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Humankind cultures guide: Best culture, Legacy Traits and more

A beginner's guide to Humankind's cultures, the different affinities, and legacy traits players are able to unlock as they re-write history.
Humankind cultures guide: Best culture, Legacy Traits and more

From developer Amplitude Studios and published by SEGA, Humankind is a historical strategy game where the player can "re-write the entire narrative of humankind", creating a civilization that is unique by combining history, values and culture. In this guide for beginners, we focus on the latter aspect of this grand strategy title.

The game's scale is absolutely massive, as players will progress their civilization through six different eras. Humankind features 60 historical cultures with their own unique legacy traits, and there are cultural affinities to take into consideration as well.

Humankind cultures guide best pick ancient affinity legacy traits emblematic units quarsters
There's 60 cultures in Humankind throughout the six eras. (Picture: SEGA)

If you are just starting out in Humankind, all the game's systems might get a bit overwhelming. To help you get started on the right foot, we've created a guide to Humankind cultures, their legacy traits and emblematic units for the first eras, and explain what cultural affinities are all about.

Humankind cultures: Legacy traits & emblematic units

At the start of Humankind, every player will have the Nomadic Tribe culture. However, following the introduction, players will be able to choose between three Legacy Trait options. 

Then, when you finally reach the Ancient era, Humankind players will have a difficult choice to make, picking a culture to adopt for the Ancient era. 

Humankind cultures guide best pick ancient affinity legacy traits emblematic units quarsters
Every era, players have a difficult choice to make. (Picture: SEGA)

Each culture has an "Emblematic Unit", which is basically a unique unit to a specific culture. There's also "Emblematic Districts" which are unique to a specific culture. That's already a whole lot of information to take in.

If you are stuck at the choice of which culture to adopt as you head into the Ancient era of Humankind, then we've got you covered with the must-know details about your options.

Humankind culture options for the Ancient era:

  • Assyrians - Expansionist affinity with Raid Masters legacy trait, Assyrian Riders emblematic unit and Dunnu quarter.
  • Egyptians: Builder affinity with Grand Planners legacy trait, Markabata emblematic unit and Egyptian Pyramid quarter.
  • Babylonians: Scientist affinity with Brilliant Philosophers legacy trait, Ṣäbu Ša Qašti emblematic unit and Astronomy House quarter.
  • Hittites: Militarist affinity with Lust for War legacy trait, Gigir emblematic unit and Awari quarter.
  • Harappans: Agrarian affinity with Fertile Inundations legacy trait, Runner emblematic unit and Canal Network quarter.
  • Mycenaeans: Militarist affinity with Brutal Upbringing legacy trait, Promachoi emblematic unit and Cyclopean Fortress quarter.
  • Olmecs: Aesthete affinity with Natural Harmony legacy trait, Javelin Throwers emblematic unit and Olmec Head quarter.
  • Nubians: Merchant affinity with Golden Dreams legacy trait, Ta-Seti Archers emblematic unit and Meroe Pyramids quarter.
  • Phoenicians: Merchant affinity with Trading Pioneers legacy trait, Bireme emblematic unit and Haven quarter.
  • Zhou: Aesthete affinity with Harmonious Thought legacy trait, Zhànche emblematic unit and Confucian School quarter.

It is important to note that Legacy Traits in Humankind will stay with you once chosen, even if you decide to adopt a new culture in the next era after Ancient, which is "Classical".

Humankind cultures guide best pick ancient affinity legacy traits emblematic units quarters
Hunting in the nomadic era. (Picture: SEGA)

You might have noticed each of the Ancient cultures in Humankind also have their own cultural affinity. Well, that brings us to the next section of this guide.

What are Humankind's cultural affinities?

There are a total of seven unique cultural affinities in Humankind. Each and every culture has an affinity, which grants special actions and effects to the player.

Humankind cultures guide best pick ancient affinity legacy traits emblematic units quarters
Those who pick the Militarist affinity should enjoy war. (Picture: SEGA)

Let's start things off by explaining the focus of each cultural affinity in Humankind below.

  • Agrarian: Focusing on population and food growth.
  • Aesthete: These cultures focus on diplomacy and influence.
  • Builder: Building cities faster and industry, as well as district constructions, is what this Humankind cultural affinity is all about.
  • Militarist: Want to fight? This Humankind cultural affinity focuses on military units and war.
  • Scientist: Knowledge is power, as this cultural affinity focuses on science and technology.
  • Expansionist: Claim more territory faster, focusing on territory expansions with this cultural affinity.
  • Merchant: It's all about money, economy, and productive trading.

As you progress through the eras of Humankind, you will be able to either adopt a new culture, which grants new benefits, or you could transcend the current culture for more fame.

Which Humankind starting culture is best for the Ancient era?

There's no best starting culture in Humankind, as it all depends on the player's playstyle. If you want to build cities faster and more efficient, choose a "Builder" culture. Those who want to go into farming and agriculture, go for a culture that has the Agrarian affinity.

Humankind cultures guide best pick ancient affinity legacy traits emblematic units quarters
Babylonians have the Scientist affinity. (Picture: SEGA)

The Militarist affinity, for example, allows you to raise militia in your cities, perfect for those who like fighting instead of diplomacy. Speaking of which, the Aesthete affinity is your best bet if you want to make friends with other nations.

Remember, you can always adopt a new culture that grants a new affinity every time you progress to a new era. 

So there you have it, everything we know so far about Humankind cultures at the start of the game, which you should choose depending on your playstyle, the different cultural affinities and legacy traits you can earn.

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