Humankind | City Building And Placement Guide

This guide will give you an elaborate idea of where to place your cities and when you should consider building new ones. A lot of you may have experienced civilizations in past games, where cities have a related yet different function than what they do in Humankind. In this guide, you’ll learn that cities in this game are your centers for administration, and not for anything else. Here I will show you how to build your cities in the most perfect locations, so check this guide out.

City Building And Placement Guide For Humankind

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A Brief Overview

First and foremost you are trying to build a nation, not a conglomeration of cities with nothing remarkable other than strategic resources. You are at the highest Federal level. You give directions to your nation, control its military, engage in diplomacy, and give orders to the state levels. Below are your states. These are your annexed territories that appear as a solid dot on the map.
Each one of these states will have a capital city. These cities have been founded and named by you, and where you build your infrastructure. They give directions to your citizens and let them lead their virtual lives. Finally, there are your territories. These are the places where you’ve put an outpost down and can be contested for freely by anyone you don’t have a non-aggression treaty with. I hope everything is clear so far.

First City/Capital City

Your first city is your capital! The place where either your palace or your parliament house will sit in the future. But for now, it is needed to make sure your people can eat, work, and enjoy themselves. The capital is a city that needs to generalize its primary territory. When you go to place your outpost to leave the Neolithic, you need to be as close to Food and Industry as possible.

If you have the choice, pick the outskirts of an industrious area that has a nice food plot right next to it. When your outpost is established and after you’ve picked your first culture, build two things: Food and Industrial districts. If you have more industry than food in your starting area you should build a food district first, and vice versa. Let your population and industry grow from there, using your infrastructure to spread your influence.

Territorial Annexation

While your capital is growing and maturing, always keep an eye out for good territories nearby and claim them when you are able to. You will remain a city-state for a while, so plan specializations for the territories you claim in the meantime. For example, put your outpost in a section with a lot of industry or food in it. Don’t plan to put a city, 2 territories over from an existing city. There are a limited number of cities you can have in Humankind, but you can have unlimited claimed territories. Putting them too close to each other is a no-no, as it means you can’t expand a lot, and hold on to your territories will be difficult.
Merging two cities together is quite expensive. If you have a territory that primarily has industrial or food tiles in it, this is not a good spot for a city. It is, however, absolutely ideal to add to an existing city’s territory. You can use your outpost to claim a very productive spot for either food or industry and annex it into your state’s capital city. This will let you get a factory, farming, trading, or scientific ‘town’ depending on what you build in those districts thereafter annexing it.

Building A New City/Future City

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There will come a point when you will need to build a new city. You can control an entire continent by attaching all your territories to a city. But the instant someone invades from the other side of the continent, you’re going to lose half of it before you can send reinforcements. So, if you have a rivalry with a neighbor, be sure to put a city three territories away from your capital as a buffer between them and you. You should also make a troop production and spawning area nearby. When the enemy is dealt with and you are expanding, you can merge that city with your capital’s state and free up a badly-needed city slot.

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By the time you are starting to make a new city, take your time to find a good spot with food and industry and put down an outpost in it. Look for spots similar to the setup of your capital. After the city is built, feel free to expand its state and repeat what you did with your capital. Another thing, this is not a Civilization. You won’t have to deal with eons of old buildings and population growth later in the game. At certain points, you will come across very handy technologies like Feudalism. These technologies make sure each newly founded city has some population in it.


Humankind is designed in such a way that your cities are the administrative hubs of their states. I’ll end this guide by saying, don’t rush into building all your cities. Just because you possess the ability to put down another one doesn’t mean you absolutely need to. Enjoy the game! Thanks for the read.

Last Updated on August 23, 2021

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