Cartel Tycoon – Research Tree Guide

What is the Research Tree?

Note: Credit goes to Under Andr

Research Tree allows you to, duh, research more buildings for your Empire but also upgrade already researched buildings. It has 3 Tiers, and Tiers I and II are unlockable from the beginning of the game, and getting access to Tier III requires you to build a University in any of your cities.

The research Tab is located in the menu at the bottom of your screen and looks like this:

Click it and the world of wonder and innovation will open to you.

You can use the Research Tree to upgrade all non-city buildings you can build, excluding Special Residencies, they’re powerful on their own. Research Tree includes different Tiers of Research, and each building on every Tier also has additional upgrades.

Research Tiers and When to Reach Them

Let’s go through the Tiers.

Tier I has all the buildings you need for the Early Game. Farms, Warehouses, and a Transport Company. Some of them you can use from the start, and some of them you need to Research first. If you stay on this comfortable and easy Tier though, you probably won’t be able to become the most feared/loved, and powerful Capo in the world of Cartel Tycoon.

To get to Tier II, you need to unlock it first by clicking the big “II” on the Research Tree. Doing that takes some of your hard-earned Legal Money but also grants you the ability to research Tier II itself. And that’s where it gets a bit trickier. With the Research Tree Update, we’ve introduced a non-linear research progression. Before that, you needed to research, for example, Farm I to get access to Farm II, and you needed to research that to get access to Farm III. We thought it wasn’t very fun and engaging so we made the Research Tree an actual tree, not a straight line. So now you have multiple “branches” to reach the desired research destination.

The same goes for Tier III. Click the big “III” button, and you’re good to go. You also may notice that you can’t research upgrades to River Piers – they’re obtainable through the Story Mode and the “That Sinking Feeling” campaign, which I highly recommend you to play.

Where to Research from There?

And now for Building upgrades, They differ between building categories. For example, producing buildings as Farms and Plantations will be able to produce and store more product in shorter time when upgraded.

Logistics buildings like Transport Company and Warehouse will have more trucks, storage and connections (or a bigger radius) available.

”But, sir, why would I ever-ever need to upgrade to the next Tier of the Research Tree, if I can just upgrade my Farm I with all the cool things like capacity and speed?”

Ahhh, of course, you can! It won’t be as good as Farm II, but it’s also a strategy you can implement. But as your empire, your needs, and your money and production volumes will rise, you’ll still feel that it’s not enough and will find the need to upgrade!

Unless you’re doing SL1, no Research, any% speedrun, of course. Oh, whoops, wrong game.


The other important thing is – don’t forget about Lieutenants! Why? Because some of them can give you free Research Upgrades as long as they’re in your Cartel. That can be especially helpful in the early game when you don’t have enough money to research everything you want, and your Lieutenants will come to the rescue.

We built the Research Tree with that in mind – with the idea of giving players more freedom and multiple ways to make their empire better and more fine-tuned. Of course, if the Research Tree changes in any way, shape, or form in the future, I will update this guide with the new information!

I hope it was useful, and now you won’t get stuck in the Research Tree again!

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3207 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.