Humankind Beginner Guide


4X strategy games can be a lot of fun, but due to their incredibly deep nature, it can be tough trying to wrap your head around exactly what is going on. Well, we can help you with our Humankind Beginner Guide to get you started on your journey as an immortal supreme ruler of your very own empire.

Humankind Beginner Guide – Getting Started

There are a few basic concepts that you’ll need to understand to be the best eternal ruler that you can be. Firstly, there are the grid views you can select. In the bottom-right corner of your GUI, you can toggle both a grid appearing over the map, as well as displaying resource tokens. You should ensure that you keep resource tokens toggled on because this gives you important strategic information.

You should also familiarize yourself with what the resource symbols mean. There are four different types of resources in-game, which can be shortened to FIMS. Below is a table containing the name of the resources, their symbol, and what you’ll be using them for.

Food – Mostly used to keep your population growing or stable, but can also be used as payment in some circumstances.

Industry – Defines how quickly you can build new units or structures. Each creation has a certain Industry cost, and you produce a certain amount of industry per turn.

Money – Used to buy out construction instantly, but also important for trading with other empires.

Science – Used when researching new technologies. The more you produce each turn, the quicker you’ll make discoveries.

Two other important aspects of Humankind are Fame and Influence (Influence symbol). Influence is a metric of how much power you have in the world and is used for various things including deciding new civic policies, while Fame is the metric used to pick the winner at the end of the game.

Humankind Beginner Guide – How Do I Win?

So, if you’ve played a 4X strategy game before, you’re probably expecting to know how to win already. You just steamroll the enemy or out-science them, or whatever. Right? Well, no. Humankind goes for a bit of a different approach. Regardless of your chosen method of victory, your actual goal is to accrue as much fame as possible so you can be remembered forever. That’s where the Fame system comes in, as the player with the most Fame at the end of the game is the one who actually wins.

To earn fame, you need to pay attention to your Era goals. Each game of Humankind is split into different Eras, and in each era, you select a culture to be based on. The different cultures all specialize in different things, and while you can gain Fame from any goals, you gain more Fame from goals that are related to your specialization.

For example, Babylon is a scientific culture, so it gains the most Fame from accruing scientific discoveries, but they still gain some Fame from hitting money milestones. This means that while you should certainly focus on one goal, you can’t let the other elements of your empire go ignored for too long, or the other cultures on the map will beat you easily.

Humankind Beginner Guide – Building an Empire

Now that you know how to win, and what resources you’ll need to gather, you should familiarize yourself with building your empire from the ground up. Firstly, when you create a settlement it’ll be an outpost, not a city. To turn it into a city, you’ll need to spend Influence and click ‘upgrade to city’ in the settlement viewer.

With your city constructed it’s time to start talking about the different things you can do with it. There are several different tabs in the city construction view, making it much easier to find specific products in the late game when you have 400 different options. A brief explanation of the different types of construction you can do is listed below.


Districts are entire areas of your city and need to be placed on a tile within your city limits. These are also the primary building types that reduce your stability.


These types of production are either single buildings or other city-wide creations. They do not require space on your city map, and can sometimes be used to counter the low production of FIMS.


Units are military productions in either the land, sea, or air. These require population to create, so make sure your food levels are high enough before building up your army.


Ceremonies are infinitely repeatable productions that can have big benefits to your cities at the cost of preventing them from doing any other sort of production while they’re running.

Humankind Beginner Guide – Tips & Tricks

Zoom Out:

If you zoom all the way out on the map, you can see a more simplified version that lets you know where your territories are in relation to the other territories on the map.

Keep an Eye on Stability:

The pink meter underneath your Industry heading while viewing a city is that city’s stability. The more districts you build in a city, the more unstable it becomes, causing problems as things get worse and worse. You can build certain structures to help improve stability and should do so periodically.


The terrain has a big effect on how easily your units can move. Check carefully when planning your moves, as some impassable terrain is incredibly hard to spot.

Two Ways to Play:

There are basically two broad ways to play Humankind. You can pay close attention to all of your stats and pick the different event responses and civics that give you the stats you most need, or you can roleplay your empire and make choices based on how you want the story of your people to play out.

Use Buyouts:

If you need production quickly, remember to use buyouts. You can use either money or population to pay for buyouts.

Use Policies:

On the right side of your city view, you should see a policy drop-down menu. YOu can use this to focus your people on different areas. In a pinch, these can help you to increase your population or stability when it’s on the brink.

Pay Attention to Events:

Occasionally, an event will pop up asking you to decide something. Make sure you read the choices carefully, as some come with fine print about the possible outcomes. These fall into three categories of Bad Consequences, Good Consequences, or Unexpected consequences.

Let Terrain Dictate Research:

The terrain of your capital should dictate which research you do first, as research unlocks things that typically require different terrain or resources to work properly. For example, a capital near water should unlock ships ASAP, while there’s little point unlocking metal-working until you’ve actually got some metal to work with.

Tutorials Abound:

If you ever get stuck or confused, the game comes with an expansive tutorial system. In the tutorial menu, there are many videos that cover the game’s various systems in great detail.

Listen to recommendations:

While you’re playing the game and making important decisions, you may occasionally notice some options highlighted by golden glowing edges. These are the recommendations that the game has for you, and often represent the biggest bonuses to resources, or the most sensible choices in other areas. These recommendations are important to consider, but it’s also worth going off-script if it’ll give you a strategic advantage.

Humankind Beginner Guide – Final Word

This guide should give you all the key information that you’ll need to get to grips with Humankind. While they won’t make you a master by any means, they should give you enough information to get started.

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