For the Napoleon: Total War technology, see Steam Engine (Napoleon: Total War).

Steam Engine (Empire: Total War)
Etw industry metal steam engine
Prerequisite Machine Tools
Research Points Needed
Building Needed Ironmaster's Workshop
Leads To None
Stream Metal Industry, Industry
Steam Engine is a Technology in Empire: Total War.


This mechanical engine harnesses pressurised steam to provide motive power for all manner of machinery.

The power comes from letting steam into a cylinder beneath a piston, and then cooling it rapidly. The partial vacuum created sucks the piston down the cylinder; more steam then enters and is cooled, creating a backwards-and-forwards stroke that can be converted by cams into rotary motion. The engine itself remains stationary, but its power can be transferred by axles, gears and belts to other machines. Some steam engines are simply harnessed to pumps and the reciprocating motion of the piston is used to lift water out of mines.

A steam engine requires water and fuel, but it can be installed anywhere. As long as a fire burns and the boiler has water, it will provide profitable power to a mill or mine.

The practical steam engine was the brainchild of Scotsman James Watt (1736-1819), who improved the earlier machines of Thomas Newcomen and others. It was Watt who first used the term “horsepower” as a measure of an engine’s output – something that still brings joy to all modern petrolheads! He was also honoured by giving his name to the SI unit of derived power, the watt.

General InformationEdit

The Steam Engine is one of the most important industrial technologies in Empire: Total War. In addition to generating wealth by itself, it allows players to upgrade nearly all existing industrial buildings. Although the upgrades are expensive, they are well-worth the price in the long run.

Empire: Total War Technology
Philosophy Abolition of SlaveryCitizenshipClassical EconomicsEmpiricismFree Trade DoctrineGovernment by ConsentJoint Stock CompaniesNational DebtPhysiocracyRights of ManSecular HumanismSeparation of PowersSocial ContractUtilitarianismWealth of Nations
Military AirgunsCadenced MarchingCanister ShotCarbinesCarcass ShotCarronadesCopper BottomsDiamond FormationEuropean DoctrineExplosive RocketsExplosive ShellsFire and AdvanceFire by RankFlintlock CannonsImproved CopperingImproved Grape ShotImproved GrenadesLight Infantry DoctrineLime Juice and SauerkrautLongitude WatchMachined RiflingMilitary SyllabusNaval Architecture AdvancesNaval Shore FacilitiesNew Model Bayonet DrillPercussion CapPercussion ShellsPlatoon FiringPlug BayonetQuicklime ShellsReformed Naval AdministrationReorganised ProcurementRifled CannonsRing BayonetScrew BreechSeasoningSextantSheet Lead CartridgesShortened CarbinesShrapnel ShotSocket BayonetSquare FormationTop GallantsWedge Formation
Industrial Advanced IrrigationBasic Steam PumpCoke Blast FurnaceCommon Land EnclosuresDivision of LabourFlying ShuttleFour-Field Crop RotationImproved Animal HusbandryMachine ToolsMass ProductionMeasuring ToolsPower LoomPuddling FurnacePunch-Card LoomSeed Planting DrillSelective BreedingSpinning JennySpinning MuleSteam EngineSteam-Pumped Land DrainageThreshing Machine
Warpath Campaign Mystic Call of the WildDreamwalkingRiding the WindsSpirit MedicineSpirit of the Forest
Warpath Campaign Military Ambush TacticsCannon CastingGun DealingImproved IronworkingIronworkingPowder MakingSharp ShootingWinter Clothes
Warpath Campaign Economy and Culture Improved FarmingImproved FishingMoney EconomyWritten LanguageHunting Techniques