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

Humankind Best Civilization Civ Culture Eras Emblematic District Emblematic Unit Traits

Classical Era

Let’s talk about the civilizations and cultures that you can choose during the Classical Era in Humankind.


The Classical Era in other 4X franchises (most notably Civilization) is when open warfare becomes the norm. It’s when you’ve gained some semblance of stability in your empire which means you’re ready to strike out and conquer. Here are your options in Humankind:

Type Culture Trait Emblematic District Emblematic Unit
Aesthete Mauryans Guiding Light
+1 influence on Emblematic District; -10% attach outpost cost
+1 influence; +2 faith; -10 stability; +3 science; +2 influence per adjacent district; +1 researchers slot; counts as a Research Quarter
Samnahya (ranged cavalry)
Elephant Platform – Ignore penalties from fighting in melee.
Agrarian Celts Druidic Lore
+2 food per farmer in cities or outposts
+3 food per number of attached territories; +3 faith; -10 stability; +3 food per adjacent Farmers Quarter; counts as a Farmers Quarter
Gaesati (melee)
Fervor – No combat strength penalty even if the unit has taken damage.
Builder Maya Tireless Spirit
+2 industry per worker in cities or outposts
K’uh Nah
+3 industry per number of attached territories; +2 faith; -10 stability; +4 industry per adjacent Makers Quarter; +1 workers slot; counts as a Makers Quarter
Noble Javeliners (ranged)
Poison – Applies the poisoned status to a target, reducing movement and attack range.
Expansionist Achaemenid Persians Cyrus’ Shadow
+2 city cap; +10 stability on cities and outposts
Satraps’ Palace
+1 influence; +5 money; -10 stability; +2 influence per adjacent district; +1 traders slot; counts as a Market Quarter
Immortals (anti-cavalry)
Bastion – Stronger when fighting from high ground and fortified positions; requires 1x copper.
Romans Legion’s Finest
+1 unit slot available for each army; -30% unit upkeep
Triumphal Arch
+3 influence; +3 stability; +5 influence and +10 stability when city is “victorious”
Praetorian Guards (melee)
Tactical Superiority – Rear attack bonus applies even from adjacent flanking by an ally; requires 1x iron.
Merchant Aksumites Horn of Plenty
+2 money on tiles that produce money
Great Obelisk
+1 money per territory under your religion’s influence; +3 faith; +3 money; -10 stability; +3 money per adjacent Market Quarter; +1 traders slot; counts as a Market Quarter
Shotelai (melee)
Grappler – Larger zone-of-control (ZOC) that can’t be ignored; requires 1x iron.
Carthaginians Hard Bargainers
-25% constructible buyout cost
+10 district fortification; -10 stability; +3 industry per adjacent coastal water tile; +2 industry per adjacent lake tile; +1 workers slot; replaces Harbor; naval unit spawn; allows embarkation without movement cost; counts as a Makers Quarter and Market Quarter
War Elephant (heavy cavalry)
Trample – Stronger when attacking weaker units; requires 2x copper.
Militarist Goths Nimble Pillage
+10 combat strength from ransacking; +2 influence from Garrisons
+3 influence; +3 faith; +2 faith per adjacent district; -10 stability
Gothic Cavalry (heavy cavalry)
Ransacker – Bonus combat strength when ransacking and fighting on enemy districts; requires 1x horse and 2x iron.
Huns Formidable Steeds
+3 combat strength for cavalry units; +3 combat strength for mounted nomads/nomadic cavalry
Automatically upgrades outpost; cannot be attached to cities
Hunnic Horde (nomadic cavalry)
Free Riders – Can move and attack after attacking.
Scientist Greeks Socratic Methods
+2 science per researcher in a city or outpost
+1 influence and +3 science per era; -10 stability; +2 science per adjacent district; counts as a Research Quarter
Hoplites (anti-cavalry)
Phalanx – Gain additional combat strength for every adjacent unit that has the “Phalanx” ability; requires 1x copper.

Humankind Best Civilization Civ Culture Eras Emblematic District Emblematic Unit Traits 2

Do you hear that sound? Those are the advancing nomadic horsemen that are out to annihilate your foes. That’s because the Huns are the top choice here. As mentioned in our Humankind Victor OpenDev feature as well as our Classical Era guide, the Huns have a combination of being a Militarist civ (you can raise militia units from your population) and access to a nomadic emblematic unit (the Hunnic Horde).

With these in mind, you can use the Militarist special action in your city to get your rabble army. Then, you’ll bring that army to an outpost and disband all the units. This allows the outpost to gain the population necessary to raise a Hunnic Horde instantly (as long as you have horses). If you do this process in multiple outposts, you’ll have a nigh-unstoppable force that can swarm the AI even at higher difficulties. Don’t forget to pillage improvements and outposts as well so your nomadic horsemen can gain extra units.

Note 1: If you use the Hunnic Horsemen to erect new outposts, you’ll use up the troops. You’re better off bringing a scout along to plop down those outposts if needed.

Note 2: If you chose the Harappans during the Ancient Era, your outposts (that turn into Ordus) will gradually gain more population after a few turns. You might not even need to raise militia squads that often since you can directly recruit a stack of Hunnic Horde units from Ordus.

If someone else already chose the Huns, you can pick the Achaemenid Persians (+city cap, influence, and money), Greeks (+science), Mayans (+industry), or Romans (+influence, stability, decreased unit upkeep, and an additional unit slot in your armies). Anyway, the next part of our Humankind guide talks about the Medieval Era civilizations and cultures.

Humankind Best Civilization Civ Culture Eras Emblematic District Emblematic Unit Traits New 2 Huns

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!