There are four different technologies that are developed at each starbase. These four technologies are: starship hull, starship engines, beam weapons, and torpedoes. You must spend MegaCredits for each tech level you advance. The cost of each improvement in tech level increases as you move up in tech levels. The number of MegaCredits to upgrade tech levels is as follows:
Final Initial Level Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4,500 4,400 4,200 3,900 3,500 3,000 2,400 1,700 900 9 3,600 3,500 3.300 3,000 2,600 2,100 1,500 800 8 2,800 2,700 2,500 2,200 1,800 1,300 700 7 2,100 2,000 1,800 1,500 1,100 600 6 1,500 1,400 1,200 900 500 5 1,000 900 700 400 4 600 500 300 3 300 200 2 100
Every starbase's tech levels are independent of each other and of all other starbases. When you build a new starbase all four tech levels normally start at level 1. Four of the native races give a free tech level 10 bonus for any new starbase built over their planet.
A Premium player may upgrade any tech level of their starbases to 10. A non-Premium player can normally upgrade the tech level to 7, but Homeworlds (the one you start with and those you conquer) can be upgraded to 10. The native race tech level bonuses are not limited by this.
Your choice of starship components expands as you increase your tech level. The cost of high-tech starship components is far greater than the basic low tech version of the same components, as is the power.
The tech level in Torpedo Construction also controls the level of torpedoes that can be built at the starbase.
The tech level in Beam Weapons will determine the type of beam weapons employed in starbase defense. Specifically, the beam slot (rather than tech level) of the weapons used to defend the starbase will be equal to the tech level of beams that the starbase can build, unless the number of planetary defense posts allows a higher tech of beam to be used. Put more simply, this means that the starbase will often be able to build slightly more powerful beams than it uses in combat.