Technology guide

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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.

There are five major technology categories: Army, Naval, Commerce, Culture and Industrial. Each one of these has five subcategories and each subcategory has six technologies you can research which grant a bonus and/or have inventions that provide a bonus when their respective invention events triggers. To research technologies a nation needs to accumulate research points. The amount of research points you get each day varies. For more information on how your daily research points are calculated see the research & technology page. For information on how different tech schools alter the points cost of certain technology categories, see the tech schools page.

The purpose of this guide is NOT to tell new players what to research and when, but rather to give guidance on what tech categories might be useful for different strategies as well as remind the player of some of the more important/interesting techs that might not be as obvious to new players. Your priorities will change vastly depending on what country you're playing and even with the same country you can pursue lots of different strategies that require different tech paths. Remember there is no right answer when it comes to tech choices.

Army technology

Army technologies make 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. The quality of a countries land forces is a dominant factor in deciding the outcome of battles and thus the outcome of wars. In addition to making the army better, all technologies in this category also increase the supply consumption of your armies, something to keep in mind if you're short on money. If deciding to focus on your army, remember that there are also some army related technologies that are not under this category, mainly Psychology subcategory(under culture technology) and Chemistry and Electricity subcategory(under industrial technology). These can be useful if for example you have a tech school that gives penalties to army techs. For better understanding of armies see: Warfare and Land units pages.

Army Doctrine Light Armament Heavy Armament Military Science Army Leadership
Post Napoleonic Thought Flintlock Rifles Bronze Muzzle Loaded Artillery Military Staff System Army Command Principle
Strategic Mobility Muzzle-loaded Rifles Iron Muzzle Loaded Artillery Military Plans Army Professionalism
Point Defense System Breech-loaded Rifles Iron Breech Loaded Artillery Military Statistics Army Decision Making
Deep Defense System Machine Guns Steel Breech Loaded Artillery Military Logistics Army Risk Management
Infiltration Bolt-action Rifles Indirect Artillery Fire Military Directionism Army NCO Training
Modern Army Doctrine Modern Divisional Structure Heavy Armament Aeronautics Great War Experience
  • Army Doctrine: This subcategory is all about defense. The first tech unlocks Forts and the following ones increase the fort max level. Every tech will also increase your Dig-In cap which is a defense modifier. The inventions mainly increase units defense stats(and in the later techs attack stat as well).
    • Post Napoleonic Thought: Unlocks Forts.
    • Infiltration: Unlocks Resource tanks.pngTank Factory and allows you to build Armor.pngArmor. 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.
    • Modern Army Doctrine: Increase armies max speed by +1 KPH.
  • 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. These techs will also unlock Infantry, Engineer and Guard units.
    • Flintlock Rifles: Unlocks Infantry.pngInfantry.
    • Muzzle-Loaded Rifles: Unlocks Engineer.pngEngineer which has a siege stat allowing them to take down forts faster.
    • Breech-Loaded Rifles: Unlocks Guard.pngGuard which are elite infantry that require soldiers of the nation's primary or secondary cultures to build. This unit has a higher attack but lower defense than normal infantry making them better suited for offensive battles. They also have higher Maneuver value for better flanking. One of the inventions; Colonial Negotiations gives -10% to Min. Liferating. This is one of the three inventions in the game that decrease it making this an extremely important tech for colonization. Note however that this invention has a 0% chance to trigger by default. You need one of the following techs to increase the trigger chance: Machine Guns(the next tech in this subcategory), Naval Logistics(under naval technology) or Economic Responsibility(under commerce technology).
    • Machine Guns: This technology gives a higher than usual stat boost to infantry, guard and engineer units in the form of +4 Defense to represent the advent of machine guns. This is one of the three techs that allows the "Colonial Negotiations" invention to trigger.
  • Heavy Armament: The first tech here unlocks artillery while each following tech improves the power of artillery. 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. For a more in depth look at why this subcategory is more important than you might first think, see the Artillery guide.
    • Bronze Muzzle Loaded Artillery: Unlocks Resource artillery.pngArtillery.
  • 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 the three specialized cavalry units: Dragoon.pngDragoon, Cuirassier.pngCuirassier and Hussar.pngHussar. Cavalry is useful for providing reconnaissance to attacking forces(except cuirassiers) and to flank an outnumbered enemy force.
    • Military Directionism: Unlocks Gas Attack and Gas Defense via inventions. These give a massive +3 modifier for attack and defense accordingly.
    • Aeronautics: Unlocks Airplane.pngAirplane, the best reconnaissance unit in the game. Note that you need the Resource aeroplanes.pngAeroplane resource to build airplanes and you need Combustion Engine(under industrial technology) to build airplane factories. Airplanes have a support value similar to artillery, they have low attack but huge defense and they have the highest recon value in the game which helps against dug-in enemies.
  • 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 +1 KPH to all armies.
    • Army Risk Management: Has an invention that gives +1 KPH 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 +1 KPH to all armies.

