Panache Digital’s ambitious survival title, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, is out now, and if you’re among the people who’s been playing it, you’ll know that this isn’t a game that eases you into things. Tasked with surviving the harsh wilds of our untamed planet millions of years ago, Ancestors provides very little help to the players, leaving us to figure a lot of the stuff out ourselves. In this feature, we’ve compiled fourteen helpful and basic tips and tricks that should make the game a bit easier, especially in the early hours.
Ancestors relies on audio more than you’d expect, especially if you’re playing the game with a minimal HUD, so always keep an ear out for any audio cues. These cues are tied to everything from dodges to grooming to crafting and a whole lot else, and timing the press and release of buttons after you hear these cues will be very important while you play.
Curiosity is the name of the game in Ancestors, especially in the early hours. For starters, make sure that you’re always scanning the areas you find yourself in using intelligence, since this gives you valuable Neuronal experience. Once you’ve done so, pick up any objects you haven’t previosly encountered, and investigate them. Gathering information about everything and anything and then using that information to survive better and longer is how you succeed in Ancestors, and scanning everything contributes to that immensely.
It’s a good idea to invest in the Dexterity branch of your primate in the early hours, since most of your important motor skills fall in this branch (such as being able to use both hands, and as such, being able to hold two weapons. From combat to traversal, this will be quite important, as you can imagine, so get your dexterity up to begin with.
EARLY WEAPON COMBO
You’ll come across a lot of dangerous enemies and predators in the jungles and other biomes that you traverse throughout the game, but how should you deal with these in the earlier stages of the game, when you’re trying to come to grips with its litany of other systems? A sharp stick and a rock is a great weapon combo to start off with. Not only are they abundant, they’re also quite effective.
Advancing your clan’s lineage and evolving through millions of years is what Ancestors is all about, so it goes without saying, but you’re going to need to procreate. As soon as start a new generation, get to doing this right away. Not only does that mean you’re adding numbers to your clans, kids are also useful in other areas. Incidentally, that brings us to our next point…
Anywhere you go, make sure you have a kid from your clan with you. Why, you ask? Well, because doing stuff while you’ve got a kid piggybacking with you is how you earn Neuronal energy, which, of course, is how you unlock cognitive enhancements. Having a kid with you at all times is crucial, especially early on in the game when you’re trying to learn even the most basic things.
Every so often, you might randomly come across a genetic mutation in your clan as a result of your breeding. These can be incredibly useful with nodes in the Neuronal upgrade chart, so keep an eye out for if and when you happen to get one of these. If you do get them, immediately advance to the next generation, because you don’t want to risk getting the clan member carrying it get killed. Once you’ve advanced to the next generation, initiate your clan’s evolution to unlock the mutation.
EAT AND DRINK WHEN YOU WAKE UP
Ancestors is a survival game at its core, so of course, managing your health, hunger, and thirst is central to everything. Generally, it’s a good idea to eat something and drink some water as soon as you’re up (also a good thumb rule for life). For starters, it does the basic thing of keeping those things at a minim level. More importantly, it also means you won’t be worrying about those things for a while, giving you more time to explore.
Speaking of eating food- when you start out in Ancestors, you will have very little knowledge of what’s good for you, what might kill you, or even about what’s edible and what isn’t. So how do you get that knowledge? Well, it’s all trial and error. If something can be eaten, try eating it, and find out how good (or not) it is for you. As mentioned, Ancestors depends on trial and error in a lot of ways, so don’t be afraid to experiment with any edibles you might find in the world, especially early on.
Food has other advantages besides just keeping hunger at bay, of course. As you might image, it can give you some pretty useful buffs as well. Some of these buffs can be pretty useful, such as protecting you from broken bones, or preventing bleeding. So a) find the ingredient you need to get that buff, and b) once you do, don’t ignore it. Actually make use of it, because they really can be quite handy.
This goes without saying, especially in a game where your primary concern is using whatever you can get your hands on to survive another day, but gather and bring back any and all resources you can. Their most obvious advantage is that you’ll run short less often. But more importantly, piling together a lot of the same object can build entirely new things that can be useful in other ways.
Jumping ahead to the next generation is something you’ll be doing in Ancestors anyway, but there’s no point in holding off on doing so for too long. Each generation only allows you to lock in a specific number of skills, with future generations requiring you to unlock anything else you’ve unlocked once again. As such, it’s generally a good idea to get to the next generation as soon as you’ve spent all your lock-in points.
EXPAND YOUR CLAN
You’ll lose plenty of your primates and clan members in Ancestors – an easy game this isn’t – which means there’s strength in numbers. Expanding your clan to make sure you’re always well-stocked, so to speak, acts as something of an insurance. So expand your clan however you can, whether that’s through having kids (which we’ve already discussed) or recruiting for primates from outside the clan.
Exploration in Ancestors can be a scary thing, given how dangerous its world is, but it’s also something that you’re going to have to do eventually. Every area you settle down in has limited resources, which means moving around to find more resources becomes kind of necessary after a while. Additionally, new areas bring new objects and enemies with them, which helps you grow even further. Finally, there’s the fact that if you explore enough, you’ll ed up finding more areas outside of the jungle you start in.
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