Humankind tips - a beginner's guide to Fame, Era Stars, and Cities

Humankind tips
(Image credit: Sega)

Some Humankind tips will help guide you through this historical strategy game that allows you to build your own civilization from the ground up. Starting out as a Nomadic Tribe, you’ll soon be able to advance to new Eras, build new Cities, and start your own Culture. If you do it right, your people will become more famous than any other.

Of course, there are many ways to win Humankind. You can wage war and conquer your neighbor’s territories, or you can set your sights on Science and advance your people with knowledge. There are countless strategies and even more gameplay mechanics to help you get there. 

Due to the abundance of options, it can be hard to get started in Humankind. If you’re in need of some guidance during those first games, here’s a basic Humankind guide to help you on your path to glory. 

How to earn Fame and win Humankind

Humankind earn Fame and win

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Building an empire is fun and all, but how do you actually win Humankind? The answer is simple: by earning enough Fame. You may have the biggest army or the most advanced society, but in the end, the player with the highest Fame score wins. Here’s how you collect Fame:

  • Earning Era Stars (click on your profile to see them).
  • Completing Competitive Deed challenges. For example, if you’re the first to discover the ‘moveable typeface’, you’ll get a Fame reward that others can’t obtain.
  • Discovering Natural Wonders or constructing Cultural Wonders.
  • Researching Advanced Technologies. Getting a military laser will also get you a large Fame boost.
  • Winning a war, eliminating a rival empire, or assimilating an independent people.
  • Becoming a Liege or breaking free from Vassalage.

How to advance from the Neolithic Era to the Ancient Era in Humankind

Humankind tips

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You’re not going to get very famous in Humankind if you don’t advance from the Neolithic Era to the Ancient Era. The more modern your current Era, the better your Resources, Technologies, and Units get. Advancing to the next Era is your first step towards winning Humankind.

Going to the next Era always requires a certain amount of Era Stars. The first transition, Neolithic to Ancient, only requires one Era Star though. There are three different Stars you can pursue:

  • Hunter Star: hunt a certain number of animals. This is arguably the easiest option, as you’ll often run into animals while exploring the map. 
  • Knowledge Star: get a certain amount of Science by discovering Curiosities (the question marks randomly appearing on tiles). It’s always a good idea to visit Curiosity tiles, especially in the beginning.
  • Growth Star: get a certain population and/or unit count. You can increase it by hunting animals and discovering Curiosities.

Transitioning your Humankind Era: speed, Fame, or Transcendence 

Humankind tips

(Image credit: Sega)

Although one of these Era Stars is enough to transition, do not be too hasty: Era Stars will also get you Fame. If you choose to advance with just one era Star, you will only get the Fame reward for that one Star. You may therefore decide to postpone your Era transition and get one or two more Era Stars first. 

Whether it’s wise to wait for a bit depends on the situation. However, if you’re close to obtaining another Era Star, it would be a pity not to complete it. If, however, you really want a specific Culture that fits your strategy, it’s probably better to advance immediately. Once a Culture is claimed by another player, you can’t get it anymore.

Finally, you should know that you may keep the same Culture after reaching a new Era. This is called Transcendence. You may opt to take the Celts or the Maya’s far into the future, and get a 10% Fame boost every time you ascend to the next Era.

Which Humankind Culture to choose

Humankind tips

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As soon as you advance to the Ancient Era, you’ll be presented with you first choice of Culture. By hovering over the different options, you will see that every Culture has a special type of District (a tile) and a special Unit. Note that some of these need to be researched on the Technology Tree before they become available.

Even more importantly, every Culture has a certain Legacy Trait, such as +1 combat strength. This passive ability will stay with you for the rest of the game, so it’s important to choose one that fits your strategy. The biggest determining factor for your overall strategy though, is the Cultural Affinity. You can choose a Culture from one of the following Affinities:

  • Builder. Choose this Cultural Affinity if you want to focus on growing your cities and developing a stable society.
  • Agrarian. Farming means lots of food, and lots of food means lots of people. Choose this Culture if you want to focus on population growth. 
  • Expansionist. This Culture can use their army to annex territories occupied by others and cross borders regardless of diplomatic relations. 
  • Militarist. Use this Culture to raise militias in your cities and get more support for war.
  • Merchant. If you’d rather trade than conquer, this Humankind Affinity helps you build Resource Extractors and sell Resources obtained from third parties. 
  • Aesthete. Can buy influence with money. A good Culture to become best friends with other nations, as your ideological proximity is always at its max.
  • Scientist. Can sacrifice industry, food, and money in the name of science. Furthermore, they can unlock new Technologies even before reaching a new Era.

How to build a city in Humankind

Humankind tips

(Image credit: Sega)

Naturally, you don’t want to be a Nomad forever. Although Humankind doesn’t force you to settle down right away, you can’t win the game without growing a bunch of Cities. The first step towards City creation as a Neolithic Tribe, is by placing your first Outpost. 

Click on your army and use the ‘Claim Territory’ button to create an Outpost. You can find available tiles and see the cost of creation (a certain amount of Influence) by hovering over the map. Your first Outpost will automatically become your first City after reaching the second Era.

The most important question for now, of course, is where to build it. Besides its defensive qualities (a mountain range to create a buffer between you and your aggressive neighbor, for example), you’ll have to consider your City’s access to the Resources:

  • Food. You always need to make sure you have enough food to keep your City’s stability intact and grow the population.
  • Industry. More Industry means a faster City expansion. 
  • Money. A good money-making City enables you to simply buy more resources from other players and complete City constructions immediately.
  • Science. The Science point acquired in your City will help you research new Technologies. 

Technology, Civics, and Religion in Humankind

Humankind tips

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After advancing to the next Era and building your first City, it’s time to take a look at the Technology Tree. This is important, because new Technologies can greatly aid your budding society. For example, if you need more food and you have access to the Luxury resource ‘horses’, you can research Domestication to create Animal Barns (see picture). Every new Technology will bring you closer to the most modern ones, such as the internet, fighter jets, or the exosuit.

Every once in a while, you’ll have to make a Civics choice too. Your Civics will determine the nature of your society. For example, your laws and traditions can be focused on Liberty, or you can go for Authority. You can choose to promote freedom of speech, or you can bombard your population with propaganda. Keep in mind that the Ideology you’re creating may either positively or negatively impact your relations with other peoples.

Finally, you will have the option to choose your Religion. Every Nomadic Tribe starts out as ‘Animist’, but this will change after your City reaches a certain population count. Religions can prove handy tools to rile up a population for war or to keep your citizens content.

With these basics of Humankind in mind, it’s time to start building your society! What will it be: a militarist regime, a high-tech society, or perhaps the global center of culture? Let’s spawn that Nomadic Tribe on the map and see where Humankind leads you.

Marloes Valentina Stella

I’m a freelance journalist who (surprise!) kind of has a thing for videogames. When I’m not working on guides for GamesRadar, you can probably find me somewhere in Teyvat, Novigrad, or Whiterun. Unless I’m feeling competitive, in which case you should try Erangel. You can also find my words on PCGamesN, Fanbyte, PCGamer, Polygon, Esports Insider, and Game Rant.