Research: The researching by kivts

Welcome aboard 2nd lieutenant! We have no idea how you ended up in here on this ship not knowing anything, but you have anything you would need here for your adventure, so go out and explore something!

Wiki isnt enough and you struggle to understand what the hell that thing is? This is the most detailed, most in depth, research guide from ground zero, touching every single mechanic known to man and the galaxy in the research department. Even those which aren’t meant to be said. Typing on all out new forums!!!

Starting off

Before joining as researcher be sure to know the absolute basics of medical, as many information here builds of a basic knowledge about it. No research knowledge required to understand in the beginning, however it will be helpful the further you go into the guide.

You start off with bare hands and a labcoat. Your research cave is located on the upper level of the almayer, I call it a cave because you rarely leave it. Make yourself known with the equipment and the layout of your department.

In the center, lay your main lab, that’s where all your equipment is, and rarely will you need to go further than 20 tiles from it. This room contains your precious and very important console containing all your findings and ability to manage your department from here, it’s called a research terminal and thus will be called like that further into the guide. (near the printer)


North of your lab is your utility room, it contains your medilathe, your equipment vendors, and hydro. While you are here, equip yourself with the vendors. Take the reagent scanner from vendors and put your med hud in a backpack.

East of your main lab is two rooms, one lower, which is your distribution room, here you can mix chemicals that marines ask for if doctors are doing a bad job.

the other room, which is directly east of your main lab is containment. Contains four whooping containment cells. two larger than others.
here you put dead xenomorphs that get brought up and conduct totally safe experiments, more on that later.


And south of your main lab is your lobby

and your most important researcher The Doc!

Don’t worry about what this equipment is and how it works for now, because it is irrelevant for the current moment.
These is all areas you need to know about for now
please ignore the Rs on the walls and weird CAM icons

The Basics

In order to understand how research works, you need to understand how the chemicals work on colonial marines(Further CM) as a whole.

The chemicals on CM do not give the effect, for example, bicaridine doesn’t actually heal you directly, it is the neogenetic that does that.


Each Chemical has properties(as an actual thing, not as a description of what the chemical does), that defines and dictates how the chemical will behave, ranging from healing you nearly instantly to killing you nearly instantly. so with the fact that it’s the properties that give the effect to the chemical, Your job is to create or find custom chemicals, those are chemicals that you create, experiment with them and set your own properties. For example, Kelotane has Anti-Corrosive property which heals burn, and Bicaridine - which, as mentioned above has the property Neogenetic. You could create a chemical that has both of these properties, which means it will heal brute AND burn at the same time


You would probably think, but meralyne heals more damage than bicaridine, how?
This is where the Levels, or Power of the property steps in, this dictates how good is the property, or well, how much power it packs. For example, as mentioned meralyne is more powerful, it has the level of Neogenetic set to 3, while bicaridine only has two. There is no actual maximum, but the sane limit is 10.


You thought This was over, hah? No.
Each property(there is +60 of them in the game) been sorted in a Rarity level, there are 6 of them.

  • Common
  • Uncommon
  • Rare
  • Legendary
  • Disabled
  • Admin

as you may guess, Anti Corrosive and Neogenetic is common. More on that later.

Now its over

Digging Deeper

Now, that we got the idea of what propeties are, we can dig a little deeper beyond simple understanding of medical.


Writing “Anti Corrosive” each time we want to mention Anti Corrosive is extremely painful. In order to save ourselves from that pain and potentially losing our sanity, there is codes, or more correctly, abbreviations for each property, It consists of 3 capital letters taken from the name itself. For example NGN stands for Neogenetic and ACR stands for Anti Corrosive.
From now on In this guide I will be using them, I will explain what each code means, of course.

So let’s now talk about what you will be doing. You obviously cannot research already known chemicals like Bicaridine or Kelotane over and over. No No No No YOU will be making your own drugs, or more correctly Creating them from thin air. This is where most of your money will go. so you can give a new chemical its own properties.

Each property has its own cost to make it more powerful, some of them being nearly free, and others you will need to sell one of your kidneys for, Obviously the more expensive the property, the better it is.
No need to worry about where the cost applies, for now.

Because in the start, you don’t have enough money to create, you can only find custom chemicals until The first drop, to start off, check your labcoat, it contains a paper with the recipe for the custom chemical. Check the recipe, and if it contains any chemical that is rare. Rare chemicals are considered those which cannot be gotten from mixing chemicals and can only be obtained via scavenging the ship or the colony, for example, hot sauce can only be obtained via getting a bottle of one in the briefing cafeteria, Uranium is only located at engineering and silver at OT office and so on, having a wiki page for chemistry is extremely helpful to know if it’s possible or not.
If it is possible, try to mix it, I will punch this into your head, YOU NEED 30 UNITS
It isn’t possible, that’s okay, just store the document somewhere.


