Technology, or "tech", in Imperialism 2 takes the shape of various discoveries of the Middle Ages and beyond that become available in the game. They are listed and managed on the "Technology Research" screen linked from the fifth icon on the ribbon toolbar (the draftsman's compass).
Note about names: Where a tech name is the same as a building, unit, or other aspect of any game on this wiki, or is the plural of one, the tech should get its precise name and capitalization followed by " (tech)".

Finding what you can start researchingEdit

Two types of groupingEdit

Groups of techs are listed on the right of the screen. Within each status group (explained below) you can see a complete list or can filter to show one of five types: "Gathering", "Industry", "Army", "Navy", "Finance" (abbreviated as G...., .I..., ..A.., ...N., and ....F in the table below). Arrows at the right let you "page up" and "page down" for long lists.


You may see little flags that show which other great powers have discovered each tech. When another nation has researched a tech, you can expect to reach that tech more easily and/or cheaply when it is one of your projects, especially if you have a spy in a successful nation.

Eyes on statusEdit

Three eyes, on gold medallions, hang to the right of the lists and group the techs into three groups according to status (those that you've researched, those that you can start now, and those that you will be able to start later):

  1. The unencumbered open eye will show all (or those in the selected group) that you have discovered.
  2. The eye behind the magnifying glass lists techs that you can currently set as projects; if you have a current Goal, prerequisites to your current Goal are in green text and grouped at the top.
  3. The bottom, more distant, eye, with arrows leading up to it, lists all or many of the techs that are yet to be researched, and for which you have not met the prerequisite(s).

If one of the possible goals interests you, click on the "target" icon to the left of the text: that tech will appear in the top box on the left-hand side as the current "Goal". To see what you need first along the path to reaching it, set the filter to "Show All", click the middle eye, and the prerequisite(s) that are currently available will be listed at top right in green. To proceed along that track, click the compass icon to the left of the text of each green tech and they will appear in "project" slots below the "goal" tech if there is enough room. You can see, using the third eye, the "not yet available" prerequisites in green text, but not grouped at the top; remember to select "Show All" unless you prefer to work through the groups.

When one prerequisite of your Goal is completed, you may want to click the middle eye again because another of the originally "not yet available" prerequisites may have become available. There may also be another potential goal listed, which could inspire you to change your goal; changing a goal costs nothing.

Beware techs that allow the gathering of two or more units per tile: you will not get two transportable units except at ports until you have researched Road Construction, and you will not get more than two except at ports until you have researched Early Steam Engine and built railroads to the tiles in question (avoiding hills, mountains, and swamps, which need additional tech).

How many, and howEdit

Initially you can research only three techs at once. The "University" tech allows you four. One of its prerequisites, the "Printing Press" tech (an idea familiar to players of Colonization), means "Research 22% More" (but the game and the manual do not say exactly what that means), and Industrial Funding of Research takes it up another notch allowing you to research "50% More Efficiently" (whatever that may mean; presumably it reduces the number of turns by half or one-third).

Each tech has a minimum research cost-per-turn; by paying more per turn and over all, you can speed the discovery. For example, if $100 per turn is stated to take 10 turns, $200 will get you there in about seven (total $1,400) and $400 in about five (total $2,000), and so on. If you cancel a project, all your money sunk in it is lost. Not all techs start at "10 turns"; some start at more.

As the help window says, you can leave the goal and tech selection to the computer then take back control of the rate of spending. If you are ever too much in debt, the computer will automatically cut some of your research payments and extend the estimated times accordingly.

If any current project has already been researched by another nation, as indicated by a coloured flag, you will complete the research faster, even with no cash being put into it; the more nations, the faster. And a spy helps make it faster still, as long as he doesn't get caught.

When a project is down to one or two more turns, you may sometimes save money if you can reduce the spending without increasing the turns; click and check.

