Humankind: Best Cultures for Each Playstyle

Wondering which are the best Cultures of Humankind? Find out right here.


With a tonne of directions that you can take to forge your empire in Humankind, it’s always going to be difficult to make decisions when you’re spoilt with so much choice.

The diversity of Cultures in each Era makes each new save fresh and unpredictable. To make sure that you succeed in building your renown across the world, you’ll need the very best Cultures in a variety of classes at your disposal.


In this article, we’ll be running you through each of the best Cultures in Humankind from several categories.

What are the Best Cultures in Humankind?

We chose these Cultures based on their outstanding stats in these specific areas: beginner friendliness, money-making ability, industrial efficiency, innovative research, or thirst for war.

Each Culture in Humankind is unique, sporting different bonuses, units, and districts, creating a plethora of choices as you walk the path of humanity. The Cultures in the list below are some of the best in the game, but it ultimately comes down to your own preference and playstyle.

One thing is for sure: some of these Cultures can take your empire to the next level and beyond, eclipsing anyone who comes up against you.


1. Best beginner Culture: Babylonians

Era: Ancient
Affinity:
Scientists

  • Collective Minds: Scientist Cultures can, for each City in their Empire, activate a special mode that causes the City to convert all Industry, Money, and surplus Food into Science for a minimum number of turns.
  • Foresight: Scientist Cultures are able to unlock technologies from the next technological Era.

Legacy Trait: Brilliant Philosophers+2 Science per researched Technologies on Capital

Emblematic District: Astronomy House
-10 Stability
+3 Science per adjacent Farmers Quarter
On City or Outpost:
+1 Food per Researchers
+1 Science per Researchers
+1 Researchers Slot
Count as ‘Farmers Quarter’
Count as ‘Research Quarter’


Emblematic Unit: Ṣābu Ša Qašti
Combat Strength: 22
Move: 4
Range: 1

Traits:
Anti-cavalry – Receives bonus Combat Strength when fighting mounted enemies.
Guardian – Stronger when standing on a friendly zone.

Research Unlock: Bronze Working
Requires: 1 Copper

Naturally, our choice for the best beginner Culture comes from the Ancient Era. The Babylonians make an excellent choice due to their ability to generate a lot of Science during a period of discovery and innovation.

Combining their thirst for knowledge with their Scientist Affinity can boost the amount of Era Stars that you earn, enabling you to progress to the next Era ahead of your rivals while earning extra Food via the Astronomy House.

They can also hold their own in a fight, with the fierce Ṣābu Ša Qašti awaiting orders. These close-combat units have good combat strength, especially against mounted enemies, in an Era where a lot of other Cultures rely on mounted units to overwhelm troops.

2. Best farmers: Haudenosaunee

Era: Early Modern
Affinity:
Agrarian

  • Land of Plenty: Agrarian empires can use their Influence to trigger migrations with a promise of a better life, stealing population from adjacent Territories.
  • Community: Whenever an Agrarian City gains population, its Stability increases.

Legacy Trait:
+1 Food on Exploitation

Emblematic District: Three Sisters Plantation
+5 Food per number of attached Territories
-10 Stability
+3 Food per adjacent Farmers Quarter
+1 Farmers Slot on City or Outpost
Count as ‘Farmers Quarter’

Emblematic Unit: Rotiskenrakehte
Combat Strength: 41
Move: 6
Range: 4

Traits:
GunnerFights at full Combat Strength even when defending against close-combat attacks.
Stealth Cannot be seen except by adjacent Units.

Research Unlock: Flintlock

This category is dedicated to the Culture best-suited to producing an abundance of Food. An army does run on its stomach, after all, and the Haudenosaunee are the cream of the crop.

The Legacy Trait and Emblematic District of the Haudenosaunee combine very well to harvest you plenty of Food to grow your empire, especially if you attach a lot of territories to your Cities. You can also steal your neighbour’s Population, courtesy of the Agrarian Affinity traits.

The combat style of this Culture needs a tactful approach in order to be successful against any foreign invaders. The Rotiskenrakehte are one of the weaker units available in the Early Modern Era, but they come with a handy trait; the stealth trait can make these warriors deadly in the right hands.

3. Best scientists: Swedes

Era: Contemporary
Affinity:
Scientist

  • Collective Minds: Scientist Cultures can, for each City in their Empire, activate a special mode that causes the City to convert all Industry, Money, and surplus Food into Science for a minimum number of turns.
  • Foresight: Scientist Cultures are able to unlock technologies from the next technological Era.

Legacy Trait: Prize Science
+1 Science per District on all Cities
+3 Science on Research Quarter

Emblematic District: Research Institute
+3 Science per District
-10 Stability
+3 Science per adjacent Research Quarter
Count as ‘Research Quarter’

Emblematic Unit: Stealth Corvette
Combat Strength: 56
Move: 0
Range: 5

Traits:
Armoured VesselImmune to Suppression.
StealthCannot be seen except by adjacent units.

Research Unlock: Communication Satellites
Requires: 1 Iron and 2 Oil

Taking first place amongst the brightest minds of Humankind are the Contemporary Era Swedes; their heavily Science-focused build gives you tremendous potential in terms of Science output.

In an Era where scientific progression is key, this Culture provides a great boost with their Legacy Trait. The effect is even greater if you manage to build plenty of Districts and is further improved with Research Quarters.