Naval Technology

Naval technologies improve the player's navy by provision of more advanced ships, better naval bases as well as improved naval stats. The player's need for a strong 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 attacking overseas enemies.

Naval Doctrine Ship Construction Naval Engineering Naval Science Naval Leadership
Post-Nelsonian Thought Clipper Design Naval Design Bureaus Alphabetic Flag Signaling The Command Principle
Battleship Column Doctrine Steamers Fire Control Systems Naval Plans Naval Professionalism
Raider Group Doctrine Iron Steamers Weapon Platforms Naval Statistics Naval Decision Making
Blue and Brown Water Schools Steel Steamers Main Armament Naval Logistics Naval Risk Management
High Sea Battle Fleet Steam Turbine Ships Advanced Naval Design Naval Directionism Naval NCO Training
Modern Naval Doctrine Oil Driven Ships Modern Naval Design Naval Integration Modern Naval Training
  • Naval Doctrine: These techs unlock Naval Bases and allows you to upgrade them further. Higher level bases increase supply throughput which limits the size of your navy, allows ships to be built faster and increase colonial range. Higher level Naval Bases are also required to build some of the more advanced ships. The inventions here give a variety of small stat bonuses to your ships.
    • Post-Nelsonian Thought: Unlocks Naval Bases.
    • Raider Group Doctrine: This allows you to get level 3 Naval Bases which is required if you want to build anything heavier than Man-o-Wars and Commerce Raiders. Also increases Navies Max speed by +3 KPH, 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: These techs unlock all the different ships available in the game. Each tech(except the first two) will also increase navy max speed by +2 KPH.
    • Clipper Design: Unlocks Resource clipper convoys.pngClipper Shipyard which produces clippers, the goods used to supply sailing ships. It also unlocks the sailing ships rebels, which come in three flavours: Man-o-War(capital ship), Frigate.pngFrigate(light ship) and Clipper transport.pngClipper Transport(transport ship).
    • Steamers: Unlocks Resource steamer convoys.pngSteamer Shipyard which produces steamer convoys. Steam ships require steamer convoys to supply, 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. This tech will also unlock Steamer transport.pngSteam Transports(transport ship) which is basically just a faster version of the Clipper transport and Commerce raider.pngCommerce Raiders(light ship) which are the fastest ships at this tech level. Interestingly this also provides a 50% bonus to Fish RGOs which could be useful for some countries.
    • Iron Steamers: Unlocks two new ships: Ironclad.pngIronclads(heavy ship) and Monitor.pngMonitors(heavy ship). 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: Unlocks two new ships: Cruiser.pngCruiser(light ship) and Battleship.pngBattleship(heavy ship). Cruiser is 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. Battleships are heavy capital ships that vastly outclass the previous heavy ships(ironclads and monitors).
    • Steam Turbine Ships: Unlocks Dreadnought.pngDreadnought(heavy ship). Nothing outmatches the firepower or armour of this ship, however it is very expensive, has high upkeep and requires a level 5 Naval Base to build. It is also the second fastest ship after the Cruiser.
    • Oil Driven Ships: Cruisers, Battleships and Dreadnoughts are modernized by this tech; they are faster, have more firepower and more armour.
  • Naval Engineering: Each tech here reduces ship building times by 10 days, which in itself is not very useful since the more ports a nation has the higher its ship throughput. However the inventions give various bonus to ship stats.
    • Main Armament: Gives a +8 Torpedo Attack to Cruisers making them more effective against heavy ships.
    • Modern Naval Design: Gives a further +4 Torpedo Attack to Cruisers.
  • Naval Science: Each tech here increases naval supply range by 10% while the inventions boost organization. However it is probably easier to conquer/establish colonial ports to increase a nation's naval range.
    • Naval Statistics: This is one of the three techs that allows the "Mission to Civilize" invention to trigger.
    • Naval Logistics: This is one of the three techs that allows the "Colonial Negotiations" invention to trigger.
  • Naval Leadership: All the techs and inventions here increase Naval Organization.
    • Modern Naval Training: Reduces Navy Attrition by 10% making it safer to stay on the open seas for longer.