List of technologiesEdit

Showing minimum cost per turn (and eventually how many turns to expect at that rate if no other GP has discovered it); sortable by each column using the triangles icons; primary dependencies ("Immediate Prerequisites") in Bold text (and we can show the others, as the game does, if we can be bothered, but maybe only the second level up or down so as to reduce clutter)

Parts of this are not easy to construct from the game itself or the Manual. There are differences between the demo version and the manual produced in England; we use the game version in such cases but may note the diffs.
Filter typeNameEffect$ (by)
turns @ that rate
PrerequisitesLeads to
...N.Advanced Hull DesignFrigates400 x Improved Sail Design, Privateering Companies, University, Clipper Ships; Paddlewheels
...N.Advanced Iron WorkingIronclads600 x Industrial Funding of Research, Paddlewheels, Ship-of-the-Line,
G....Amalgamation Process4 units of gold or silver700Dynamite, Extraction of Precious Metals
G....Animal Husbandry3 units of meat from cattle ranch200Crop RotationHorse Artillery; Improved Cavalry Tactics; Scientific Cattle Breeding
.I...Apprentice WorkersApprentices200Land Enclosure; Sugar RefiningUniversity
....FBankingBorrow more, and at lower interest rates500 x 14Master Artisans, Trade FairsDynamite; Empire Building; Modern Military Funding
..A..BayonetRegulars, to which you can upgrade Halberdiers500Crucible Process, Improved Iron Weapons, Needle Guns
.I...Cigar ProductionCigars100 x 9 (discover Tobacco) Trained Journeymen
G....Circular Saw4 units of timber400University, Wind Saw Mill, Clipper Ships
...N.Clipper ShipsClippers500Advanced Hull Design, Circular Saw,
G....Coal Mining1 unit of coal200 x 10Mine EngineeringRiverboats; Square Set Timbering
...N.ConvoyingGalleons200 Improved Sea Routes (according to Demo and Tutorial but not Manual); Merchant CompaniesLarge Hulls
G....Copper and Tin Mining2 units of copper or tin200Mine EngineeringHorse Artillery; Large Copper and Tin Mines; Siege Engineering; Weapon Craftsmanship
Cotton (Manual shows not as tech; just as something to discover)Cotton Planting; Cotton Weaving
G....Cotton Gin4 units of cotton Journeyman Workers, Large Cotton Plantations,
G....Cotton Planting2 units of cotton100 x 9(discover Cotton)Large Cotton Plantations
.I...Cotton WeavingTurn cotton into fabric100(discover Cotton)
G....Crop Rotation1 unit on cattle or sheep ranch NoneAnimal Husbandry; Recruit Steppe Horsemen; Sheep Ranching
.I...Crucible ProcessSteel400 x 12 Coal Mining; Iron Mining; Mine Engineering, Square-set Timbering, Steam in Mining Bayonet; Early Rifles; Heavy Artillery; Improved Cavalry Weapons; Industrial Funding of Research; Later Steam Engine; Light Artillery Tactics; Long Range Rifles
....FDiplomatic ExpertiseLevel 1 Diplomacy, i.e. establish embassy NoneNational Bureaucracy (i.e. Town Development) (with Printing Press and Money Lending); Privateering Companies (with Navigation) (according to Manual)
DynamiteRailroad into or out of mountain 600Banking, Explosives, Later Steam Engine, Amalgamation Process; Geological Prospecting; Safety Lamp
..A..Early RiflesSkirmishers, to which you can upgrade Calivermen500Crucible Process, Improved Infantry Tactics, Long Range Rifles; Needle Guns; Scouting
Early Steam EngineRailroad Engineer builds railroad over flat-land road400 x 12Road Construction, Square-set Timbering, Steam in MiningLater Steam Engine; Paddlewheels; Riverboats; Tobacco Industry
G....Efficient Extraction of Copper & Tin4 units of copper or tin500Large Coal Mines, Large Copper and Tin Mines
..A..Elite Military TrainingGuards, to which you can upgrade Grenadiers700Explosives, Modern Military Funding, Needle Guns,
Empire BuildingYou can invite Great Powers to join your empire600 x 17Banking, Nationalism,
..A..Emplaced Siege GunsForts get Siege Guns600Heavy Artillery, Heavy Emplaced Artillery
G....Excessive Fur Harvesting4 units of fur Later Steam Engine, Riverboats
