The Technology tree allows the player to unlock more advanced parts for constructing variously lethal craft. The tree is structured as a series of nodes, each containing a set of parts. Previously collected Science points have to be spent to research each node before its parts can be used in the VAB and SPH. Each node has a prerequisite node or nodes which must be unlocked before it can be researched. Unlocking the entire tree requires 10098 Science.
The tree is accessible via the Kerbal Space Center Research and Development Facility's “Technology” tab. As part of the Science system, the Technology tree is not available in Sandbox Mode; instead all parts are automatically unlocked.
There are additional nodes in the stock game which are not included in the table below, and have no parts assigned to them. The nodes appear at the end of the Tech Tree, cost 1000 science each, and are only displayed when a mod (or mods) are installed which use them. These nodes are (going vertically down the tree) Experimental Rocketry, Nanolathing, Experimental Aerodynamics, Aerospace Tech, Automation, Robotics, Experimental Electrics, Experimental Science, and Experimental Motors.
The technology tree is displayed as a horizontal branching tree structure, with low tech research nodes on the left and higher tech nodes on the right. The root node of the technology tree, Start, is on the leftmost side of the tree and is active by default in all new Career Mode games.
By conducting missions and collecting science, the player may spend their science points on available research nodes. In Career mode, depending on difficulty settings, funds may also be required to unlock each part in the node. Only nodes that have had their dependencies activated are displayed on the technology tree. As the player activates more nodes, higher tech nodes will become available until the eighth tier of the tree is reached.
Most research nodes have dependencies upon earlier, lower technology nodes. For example, the General Rocketry node requires that the Basic Rocketry node be activated before the player may spend 20 science points to unlock its parts. Some nodes have multiple dependencies that require several nodes be activated before they become available. There are also research nodes that have multiple dependencies but only require one of them to be activated prior to becoming available. In case of career mode there is also a further restriction depending on the level of the research facility. The starting building allows only nodes under 100 ⚛, the mediocre allows up to 500 ⚛, and the final facility has no limits of course.
|Icon||Tree level||Science required (⚛)||Node name||Requied node(s)||Prerequisite for||Parts list|
|3||20||General Rocketry||Basic Rocketry|
|4||45||Advanced Rocketry||General Rocketry|
|5||90||Heavy Rocketry||Advanced Rocketry|
|5||90||Advanced Construction||General Construction|
|5||90||Advanced Flight Control||Flight Control|
|5||90||Space Exploration||Science Tech|
|7||300||High Altitude Flight|
|7||300||Large Control||Specialized Control|
|7||300||Unmanned Tech||Precision Engineering|
|7||300||Large Electrics||Advanced Electrics|
|8||550||Very Heavy Rocketry||
|8||550||Advanced Unmanned Tech||
|8||550||Advanced Science Tech||
|8||550||Advanced Motors||Field Science||
- This research has multiple other requirements