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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey low dopamine guide

Conquer your fear of the unknown

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey dopamine and conquering your fear of the unknown Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

You need to manage a lot in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, but the game is never really clear on what you’re managing. You have to make sure you and everyone in your clan drinks, eats, and sleeps enough. You’re also managing their fear — of unknown new areas or of the saber-toothed cat bearing down of them.

This is represented in the game (and real life) by dopamine.

This guide will walk you through how dopamine works in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, and how to deal with a low dopamine warning. (You’re on your own for managing dopamine in real life.)

Monitoring dopamine

Your hominid’s dopamine is represented by a gauge in the bottom left corner of your HUD. It’s the wedge-shaped semi-circle around the eye icon.

Think of this gauge as how not-afraid you are — the lower the gauge is, the more afraid you are.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey low dopamine
Your dopamine drains when you’re scared — like when your friend is being eaten.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

When your dopamine is drained, your hominid will start running away from whatever is scaring it, and you’ll no longer be in control. If that goes on for long enough, you’ll lose that hominid to hysteria.

While your dopamine is draining (but not yet to the point of hysteria), your dopamine level effects your reaction times to incoming attacks. High dopamine means you have more time to react, while low dopamine means you’re slower.

Restoring dopamine

To avoid hysteria and keep your reaction times quick, you’ll generally want to keep your dopamine level high. You’ll also need to restore it whenever you find a Fear of the Unknown area.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey restore dopamine by identifying things around you
Seeing, smelling, and hearing things will restore dopamine — indicated by a white ring around your dopamine gauge.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

The short answer to restoring dopamine is: do things. Your dopamine level goes up whenever you do pretty much anything. Use your senses of smell and hearing to find things. Use your intelligence to identify nearby items. Eat some food.

Running away from danger also helps — like avoiding predators and other dangerous animals.

While you’re just out wandering around, this will keep your dopamine up. While you’re in a Fear of the Unknown area, this will let you rationalize your surroundings.

Fear of the Unknown

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey rationalize your surroundings to conquer your fear of the unknown
Identify everything you can see, smell, or hear in a Fear of the Unknown area to rationalize your surroundings and restore your dopamine.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

In a Fear of the Unknown area, your goal is basically just to restore your dopamine, just like above. Look, smell, and listen around to identify things — you’re making sense of your surroundings.

Once you’ve rationalized your surroundings, the little beams of light will point you to a glowing orb. We should note that there are two glowing orbs in these areas. The beams of light will be blowing away from one and toward the other. You need to go toward the second one.

Once you arrive at the conquer zone and conquer your fear, you’ll discover a new area of the world.