Civilization IV: Technologies

The tech tree in Civilization IV is very flexible, thanks to the addition of OR gates and the elimination of static eras. It’s now possible to reach certain technology by researching different techs. For example, you can get to Gunpowder by researching either Guilds or Education. There is also no longer a minimum number of turns needed to discover a technology, making it easier to come back and get older technologies that you haven’t researched yet. In addition, Great People can be used to help with research. Each great people type can usually research a certain type of techs. For example, a Great Prophet can help research a religion tech, while a Great Artist can help research a cultural tech.

NOTE: Information in this section is correct as of Beyond the Sword, version 3.17. Items in italics mean that other technologies are also required for construction.


Icon Technology Cost Requires Leads To Units Enabled Buildings Enabled Special Abilities
Tech Icon Advanced Flight 5000 Satellites, Flight Stealth Gunship, Jet Fighter Obsoletes Stables
Tech Icon Aesthetics 300 Writing Literature, Drama The Parthenon, Statue of Zeus, Shwedagon Paya
Tech Icon Agriculture 60 Pottery, Animal Husbandry Can build Farms
Tech Icon Alphabet 300 Writing Literature (with Polytheism), Drama Spy Enables tech trading
Can build Research
Tech Icon Animal Husbandry 100 Agriculture or Hunting Writing, Horseback Riding Reveals Horse
Can build Pastures
Tech Icon Archery 60 Hunting Archer, Skirmisher, Longbowman, Crossbowman, Cho-Ko-Nu, Horse Archer, Keshik, Camel Archer, Numidian Cavalry, Bowman
Tech Icon Artillery 4000 Physics, Steel, & Rifling Rocketry Artillery, Anti-Tank, Mobile Artillery
Tech Icon Assembly Line 5000 Corporation & Steam Power Fascism (with Nationalism), Industrialism (with Electricity) Infantry Factory
Coal Plant
Shale Plant
Tech Icon Astronomy 2000 Calendar & Optics Scientific Method (with Printing Press), Physics (with Scientific Method) Galleon, East Indiaman, Privateer, Frigate, Ship of the Line
Observatory, Salon Obsoletes Colossus, Monument, Stonehenge
Enables trade on Ocean
Tech Icon Banking 700 Currency & Guilds Economics (with Education), Replacement Parts (with Printing Press) Bank, Stock Exchange Enables Mercantilism
Tech Icon Biology 3600 Chemistry & Scientific Method Medicine (with Optics), Ecology (with Plastic or Fission), Refrigeration (with Electricity) National Park Can build farms w/o irrigation
Farm produces +1 food
Tech Icon Bronze Working 120 Mining Iron Working, Metal Casting (with Pottery) Axeman, Phalanx, Vulture, Dog Soldier, Holkan
Reveals Copper
Enables Slavery
Can chop down forests
Tech Icon Calendar 350 Sailing & Mathematics Astronomy (with Optics) Mausoleum of Maussollos Can build Plantations
Centers world map
Tech Icon Chemistry 1800 Engineering & Gunpowder Scientific Method (with Printing Press), Biology (with Scientific Method), Steam Power (Replaceable Parts), Steel (with Iron Working) Privateer, Frigate Workshops +1 production
Tech Icon Civil Service 800 Code of Laws or Feudalism, Mathematics Paper, Nationalism (with Divine Right or Philosophy) Maceman, Samurai, Bezerker
Farms spread irrigation
Enables Bureaucracy
Tech Icon Code of Laws 350 Writing &
(Priesthood or Currency)
Civil Service, Philosophy (with Meditation), Constitution (with Nationalism) Courthouse, Sacrificial Altar, Rathaus
Chichen Itza
First to discover founds Confucianism.
Enables Caste System
Tech Icon Combustion 3600 Railroad Flight (with Physics), Plastics (with Industrialism) Transport, Destroyer, Attack Submarine Public Transportation, Creative Constructions Can build oil wells.
Obsoletes whale
Tech Icon Communism 2800 Liberalism & Scientific Method Spy Intelligence Agency
First to discovery receives Great Spy.
