A quick and dirty guide to understanding the different ways to accumulate research points in Surviving the Aftermath.
There are often questions and expressions of frustration regarding how to accumulate research points, because it appears to be vague in the tips on how to do so. There are basically six different ways to generate research points for your colony. This guide doesn’t tell you what to do with them, it assumes you already know how to spend them and where you may want to. If not, I suggest asking for help in the forum – STA has a very welcoming and helpful community.
You can send your specialists out to scavenge it on the world map, like resources. It will look like a beaker with purple goo, just like the point tracker in the upper right of your screen. There is always one research site in your starter zone. There will be additional places to scavenge research points in other unexplored zones – send out your specialists to explore zones and uncover them. It is important to take note that some places are more dangerous than others; your starter zone resources are danger-free, but beyond that scavenge sites can have between 1 to 3 hazard signs. Each sign indicates 5 damage per 12 hours to the specialist scavenging. So if you send a specialist with a research skill of 250, that means every 12 hours they can scavenge 250 research points from the site. The math at that point is simple – if a side has 500 points, it takes your specialist with 250 research skill 24 hours (12hx2) to scavenge it all. If it has a hazard, they take that much damage – for 1 sign, it would be 10 points (5×2), 2 signs 20 dmg (10×2) or 3 signs would be 30 dmg (15×2). This becomes important because if you send someone with 50 research skill into a 3 hazard site, it can kill the specialist if you are not paying attention. Scavenged research is immediately transferred back to the colony every 12 hours spent scavenging, it doesn’t need to be carried back like resources.
Occasionally missions will be available. Sometimes the reward will be or include research. Some mission rewards will vary based on the type of specialist you send; there will be missions that can reward +800 research because you sent in a scientist.
Occasionally random events in the colony can reward research points based on your decision. These random events will be found either on the left of the screen as a notification popup and/or as a clickable that appears over your colony headquarters. It will have a countdown timer, so be aware that ignoring events means eventually they disappear. An example of a random event that awards research is a popup that presents a situation with a woman who wants to go exploring. You may have the options of equipping her better or telling her she’s selfish and needs to stay home. If you choose to provide better equipment, she may return with resources, which may include research points. There are a wide variety of random events that may award research this way, but it’s subject to RNG.
Like random colony events, sometimes people will appear at the gate. Some may want to trade for things, and they can have research to trade for. Some folks might ask for help and as a way of saying thanks provide research points. Be aware that some folks are just scumbags and want to trick you into opening up so they can ransack your colony and get out.
Once you unlock the Barter tech, you can trade with other societies. Usually there will be at least a couple of societies that have research to trade. Unlike scavenging, missions and events, research that is bartered for must take the time to arrive via convoy and is not immediately available.
Another tech you can unlock is Frontier Outposts. This tech allows you to construct one outpost per explored zone. Zones can have resources available – it will look like a scavenger site, but have a gear/wheel around it. There should be a tooltip that tells you what it provides if an outpost is built anywhere in that zone for that type. +1 Durable Tools every 12 hours means if you build a scavenger outpost there, that is what will be sent to your colony every 12 hours. Likewise research outposts. Be sure to check and see how much research the zone provides – they can vary, usually between 8 and 16 every 12 hours. Be warned: With the new DLC, roaming bandits on the map can seize control of your outposts and resource generation from them will be halted until you clear them out with specialists.
If anyone has anything to add to this guide LMK. You should never be stuck forever due to the nature of random missions and events, but it can feel like it sometimes if you didn’t tech in a direction that maximizes research output. Don’t worry though – your colony isn’t doomed and you’ll eventually be able to tech back that way.
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