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Technology tree

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The entire tree as of 0.25

The Technology tree allows the player to unlock more advanced parts for constructing variously lethal craft. It is a branching tree structure composed of nodes, each containing a set of one or more parts. Previously collected Science points have to be spent to research a node, which then unlocks its parts for use in the Editor. Funds may also be involved in unlocking individual parts.

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. All other modes begin with the initial node “Start” unlocked. Each node beyond it has a prerequisite node or nodes which must be unlocked before it can be researched. Unlocking the entire tree requires 16,918 Science. Before difficulty modifiers, there is 392,019.3 Science points available from experiments, and 6,055.8 from recovered vessels.

There are two additional placeholder nodes in the stock game which are included in the table below, but have no parts currently assigned to them. The nodes appear towards the end of the Tech Tree, and are only displayed in-game when a mod (or mods) are installed which use them. These nodes are: Nanolathing, costing 550 Science, and Experimental Motors, costing 1000 science.

Use

Precision Engineering is an example of a research node with prerequisites. It requires either Advanced Flight Control or Electrics be activated before becoming available.

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.

Research nodes

Icon Tree level Science required (⚛) Node name Requied node(s) Prerequisite for Parts list
Start.png
0 0 Start

None

Basic rocketry.png
1 5 Basic Rocketry
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1 5 Engineering 101
General rocketry.png
2 20 General Rocketry
Stability.png
2 18 Stability
Survivability.png
2 15 Survivability
Advanced rocketry.png
3 45 Advanced Rocketry
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3 45 Aviation
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3 45 Basic Science
Flight control.png
3 45 Flight Control
General construction.png
3 45 General Construction
Advanced construction.png
4 90 Advanced Construction
Tech tree advanced flight control.png
4 90 Advanced Flight Control
Tech tree aerodynamics.png
4 90 Aerodynamics
Tech tree electrics.png
4 90 Electrics
Fuel systems.png
4 90 Fuel Systems
Tech tree heavy rocketry.png
4 90 Heavy Rocketry
Landing.png
4 90 Landing
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4 90 Miniaturization
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4 90 Propulsion Systems
Space exploration.png
4 90 Space Exploration
Actuators.png
5 160 Actuators

None

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5 160 Adv. Fuel Systems
Advanced aerodynamics.png
5 160 Advanced Aerodynamics
Advanced electrics.png
5 160 Advanced Electrics
Advanced exploration.png
5 160 Advanced Exploration
Advanced landing.png
5 160 Advanced Landing
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5 160 Command Modules

None

Heavier rocketry.png
5 160 Heavier Rocketry
Precision engineering.png
5 160 Precision Engineering
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5 160 Precision Propulsion

None

Specialized construction.png
5 160 Specialized Construction
Specialized control.png
5 160 Specialized Control

None

Supersonic flight.png
5 160 Supersonic Flight
Advanced metalworks.png
6 300 Advanced MetalWorks
Composites.png
6 300 Composites
Electronics.png
6 300 Electronics
Field science.png
6 300 Field Science
Heavy aerodynamics.png
6 300 Heavy Aerodynamics
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6 300 Heavy Landing

None

High altitude flight.png
6 300 High Altitude Flight
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6 300 High-Power Electrics
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6 300 Large Volume Containment
Tech tree nuclear propulsion.png
6 300 Nuclear Propulsion

None

Science tech.png
6 300 Science Tech
Unmanned tech.png
6 300 Unmanned Tech
Advanced motors.png
7 550 Advanced Motors
Advanced science tech.png
7 550 Advanced Science Tech
Advanced unmanned tech.png
7 550 Advanced Unmanned Tech
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7 550 Automation
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7 550 Experimental Aerodynamics

None

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7 550 High-Performance Fuel Systems

None

Hypersonic flight.png
7 550 Hypersonic Flight
Ion propulsion.png
7 550 Ion Propulsion

None

Meta-materials.png
7 550 Meta-Materials

None

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7 550 Nanolathing

None

None

Specialized electrics.png
7 550 Specialized Electrics
Tech tree very heavy rocketry.png
7 550 Very Heavy Rocketry

None

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8 1000 Aerospace Tech

None

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8 1000 Experimental Electrics

None

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8 1000 Experimental Motors

None

None

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8 1000 Experimental Science

None

Large probes.png
8 1000 Large Probes

None

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 This research has multiple other requirements