Yesterday, while playing Civilization V: Brave New World game, I suddenly researched Refrigeration Technology, even though I was researching Atomic Theory (had 5 turns left on it).

How could this have happened?

I'm sure it wasn't from esponiage as I do not have any spies trying to steal technology from other civilizations.

Come to think of it, can City-States gift free technologies?
(I have all the policies in the Patreonage tree)

  • Did you get a popup saying you'd researched refrigeration, or did it somehow go from not being researched to being researched? Apr 14, 2015 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


Did you by any chance still have a scouting unit roaming the map? If they come across a still existing ruin, they could discover a technology. I assume it always gives you an unresearched-but-available technology.

All other sources of free technologies have you choose which technology you want (including via espionage), as far as I can remember.

Small update
As far as I remember, city states only give you science, not specific technologies. So it goes to the research you currently selected, instead of giving you random things over time.

  • Which is still presented as a "Steal Technology" button, and it allows you to choose which one you want (one you don't have, is available to you, and the enemy already has). IIRC in Beyond Earth, you don't get to pick anymore. But in Civ 5 you do.
    – Flater
    Apr 14, 2015 at 14:18
  • @JonathanDrapeau See the following image: lparchive.org/Civilization-V-Gods-Kings/Update%2038/…
    – Flater
    Apr 14, 2015 at 14:20
  • Had forgot about that, been a while I've played, I was wrong :) Apr 14, 2015 at 14:23
  • I had to think on it myself. Which is why I specifically mentioned espionage, as my initial thought was it was randomly received as well :) But from what I remember, only ruins grant random technologies.
    – Flater
    Apr 14, 2015 at 14:27

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