Research and Technology (SEIV)

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Manual (SEIV)


Research is one of the most important aspects of the main Space Empires series of games, and Space Empires IV is not an exception. To get started, you need Research Centers, and then you need to use points generated thereof into the technologies available.

Research points go from left to right, unless points are being divided evenly (which is not recommended, even though it is the default).

The more you research, the more powerful items you'll have (be it components, vehicle "sizes", or facilities). Depending on the situation, it may also be wise "repeating projects".

Early research

Opinions differ but most would suggest: More than one project in queue, rotate projects and do not spread points evenly. Larger ships (frigate on first turn, destroyer, light cruiser). Depleted Uranium Cannon (DUC) to level 3. Point Defense (PD) at least level 3, I prefer 4 I might start PD in between destroyer and LC. As you have to study Military Science before PD opens up. (Wardad)


AI researches Construction, Intelligence, Chemistry and Industry pretty early, you should research other things and trade for those. The next patch is supposed to make the AI less likely to make or accept unfavorable trades.


I've tried research patterns in so many different ways, I don't even know if I have a decisive method. I think I kind of base it on how stable the Quadrant is and who my neighbors are early in the game (turns 1-20). If all the treaties, borders, and trade are courteous; I'll try to get the jump on Construction/Mines and Physics 2/Phased-Weapons&Shields as fast as I can. If there are tenuous treaties and arguments over colonization, I'll follow a more conservative course. (TurinTurambar)

Tech tree

Main article: Tech Tree (SEIV)

You can view the entire research tree by starting a high-tech game and selecting the option for "Players can see complete tech tree" under "Game Options". This will make 2 new buttons available in game on the research window for the trees. They can be exported via this window to text files if you like.

There are a total of 402 technology levels in 85 tech areas. It is especially important that you keep researching something unless you managed to close in maxing out all tech areas available to you, at which point in case you'll be forced to waste some research points in the end.

There are three types of technology. General technology is available to all players. Racial Technology is available only to those with the appropriate racial trait. Unique technology is only available by colonizing a ruin planet.


Trade and Research Alliance

This treaty (and beyond) will boost your research output by adding some of the points from your allies with this treaty into to the total pool. This means research for both sides will be a little faster than otherwise. Of course, it can be broken by either player at any time, so make sure you don't substantially rely on this.


Research may be increased by one or more of these mechanisms

  • Research Centers (the base facility)
  • Central Computer Complex (affects a planet)
  • System Computer Complex (affects a system)
  • Population (more pop means a greater production)
  • Happiness (angrier pop means a lesser production)
  • Intelligence (trait, affects all of a player's research facilities)

Multiplex Tracking

Be sure you really need high levels of Multiplex Tracking before you max out Combat Support - do you really expect your ships to engage 5 enemies every turn? Otherwise, you're better off leaving it one level from the maximum (it still provides the ECM, which you'll probably want available)

Preceded by:
Designing Ships
Manual (SEIV)
Section 3.0
Followed by:
Planet Development