs grant 1 National Focus point each and have a plethora of inventions giving rebel rate alterations or Plurality for Research
- This tech tree is more about societal change, NFs are always helpful to a nation (but note the total NF's is also limited by the size of a nation's primary population per million). Imperialism may also be helpful for keeping infamy in check while expanding on uncivilized countries. On the flip-side however the later techs cause reform desire, nationalism and unlock socialism and fascism which will cause higher likelihood for revolts. The plurality will increase consciousness which will cause pops to demand more political or social reforms.
- Ideological Thought: Unlocks 6 inventions that give 5% Plurality each (net 30%). Pluralism will increase consciousness and provide up to 100% boost in research points as well as desire for political reform.
- State & Government: Unlocks 2 inventions that give 5% Plurality (net 10%) each and political and social reform desire.
- Nationalism & Imperialism: is one of three techs that decreases the Minimum Life Rating to form Colonies. However, its Separatism invention will increase Nationalist rebels. This tech also allows civilized nations to use Protectorate War Goal (cannot be used on uncivs with 4+ states) and Colonial Concession War Goal, which are a lower infamy cost versions of Conquest and acquire state against uncivs.
- Revolution & Counterrevolution: A dangerous tech that increases rebel spawn rate though some inventions reduce war exhaustion. A player can take it for the NF or out of a desire for a Communist revolution. The rhetoric of hate invention will reduce soldier pop losses when soldiers from brigades are lost (negligible compared to industry tech medicine inventions)
- Psychology: Each tech here increases brigade reinforcement rate by 5% and brigade starting experience by 5%.
- This tech tree is beneficial for strength regain of regiments for fighting war. Note that brigades reinforce at 200% in friendly territory but at only 50% in enemy territory, making this especially important for armies on the offensive, as each 5% bonus will lead to 10% faster reinforcement.
- Experience is a bonus to damage dealt in combat, with each 5% providing a 5% increase. Brigades reinforce at the current experience level, so higher levels of psychology will ensure that elite brigade experience isn't overly lowered by being reinforced with entirely green recruits.
- Behaviorism: It has the invention required to build Radio Factories. The invention Mass Advertising will also give 25% Educational Efficiency
The key to industrialization and modernizing an economy. Research here leads to new inventions, technologies. In the industrial age this research is a necessity to compete economically or to build a strong foundation to support a mighty army.
- Power: Each tech here improves factories, and RGOs. The shrinkage of the RGOs from the techs also encourages people to move to the city and work in factories, helping the nation industrialize and become more efficient
- This category provides universal economic benefits (RGO and Factory)
- Water-wheel Power: Allows the Fabric Factory the basic staple of the clothing industry
- Combustion Engine: One of the best techs opening up the lucrative industries giving Automobile and Airplane Factories, as well as providing the Permanent RGO booster: Tractors, Farming Efficiency +50% and Farm Size: -20%
- Electrical Power Generation: Boosts RGO and Factory by 15% through inventions
- Mechanization: Provides boosts to factories, in cost reduction or output increase
- Interchangeable parts are critical to a mechanized economy, while the RGO booster is also extremely beneficial
- Publishing Industry: Allows for Regular Clothes Factory. As well as the Permanent RGO Modifier: Mechanized Mining Mining Efficiency +50%, Mine Size +20%
- Mechanical Production: Provides 10-60% boosts to RGOs through inventions
- Interchangeable Parts: Allows Machine Parts Factory needed for factories and technologies like automobiles and planes. Inventions provide 10-15% boost to factory outputs for certain goods
- Assembly Line: Offers additional improvements to certain industries
- Metallurgy: Provides boosts to Steel and mining RGOs
- This branch will be more useful to nations with a significant portion of mining RGOs
- Mechanized Mining: Allows Steel, Ammunition, Small Arms, Explosives, and Artillery Factories
- Clean Coal: 65% boosts to coal, iron and sulphur and their mine sizes
- Cheap Iron: Major boosts to iron, and precious metals as well as their mine sizes
- Cheap Steel: Improved Precious metals and Steel production
- Infrastructure: Movement of resources is as important to industry as it is to the army, Railways
- It is always beneficial to build up local infrastructure, as railroads provide boosts to RGOs and Factories as well as troop movement and supplies
- Experimental Railroad: The first railroad tech of many before the whole Victorian world gets blanketed in them
- Chemistry And Electricity: This is the science branch, critical for Supply Limit, Military Hospitals, Population Growth and Electricity this means big armies as well. Each level gives +25% supply limit
- The inventions are varied but amazing nd supply limit is always good, if a player was wondering what the industrial revolution was all about, it is in this branch.
- Basic Chemistry: Provides Fertilizer Factory
- Medicine: Gives a great boost to Population, Military Hospitals, Attrition Reduction, Supply Limits, if the nation's national population is small this is an utmost necessity. It makes war much more bearable and Thorax surgery offers good prestige
- Inorganic Chemistry: Inventions boost RGOs and industries. Provides Permanent RGO Modifier: Nitroglycerin Mining Efficiency +50%, Mine Size +20%
- Organic Chemistry: Improves factory output by 10% and provides Dye and Fuel Factories the latter which is necessary for navy and tanks
- Electricity: A huge breakthrough, +50% supply, +20% factory output, Electricity and Telephone Factories and Permanent RGO Modifier: Electrical Lighting +50% Farming Efficiency, +50% Mining Efficiency, -20% Farm Size, +20% Mine Size. Hands down the best technology of all