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The Technology Level of the Planet/System in question.


Using Traveller as a guide,
TL0-3 is classed as the "Very Low Technology Epoch", using stone, wood, basic metals, dray beasts, sails, water wheels, and the first steam engines.
TL4-6 is the "Low Technology Epoch", with early atomic science, the first factories, internal combustion engines, and increasingly destructive military technologies.
TL7-9 is the "Middle Technology Epoch", possessing increasingly advanced technologies including space travel, advanced computers, and increasingly dense cities

(I'd estimate that present-day Earth is maybe TL7).


From a discussion on the ability to show city lights on the night side of planets with Oolite v.1.90: note that Technology Level was inherited (unchanged) from Classic Elite, and that the Traveller RPG was one of the influences on its creation.


TL, politics & economy

Generally speaking, in the Vanilla game, the highest TL systems tend to be highly industrialised corporate states. The lowest TL systems tend to be poor agricultural anarchies.

Of the 10 systems with TL13+ some 6 are corporate states (1 democracy, 2 confederacies, 1 communist). Of the 11 systems with TL2 or less, 6 are anarchies, 4 feudal & 1 multi-government. See Oolite planet list/Galaxy 1 for some helpful tables.

The extremes. The only system with a TL of 15, Ceesxe, a corporate rich industrial state inhabited by avians, is located towards the middle of the top edge of Galaxy 1. There are two anarchies with a TL of 1, both being poor agricultural economies. Maesin is almost directly opposite Ceesxe, on the bottom edge of the map (populated by rodents). Qudira is in the top right hand corner (populated by human colonials).

This can, of course, be upended by such OXPs as Famous Planets which relabels Sori as Ascension, a new TL16 anarchy in the bottom right-hand corner of Galaxy 1!

Equipment available

In-game, TL determines what you can purchase at your local Orbital Station shipyard on the F3 page (ship outfitting).

Equipment Function Tech Level Price (₢) In BBC Elite?
Fuel Propulsive 1 varies yes
Missile Offensive 2 30 yes
Cargo Bay Expansion Mercantile 2 400 yes
E.C.M. System Defensive 3 600 yes
Pulse Laser Offensive 4 400 yes
Beam Laser Offensive 5 1,000 yes
External Heat Shielding Astrogatory 5 1,500 no
Fuel Scoops various 6 525 yes
Multi-Targeting System Offensive 6 325 no
Passenger Berth Mercantile 6 825 no
Advanced Navigational Array Astrogatory 7 2,250 no
Advanced Space Compass Astrogatory 8 650 no
Escape Pod Defensive 7 1,000 yes
Maintenance Overhaul Maintenance 7 varies no
Quirium Cascade Mine Offensive 7 2,500 no
Extra Energy Unit Defensive 9 1,500 yes
Target System Memory Expansion Offensive 9 1,250 no
Docking Computers Astrogatory 10 1,500 yes
ECM Hardened Missile Offensive 10 350 no
Wormhole Scanner Astrogatory 10 2,395 no
Galactic Hyperdrive Propulsive 11 5,000 yes
Military Laser Offensive 11 6,000 yes
Mining Laser Mercantile 11 800 yes
Shield Boosters Defensive 11 14,750 no
Witchdrive Fuel Injectors Propulsive 11 600 no
Scanner Targeting Enhancement Offensive 12 450 no
Integrated Targeting System Offensive 12 1,500 no
Military Shield Enhancement Defensive 14 47,550 no
Naval Energy Unit Defensive ?? ?? no

So, for example, Military Shield Enhancement is purchasable only at one of the systems with TL 14 or 15 in Galaxy 1 (there are just 5 of them).

Note on Maintenance

While the cost of Maintenance is not affected by TL, the higher the TL of the system, the longer the maintenance lasts.

OXP additions

OXPs for equipment & weapons will add to this list, of course. As will a few others such as Vimana HUD & GalCop Missions ... Note that some OXPs shorten the list - most noticeably Weapon Laws which will remove weapons from the list depending on the political complexion of the system.

Note also that OXP shipyards can be a little different - especially those on visiting ships such as a naval Behemoth.

Commodities on sale

There is no change in the Vanilla game to whether you can buy computers at a TL1 industrial system!

SW Economy

But there is in SW Economy: Agricultural Economies & TL

Low TL and small planet size means no food/textiles/wine/furs
Oxygen needs moderate TL for production
Medicine needs high TL for production

Industrial Economies & TL

Alloys need moderate TL for production
Machinery needs moderate TL for production
Computers need high TL for production
Luxuries need high TL for production
Low TL means no machinery, alloys, computers or luxuries for sale
Moderate TL means no computers or luxuries for sale