..A..ExplosivesGrenadiers, to which you can upgrade Musketeers500Weapon Craftsmanship, Industrial MachineryDynamite; Elite Military Training
G....Extraction of Precious Metals3 units of gold or silver 400Precious Metals Mining, UniversityAmalgamation Process
..A..Field Artillery TacticsField artillery, to which you can upgrade light artillery700 x 21Light Artillery Tactics, Modern Military Funding
G....Furs (Manual shows not as tech; just something to discover)Hat Production; Improved Trapping Techniques
G....Gems or Diamonds (Manual shows not as tech; just as something to discover; gold and silver likewise) Precious Stone Mining
G....Geological Prospecting4 units of gems or diamonds700Dynamite, Large Precious Stone Mines,
G....Gold or Silver (Manual shows not as tech; just as something to discover; gems and diamondsr likewise) Precious Metals Mining
.I...Hat Production(Fur) Hats100 x 9 (discover Furs) Master Artisans
..A..Heavy ArtilleryHeavy artillery, to which you can upgrade Royal Artillery Crucible Process, Modern Fortifications, Emplaced Siege Guns; High Grade Steel
..A..Heavy Emplaced ArtilleryForts get heavy artillery400 x 12Iron Mining; National Bureaucracy; Road Construction; Saw Mill; Siege Engineering Emplaced Siege Guns
..A..High Grade SteelSiege gun, to which you can upgrade heavy artillery700Heavy Artillery, Industrial Funding of Research, Modern Military Funding
..A..Horse ArtilleryHorse artillery300 Animal Husbandry; Copper and Tin Mining; Mine Engineering; Light Artillery Tactics
..A..HussarsHussars, to which you can upgrade Cossacks400Animal Husbandry; Improved Cavalry Tactics; Printing Press; Saw Mill, Recruit Steppe HorsemenScouting
..A..Improved Cavalry TacticsHarquebusiers, the first heavy cavalry300 Animal Husbandry; Printing Press; Saw MillHussars; Improved Cavalry Weapons
..A..Improved Cavalry WeaponsCuirassiers, to which you can upgrade Harquebusiers 500Crucible Process, Improved Cavalry Tactics, Industrial Machinery, Repeating Cavalry Carbine
G....Improved Food Preservation4 units of spices400Large Spice Plantations
..A..Improved Infantry TacticsCalivermen, to which you can upgrade peasant levies300Organized Regiments; Printing Press; Saw Mill Early Rifles
..A..Improved Iron WeaponsHalberdiers, to which you can upgrade Pikemen300Iron Mining; Mine Engineering; Organized RegimentsBayonet
...N.Improved Sail DesignTrader300Saw Mill; Superior Hull Design; Wind Saw MillAdvanced Hull Design
G....Improved Sea Routes2 units of spices? 100(discover Spices)Convoying (according to the Demo and Tutorial but not the Manual); Large Spice Plantations; Navigation (according to the Demo and Tutorial but not the Manual); Privateering Companies (according to Demo but not Manual)
G....Improved Trapping Techniques2 units of furs100 x 9(discover furs)Riverboats
Industrial Funding of ResearchResearch "50% More Efficiently"500Crucible Process, Industrial Machinery, Advanced Iron Working; High Grade Steel; Industrial Iron Mining; Needle Guns; Repeating Cavalry Carbine
G....Industrial Iron Mining4 units of iron700Industrial Funding of Research, Steam in Mining
....FIndustrial MachineryTroop movements cost 25% less400Cigar Production; Iron Mining; Journeyman Workers, Merchant Companies; Mine Engineering; Saw Mill; Steam in Mining, Sugar Refining; University Explosives; Improved Cavalry Weapons; Industrial Funding of Research; Spinning Jenny
G....Iron Mining2 units of iron200Mine Engineering Improved Iron Weapons; Industrial Machinery (with Cigar Production and University); Road Construction (with Saw Mill); Steam in Mining
G....Land Enclosure2 grain (but effective only at ports until roads upgraded) NoneApprentice Workers (with Sugar Refining); Money Lending (according to Demo but not Manual); Organized Regiments; Road Construction (with Iron Mining and Saw Mill); Seed Drill
G....Large Coal Mines3 units of coal400Square-set Timbering, Steam in MiningEfficient Extraction of Copper & Tin; Safety Lamp
G....Large Copper and Tin Mines3 units of copper or tin 300Copper and Tin MiningEfficient Extraction of Copper & Tin; Ship of the Line
