Humankind: Best Science Build

If you’re looking to progress via innovation and research, this build will do just that.


Science, the driving force behind technological progression, has enhanced the human race infinitely throughout our existence. In Humankind this is no different, with your Science output dictating how quickly you’ll be able to discover the secrets of the world.

A good research rate will advance any Culture quickly, discovering things others haven’t even dreamed of, but in turn, your Industry won’t be as effective as other Cultures, slowing down the production of your new designs.


With a Science build, you’ll be aiming to end the game by researching all available Technologies and have more Fame than your opponents.

In this article, you’ll find one of the best builds to generate huge amounts of Science as you progress through each Era, including all of the Culture’s details and how best to exploit their strengths and weaknesses.

Ancient Era – Babylonians

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: 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

Fresh out of the Neolithic Era, your humble tribe has started its journey to civilisation. Unfortunately, your choices at this stage of the game are limited to the Babylonians.

This Culture does give you a solid base of Science to work from and explore the newfound world. The Babylonian’s Astronomy House rewards you with Science for building Farmer’s Quarters around it and for employing Researchers, which gives you a solid Science income while encouraging you to grow your Food economy and Population.

The Ṣābu Ša Qašti deployed by the Babylonians doesn’t leave you defenceless against any encroaching neighbours you might find yourself around. In this Era, most of the Units that other Cultures use which are more powerful than yours are mounted, which plays right into your Anti-Cavalry Unit’s hands.

A Cultural Wonder that you could aim for that would complement the Babylonians is Stonehenge. This mysterious Wonder provides Food if your religion is prospering, and could increase your Population and Researchers, providing more Science for your empire.

Classical Era – Greeks

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: Socratic Methods

  • +2 Science per Researchers on City or Outpost

Emblematic District: Amphitheatron

  • +1 Influence per Era
  • +3 Science per Era
  • -10 Stability
  • +2 Science per adjacent District

Emblematic Unit: Hoplites

  • Combat Strength: 27
  • Move: 4
  • Range: 1

Traits:

  • Anti-Cavalry – Close-combat Unit. Receives bonus Combat Strength when fighting mounted enemies.
  • Phalanx –Grants additional Combat Strength for each Unit with the Phalanx ability adjacent to this Unit.

Research Unlock: Standing Army

Moving on from the Babylonians, the Classical Era’s best option comes in the form of the Greeks. This famous Culture will be boosted by the Astronomy Houses you used during the previous Era.

By investing in your Food economy and Researcher limit in the Ancient Era, the Legacy Trait of the Greeks will give you an extra +2 Science per Researcher, further increasing their efficiency.

Although the Amphitheatron doesn’t combine with your previous Culture, it will give you a decent Science output, especially if you see it as an investment. It will give you +3 Science per Era, meaning it will be much more effective later in the game, so build as many as you can now and surround them with other Districts for some extra Science.

Another Anti-Cavalry Unit protects your empire, with the menacing Hoplite standing between you and your enemies. The Hoplite gains a boost from being adjacent to other Units with the Phalanx trait, making a group of these Units a fearsome defensive adversary. They’ll be particularly useful against a Hunnic Horde.

A Cultural Wonder for this Era would be the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. It gives you +2 Science per District on City or Outpost, encouraging you to keep increasing your Cities’ limits.

Medieval Era – Umayyads

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: Learned Friends

  • +5% Science per Alliance on all Cities

Emblematic District: Grand Mosque

  • +3 Science per number of attached Territories
  • +5 Faith
  • -10 Stability
  • +1 Researching Slot on City or Outpost
  • Count as ‘Research Quarter’

Emblematic Unit: Haras

  • Combat Strength: 36
  • Move: 6
  • Range: 1

Traits:

  • Cavalry – Close-combat Unit that ignores enemy zones of control. Particularly good for running down Ranged Units. Unable to climb Fortifications.
  • Enforcers – Drains additional Stability during sieges.

Research Unlock: Chivalry

After progressing through the Classical Era with the free-thinking Greeks, your best choice to explore the Medieval Era is the Umayyad Culture. This Culture rewards friendship via their Legacy Trait, giving you 5% Science on all Cities for each Alliance you manage to procure.

Befriending a few of your opponents will boost your output but be aware that expansion will be necessary to grow your empire. The Grand Mosque of the Umayyads will increase your Science output for every Territory attached to its City, and as such choosing your allies carefully can have a huge effect on your ability to research new Technology.

Another reason Alliances will be important during this Era is that the Haras isn’t great when compared to Units other Cultures will gain access to during this Era. Avoiding conflicts with these Cultures will add more security to your empire until you can access a Military Unit capable of competing more effectively.

