Whether through warfare or diplomatic demands, you can end up controlling quite a few cities in Humankind. Not all of them will be useful, though, and having a city that doesn't fit your plans sending you over the city cap is far from ideal. Unfortunately, the game also has a very roundabout way of destroying cities and doesn't clearly explain the importance of its Ransack action.
Even if there's no button to destroy cities in Humankind, you would expect to, perhaps, be able to downgrade them to outposts. Sadly, that also doesn't seem to be possible, which really leaves you with the option of Ransacking your own cities, at least until you reach the Contemporary Era.
Humankind Destroy City - Ransack the City Center
Clicking on an army brings up its side panel. Next to its Auto-explore toggle, you'll see three buttons. The one in the middle lets you Ransack valid tiles, usually rewarding you with gold and destroying the buildings on them. If you plan on destroying cities in Humankind, you'll want to bring your army to an adjacent tile, left-click the Ransack button, then target the City Center itself, and left-click it again.
The action can be done in one turn or more, depending on your army and the city you're attacking. Once it's completed, you'll leave ruins behind on the tile and can immediately place a new outpost on it. Needless to say, any trade routes that pass through the city will also be suspended, granting the players you traded with a grievance against you. Any built districts remain in place, but you can also Ransack those.
There doesn't seem to be a way to destroy enemy cities using the Ransack action, at least not before occupying them. This involves going to war, starting a siege, and winning the battle, after which you just follow the steps above. A more peaceful option to get rid of a city would be to liberate it, creating an independent faction.
There currently doesn't seem to be another way to turn a city into an outpost, however, with the right technology, you can have one city absorb another, much like you attach outposts to it.
Once you reach the Contemporary Era, you can unlock a new way to destroy cities in Humankind. The Nuclear Weapons Civic lets you choose between Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear Proliferation. Choosing the latter lets you build missiles, although they are costly and the pre-requisite tests do require lots of empty space which they subsequently turn into wastelands you cannot exploit.
You can then fire nuclear missiles at other cities and turn them and surrounding districts into ruins with a simple click. There's even a pretty explosion to take your mind off the massive devastation you just caused.
These are the ways to destroy a city in Humankind that we've learned about so far. Did you discover any others? Let us know in the comments. For more help with the game, check out the full list of cultures and their bonuses alongside what you can expect in terms of crossplay.
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