Example document, here you will need to mix the chemical described with proper proportion, so 3 copper, 1 methane and one nitrogen

Currency and Clearance
All of your activities and your ability to conduct research and create new chemicals are heavily tied to your, budget of sorts, which is called Research Credits(further just credits). Your credit amount is directly tied on what you spend them on. usually, it’s also tied to the property cost, mentioned above. You will spend them only in the Research Terminal and mostly in the synthesis machine
Clearance… Ahh the clearance. Essentially, it’s just a gameplay inhibitor, it slows your progression down by quite a bit to make your life worse. There’s a good side to this, though.

So with that in mind, let’s ask ourselves, how to obtain these damn credits and clearance?

You can obtain credits through

  • Scanning custom chemical that you never scanned yet in the scanner, to Know what chemicals are yet unknown, click “Research objectives” in IC tab, if the name of the chemical is present in the list, scan it. (more about the scanner in the “Meet The Team” part) +2 per each chemical.

  • Passive income, every 10 minutes you get 5 credits, it also depends on your clearance, +1 per each clearance. Your main source of income in average game.

  • DDR(DNA disintegrating) chem discovery nets you an absolutely insane amount of 20 credits as well as helps req with money and intel points(chem ERT)

You can spend credits through

  • Clearance upgrade in the Research Terminal.

  • Purchase of custom chemicals through Research terminal

  • Manipulation of the chemicals

Meet The Team

So now that you understand what properties are and your job, its time to make yourself known with the equipment the WY funded you with, the most advanced state of the art technology, which no colony could ever afford!

The Synthesis Machine
WY squeezed all of the magic it could ever find in the world and put it all in this machine! Located at your central lab, it is irreplaceable so make sure not to blow it up, and if you do, contact admins.
This is where you will spend most of your points
Powered solely on MAGIC itself, Given the right situation, it can create any chemical simply by playing chess with ship AI, such as those which revive the dead and heal them without any medic intervention!
now onto practicality, when you open the UI of the machine, you will be greeted with the interface which has a shitton of buttons, do not panic. I gotchu I GOTCHU,
We will split the interface into a couple of colored boxes to narrow down what I’m talking about.

White - Your master control panel. Here you start stop, change modes, and switch panels.
Light Brown - your information panel, says your balance, target data, reference data, and so on.
Red - Right now it’s empty, but it’s extremely important, you pick your properties here.
Now, let’s return to white, shall we?
On the right side, the buttons are modes.

Amplify - Simple, at the cost of points you can increase the power of the property, this operation also lowers the OD of the chemical, shown in the last line of light brown square. This operation changes one part of the recipe to another

Example of Amplify




Suppress - Simple as well, at the cost of points you can decrease the power of the property. This also lowers the OD of the chemical.

Example of Suppress




Relate - This one is tricky. And a bit useful too!! This allows you to swap out one property from a chemical using a reference to another in reference, it needs to be the same level, though.

Example of Relate

Before Target:

Before Reference:


After Target:

After Reference:

Create mode. Allows you to create a new chemical completely from scratch, with a trick though. You can only give properties to the new chemical which you scanned. For example, the first(and only for now) chemical you scanned showed a property that healed the eyes and liver. it did NOT have a property that made you faster and healed the brain. So you can create a chemical with properties that heal the eyes and liver, but you simply don’t have the other two I mentioned.

Complexity: Tab left of the create button, clicking on it will bring this menu


This allows us to affect the recipe of the chemical we are about to create. Rare is the hardest part of the recipe to find and makes the chemical much cheaper to make, while Basic Is a chemical you can find in the dispenser, but makes it much more expensive, for example, in the chemical we are about to create in “Example of Create”, there is 2 RARE and one BASIC part of the recipe. Try to guess which is rare and what is basic.

Example of Create


Picking the properties:

Setting the power with SET LVL:

Setting the complexity:

Naming the chemical:

Hitting SIMULATE and Results:

Try to guess what is rare and what is not!
Catalyst is completely out of our control. if you get something rare, you just got unlucky.

The XRF Scanner

This is essentially an upgraded version of the spectrometer, it allows you to scan any chemical and get its properties.
To scan you need 30 units of chemical, Scanning the thing you didn’t scan nets you two points. To scan it insert a vial with chemical in it. You can create infinite vials in ChemMaster.

Turing Machine
This allows you to automate the boring experience of making a drug on a mass scale by completely automating it. It has its own energy pool so using it doesn’t hurt.

How it works: To use it you will need to get a vial box.
It will mix anything it can find in the ChemDispenser or in SmartFridge. Simply put the chemicals separately in each vial without making the reaction, put the vial box in turing, and set the multiplier and how many times to repeat the said reaction.

It can also bottle either in your own container or in smartfridge with 60 unit bottles.

to be continued

I just had this laying around, so after a quick finish of revamping the screenshots and finishing there it is


Great guide. My own tips from past mhelps:

Always, always, ALWAYS check every chem you’re going to make for explosive before starting it. Big bold text at the bottom. You can combine ingredients and so long as the resulting amount is under the OD it won’t explode (i.e. adding 5u at a time of one ingredient to the other two won’t explode if the OD is 10u. Repeat adding 5u until you have the 30u you want). If no OD is given it’s safest to mix 4u at a time with the dropper.