Enables permanent alliances, Enables State Property
Tech Icon Compass 400 Sailing & Iron Working Optics (with Machinery) Explorer Harbor, Cothon
Tech Icon Composites 7500 Plastics & Satellites Future Tech (with Genetic) Modern Armor SS Casing
Tech Icon Computers 6500 Radio, Plastics Genetics (with Refrigeration), Fiber Optics (with Plastics or Satellites), Robotics (with Plastics) Modern Armor The Internet Obsoletes Angkor Wat, University of Sankore & Spiral Minaret
Tech Icon Constitution 2000 Code of Laws & Nationalism Democracy (with Printing Press), Corporation (with Economics) Jail, Mausoleum Enables Representation
Tech Icon Construction 350 Masonry & Mathematics Engineering (with Machinery) War Elephant, Ballista Elephant, Catapult, Hwacha Colosseum, Odeon, Ball Court, Garden Enables bridge building
Tech Icon Corporation 1600 Constitution & Economics Assembly Line (with Steam Power) Wall Street, all corporations Obsoletes Great Lighthouse
+1 trade route per city
Tech Icon Currency 400 Mathematics or Alphabet Code of Laws (with Writing), Banking (with Guilds) Market, Forum, Grocer, Apothecary
Enables gold trading via diplomacy.
+1 trade route per city
Can build Wealth.
Tech Icon Democracy 2800 Constitution & Printing Press Statue of Liberty, Security Bureau Enables Universal Suffrage & Emancipation
Tech Icon Divine Right 1200 Theology & Monarchy Nationalism (with Civil Service) Versailles
Spiral Minaret
First to discover founds Islam
Tech Icon Drama 300 Aesthetics Music (with Mathematics), Philosophy (with Meditation) Theater, Pavilion, Hippodrome
Globe Theater
Can adjust culture rate
Tech Icon Ecology 5500 Biology & (Plastics or Fission) Recycling Center
SS Life Support
Can scrub Fallout
Tech Icon Economics 1400 Banking & Education Corporation (with Constitution) Customs House, Feitoria First to discover receives a Great Merchant.
Enables Free Market
Obsoletes Castle
Tech Icon Education 1800 Paper Liberalism (with Philosophy), Economics (with Banking), Gunpowder University, Seowon
Oxford University
Tech Icon Electricity 4500 Physics Fission, Industrialism (with Assembly Line), Refrigeration (with Biology), Radio Bunker
Bomb Shelter
Windmills: +1 commerce
Watermills: +2 commerce
Tech Icon Engineering 1000 Machinery & Construction Chemistry (with Gunpowder) Pikeman, Landsknecht, Trebuchet Castle, Citadel
Notre Dame
+1 road movement
Tech Icon Fascism 2400 Assembly Line & Nationalism Paratrooper Mount Rushmore First to discovery receives Great General.
Enables Police State
Can negotiate permanent alliances
Tech Icon Feudalism 700 Writing & Monarchy Civil Service, Guilds (with Machinery) Longbowman Enables Vassalage, Serfdom
Tech Icon Fiber Optics 7500 Computers or Laser Fusion (with Fission) SS Cockpit Obsoletes Kremlin
Tech Icon Fishing 40 Sailing, Pottery (with The Wheel) Work Boat Can work water tiles
Can create Fishing Boats
Tech Icon Fission 5500 Electricity Ecology (with Biology), Fusion (with Fiber Optics) Tactical Nuke, ICBM Nuclear Plant
Manhattan Project
Tech Icon Flight 5000 Physics & Combustion Rocketry (with Rifling) Paratrooper, Carrier, Fighter, Bomber Airport
Tech Icon Fusion 8000 Fission & Fiber Optics SS Engine First to discover receives a Great Engineer
Tech Icon Future Tech 10000 Composites & Genetics +1 health & +1 happy face in all cities
Tech Icon Genetics 7000 Medicine, Superconductors Future Tech (with Composites) SS Stasis Chamber +3 health in all cities
Tech Icon Guilds 1000 Feudalism & Machinery Banking (with Currency), Gunpowder Knight, Camel Archer, Cataphract Grocer, Apothecary
Workshop: +1 Hammer
Tech Icon Gunpowder 1200 Guilds or Education Chemistry (with Engineering), Rifling (with Replaceable Parts) Musketman, Musketeer, Janissary, Oromo Warrior, Conquistador, Cuirassier
Enables Pinch
Tech Icon Horseback Riding 250 Animal Husbandry Horse Archer, Keshik, Numidian Cavalry, Cataphract, Knight, Camel Archer, Conquistador, Cavalry, Cossack, War Elephant, Ballista Elephant
Stable, Ger
Tech Icon Hunting 40 Archery, Animal Husbandry Scout, Spearman, Phalanx, Impi Can build Camps
Tech Icon Industrialism 6500 Electricity & Assembly Line Plastics (with Combustion) Marine, Navy SEAL, Tank, Panzer, Battleship Industrial Park Reveals Aluminum
Obsoletes Ivory
Tech Icon Iron Working 200 Bronze Working Compass (with Sailing), Steel (with Chemistry) Swordsman, Jaguar, Gallic Warrior, Praetorian Reveals Iron
Can remove Jungle
Tech Icon Laser 7000 Plastics, Satellites Mobile SAM, Mobile Artillery SDI
Tech Icon Liberalism 1400 Philosophy & Education Communism (with Scientific Method) First to discover receives a free tech.
