In Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, fear of the unknown happens when you enter an area that you’ve never been in before. The first time you encounter one, it can be pretty jarring. The screen will go dark, eyes of predators flash before you, and you’ll slowly start to lose your sanity. It’s important to conquer your ancestor’s fear of the unknown to expand your clan’s home range and uncover some of the incredible new areas to explore.

What to do when you enter the unknown

When you first walk into an unknown area, the screen will turn black and visions of predators will stalk you as you move around. There is also an occasional roar, so it can be very difficult to know when there is actually a predator behind you. Make sure that you’re looking all around when in unknown territory, as some predators will spawn next to you if you stay in one area for too long. I like to keep my finger hovering over the ‘A’ button just in case a predator tries to get the jump on me.

Ancestors The Humankind Odyssey Fear Of The Unknown

Your first time trying to break through the fear of the unknown can be a daunting task.

To begin conquering Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey‘s fear of the unknown, you’ll want to use your hominid’s senses. Pressing ‘Y’ (on the controller) will bring up your Intelligence. With this, you can focus on and discover non-edible plants, rocks, and other items. Pressing ‘X’ will bring up your sense of smell, which can help you pinpoint plants to eat and sources of water. Discovering these items will fill a circular meter in the bottom left corner (right above the eye). It will also refill your dopamine in small amounts, which drains the longer you’re exploring the unknown.

It’s much safer, and quite a bit easier, to discover new items if you can find a tree to climb. Getting high enough up the trunk will keep you safe from all predators on the ground (although if one is right below you, you’ll need to pay extra attention to your dopamine levels). If you can find a branch and have unlocked the node that allows you to stand on two legs on command, your range to find and focus on items will be increased. I wouldn’t recommend climbing to the very top of the tree to do this. You’ll be an easy target for flying predators up there. Instead, try and stick to the middle section of the tree.

Ancestors The Humankind Odyssey Fear Of The Unknown New Items

Look for blank squares to focus on to build up recognition of your surroundings and refill your dopamine meter.

If you are using your senses but can’t recognize some of the items in the area, it means you haven’t discovered them before. Different areas in Ancestors have new fruits, plants, and so forth. Leave the unknown but stick close enough to that same general area and search for these new items using your sense of smell and intelligence. When you find something new, head over to it and inspect it (either by picking it up or standing in front of it) with ‘X’. Once you have discovered most of the items in the area, head back into the unknown.

Conquering Ancestors‘ fear of the unknown

Once you’ve discovered enough items to fill that circular meter, you’ll be able to conquer your fear and open up the area for regular exploration. Make sure you look for the prompt by the meter that tells you “Surroundings Rationalized,” as the meter can look deceptively close to being full at times without actually being completed. A good practice is to carry some food around with you to eat, just in case you can’t find anything that provides a spirt of dopamine.

When this meter is full, you will see what looks like wind rushing uniformly in one direction. Follow the direction that this wind is going, which will lead you further into the unknown area. You should eventually see the wind rushing towards a ball of white light. This is your target. Just make sure you’re still keeping an eye out for predators. Rationalizing your surroundings will not prevent you from becoming a tasty meal.

Ancestors The Humankind Odyssey Beating Fear

Once your surroundings have been rationalized (which you can see in the meter on the bottom left), head in the direction that wind is rushing until you run into a bright white ball.

When you make contact with the white light, hold down the ‘B’ button to conquer your fear of the unknown. The letter ‘B’ will popup on the screen to let you know that this is doable. Once completed, you will regain your courage and the area will be ripe for exploration.

I know the first thing you’ll want to do is start wandering around, but take a minute to check on your dopamine level. If it’s low, predators can easily run you out of this new area. Find new items to discover or food to eat to replenish your dopamine before setting off.

Ancestors Fear

Once you’ve beaten your fear, you will be able to explore the area unafraid.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey – Hysteria

If you run out of dopamine before conquering the unknown, your clan member will enter a state of hysteria. This will cause them to run forward desperately, allowing the player to only move them left or right. The meter once housing your dopamine level will begin to fill with a sinister red. Once it fills, your character will frantically run off and you’ll be returned to your main settlement.


If your dopamine meter depletes, you will run around with hysterical fear. Once the meter refills, you will be sent back to your home settlement.

It’s difficult to break out of hysteria since you can’t stop to do any actions that would give you a dopamine boost. Your best bet is to try and return to a known area to regain some sanity. Be careful while in this state, as your character can make their way to the top of the tree where they opt to jump off instead of climbing down safely. Cliff edges and bodies of water can prove just as dangerous. If you don’t break out of hysteria (like me most of the time), you’ll at least be returned back to your settlement with whatever items you were holding and any babies you were carrying.

Conquering Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey‘s daunting fear of the unknown mechanic is tricky the first few times. However, you will do it so much during your exploration that it will eventually become no problem at all. Just make sure you are always looking for new items to discover when venturing into new locations, and keep your dopamine high for when you discover a new portion of an unknown area. You will also unlock new abilities and tolerances through your neuronal chart and evolution that will make beating Ancestors‘ fear of the unknown much easier.

You’ll be a regular cartographer in no time!

Be sure to check out our other Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey guides to learn to survive and thrive!

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