Science Packs are items which are required by labs to perform research. Researching technologies requires a certain number of different types of science packs, which is then multiplied by a certain value to get the tech cost. For example, Bullet damage 3 requires one Science Pack 1 and one Science Pack 2 and one Military Science Pack to begin researching, but it needs this to be input into labs a total of 100 times, raising the research cost to 100 Science Pack 1, 100 Science Pack 2 and 100 Military Science Pack.
|Science pack 1||+ + →|
|Science pack 2||+ + →|
|Science pack 3||+ + + →|
|Military science pack||+ + + →|
|Production science pack||+ + + →|
|High tech science pack||+ + + + →|
|Space science pack||per launched|
Or, broken down into the most basic components:
|Science pack 1|
|Science pack 2|
|Science pack 3|
|Military science pack|
|Production science pack|
|High tech science pack|
|Space science pack|
Creating science packs
The ratio needed to keep science production in sync is 5:6:12:5:7:7, or 5 science pack 1 assemblers:6 science pack 2 assemblers:12 science pack 3 assemblers:5 military science pack assemblers:7 production science pack assemblers:7 high tech science pack assemblers.
The science packs and research are meant to guide players through the game by gradually increasing in complexity. At first the player has to create science pack 1s by hand to research automation. Then the next goal is to create red and greeen science automatically and to automatically feed the science packs into labs. These science packs allow research of most of the basic technologies. The next step is to create science pack 3s. This incorporates two new 'raw' intermediaries - plastic and steel plates, which represents a small jump in complexity; as well as necessitating the need harvest and process crude oil.
Following blue science, you will need to create military science packs. As the name suggests, military science packs are made out of combat-oriented products. Unlike previous science packs, military science produces two packs per crafting cycle versus just one per cycle from red/blue/green. You may want to create military science packs before creating blue science packs if you're having issues with Biters.
After military science, production science packs are next. Production science packs are a fair jump in complexity, as the required products have quite a few different intermediaries. Production packs, like military packs, yield two packs per crafting cycle.
The final stage of automated research pack creation is high tech science pack. High tech sciences packs are the most complex packs to make, requiring a large chain of intermediate products. High-tech science packs, like previous high-level science packs, yield two packs per crafting cycle.
Space science packs are yielded from launching satellites via rocket, and thus are difficult to automate effectively without massive resource-hungry bases. Unlike other science packs, space science packs are exclusively used to research repeating/infinite technologies - such as mining productivity or gun turret damage.