IC tab in the top right status pane, View Research Objectives. If you wake up late/get a vial box/find a xeno corpse and your chem isn’t on there it was already found and scanned. Same goes for any other chem. If it isn’t there it was already scanned. If it is there it needs scanned. No need to waste time making/scanning stuff that was already found and won’t do anything.

Botany will only ever give 6 of the 10 randomized chems each round. Rest depend on the IOs.

Printed papers (including those from clearance increases) don’t give credits when scanned. You also don’t need to make the chem itself to use their properties (can just relate, very nice for a level 5 paper with good traits but has ingredients like green blood/thewi).

Setting complexity to all basic can cause issues when making a custom chem if the resulting recipe is a base one.

You can amplify/suppress a custom chem to replace one of the ingredients with one you choose (good for trying to remove an annoying one). Just beware of OD limits.

You can’t do things like relate on any chem papers with unknown emission spectrum ingredients.

Some tricky chems (know that mutated plants can randomly yield any of the following except thwei/green blood):
Gold, uranium, silver: grind sheets from OT or find it in mutated plants (mutated glowberries for uranium and golden apples for gold specifically)
Capsaicin: grind chili peppers
Hot sauce: 1:2 capsaicin to black pepper or get from the mess hall
Concentrated capsaicin: can bring a beaker to brig and fill it from the wall pepperspray dispenser or combine 2:5 capsaicin and phoron
Macho: concentrated capsaicin and Souto Classic
Sleen: oxycodone and lime Souto
Cyanide: mutated apples
Frost oil: mutated chilis
Psilocybin: reishi (mutated mushrooms)
Amatoxin: fly amanita/destroying angel, mutated mushrooms (also gives psilocybin)
Nicotine: grind cigs/cigars
Ultrazine/Neuraline: mutated plants at random

Thwei: OT grinder will extract it from crystals, even if used
Green blood: drain a pred corpse just like a xeno

It can help to make cocoa, mutated apples/mushrooms, etc. ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling for cocoa powder/cyanide/amatoxin/etc at critical moments.

You can press “Bottle” on the plant grinder’s contents to instantly send bottles of the chosen chem to the fridge, 60u at a time. Very handy.

Some rounds it’s better to bank points long-term than rush a crappy stim. Depends a lot on how rounds are going (stalemates vs. running out of time).

5X isn’t required if you find good traits early/don’t want greenos, but 5X will guarantee things like MST and whatnot if you can scan the corresponding xeno bloods. But you do get more points long-term from the passive gain if you rush clearances.

You can scan xeno/pred blood/plasmas and get the 2 credit bonus for each one even without 5X (you just don’t unlock the traits for use in a custom stim).

Regulating and boosting should be prioritized if found (regulating will let you drop the OD to 5u to save credits and amplify freely, boosting lets you save credits by lowering expensive trait levels).

Transformative is a great healing trait but remember anti-tox.

Brain/eye repairing traits are easily outclassed by IA.

Different xeno strains can have different blood/plasmas from the base strains. This can be important for drones/praes/etc.

You can instantly network chems/pills from a research fridge downstairs to the chem line fridge to help doctors/medics (press the arrow next to something in the fridge).

Research chem dispensers use energy separate from the chem line ones. The turing dispenser also has its own special energy. Good for use in mass stim production.

You have a full surgery skillset and can help downstairs when needed.

Catalysts aren’t consumed for a reaction and can be reclaimed by the Chemmaster (good for rare ones like thwei). But if you add the catalyst last all the ingredients will instantly combine. This can cause an explosion if the chem is explosive and has an OD below the amount mixed. Be careful.

The Chemical Centrifuge is what you use to fill stims. Touch it to set a label first (like “Stim 15u OD”) and print the correct injector sizes. EZ are instant, others need medical skill to use instantly. Put 6 injectors (made at the Medilathe) into an empty vial box. Insert a beaker of your stim into the centrifuge, then insert the box. Will fill the injectors in a first order basis. Touch with empty hand to pull the box out, again to pull the beaker out.

Your autolathe can make janitor buckets that hold 500u and act just like a regular beaker.

Medilathe can also make rarer things like more bluespace beakers, canister pouches, surgical trays, etc. Insert plastic and glass sheets as needed.

Beakers will fit in the IV stands and let you use the Chemmaster to quickly vial blood/plasma. You can also use a syringe to rapidly take blood from xeno corpses and dump it into a beaker. Much faster.

Chemmaster can be used to make unlimited vials of whatever and also you can use it to instantly bottle/fridge whatever chems you want. Handy with a beaker full of mixed xeno blood.

If you find an early chem with a decent level of either Crystallization or Photosensitive just put the vial in a matrix (made at the autolathe), screwdriver it, and give to CAS. Takes a minute and can help them a lot.

Most importantly: some rounds you won’t be able to do anything. Just the RNG nature of research, don’t be distraught. Research can absolutely turn the tide in longer rounds with a good team. Keep it up!

So much to cover phew.


Great guide. If I ever decide to roll researcher this guide will be in one of my tabs. You do the community well by making it. Lets add more to it and make a grand codex.

Man I look at the research role and I feel like I need to be an actual chemical engineer to know what I’m doing. Which is bad for me since I am terrible with chemistry.