G....Large Cotton Plantations3 units of cotton200 Cotton Planting Cotton Gin
...N.Large HullsIndiaman; to which you can upgrade Fluyte; 8 holds300 x 11 Convoying; Merchant Companies; Navigation, Saw Mill; Ship of the Line; Wind Saw Mill
G....Large Precious Stone Mines3 units of diamonds or gems 400 x 12Precious Stone Mining, UniversityGeological Prospecting; Modern Military Funding
G....Large Spice Plantations3 units of Spice300 Improved Sea Routes; Seed Drill Improved Food Preservation
G....Large Sugar Plantations3 units of sugar200 Sugar Planting Sugar Industry
G....Large Tobacco Plantations3 units of Tobacco 300 x 11 Seed Drill; Tobacco PlantingTobacco Industry
Later Steam EngineRail over roads into hills and swamps500Crucible Process, Early Steam Engine, Dynamite; Excessive Fur Harvesting
..A..Light Artillery TacticsLight artillery, to which you can upgrade horse artillery500 x 14Crucible Process, Horse Artillery, UniversityField Artillery Tactics
..A..Long Range RiflesSharpshooter, to which you can upgrade skirmishers Crucible Process, Early Rifles
.I...Master ArtisansMasters 400 x 12Hat Production, Journeymen Workers, University (tech), Banking; Nationalism
....FMerchant CompaniesMerchant unit100NoneConvoying; Money Lending (according to Demo but not Manual); Trade Fairs (with Sugar Refining)
...N.Merchant SteamshipsMerchant steamship600Paddlewheels, Riverboats
..A..Mine EngineeringLevel 2 fort 100NoneCoal Mining; Copper and Tin Mining; Iron Mining; Precious Metals Mining (after gold or silver is discovered); Precious Stone Mining (after gems or diamonds are discovered)
..A..Modern FortificationsLevel 3 fort400 Siege Engineering; University Heavy Artillery; Modern Military Funding; Nationalism
Modern Military FundingArmy attacks "50% More Efficiently"600 x 17Banking, Large Precious Stone Mines, Modern FortsElite Military Training; Field Artillery Tactics; High Grade Steel
G....Moldboard Plow4 units of grain 300 x 11Seed Drill
....FMoney LendingLevel 1 Deficit Spending, i.e. borrow more and at lower interest rate200Manual says "Land Enclosure"; Demo says "Merchant Companies"National Bureaucracy (i.e. Town Development); University
.I...National Bureaucracy"Town Development", i.e. upgrading villages to towns with possible production bonuses 300 x 11Diplomatic Expertise, Merchant Companies; Money Lending; Printing Press; Saw Mill Heavy Emplaced Artillery; Propaganda; Riverboats
..A..NationalismProvince garrison can now have 12 regiments (or more with a General)500 x 14 Cigar Production, Hat Production, Master Artisans, Modern Fortifications, Propaganda, Siege EngineeringEmpire Building
...N.NavigationSloops, the earliest specialist warships; little use at beachhead100 Improved Sea Routes (according to Demo and Tutorial but not Manual), Superior Hull DesignLarge Hulls; Privateering Companies
..A..Needle GunsRifle infantry, to which you can upgrade regulars Bayonet, Early Rifles, Industrial Funding of Research, Elite Military Training
..A..Organized RegimentsLancers, to which you can upgrade knights200Land EnclosureImproved Infantry Tactics; Improved Iron Weapons; Weapon Craftsmanship
...N.PaddlewheelsRaiders Advanced Hull Design, Early Steam EngineAdvanced Iron Working; Merchant Steamships
G....Precious Metals Mining2 units of gold or silver200 x 12 Mine Engineering after discovery of gold or silverExtraction of Precious Metals
G....Precious Stone Mining2 units of diamonds or gems200 Mine Engineering after discovery of diamonds or gemsLarge Precious Stone Mines
....FPrinting PressResearch 22% More200Saw MillImproved Cavalry Tactics; Improved Infantry Tactics; National Bureaucracy (i.e. Town Development); Siege Engineering; Trained Journeymen; University
...N.Privateering CompaniesBetter naval interception300Diplomatic Expertise (but Demo said it needs Improved Sea Routes); Navigation; Superior Hull Design Advanced Hull Design
....FPropagandaLevel 2 Diplomacy, i.e. decreasing penalties for declaring war400Apprentice Workers; Merchant Companies; Money Lending; National Bureaucracy; Printing Press; Saw Mill; Sugar Refining; University Nationalism