Enables Free Speech & Free Religion
Tech Icon Literature 200 Polytheism & Aesthetics Music (with Mathematics) Heroic Epic
National Epic
Great Library
Tech Icon Machinery 700 Metal Casting Guilds (with Feudalism), Printing Press (with Paper), Engineering (with Construction), Optics (with Compass) Crossbowman, Cho-Ko-Nu, Maceman, Samurai, Beserker Can build windmill & watermill
Tech Icon Masonry 80 Mining or Mysticism Monotheism (with Polytheism), Construction (with Mathematics) City Walls, Dun, Aqueduct, Hammam, Baray
Great Wall
Great Lighthouse
Can build quarry
Tech Icon Mass Media 3600 Radio Broadcast Tower
United Nations
Civilized Jewelers
Obsoletes Apostolic Palace
Tech Icon Mathematics 250 Writing Music (with Literature or Drama), Calendar (with Sailing), Construction (with Masonry), Currency Aqueduct, Hammam, Baray

Hanging Gardens
Can build fort.
Workers produces 50% more hammers from chopping
Tech Icon Medicine 4500 Optics & Biology Hospital
Red Cross
Sid’s Sushi Co.
Enables Environmentalism
Tech Icon Meditation 80 Mysticism Priesthood, Philosophy (with Code of Laws or Drama) Monastery First to discover founds Buddhism
Tech Icon Metal Casting 450 Pottery & Bronze Working Machinery Trireme Forge, Mint, Colossus Can build workshop
Tech Icon Military Science 2000 Chemistry Grenadier, Ship of the Line Military Academy Enables Blitz, Commando
Tech Icon Military Tradition 2000 Music & Nationalism Conquistador, Cavalry, Cuirassier, Cossack
West Point Enables defensive pacts
Tech Icon Mining 50 Masonry, Bronze Working Can build mines
Tech Icon Monarchy 300 Priesthood or Monotheism Feudalism (with Writing), Divine Right (with Theology) Enables Hereditary Rule
Can build wineries
Tech Icon Monotheism 120 Masonry & Polytheism Theology (with Writing), Monarchy Enables Organized Religion
First to discover founds Judaism
Tech Icon Music 600 Mathematics & (Literature or Drama) Military Tradition (with Nationalism) Cathedral
Sistine Chapel
First to discover receives a Great Artist
Can build Culture
Tech Icon Mysticism 50 Meditation, Polytheism, Masonry Monument, Stele, Totem Pole, Obelisk
Tech Icon Nationalism 1800 Civil Service & (Philosophy or Divine Right) Military Tradition (with Music), Constitution (with Code of Laws), Fascism (with Assembly Line) Hermitage
Taj Mahal
Enables Nationhood
Tech Icon Optics 600 Compass & Machinery Astronomy (with Calendar), Medicine (with Biology) Caravel, Carrack +1 sight across water
Can create whaling boats
Tech Icon Paper 600 Theology or Civil Service Education, Printing Press (with Machinery) University of Sankore Enables map trading
Tech Icon Philosophy 800 Meditation & (Drama or Code of Laws) Nationalism (with Civil Service), Liberalism (with Education) Angkor Wat First to discover founds Taoism
Enables Pacifism
Tech Icon Physics 4000 Astronomy & Scientific Method Electricity, Flight (with Combustion), Artillery (with Steel and Rifling) Airship Reveals Uranium
First to discover receives a Great Scientist
Tech Icon Plastics 7000 Combustion & Industrialism Ecology (with Biology), Composites (with Satellites), Fiber Optics (with Computers), Robotics (with Computers) Hydro Plant
Three Gorges Dam
Standard Ethanol
Obsoletes fur
Can create Offshore Platform
Tech Icon Polytheism 100 Mysticism Priesthood, Monotheism (with Masonry), Literature (with Alphabet) Parthenon, Temple of Artemis First to discover founds Hinduism