Commerce technology

Commerce technologies provide 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 Monetary System Economic Thought and Critique Market Functionality Organization
Private Banks No Standard Early Classical Theory and Critique Freedom Of Trade Guild-Based Production
Stock Exchange Ad-Hoc Money Bill Printing Late Classical Theory Market Structure Organized Factories
Business Banks Private Bank Money Bill Printing Collectivist Theory Business Regulations Scientific Management
Investment Banks Central Bank Money Bill Printing The Historical Theory Market Regulations Time-Saving Measures
Bank Inspection Board Modern Central Bank System Neoclassical Theory Economic Responsibility Management Strategy
Mutual Funds Market Determined Exchange Rates Keynesian Economics Government Interventionism Organizational Development
  • Financial Institutions: Each tech here improves tax efficiency which is the true tax rate collected (a percentage of the actual set rate in the budget). Inventions 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.
    • Private Banks: Unlocks Resource cement.pngCement Factory.
  • Monetary System: Each tech here gives 5% increase to Administrative Efficiency. Bureaucrats also increase administrative efficiency, so this tech allows better administrative efficiency with less bureaucrats. Inventions give tax efficiency. These techs are essential for nations that pass lots of social reforms, as these increase the amount of administration needed.
    • Market-Determined Exchange Rates: Be aware that one of the inventions increases factory costs by 10%.
  • Economic Thought and Critique: Each tech here improves factory input efficiency. Inventions provide small amounts of prestige. The first tech also unlocks several factories.
    • Early Classical Theory and Critique: Unlocks Resource lumber.pngLumber Mill, Resource paper.pngPaper Mill, Resource furniture.pngFurniture Factory and Resource luxury furniture.pngLuxury Furniture Factory.
  • Market Functionality: Increases RGO output and Diplomatic Influence. Inventions give various bonuses to factories.
    • Freedom of Trade: Unlocks Resource luxury clothes.pngLuxury Clothes Factory.
    • Market Structure: The inventions here give 5% throughput, 2% output and -2% input to factories making this tech better for factories than any other same tier tech.
    • Market Regulations: This is one of the three techs that allows the "Mission to Civilize" invention to trigger.
    • Economic Responsibility: This is one of the three techs that allows the "Colonial Negotiations" invention to trigger.
    • Government Interventionism: Unlocks Resource oil.pngSynthetic Oil Factory. It makes fuel out of coal. This is the only way of getting fuel if you don't have any oil producing provinces.
  • Organization: Each tech here improves factory output efficiency.
    • Guild-Based Production: Unlocks Resource canned food.pngCanned Food Factory.

Culture technology

Culture technologies provide a variety of different bonuses from prestige to education efficiency to research and national focuses points. It even has some military bonuses in the Psychology subcategory.