..A..Recruit Steppe HorsemenCossack 200Crop RotationHussars; (all ultimate cavalry upgrades need this; most AI players get it early, so you may get it fast when needed)
..A..Repeating Cavalry CarbineCarbine cavalry, to which you can upgrade Cuirassier600Industrial Funding of Research, Improved Cavalry Weapons
G....Riverboats3 units of fur500 x 14 Coal Mining, Early Steam Engine, Improved Trapping Techniques; Iron Mining; Mine Engineering; Road Construction; Saw Mill Excessive Fur Harvesting; Merchant Steamships
.I...Road ConstructionRoad collects maximum of 2 units per tile300 x 13? Iron Mining, Land Enclosure (according to the Manual), Mine Engineering, Saw Mill Early Steam Engine; Heavy Emplaced Artillery
G....Safety Lamp4 units of coal700Dynamite, Large Coal Mines,
G....Saw Mill2 units of timber from hardwood forest100NonePrinting Press; Road Construction (with Iron Mining); Wind Saw Mill
G....Scientific Cattle Breeding4 units of meat from cattle ranch400 Animal Husbandry; University
G....Scientific Sheep Breeding3 units of wool400 Apprentice Workers; Merchant Companies; Money Lending; Saw Mill; Sheep Ranching; ; Sugar Refining; University Spinning Jenny
..A..ScoutingScouts, to which you can upgrade Hussars600Early Rifles, Hussars,
G....Seed Drill3 units of grain200Land EnclosureLarge Spice Plantations; Large Tobacco Plantations; Moldboard Plow
G....Sheep Ranching2 units of wool200 x 12Crop RotationScientific Sheep Breeding
...N.Ship of the LineShip of the line, to which you can upgrade galleons but unwise because of lower capacity400Large Copper and Tin Mines, Large Hulls, Advanced Iron Working
..A..Siege EngineeringRoyal Artillery, to which you can upgrade Culverin300 Copper and Tin Mining; Mine Engineering; Printing Press; Saw Mill Heavy Emplaced Artillery; Modern Fortifications
G....Spices (Manual shows not as tech; just as something to discover)Improved Sea Routes
G....Spinning Jenny4 units of wool Industrial Machinery, Scientific Sheep Breeding,
G....Square Set Timbering2 units of coal300 x 11Coal MiningCrucible Process; Early Steam Engine; Large Coal Mines
G....Steam in Mining3 units of iron300 x 11Iron MiningCrucible Process; Early Steam Engine; Industrial Iron Mining; Industrial Machinery; Large Coal Mines
G....Sugar Cane (Manual shows "sugar" not as tech; just as something to discover)Sugar Planting; Sugar Refining
G....Sugar Industry4 units of sugar cane300 x 11Large Sugar Plantations
G....Sugar Planting2 units of sugar cane100 x 9(discover sugar cane)Large Sugar Plantations
.I...Sugar RefiningRefined sugar100(discover sugar cane)Apprentice Workers; Trade Fairs
...N.Superior Hull DesignFluytes (slow cargo specialists, poor fighters)100NoneImproved Sail Design; Navigation; Privateering Companies
G....Tobacco (Manual shows not as tech; just as something to discover)Cigar Production; Tobacco Planting
G....Tobacco Industry4 units of tobacco500Early Steam Engine; Large Tobacco Plantations
G....Tobacco Planting2 units of tobacco100(discover tobacco)Large Tobacco Plantations
....FTrade FairsSix trade bids200 x 10Merchant Companies, Sugar Planting, Sugar Refining Banking
.I...Trained JourneymenJourneymen300 x 11Cigar Making, Printing Press Cotton Gin; Industrial Machinery; Master Artisans
....FUniversityResearch four technologies at once300 x 11Apprentice Workers, Merchant Companies, Money Lending, Printing Press, Saw MillAdvanced Hull Design; Circular Saw; Extraction of Precious Metals; Industrial Machinery; Large Precious Stone Mines; Light Artillery Tactics; Master Artisans; Modern Fortifications; Propaganda; Scientific Cattle Breeding; Scientific Sheep Breeding
..A..Weapon CraftsmanshipMusketeers, to which you can upgrade Arquebusiers300 Copper and Tin Mining, Mine Engineering; Organized RegimentsExplosives
G....Wind Saw Mill3 units of timber from hardwood forest200 x 10Saw MillCircular Saw; Improved Sail Design; Large Hulls
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.