Surviving in the wild and maintaining a strong lineage is a key aspect of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, but you won’t get very far without a sustainable food source.
Whether your playing with a full tutorial and HUD or are ambling around blind, you’ll need to find food in order to survive and evolve.
There are loads of different kinds of foods available in Ancestors, from vegan-friendly fruits to giant otter meat and molluscs. Having a well-developed sense of smell is advantageous as you weed out tasty treats from poison, so here’s how to get the best grub.
Ancestors: developing your neurons
In Ancestors, neurons act as your skill tree and you can personalise what you learn. There are four main ability types: Intelligence, Communication, Motricity and Senses.
For gathering food, it’s important to focus in on Senses and Intelligence as these will help you smell out different foods and commit their smell and visual form to memory.
It would also be a good idea to develop your Motricity neurons, particularly those involving attack and dexterity , as some foods have thick outer layers you need to remove, like coconuts.
Your olfactory senses are key here as they’ll help you sniff out food that doesn’t appear using visual focus, and you’ll be able to recognise and commit to memory food by smell.
Ancestors: how to gather food and stay hydrated
Some foods will upset your stomach the first time you try them, like mushrooms or molluscs. As you build up a tolerance, they’ll do less damage. Some of the first foods you’ll find are berries and bristly plants, but you’ll soon realise that eating too many berries or jaggy plants hurts you, so try not to stuff your face.
You’ll find fishing spots and holes in the ground you can poke, as well as some fungi under rocks, so be sure to grab a dead tree branch and pull excess branches off – or sharpen it with a rock – so you can go fishing, move big boulders out of the way and stab a scorpion.
Use your Intelligence to zoom in either using visual focus or by smelling on an unknown object, then go and investigate it. You can examine the object and you’ll find out if it’s a food or a tool. If it’s the former, then go ahead and take a bite.
Remember to memorise food, so you can find things faster. You can also develop a neuron that allows you to have a superior form recall, as well as the ability to recognise groups of the same item at once which is good if you’re clan is in a pinch.
You’ll need to stay hydrated in order to survive, and you can quench your thirst by drinking from freshwater sources, like waterfalls and moving rivers, or from stagnant sources, like the swamp. Obviously, stagnant water is often filled to the brim with germs and bacteria, so try and avoid drinking from these sources unless you want an early death.
Ancestors: finding food using your olfactory senses
As we said, some foods can’t be spotted visually. Mangoes, coconuts and other tree-borne fruits can only be spotted by using your olfactory senses, so climb a few trees and have a sniff to find more treats.
When you find a coconut, you’ll first need to rip the outer shell off. Switch hands and use the Alter function to tear the skin off. You’re listening for a “ding” noise that lets you know you can release the Alter function without breaking the item.
Next, grab a rock – such as Granite – and bash the coconut, again listening out for that ding. You can then inspect your new food and chow down like a boss.
You can also sniff out birds eggs when in trees, so keep your eye out for birds and nests in the canopy.
Ancestors: fish, invertebrates and molluscs
You’ll find some snails just chillin’ on the jungle floor, so pick them up and have a bite. You can also find snails and scorpions by jabbing your stick into a poking hole, so just the Alter function to grab your snack from your stick and dig in.
Some snails will give you poison protection, which is handy if there’s a giant python slinking around. If you’ve improved your dexterity, you can order your clanmates to mimic your actions and stab some scorpions or catch some fish for themselves.
The fishing mechanic works in a similar way, just listen out for the prompt to let you know it’s worked. If you hold in the fishing button for too long, your stick will snap and you’ll be left without dinner.
Ancestors: becoming an omnivore
Once you’ve developed your dexterity and mobility to be able to wield sticks and hit things with rocks, you’ll be able to attack the many predators lurking around. After you’ve managed to kill prey, you can examine their remains and can potentially eat them.
You can use rocks to butcher said predators once you’ve killed them, which lets you pick up that tasty meat. You’ll also be able to find large bones you can swing around from the likes of the lions. Combined with good dexterity, you’ll be king of the jungle in no time.
Your stomach takes a few rounds of meat-eating before your clanmates stop getting food poisoning, so keep chowing down and eventually, you’ll feel the benefits, as well as become more intimidating as you go around smashing predators to death.
The more you sniff, memorise and play around with your food, the more you’ll be able to do. The small meteor rocks are particularly useful for bludgeoning other animals to death and butchering them afterwards, so try and find the comet fragments if you can.
If you’re playing as a pacifist-of-sorts, you can also lure predators into the territory of a more apex predator. For instance, you can lure a tiger into a crocodile’s domain, and there’s a chance the croc will clamp down on the lion and kill it, leaving you to investigate its remains and eat the carcass.
One thing you can’t do is eat other monkeys. When a clanmate or outsider dies they become a cadaver, therefore inedible, and cannibalism is clearly frowned upon in your primitive society.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is now available on PC via the Epic Game Store and a console release will be coming in December.