Humankind: Civilizations and cultures guide — Ideal picks for each era

Humankind Best Civilization Civ Culture Eras Emblematic District Emblematic Unit Traits

The basics of progression in Humankind

Let’s talk about the basics of how we’ll progress throughout Humankind‘s campaign.


Era Stars and Fame

Era Stars are what you’ll need to acquire to advance to a new era or time period in the game. During the Neolithic Era when your nomadic tribe is just wandering around, you only need one Era Star. However, in every subsequent period thereafter, you’ll need a total of seven stars.

The Neolithic Era has the following objectives and you only need to complete one:

  • Growth Star (+20 Fame) – Have 5x population/units in your empire. You can do this by discovering food curiosities.
  • Hunter Star (+20 Fame) – Hunt 3x animals.
  • Knowledge Star (+20 Fame) – Discover curiosities to accrue 10x Science; unlocks a Neolithic Legacy Trait. This can either be +1 food, +1 industry, or +1 science per population across your entire empire. It also lasts for the rest of the game.

The Hunter Star is the easiest one to get due to all the stags and mammoths roaming around. As for the discoveries (shining objects on tiles), it can take you a while to find a lot of them. That makes the Knowledge Star one of the hardest to get. In any case, you can either acquire a single Era Star from any category to advance to the Ancient Era, or you can try to obtain the Neolithic Legacy Trait at least. The choice is yours.

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The Ancient Era (and all time periods thereafter) require seven Era Stars before you can advance. There are multiple objectives:

  • Agrarian – Have more population/units.
  • Aesthete – Amass more influence.
  • Builder – Construct districts.
  • Expansionist – Territories attached to cities.
  • Merchant – Amass more money/gold.
  • Militarist – Kill a sufficient number of units.
  • Scientist – Research a certain number of techs.

As you earn Era Stars from these options, you’ll also accrue Fame points. If you receive Era Stars that match your chosen culture or civilization in Humankind, you’ll get bonus Fame, too. For instance, choosing a Militarist culture and killing lots of units to gain Militarist Stars equates to more points.

Note: Fame is basically the “score” in Humankind. You’ll also increase your points by completing Competitive Deeds (i.e., being the first to research Writing, circumnavigate the globe, launch satellites, construct wonders, and so on). The Fame score is the sole determining factor on who wins the game at the end of your run.

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Traits, Emblematic Districts, Emblematic Units, and Transcending

Every civilization or culture in Humankind has its own Legacy Trait, Emblematic District, and Emblematic Unit. “Emblematic” is just a fancy term for “unique” (something that Civilization players will be familiar with):

  • A Legacy Trait is something that is passed down to subsequent eras, allowing you to retain the perks from the civilizations you’ve chosen throughout your playthrough.
  • Meanwhile, most Emblematic Districts can only be built once per territory (a region that’s outlined on the world map), and only for that particular era.
  • As for Emblematic Units, they’ll be present throughout your run until you acquire a direct upgrade via techs.

Now, let’s say you like a particular nation that you chose during the Ancient Era and you definitely don’t want to switch to a different one upon reaching the Classical Era. Don’t worry because the game lets you stick to the same one. This is called “transcending,” and it provides a +10% bonus to the Fame points you earn. Of course, since you’re playing as a nation/culture from a bygone era, you might find out that your unique district and unit have become outclassed and outdated.

Anyway, since we’re already talking about the civilizations and cultures in Humankind, let’s discuss the different archetypes in the next section of our guide.

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Jason Rodriguez
About The Author
Jason Rodriguez is a guides writer. Most of his work can be found on PC Invasion (around 3,400+ published articles). He's also written for IGN, GameSpot, Polygon, TechRaptor, Gameskinny, and more. He's also one of only five games journalists from the Philippines. Just kidding. There are definitely more around, but he doesn't know anyone. Mabuhay!