Aesthetics Philosophy Social Thought Political Thought Psychology
Classicism & Early Romanticism Late Enlightenment Philosophy Malthusian Thought The Rights of Man Introspectionism
Romanticism Idealism Positivism Ideological Thought Associationism
Realism Empiricism Functionalism State & Government Phenomenalism
Impressionism Analytic Philosophy Biologism Nationalism & Imperialism Experimental Psychology
Expressionism Phenomenology & Hermeneutic Social Science Revolution & Counterrevolution Psychoanalysis
Mass Culture & The Avant-Garde Anti Rationalism Social Alienation Mass Politics Behaviorism
  • Aesthetics: Each techs here gives 5% Prestige gain. The inventions will also give Shared Prestige. The way shared prestige works is that the first country to get it will receive the full prestige, the second country to get it receives half of that, the third country half of that and so on to a minimum of 1 prestige. So if you are going for these techs it's better to get then sooner rather than later. Prestige, together with your industry and military score will determine your National Rank. So these techs provide an easy and quick way to raise your rank which can be useful especially for small countries who might not be able to raise their industry/military score as fast. But remember that apart from your rank, prestige doesn't give you anything, whereas improving your industry and military score would also make your country stronger.
  • Philosophy: All of these techs significantly increase your Research Points. The inventions will also give Shared Prestige. You get a total of +450% to research points once you have all of these techs and although there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to tech choices, it's hard to think of a situation where you wouldn't want to get these techs as soon as they become available. Remember that you can also stockpile a years worth of research points for later use. So if you really want to get these techs early, start saving your research points one year before the next tech becomes available and you'll get a head start on the next Philosophy tech(this will also help you get the Shared Prestige inventions before other countries).
  • Social Thought: Each tech here gives 10% Education Efficiency and 5% Colonial Migration. 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 uncivilized nations 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: Gives a huge 50% bonus to Education Efficiency from an invention.
    • Social Alienation: Gives a significant -25% to War Exhaustion bonus.
  • Political Thought: Each tech here increases your Max National Focus points by one. They also have a plethora of inventions giving rebel rate alterations and Plurality(which increases your Research Points). Remember that you still need enough population to get the National Focus points, these techs simply increase the max points. You need about 400,000 primary culture population to get 1 National Focus point. Imperialism may 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: Gives a total of 30% Plurality via inventions. Pluralism will increase consciousness and provide a boost to research points as well as desire for political reform.
    • State & Government: Has the invention "Mission to Civilize" which gives -10% Min. Liferating. This is one of the three inventions in the game that reduce it making this an extremely important tech for colonization. Note however that this invention has a 0% chance to trigger by default. You need one of the following techs to increase the trigger chance: Nationalism & Imperialism (the next tech in this subcategory), Naval Statistics (under naval technologies) or Market Regulations (under commerece technologies). These are all 1850 techs so cannot be researched before then.
    • Nationalism & Imperialism: This is one of three techs that allow the "Mission to Civilize" invention to trigger. However, its Separatism invention will increase Nationalist rebels. This tech also allows civilized nations to use "Establish Protectorate" cassus belli and "Colonial Concession" cassus belli, which are a lower infamy cost versions of "Conquest" and "Acquire State" against uncivilized nations.
    • Revolution & Counterrevolution: A dangerous tech that increases rebel spawn rate though some inventions reduce war exhaustion. A player can take it for the National Focus points or out of a desire for a Communist revolution.
  • 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. 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: Unlocks Resource radios.pngRadio Factory and increases Education Efficiency by 25%.

Industrial technology

Industrial technologies provide bonuses to your factories and RGOs, making them faster, cheaper or otherwise more efficient. Most factories are also unlocked by industrial techs. This tech category is of prime importance when you want to industrialize and build a strong economic foundation for your country.

