Humankind is a massive new 4X set to shake up the genre with new ideas, new cultural identities to explore, and exciting gameplay that lets you take advantage of every hex of the world. Instead of locking yourself into a single culture, Humankind lets you evolve into multiple cultures — taking on cultural traits you choose as you evolve into each era. No matter your playstyle, you can conquer the world through agriculture, expansion, trade, science, and much more. The vast world is your oyster, and on the harder difficulties, it can be a cruel world.
You’ll have to deal with greedy neighbors trying to claim as much of the world as they can. And once your civilizations flourish, the AI will attack if they see an opening. Even an agrarian society needs a strong defense, and the best way to keep your society going is by making it prosperous as early as possible. These are 8 straightforward tips every Humankind player should keep in mind before attempting to rule the world.
And don’t miss out on the Humankind personas system, allowing you to download and share special custom leaders.
#1: Focus On Fast Growth First
In the Neolithic Era and Ancient Era, early players will want to focus on cultivation and fast growth. Expand your borders and plop down as many farms as possible. If your people aren’t being used elsewhere once you upgrade to a new era, build as many Maker’s Quarters as possible to enhance your production.
Spread out to halmets and build farms (the Harappan Culture has unique farms that are very good) so you don’t clog up your cities. Zhou and Harappan are very good starter cultures — war-like cultures are difficult to manage in the early game, and defending your borders is much easier at the start. If you’ve already got plenty of good farms, you can quickly expand, produce food, and start swimming in +Gold and +Science once you upgrade to the next era.
#2: Seriously, Don’t Miss Out On Maker’s Quarters
Maker’s Quarters are incredibly good. You can quickly reach Production 400~ in your cities just by filling all those empty spots with Maker’s Quarters. If you have plenty of food and extra population, ignore the fancy unique buildings / unique units for your culture, and get those Maker’s Quarters going! If you’re not focused on fast growth (and high porduction) you’ll quickly run into trouble in future eras.
But, it isn’t always a good idea to upgrade to the next era. Let’s talk a little bit about how eras work.
#3: Why You Might Want To Stay In An Era Longer
Moving into new eras gives you access to new cultures, new technology, and bonuses for each citizen. To move into a new era, you must complete 7 Era Stars. These are sub-missions related to each of the three main culture affinities. There are 21 Era Stars in total for each Era. Technically, you can stay in the Neolithic Era as long as you want, even after completing 7 Era Stars — you can complete all 21 Era Stars if you want!
And there’s a good reason for that! Completing Era Stars gives you Fame. Fame is the general renown of your civilization, and the more renown you have, the more “powerful” your civilization is. Fame is the number that generally gives you a good idea how advanced / strong a civilization is, and completing Era Stars is how you earn it. But, those future era cultural bonuses are also important. You’ll have to decide when and if you’re ready to move into the next era.
#4: War Is Dangerous, But It Can Be Worth It
As you progress, your neighbors will watch you like a hawk. If your military is too weak, the AI in Humankind will invade. They’re surprisingly aggressive, and they’ll pounce if they think you’re easy pickings. Always keep a robust army that patrols your borders — if you’re going heavy on farming, you should be able to keep your troops fed and paid without too much trouble. The tricky part is deciding when to go to war yourself.
Going to war means you can take cities without spending influence. You’ll need a military anyway, so why not use it? You’ll get Era Stars while fighting naturally, along with the Era Stars you’re already pursuing. In the Classical Era, you (or your neighbors) can select the Huns Culture, which is one of the most powerful in the game. The Huns can quickly multiply their troop stacks and sweep through territories. You can take out your neighbors early just to prevent it!
#5: Why Take Over When You Can Puppeteer?
In Humankind, if you decide to go an expansionist war route, you don’t have to completely rule over your defeated neighbors. Instead, you can demand to create a Vassal State. Once you take over enough of your enemy in a war, you can force your enemy to accept surrender through a Peace Treaty, and demand to turn the remaining cities into puppets. You’ll earn constant resources without having to micromanage them. You can make more demands later, and they’re a nice buffer between you and other societies that might come for you next.
#6: Trading Is Important And Easy To Overlook
Don’t forget about trading. Trade is important for acquiring rare materials like saltpeter that’s required for certain Emblemic Units. Once you’ve got a good supply of gold and science flowing into your civilization’s coffers, its a good idea to start exploiting trading as much as possible. Even if you don’t have a trade culture, it’s a good idea to just buy up every rare luxury resource they’ve got available. Just go nuts and get everything! The benefits are long-lasting.
Very rarely you’ll have all the resources you need in your area. Iron, Bronze, and Horses are some of the most valuable (and rare) resources early in the game. Trade for them!
#7: And Deserts Aren’t As Empty As They Look
Deserts are actually one of the best places to start on any map. Deserts are filled with rare materials — farming can be harder, but the rare materials are out of this world. Starting in the center of a large continent is also much easier than the water… at least, generally. Getting the technology to explore vast oceans takes time. Time you don’t have! Your starting eras are all about expansion, and you can’t expand without boats.
#8: Deal With Independents ASAP!
Another early tip — in the starting eras, you’ll have to deal with annoying independent factions that take your land and establish outposts. During your early expansion, aim to find and burn their encampments / redoubts. Once you destroy them, the grey factions will decline on their own. Or you can choose to gift them one of your outposts. They’ll stay put, be friendly, and you can easily conquer / assimilate them into your civilization at a later time.
Eventually the independents will form that outpost into a city! You should have no problem taking it back whenever you please. If they make a military unit, you can be confident their population has bottomed out, so you can swiftly conquer the city after destroying their unit.
That’s just our beginner tips for players still exploring the early stages of Humankind. It’s a vast game, and even with the huge encyclopedia of knowledge in the game, it doesn’t always explain what you need to know when it comes to actually playing. Give these tips and try, and hopefully your civilization can flourish into the modern cultures!