Early Modern Era – Joseon

 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: Hall of Worthies

  • +3 Science on Tile Producing Science

Emblematic District: Seowon

  • +2 Influence
  • -10 Stability
  • +2 Science
  • +3 Science per adjacent Research Quarter
  • On City or Outpost:
  • +1 Science per Researchers
  • +1 Researchers Slot
  • Count as ‘Research Quarter’

Emblematic Unit: Geobukseon

  • Combat Strength: 45
  • Move: 6
  • Range: 4

Traits:

  • Gun Platform – No Special Rules.
  • Ramming – Increased movement speed in battle and has bonus Combat Strength against adjacent targets.

Research Unlock: Naval Artillery

Heading into the Early Modern Era you’ll want to pick the Joseon Culture. Their Legacy Trait will give you an impressive boost to your Science total right from the start.

Tactical placement of the Joseon’s unique District, the Seowon, can also provide you with a huge sum of Science to spend on new Technology. This District increases your Science per Researcher and increases its own output per adjacent Research Quarters, while also giving a small boost to your Influence. Remember that each Tile producing Science will gain +3 Science due to the Legacy Trait, which also affects the Seowon District.

The Joseon opt for a seafaring approach with their unique Unit, the Geobukseon, which is the strongest of the unique Naval Units of this Era. On land, however, you’ll need to rely on the default Units of the time. You can utilise the bonus given to those sharing a Science Affinity by researching Technology from the next Era to unlock Industrial Era Units, which will help you to gain a huge advantage on the battlefield.

Keeping your Alliances from the previous Era until you’ve researched the Line Formation Technology and unlocked Line Infantry could be a viable tactic to compete with the Cultures possessing a stronger military.

Industrial Era – French

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: Emblematic Thinking

  • +10% Science per Population

Emblematic District: Exhibition Hall

  • +1 Science per Population
  • -10 Stability
  • +1 Influence per adjacent District
  • +3 Influence on Territory
  • Count as ‘Research Quarter’

Emblematic Unit: Cuirassiers

  • Combat Strength: 54
  • Move: 6
  • Range: 1

Traits:

  • Heavy Cavalry – Fast, hard-hitting mounted Unit able to charge enemies.
  • Receives bonus Combat Strength if attacking non-adjacent enemies. Unable to climb fortifications.
  • Heavy Charge – Receives a much higher Combat Strength bonus when charging.

Research Unlock: Line Formation

Now you’re approaching the end game of Humankind. The penultimate Era is the Industrial Era, and the best choice here in terms of Science production is the French. This Culture will heavily reward you for having grown your Population throughout the Eras, providing 10% Science per Population with their Legacy Trait and +1 Science per Population via the Exhibition Hall unique District.

That you have amassed a large population throughout your empire over the Eras will be a massive factor in how much the French’s build will improve your Science output. Their unique District will give a healthy boost to your Influence alongside the Science bonuses, which will help you claim one of the two Science-producing Wonders available in this Era.

Both Wonders, the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben, will improve your Science production. The Statue of Liberty provides +10 Science and +10 Money per number of Territories in your sphere of influence, encouraging you to expand your Influence across the world, while Big Ben gives you 10% Science on your Capital and 5% Science per Alliance, proving it could be beneficial to hold on to Alliances you forged as the Umayyads.

The lack of land Military Units of the Joseon is made up for with the French’s famously ferocious Cuirassier. This deadly Cavalry Unit is second only to the Siamese Gatling Elephant from the Industrial Era unique Units, receiving a huge Combat Strength boost when fighting non-adjacent Units.

Contemporary Era – Swedes

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 Vessel – Immune to suppression.
  • Stealth – Cannot be seen except by adjacent Units.

Research Unlock: Communication Satellites

In the final Era of the game, you have two great options of Scientist Cultures to choose between: the Japanese, who combine Science and Industry output with the Robotics Lab District, and the Swedes, who go all out with their Science production using the Research Institute District. Their focus on Science means that it’s the Swedes who get our pick for the Contemporary Era.

The Legacy Trait of the Swedes gives you a decent boost at the start of Era, with +1 Science on each District in your Cities, and a further +3 Science on your Research Quarters. Combining the Legacy Trait with the Research Institute District, which gives you +3 Science per District and +3 Science per adjacent Research Quarter, produces an incredible amount of Science on top of your massive output, making you more than prepared to research all of the Technology available.

The Stealth Corvette used by the Swedes gives you opportunities to deploy surprise attacks on your enemies’ Harbours and Navies thanks to the Stealth trait. They do, however, possess one of the weakest units available in this Era, so you might want to think about this before you destroy any Alliances you may have.

If you want to maximise your Science production, you can claim the Sydney Opera House Wonder which will give you an extra 10% Science on calm Cities while also improving your other resource production.

That’s the blueprint to maximise your Science output and become the ultimate researcher in Humankind. Can you beat the game with this build?

Looking for Humankind guides?

Humankind: Best Cultural Wonders of Each Era

Humankind: All Cultures in Each Era List

Humankind: Best Cultures for Each Playstyle

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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