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Research is used to unlock technologies, offering new recipes and bonuses. Research is performed by labs consuming different types of science packs.


Only one technology can be researched at once in single player. In multiplayer research progress is shared between forces. The technology that labs will research is changed using the technology screen which can be accessed by pressing T.

The technology screen

Research progress for a technology is divided into units. Each unit has a time and a science pack cost. When research is in progress labs with the required amount of science packs for one unit will consume the amount and contribute towards research progress.

The time a technology will take to research can be calculated using this function:

time = (time cost × units ÷ labs) seconds
The progress bar shown in the top right corner of the game when research is in progress


Crafting science packs by hand is not feasible because of the amount of resources and time needed to craft them. They are the main incentive for automation throughout the whole game.

The insertion of science packs into labs may be automated using inserters and transport belts as shown in the following screenshots.

5 5 Labs R G packs.png

Since version 0.15 there are 7 science packs, requiring a more complex build than the previous version depicted below, which works for 0.14. Note that inserters can take science packs from labs and hand them to other labs, making a lab chain a feasible solution. Other options include using 3 belts(because space science is only relevant very late into the game) or a sushi belt.

5 5 Labs all packs.png


Tech-maniac-achievement.png Tech maniac

Research all technologies.

See also