Tech Icon Pottery 80 The Wheel & (Agriculture or Fishing) Writing, Metal Casting (with Bronze Working) Granary, Terrace Can build cottages
Tech Icon Priesthood 60 Meditation or Polytheism Monarchy, Code of Laws (with Writing), Writing Temple
Tech Icon Printing Press 1600 Machinery, Alphabet & Paper Democracy (with Constitution), Scientific Method (with Chemistry or Astronomy), Replaceable Parts (with Banking) Villages & towns produce +1 commerce
Tech Icon Radio 6000 Electricity Mass Media, Computers, Satellites (with Rocketry) Submarine, Attack Submarine, Bomber, Guided Missile
Eiffel Tower
Rock N Roll
Cristo Redentor
Tech Icon Railroad 4500 Steam Power & Steel Combustion Machine Gun Mining Inc. Can build railroads
Tech Icon Refrigeration 4000 Biology & Electricity Genetics (with Computers) Supermarket, Mall
Cereal Mills
+1 extra move for water units
Tech Icon Replaceable Parts 1800 Banking & Printing Press Rifling (with Gunpowder), Steam Power (with Chemistry) Can build lumbermills.
Windmills & watermills +1 hammer
Tech Icon Rifling 2400 Gunpowder & Replaceable Parts Artillery (with Physics, Steel), Rocketry (with Flight or Artillery) Rifleman, Redcoat, Infantry, Marine, Navy SEAL, Paratrooper, Mech. Infantry, Tank, Panzer, Cavalry, Cossack
Obsoletes Walls, Chichen Itza
Tech Icon Robotics 8000 Computers Missile Cruiser, Stealth Destroyer, Mech. Infantry, Stealth Bomber Space Elevator
Tech Icon Rocketry 5000 Rifling & (Flight or Artillery) Satellites (with Radio) SAM Infantry, Attack Submarine, Guided Missile, Tactical Nuke, ICBM Aluminum Co.
Apollo Program
Tech Icon Sailing 100 Fishing Calendar (with Mathematics), Compass (with Iron Working) Galley, Trireme Lighthouse, Trading Post, Great Lighthouse, Moai Statues Enables trade on coast, rivers
Tech Icon Satellites 6000 Radio & Rocketry Composites (with Plastics), Fiber Optics (with Computers) SS Docking Bay
Space Elevator
Reveals world map
Tech Icon Scientific Method 2400 Printing Press & (Chemistry or Astronomy) Communism (with Liberalism), Physics (Astronomy), Biology (with Chemistry) Reveals Oil
Obsoletes Great Library, Parthenon & Monastery
Can build forest preserves
Tech Icon Stealth 8000 Composites, Advanced Flight Stealth Destroyer, Stealth Bomber
Tech Icon Steam Power 3200 Chemistry & Replaceable Parts Assembly Line (with Corporation), Railroad (with Steel) Ironclad Levee, Dike Reveals Coal
Workers build improvements +50% faster
Obsoletes Hagia Sophia
Tech Icon Steel 2800 Iron Working & Chemistry Railroad (with Steam Power), Artillery (with Physics and Rifling) Cannon, Ironclad Drydock
Tech Icon Superconductors 6500 Refrigeration or Computers Genetics Laboratory, Research Institute, SS Thrusters
Tech Icon Theology 500 Writing & Monotheism Divine Right (with Monarchy), Paper Hagia Sophia, Apostolic Palace First to discover founds Christianity
Enables Theocracy
Tech Icon The Wheel 60 Pottery (with Agriculture or Fishing) Chariot, War Chariot, Immortal Can build roads
Tech Icon Writing 120 Priesthood or Animal Husbandry or Pottery Code of Laws (with Priesthood or Currency), Feudalism (with Monarchy), Theology (with Monotheism), Mathematics, Alphabet Library, Madrassa Enables Open Borders


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