Power Mechanization Metallurgy Infrastructure Chemistry and Electricity
Water-Wheel Power Publishing Industry Mechanized Mining Experimental Railroad Basic Chemistry
Practical Steam Engine Mechanical Production Clean Coal Early Railroad Medicine
High & Low Pressure Steam Engines Interchangeable Parts Cheap Iron Iron Railroad Inorganic Chemistry
Steam Turbine Semi-Automatization Cheap Steel Steel Railroad Organic Chemistry
Combustion Engine Assembly Line Advanced Metallurgy Integral Rail System Electricity
Electrical Power Generation Shift Work Electric Furnace Limited-Access Roads Synthetic Polymers
  • Power: All techs here give significant improvements to RGO output.
    • Water-Wheel Power: Unlocks Resource cloth.pngFabric Factory, the basic staple of the clothing industry.
    • Combustion Engine: Unlocks Resource automobiles.pngAutomobile Factory and Airplane.pngAirplane Factory.
  • Mechanization: All techs here(except the first one) improve factories either by improving throughput or reducing cost.
    • Publishing Industry: Unlocks Resource regular clothes.pngRegular Clothes Factory. All poor and middle class pops have regular clothes as an everyday need, which should mean that there is always a demand for this good.
    • Mechanical Production: Unlocks Resource machine parts.pngMachine Parts Factory which is quite important in industrializing your country since all factories require machine parts to maintain. This tech also has inventions that give pretty significant (10%-80%) bonuses to certain RGOs. Compared to the second level Power tech, Practical Steam Engine which gives 5% to mining RGOs and 15% to farming RGOs, depending on the size of your country and what resources you have this might even be better.
  • Metallurgy: These techs give significant improvements to the following RGOs: coal, iron, sulfur and precious metals. As well as improving your steel factories.
    • Mechanized Mining: Unlocks Resource steel.pngSteel Factory, Resource ammunition.pngAmmunition Factory, Resource small arms.pngSmall Arms Factory, Resource explosives.pngExplosives Factory and Resource artillery.pngArtillery Factory.
    • Clean Coal: A huge 120% bonus to coal RGOs once you get all the inventions. The importance of coal should not be underestimated in Victoria 2. It's needed for making cement and machine parts(which are needed to maintain factories), for making steel, glass, ammunition and steamers(ie. pretty much all ships) as well as for making oil in a synthetic oil factory(if you don't have any oil producing provinces). Coals derivatives are also needed to build railroads, forts and naval bases. To make things simpler, if you don't have coal, you are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to industrializing your country. And if you do have coal, then this tech is something you should seriously consider getting soon.
    • Cheap Iron: A huge 115% bonus to iron RGOs once you get all the inventions.
  • Infrastructure: One of the simplest categories, the first tech here unlocks railroads and each subsequent tech increases the railroad level by one. That's it. Railroads are the bedrock on which a proper industrialized country is built on, improving both your RGOs as well as your factories. They can also be useful in wartime as they increase army movement speed and supply levels. This can be important especially for large countries(like Russia) where getting your troops across the country can take quite a while. Also remember that some terrain types have penalties to infrastructure. For example, hills have a -1 penalty which means you need level 2 railroads before you can build railroads there. For all the terrain penalties, see the terrain and climate page.
  • Chemistry And Electricity: All techs here(except the first one) increase supply limits which allows you to wield bigger armies without suffering attrition in home provinces. Inventions give bonuses to a wide variety of different things.
    • Basic Chemistry: Unlocks Resource fertilizer.pngFertilizer Factory.
    • Medicine: The little tech that could. Improves military hospitals and gives a huge reduction to army attrition. Increased prestige to help with your national rank. Also gives a +0.06% population growth bonus(this is one of the very few ways you can increase your population without conquering more land). One of the inventions, "Prophylaxis Against Malaria", also gives -5% to Min. Liferating. This is one of the three inventions in the game that decrease it making this an extremely important tech for colonization.
    • Inorganic Chemistry: Gives a huge 100% bonus to rubber RGOs. Although by the time rubber is truly needed the chance that you don't have this tech are quite small.
    • Organic Chemistry: Unlocks Dye.pngDye Factory and Resource fuel.pngFuel Refinery. The latter is needed for tanks, planes, cruisers and dreadnoughts.
    • Electricity: Unlocks Resource electric parts.pngElectric Gear Factory and Resource telephones.pngTelephone Factory. Also gives a +0.02% population growth bonus.

Other Resources

  • An excellent guide for vanilla 1.0 technology can be found here
  • An excellent guide for unciv techs can be found here