Victoria 3: Complete Guide To Technology

Quick Links

  • Types Of Technology
  • Innovation And Technology Spread
  • Most Important Technologies To Research

Researching technology has been a part of strategy games ever since inception, really, and it's not something we're giving up anytime soon. Victoria 3's technology trees are very important – new inventions provide substantial if not crucial bonuses for your country, unlocking new production methods to exploit for money, better laws for those in search of a liberal utopia, and bigger armies to conquer your rivals with.

Since Victoria 3 is a pretty robust simulator game, you'll have to manage your nation pretty well if you want to make any headway in academic, research-focused circles. Innovators play a big part, so you'll want high literacy rates, plenty of universities to employ academics, and maybe even some governmentally-funded education to help things along.

Types Of Technology

One of the first things you'll notice when you load up the Technology menu is that there are three categories of Technology: Production Technology, Military Technology, and Society Technology. By and large, you can expect each type of Technology to follow certain trends:

  • Production Technology unlocks new production methods for buildings, and sometimes new buildings entirely. These let you improve your production outputs, employment rates, and general wealth as a nation.
  • Military Technology improves military buildings and the production methods they use – which equates to better abilities in warfare and better outcomes in case of defeat. You'll also find many Technologies that improve your buildings passively without having to pour extra resources into them – such as improvements to your Convoys and increasing the maximum development levels of certain buildings.
  • Society Technology largely deals with governance and the laws you can enact. Many laws are gated behind specific Technologies, especially those that unlock new institutions when enacted. You'll also find many production methods for government buildings locked behind Society Technologies.

Which Technologies you focus on researching will vary from game to game and from nation to nation, but you'll likely want a generally even spread. For example, Military Technologies will be less useful for those playing tall and peacefully but far more important for militaristic map painters.

These are not hard and fast rules, though. For example, Barbed Wire Fences for Livestock Farms are locked behind Trench Works, a Military Technology.

Technology Levels

The Technology trees in Victoria 3 get very wide, allowing you to pick and choose very specific things to research and aim for. The only thing stopping you from making a beeline for the most important Technologies would be how expensive they are.

All Technologies have a level associated with them, linked to the era that it's associated with – from the Era 1 inventions that were known in many parts of the world at the game's start date of 1836, to the Era 5 inventions that represent truly modern inventions. All Technologies of the same Era cost the same amount of Innovation to research.

Innovation And Technology Spread

Innovation is a measure of how educated and academic your populace is. You will have a weekly Innovation balance with a base rate of 50 Innovation and additional bonuses based on the choices you make as you build your nation. Universities are the primary way to increase your Innovation intake – building and expanding them when you're able to fully staff them is a great way to get ahead of the technological curve.

Universities do not only provide Innovation, they also provide Qualifications. These are used by your Pops to move into new occupations. This means that you can staff the more demanding buildings and industries later in the game once you unlock them! Don't neglect your Universities even after you've snagged all the research you need to meet your lofty goals.

Literacy will also contribute to Innovation – the higher the literacy levels in your country, the higher your Innovation gains. Good ways to increase your literacy include enacting Children's Rights laws, especially Compulsory Primary School, and Education System laws that let you utilize and improve the Education Institution.

Related to Innovation and literacy is your rate of Technology Spread. At all times, you will have one Technology from each different Technology Tree being passively researched through Technology Spread. These are chosen randomly from the list of Technologies that at least one other country has researched, but you haven't – and your weekly progress toward these Technologies is randomized based mostly on your Innovation and literacy.

It is possible and sometimes recommended to pick a Technology currently being spread to you as your current invention to research. This will greatly speed up the rate at which you acquire the Technology.

Don't worry about not picking a new Technology to research as soon as the last one is complete – your unspent Innovation will go towards pushing along your Technology Spread targets, so the Innovation is not wasted.

Through Technology Spread, you don't have to worry about filling out the entire, gigantic Technology tree on your own.

Most Important Technologies To Research

The following Technologies are particularly important and/or useful to research, so keep an eye out for when it's feasible or possible to start researching them. Note that many countries will start with varying parts of the Technology tree already researched – for example, Great Britain will start the game with Railways unlocked, while most other countries will not.

You shouldn't be making a beeline for these Technologies as soon as they are clickable on the Technology screen – if your Innovation hasn't developed enough, it can take many, many years to research something. Instead, make a note that your desired Technology is available and research other, cheaper Technologies until your Innovation gain rate is high enough to warrant focusing on it.

TechnologyTreeEraWhy Research It
NitroglycerinProduction2Unlocks early yet significant boosts to your Mines, which are usually fantastic for building an early-game economy.
RailwaysProduction2Railways are crucial for infrastructure.
Improved FertilizerProduction3Unlocks a significant boost for all Farm buildings, which can be overlooked but provides a huge improvement.
AnilineProduction3Allows you to produce Dye without having a Dye Plantation – Dye is a pretty common resource for many Luxury Goods.
Steam TurbineProduction4Unlocks a far better production method for Power Plants, which will be crucial when Electricity requirements rack up.
Navigation – Concrete DrydocksMilitary1 – 4These Technologies all increase your maximum Port level, letting you get more Convoys. Crucial for trade-heavy countries.
Field WorksMilitary2Having more Army Defense is always a bonus.
Electric TelegraphMilitary3Similarly, having less War Exhaustion is always a bonus. Very useful even for non-combative countries, just in case of emergencies.
Military StatisticsMilitary3Being able to mobilize in an emergency is, you guessed it, always a bonus.
Central ArchivesSociety2Flat Taxation Capacity improvements across the board helps enormously in smaller states.
Labor MovementSociety2Unlocks the Workplace Safety Office Institution, which allows you to reduce mortality. Good for growth.
Mutual FundsSociety3Allows the Publicly Traded production method for most buildings, which is great for countries with lots of Capitalists and Aristocrats.
FeminismSociety3Unlocks Women's Suffrage and Women in the Workplace as laws you can enact, both fantastic for bolstering the workplace.
Multilateral AlliancesSociety4More Maneuvers per Diplomatic Play is already fantastic for the more militaristic out there, but having more Alliances is also great.

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