The real edge to the Swedes comes with their unique District, the Research Institute, improving your Science production massively. To exploit this District to the full, you should spend previous Eras expanding to allow for multiple Research Institutes across your empire.

4. Best industry: Mughals

Era: Early Modern
Affinity:
Builder

  • Land Raiser: Builder Cultures can, for each City in their Empire, activate a special mode that causes the City to convert all Science, Money, and surplus Food into Industry for a minimum number of turns.
  • Pride: Whenever a new District is built in a Builder Culture’s City, its Stability increases.

Legacy Trait: Imperial Magnificence
+2% Industry per number of Territories in your sphere of influence on Capital.

Emblematic District: Jama Masjid
+3 Industry per Workers
+2 Influence
+3 Industry
-10 Stability
+3 Industry per adjacent Makers Quarter
Count as ‘Makers Quarter’

Emblematic Unit: Gajnal
Combat Strength: 49
Move: 6
Range: 4

Traits:
Gunner
Fights at full Combat Strength even when defending against close-combat attacks.
Move and FireCan perform a full move after making an attack.

Research Unlock: Siege Cannons
Requires: 2 Copper and 2 Saltpetre

An industrial powerhouse, the Mughals can take your Industry production to the next level, giving you an edge heading into the Industrial Era. Using the Land Raiser trait of the Builder Affinity, you can build Districts and Infrastructure quickly, which also creates stability, courtesy of the Pride trait that you also get as a Builder Culture.

Rewarding you for expanding your empire in the previous Eras is the Mughals’ Legacy Trait, which boosts your Capitals Industry production. The Mughals’ build is also improved if you’ve previously focused on growing your population with the Jama Masjid Emblematic District.

The cherry on top is, without a doubt, the Emblematic Unit of the Mughals. The Gajnal is an artillery mounted elephant, a lethal combination for any enemy to face – especially as you’ll be able to churn them out with your sky-high Industry production. 

5. Best money makers: British

Era: Industrial
Affinity:
Expansionist

  • Under One Banner: Expansionist Cultures can, at a cost, use Armies to forcibly annex Territories occupied by another Empire’s Outpost or Administrative Centre; if completed the victim gains a Grievance against the Expansionist.
  • Ambition: An Expansionist Culture’s Armies can cross borders no matter the diplomatic situation without getting damaged or blocked. Grievances for trespassing are still generated as normal.

Legacy Trait: Colonial Riches
+10 Money per number of attached Territories on Capital
+10 Science per number of attached Territories on Capital

Emblematic District: Colonial Office
+10 Money
+10 Money for Liege
Per adjacent District:
+2 Money
+2 money for Liege
Counts as Market Quarters

Emblematic Unit: Redcoats
Combat Strength: 51
Move: 4
Range: 4

Traits:
Gunner Fights at full combat strength even when defending against close-combat attacks.
Expedition
Regenerates health when outside of your territory.

Research Unlock: Line Formation

The British are one of the best Cultures to make a lot of Money with in Humankind. You are heavily rewarded for attaching multiple Territories to your Capital, due to their Legacy Trait, not only with Money but also Science.

Taking advantage of the Emblematic District of the British is the key to making Money with this Culture, so be sure to employ the Colonial Office in every City in your empire.

Using the relentless Redcoats is another good way to earn some Money by taking enemy territory and attaching it to your Capital. With their Legacy trait, your war chest will soon be bursting with coin.

6. Best warmonger: Achaemenid Persians

Era: Classical
Affinity:
Expansionist

  • Under One Banner: Expansionist Cultures can, at a cost, use Armies to forcibly annex Territories occupied by another Empire’s Outpost or Administrative Centre; if completed the victim gains a Grievance against the Expansionist.
  • Ambition: An Expansionist Culture’s Armies can cross borders no matter the diplomatic situation without getting damaged or blocked. Grievances for trespassing are still generated as normal.

Legacy Trait: Cyrus’ Shadow
+2 City Cap
+10 Stability on City or Outpost

Emblematic District: Satraps’ Palace
+1 Influence
+5 Money
-10 Stability
+2 Influence per adjacent District
+1 Traders Slot on City or Outpost
Count as ‘Market Quarter’

Emblematic unit: Immortals
Combat strength: 28
Move: 4
Range: 1

Traits:
Anti-CavalryReceives bonus Combat Strength when fighting mounted enemies.
BastionStronger when fighting from high ground and Fortified positions.

Research Unlock: Standing Army.

During an Era rife with war, the Achaemenid Persians can give you a brilliant platform to launch a successful empire spanning the continents. Their Legacy Trait is the main reason as to why they rank at number one among warmongering Cultures because the plus-two City Cap can be an incredible boost to your economy and military.

Using the Immortals at the Achaemenid Persians; disposal is paramount to getting the most of this Culture. The other Cultures of the time mostly use cavalry units, making the spears of the Immortals very powerful, so be sure to use these and make full use of the Legacy Trait that’s in play here.

That’s all for the best Cultures of Humankind: the story of humanity is now yours to write.

Looking for Humankind guides?

Humankind: Best Science Build

Humankind: Best Cultural Wonders of Each Era

Humankind: All Cultures in Each Era List

Humankind: Controls Guide for PC and How to Play

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Dan Plummer

Dan has had a passion for gaming since an early age; when he's not gaming, you'll find him out with his dog.
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