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Humankind cities and outposts - how to merge, destroy, and keep them stable

Get the balance right and keep your people happy

If you’ve got questions about Humankind cities and outposts, we’ll walk you through exactly how they work. One of the first things you’ll do in the new 4X game is place an outpost, as your nomadic tribe puts down roots and begins to develop the infrastructure to support districts and developments. Upon reaching the Ancient era, you can convert your first outpost into a city for free – how you expand after that, however, is up to you.

The Humankind map is divided into territories, and to claim a territory for your people, you must first create an outpost with one of your units – this costs influence. After placing the outpost, it will be constructed over the next few turns – the time it takes to build depends on the strength of the army that placed it, and the industry of its surrounding tiles. It can also be completed instantly for a fee.

To attach outposts to cities, the outpost’s territory must be adjacent to a territory controlled by that city, and you must pay an influence fee determined by how many territories you already have, how far away it is from the nearest city, and whether it’s in an enemy sphere of influence. An outpost can be detached from a city for free, but you must pay to attach it again. Once your outpost reaches one population, you are able to transform it into a city. Here’s everything you need to know about city management in Humankind.

How to downgrade your city in Humankind

Wondering how to downgrade your city in Humankind? Perhaps you’ve acquired a new city from an independent people but don’t quite have the infrastructure to support it. It’s not possible to turn a city back into an outpost, but instead, you can merge cities once you’ve researched Military Architecture in the Medieval era.

Select the city you want to merge into, and then click the ‘absorb’ button next to the city you want to incorporate, if you can afford the cost.

How to relocate your capital city in Humankind

You can relocate your capital city after researching Imperial Power in the Classical Era.

A city in strategy game humankind

How to raise your Humankind city cap

The number of cities your civilisation can support without penalty increases throughout the game. The following things add to your city cap:

  • +1 from Philosophy technology in the Classical era
  • +1 from Foreign Outposts technology in the Classical era
  • +1 from Theology technology in the Medieval era
  • +1 from Mercantilism technology in the Early Modern era
  • +1 from Three-Masted Ship technology in the Early Modern era
  • +1 from Urban Planning technology in the Industrial era
  • +3 from Space Orbital in the Contemporary era
  • +1 from choosing ‘Small Council’ in the leadership civic
  • +2 from the Achaemenid Persians’ legacy trait, Cyrus’ Shadow

Note that your city cap is only a soft cap – feel free to have more cities than your cap allows, if you can weather the influence penalty.

How to increase Humankind stability

Stability is a crucial mechanic in Humankind – each city has a stability value that determines how well the city works. If your city has 0-29% stability, it is mutinous – you are unable to build new districts, and your population will turn into mutinous independent peoples. Between 30-90% stability is strained, and there is an equal chance of positive and negative events occurring – you also gain one influence per population. 91-100% stability is the standard you’ll be striving for, as it grants an increased chance to experience positive events, and adds two influence per population.

Many factors decrease your city’s stability; you lose -10 for every district you build, and -20 for every territory you attach. Note that these deductions don’t apply to your stability value straight away – they modify a target stability value, which your actual stability value trends towards by five points each turn. If your influence or money per turn is in the red, this subtracts one stability per turn, too.

Related: The best city-building games on PC

You can increase your stability by five points by stationing a unit on the city’s main plaza. Building military districts increase your stability, and there’s also a few infrastructure families that adds to your stability:

  • Ancient era: Water Fountain in Public Hygiene
  • Classical era: Aqueduct in Public Hygiene, City Watch in Policing
  • Medieval era: Apothecary in Health
  • Industrial era: Police Force in Policing, Hospital in Health
  • Contemporary era: Sewage Treatment Plant in Public Hygiene

There are also several technologies that add to overall stability when unlocked, and legacy traits like the Achaemenid Persians’ Cyrus’ Shadow gives +10 stability on a city or outpost.

City statuses often influence your stability, too – ‘Locked Down’ or ‘Harmonious’ increase stability, but ‘Flooded’ or ‘Defiant’ reduces it.

More like this: Five strategy games like Civilization

There are several city actions that can increase your stability.

  • The religious rites civic unlocks the option to initiate a ‘procession’ in a city, which grants +10 stability for 10 turns at a cost of five money per population in that city.
  • The unbelievers civic unlocks the option to ‘start inquisition’, which sacrifices one population in exchange for +10 stability for five turns.
  • The Aztecs’ Sacrificial Altar district unlocks the option to ‘sacrifice population’ and grant +20 stability for ten turns.

How to destroy cities in Humankind

If you’ve got an appetite for destruction and are wondering how to raze a city, here’s how you do it – bring an army unit close to the city and use the ‘ransack’ option in the army action menu. This process takes several turns, but when it’s complete, the city will be gone.

It’s not so easy to just walk up to a city and wipe it off the map, though. You’ll likely need to go to war and win several battles, even a siege. You can read more about that in our Humankind war guide.

Humankind occupied cities

If you’ve occupied a city during a war with another civilisation, you don’t automatically add it to your territory. Instead, that city remains occupied until the end of the war, at which point you will be able to claim it as part of the surrender negotiations. Make sure to keep some armies close to a city you want to keep, as it can be reclaimed again by the enemy while the war is still ongoing.

Related: Humankind cultures guide

That’s everything you need to know about cities in Humankind – for more Humankind tips, we’ve got a guide to crossing the sea in Humankind, creating Humankind AI personas, and Humankind difficulty settings.