Technology Ascendant

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Author: starchitec
Last revision: 12 Dec at 00:35 UTC


Dynamic Research

Have you ever felt technology across the galaxy was too equal? No one rising to the top in a certain field, but lagging behind in others? Do you miss institutions from EU4? I know I do.

This adds twelve breakthrough technologies, one for each specialization (particles, materials, biology, etc) that dramatically increase research speed in that field, along with other unique empire bonuses. They are incredibly rare, likely to originally spawn in a single empire across the course of the game.

New Features for 2.2
  • Living starships breakthrough gives you access living ship sections, which consume food rather than alloys.
  • Bonuses adapted to new economy system. Still in testing/balancing phase. Feedback welcome
  • Technological Ascendancy Ascension Perk allows you to invent more breakthroughs. Without it, empires can only research 3 breakthorughs on their own, any after 4 must spread from a neighbor. There is still an increasing specialization penalty for the number of breakthroughs you have regardless.
  • Breakthroughs should be *significantly* less frequent in the late game. You should get 4 to 5 max. It is possible to get more… but if you do let me know. Really, odds of drawing a 6th breakthrough tech should be astronomically low, even with spread from a neighbor.

New Mechanics

Breakthroughs have a unique spread system, and depending on your relationship with your neighbors you are more or less likely to learn their secrets over time. The goal is that different parts of the galaxy may end up specializing in entirely different fields, with one empire far ahead in biology and society while in an opposite corner another empire is on the cutting edge in physics.

Each breakthough is more likely to spawn under different ethics and traditions, with bonuses for specific ascension perks, and scientist skills, making it nearly impossible to spawn all of the breakthroughs yourself, and hopefully spreading different technology boosts across the galaxy. However, having a neighbor who has a breakthrough will do far more for you than stacking all the perfect modifiers to spawn the technology yourself. Once a breakthrough appears, it will begin to spread. All neighboring empires will have dramatically increased chances of drawing that tech and friendly empires will get double the spread bonus. The Enigmatic Engineering perk however will block breakthrough spread.


Over time, your empire will specialize depending on the technologies you choose. This happens because every breakthrough that you take in Engineering will slightly decrease your chances of drawing a breakthrough in the other fields Society and Physics, or visa versa. Hive and Machine empires ignore this specialization rule to balance out the fact that they do not have any ethics that can boost spawn chance of a specific breakthrough, and that they are less likely to have friendly neighbors to share tech with. Hives and Machines will generally have a slightly lower chance of spawning breakthroughs at the start of the game, but should catch up as other empires begin to acquire specialization maluses.

Once an empire gets 3 breakthroughs, they will not be able to spawn any more themselves, they have become set in their ways and lost their innovative edge. The only way to get the remaing breakthroughs is to have them spread from neighbor empires, or take the technological ascendancy ascension perk.

The game will monitor your relationship with your neighbors, and if opinion falls below zero you will get a popup to inform you that the chance of breakthrough spread has fallen, and again if you can boost relations back to positive. You should also recieve pop ups every time a known empire aquires a breakthrough, and you can see in the tooltip what is needed to boost spread chance. There is also mapmode added that shows the number of breakthroughs each empire has.

Since the mod works by boosting research speed, you will complete the tech tree faster than in a usual game. To balance this, I usually play with the game start slider for tech/tradition cost at 1.25x or 1.5x.


No vanilla files were harmed in the making of this mod, so it is in theory compatible with everything. However, since spread modifiers are tied heavily to ethics, leader traits, traditions, and ascension perks, any mod that adds those may change the balance of this mod. It will still work seamlessly, but breakthrough spread will likely be slower since empires and scientists will have modded traits that do not boost tech spread.

The mod can be installed mid-save, the new technologies will simply be added to the tech pool. Untranslated localisation files for all languages are included so you will see English instead of a placeholder. If anyone would like to translate let me know and I will link and credit you below.

Future Plans

Continued balance testing and tweaking. Current tech chances are still subject to change. Feedback is always welcome. Add new events, and possibly an espionage system that could allow breakthroughs to spread from non adjacent empires. A civic for a technology centered megacorp, which would have branch office buildings that sell research, and earn money based on tech/breakthrough disparity, in return for dramatically increasing breakthrough spread.

For more details and feedback:
Paradox Forum Discussion[]


German translation by Khazahm
Russian translation by «(PeGaS)» and greenpinkredfire
French translation by Vilcoyote

Images adapted from:

Check out my other Mod

Thank you to everyone in the Stellaris Modding Den for helping me figure things out