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HUMANKIND - How to Win Against the Hardest AI

Written by Slim Sedi   /   Updated: August 23, 2021    


The title says it all: This is the strategy that I use to beat the hardest AI in Humankind.

Guide to Win Against the Hardest AI



Overview



Here is the very short version of my guide:

  1. Go All In on industry. Everything you do should benefit your production output.
  2. Avoid war or let other AI empires fight for you (Alliances).
  3. When you reach the early modern era, focus on money making and sprinkle a few research quarters here and there (you should be an industrial powerhouse by then).
  4. Pick Sweden for your last era.
  5. GG ez win.

Sweden is ridiculously OP. You will be far behind on tech until the last era. Just spam the emblematic building and you will probably research fusion reactors before you know what electricity is. Breeze through the tech tree, get fame for the space race and nukes, end the game while the AI still uses pikemen.

Modus Operandi



World creation

Leave the world settings at default or change them at your heart´s content - this guide should work in every scenario. Larger world = easier game.

Humankind has a lot of game mechanics. Some of them are pretty useless so we are going to ignore those.

The things you don´t have to worry about are:

Fame

Fame happens. You can ignore it for most of the game and you will even benefit from that. If your city borders an empire that has more fame than you, you will get the "osmosis event" regularly, granting you free research.

Era Stars

Similar to fame, you will earn enough era stars just by doing almost anything. Never go out of your way to get a star and (almost) never delay your advancement into the next era.

Faith

Some of the tenets are actually pretty good, but they don´t justify spending resources on faith. Just pick "Polytheism" when you have the choice and you will be sorted out. Holy sites can still be usefull for stability though.

Spheres of Influence

Don´t worry about it. Sometimes you will be the dominant culture, sometimes you won´t. Not a big deal.

Farmer Quarters

*gasp* One of the four main resources is useless? Sort of. Pops in Humankind are not as useful as in similar games. In Civ, pops are the backbone of your empire. In Endless Space 2, pops multiply the resource output of a planet. In Humankind each pop works on only one resource and does it badly.

Of course, more pops are always better than less, but it´s not worth investing much into food. Very few Farmer Quarters together with a some infrastructure upgrades will go a long way and you can forget about food for most of the game.

Backfilling Technologies

Every technology that you unlock increases the cost of every other tech. Only research techs that are immediately useful (or in the way of something useful).

Nomadic Tribe



Do you feel lucky, punk?

Nothing special about this era: scout, grow, get curiosities, settle.

A good start depends almost entirely on luck. However, there are a few things you can do to be more efficient. If your tribe is "lucky" enough to get stomped by a mammoth and you don´t have any units left, the game will give you an army with 4 tribes in it (and an achievement).

Use auto-exploration often! The pathfinding AI on your units can see through the fog of war and will beeline to any curiosites in the vicinity (and sometimes bug out and run in circles).

Now it´s time to settle down. You should have an outpost ready to become a city as soon as you hit the next age.

Which territories should you claim?

The priorities are as follows:

  • Industry-rich territories (forests, stonefields, mountains)
  • Luxury resources (especially those that boost industry or stability)
  • Strategic resources
  • Rivers
  • Natural wonders

As soon as you get the technology era star, advance.

Ancient Era



This is the hard part.

You have probably noticed the theme of this strategy already, so you won´t be surprised that I suggest the Egyptians for this era. They have a nice industrial bonus for the early game and their emblematic unit can deal with the beefed up AI units.

The first few turns

Immediately start building up your industry - spam makers quarters wherever the game suggests a spot for it. Research Woodworking or Stonecutting (depending on your city location) and then research Calendar to get those sweet, sweet luxury resources.

Artisan quarters are cheap to build and always worth it. In addition they give you something to trade, increasing relations with other empires.

You should have the scouts from the nomadic era on auto-explore. They will be your main source of income for money, influence and science.

Be greedy and claim as much territories as your influence allows. Soon the whole starting continent will be claimed and the borders won´t change in your favour for the next 100 turns, since you are too weak to win an offensive war.

On the hardest difficulty the AI has harder, better, faster and stronger units than you do and they have a lot of them.

Quickly recruit your whole population into the strongest melee unit available to you - defend your cities at all costs. Find friends among the other AI empires and make them join your war. Build fortification districts in strategic locations. The most important thing is that you research the tech that allows armies to reinforce a battle. Once you have that, you can pull a "sneaky soviet" on them and flood the battlefield with mostly ranged units (range = better offense). It might even be worth it to build a farmers quarter to produce more men for the meat grinder. In time, you will be knocking on the walls of berlin the AI capital city and capture it.

A quick word on AI behaviour

It seems to me that an attacking AI only does one of three things.

  • If an enemy (your) army is in walking distance and weaker, attack
  • If the enemy (you) has a nearby outpost, pillage
  • If an outpost is attached to a city, don´t pillage, but attack the city

That means that if you spend your influence wisely and attach territory that borders your enemy to your cities, you will be spared from pillaging and can wait for the enemy to come to your walls.

Congratulations! You are a winner. You should end up with at least a few more territories and maybe an ally or two. You are safe.

An early war is the only thing that could end your game. Now it´s time again to build even more industry and advance to the next era. You will probably be somewhere around last place on the fame leaderboard, but that doesn´t matter.

Classical Era



Ok, boomer.

I won´t even recommend a culture, since you are probably one of the last players to enter this era. (Mayans would be the best, but they are always taken)

Guess what? You gotta build industry! If you actually managed to get the Mayans that´s it.

Maybe the war will happen in this era, but the strategy to win stays the same. Also, build some market quarters to get a decent income.

If you don´t get the Mayans, this era will be a bit more complicated.

Stability

Turns out there is a system in place to prevent "overbooming". The funny thing is that cultures that have the "Builder" Affinity (like the Egyptians or Mayans) can straight up ignore that feature, if they build fast enough.

In this era, you will have to atone for your sin of providing work and shelter for your population.

If you did your homework in the last era, all of your cities should be at 100% stability and tumble towards 0% with a rate of -5% Stability/turn. Once stabilty goes below 31%, you won´t be able to build more districts (unless they boost stability).

Now you can put all that industry to good work, pooping out religious sites every turn, building public health buildings and fortifications, etc.

When you stabilize, build some market quarters and use the money to buy luxury goods from other empires. That´s why a larger map is easier. A single luxury deposit can supply an infinite amount of cities and on the largest map there are just more luxuries to go around.

At the end of this era, you should be almost halfway up the fame leaderboard.

Medieval Era



More!

The Khmer are by far the best culture to choose from. They are builders and have a great emblematic quarter and unit.

At this point you should have a lot. But you want more. Start looking for the new world or prepare to conquer your continent.

Shift your focus to money and research. You should have enough industry to churn out at least one district every turn per city. Use the money to buy EVERY luxury good from the other empires for ridiculous boosts to all of your cities. Use the research to cross the ocean and found even more cities that can enjoy those boosts.

If you reach the end of this era with a healthy empire, you have already won. This is the point where you start to surpass the AI.

Over the next two eras, you will keep growing and only the slow a** combat animations stop you from conquering everyone.

You will probably enter the last era as 2nd or 3rd on the leaderboard and your science will be faaaar behind the actual era that you are in. But that doesn´t matter because the true ruler of humanity is about to be awakened...

The Win Button



  • "Mitt namn: Sverige, kung av alla kungar! Titta på mitt arbete, ni mäktiga, och förtvivlan" (google translated, probably nonsense).

Pick Sweden, spam the emblematic district, win in the next 25 turns. It´s that easy.

The Contemporary Era is a complete mess, balancing wise. In fact it is so bad, that I wish the game would end in the Industrial Era. The existence of Sweden completely nullifies this era and turns it into a clicker game where you spam the end turn button until Sweden wins. I really like the rest of the game but this feels like being stuck in traffic after a hard day at work.

I truly want this guide to become obsolete, because Amplitude rebalances the later eras. But for now, I have a 100% success rate with this strategy and the last hour of each game is simply boooring.

Written by Slim Sedi.


Game:   HUMANKIND