Powered By

What is Once Human?

Last Updated: July 11th 2024

Share on Social

FPSLooter ShooterMMOOpen WorldSurvival

With how many genres Once Human falls under and with so many options for what to do and how to play it's hard to answer the question; what is Once Human? Where Once Human stands out from numerous other MMOs is the way in which it blends genres. Once Human is a PvEvP "New Weird" Open World Survival Looter Shooter MMORPG. You can explore the open world, fight back against the deviant infestation, hunt and gather for survival, and scavenge towns for loot to craft upgrades. It also has extensive base building letting you build a cozy home to relax in after long days of farming Silos, or build a survival bunker with automated turrets and other defenses. Once released use the extensive character creation options to make your unique Meta-Human and join the others in exploring Nalcott.

Image via Starry Studios

Starry Studio announced the Once Human Release Date.


The developers consider Once Human a New Weird sandbox survival game.

"New Weird"

Image via Starry Studios

"Once Human invites players to explore a strange and fascinating new world. One that combines combat, crafting, and survival gameplay mechanics with a cosmic horror aesthetic. Essentially "New Weird" is a genre of art and literature, and what it does is it combines supernatural elements, cosmic horror with Sci-Fi. It's heavily influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft."

Ruby - Designer for Once Human Development Team, Dev Diary: What is Once Human


During the immersive story you find yourself playing as a Meta-Human trying to save the world of Nalcott. With extensive options for character creation every player's character looks unique. While traveling around, other Meta-Humans are everywhere building houses, driving around, helping clear towns and eliminating elite enemies. You can play solo, join a team of up to 4, or participate in multiple world events with 40+ other Meta-Humans.

Looter Shooter

Image via Starry Studios

Once Human is primarily third person. But, when shooting you choose whether you want to aim over the shoulder or go first person and ADS for more accuracy. You have an arsenal of guns to choose from including pistols, bows, shotguns, sub machine guns, assault rifles, light machine guns, sniper rifles, melee weapons, grenade launchers, and many other explosives. You gather loot to craft gear and upgrades throughout the many towns, Silos (dungeons), and monoliths (bosses).

Open World

Once Human has an open world that you're free to explore and build on. You can build your base anywhere on the map except within towns and landmarks. Every region offers different materials and resources to harvest. Place your base near a town to be trading outpost for other meta-humans or setup in the desert to drill for oil to stock up on fuel.


Image via Starry Studio

In Once Human your character has stamina, hunger, thirst, health, and sanity for you to manage. You gather trees, rocks, minerals, and other materials around the world to build your base, gear, and tools. For thirst you need to find water inland and purify it by boiling to be able to drink it. You can hunt deer, rabbits, goats, bears, and other animals to cook their meat for food. To heal in Once Human you have to scavenge towns for materials to craft activators. Sanity consumes part of your health bar when you are in zones with high stardust pollution. But you can combat sanity by upgrading to a higher tier of gear or by removing your sanity with consumables.


Once Human is mostly a PvE game with optional PvP for certain events or areas. On PvP specific servers you have more options to fight with other Meta-Humans for loot and resources. PvE servers have Meta-Humans working together to defeat difficult enemies in Prime Wars.


In Once Human you start out in a tutorial which lays out the foundation of what happened to you and why you are in Nalcott. The tutorial walks you through some basics before sending you flying through the sky above Dayton Wetlands. The main story continues to serve as a tutorial till the first monolith. You need to progress through the main quest to purify rift anchors in higher level zones, so it's recommended that you follow it.

Clearing Towns

Each town has objectives to complete for some additional loot. You need to kill some enemies, activate rift anchors, loot weapon/gear crates, and find Mystical crates. Rift anchors locations are on the map and you can see purple beams shooting into the sky above them. However the crates are hidden throughout the town.

Mystical Crates

The Mystical crates give blueprints and blueprint fragments which you collect to unlock the ability to craft specific weapons and armor. Blueprints from Mystical crates are static and can only be opened once. But if you get a good blueprint you can tell your friend where you got it from and they can go get it as well.

Weapon and Gear Crates

Weapon and gear crates scattered around the town contain materials to upgrade your armor and weapons. There is a chance for them to give you full items for you to use. These items aren't repairable, but they do give you a chance to try out some weapons or armor sets before crafting them.

Monolith and Silos

Image via Starry Studios

As you progress through the main story you are sent to Monoliths to defeat the powerful bosses inside them. However, this is only the normal version of the boss at the level of the region it's in. As the season journey progresses the higher difficulties, Hard and Master, unlock for a more rewarding and more difficult boss fight. Similarly Silos are in different regions and have normal, hard, and pro modes. Silos are dungeons that you clear to fight a mini boss at the end. Also Silos have hidden side zones with another mini boss and a chance for special Deviations. You farm Monoliths and Silos for weapon mods, gear mods, experience, stardust source, and Deviations.


In between questing and clearing towns feel free to explore around. There are many puzzles and hidden crates around the world. Also, you can find places with riddles or statues to solve for weapon attachments. Once Human is open world and with that comes the option to go anywhere you want, except locked areas.

Some higher level areas have a red wall that when crossed begin telling you to go back. Traveling past the wall kills your character after a short time. The red walls drop weekly as new stages release in the season journey.

Base Building

Image via Starry Studio

Once Humans base building is extensive. You have the normal building options of foundations, walls, and stairs in wood, stone, or metal variations. All of which have prints available for them to make each room look unique. The buildable Facilities consist of 8 different benches to craft from and their upgraded versions. Also there are many storage options with generous space in each including private storage. You can use electrical appliances like a stove, fridge, and furnaces by setting up solar panels or generators. The electricity you generate in your base travels along wall mounted power sockets and pylons. Furthermore if you have unwanted visitors showing up to your base, build automated turrets or traps to keep them out. You can even set up pumps to extract resources from the ground, pump them to a purify tank, and purify them into valuable resources or fresh drinking water. If you are interested in moving you base be sure to checkout the "How to Move Your Base" guide.


Image via Starry Studios

Keep an eye out for Deviations! Deviations are all over the world and you should collect as many as you can. Deviations help automate resource collection and buff crafting stations around your base. Combat deviations help you defeat mobs or even heal you in fights. Deviations are on the side of roads, near puzzles, in abandoned buildings, on fishing docks, and many other hidden places across Nalcott. If you find any Deviations make sure to pin their location on your map as their spawns are static and spawn at any level between 1-5. To learn more about Deviations and what they do take a look at the "How to Use Deviations" guide.


Those are the main gameplay mechanics in Once Human but they aren't your only options. You can also fish, farm, participate in world events, run a trading center, hunt mysterious chests, solve riddles and puzzles, and more. With so many activities you are sure to find something you like.


In the endgame of Once Human you farm Silos (dungeons), Monoliths (bosses), server wide events, collect deviations, gather materials to upgrade your gear and do weekly tasks for starchrom to spin the wish machine for blueprints.

Farming Monoliths and Silos

You can farm Monoliths and Silos for weapon and gear mods. You spend controllers to acquire loot from them. Gain controllers through weekly commissions, journey quests, world events, and more.


Monoliths give weapon mods, and each boss gives mods for specific weapon effects, like burning wrath or power surge. Be aware the harder versions of the Monoliths add more mechanics and are stronger.


Image via Starry Studios

Silos give armor mods, and each one gives mods for different armor slots, like body armor, mask, or helmet. Also Silos have side areas where you can defeat an additional mini boss for more mods and a chance for a special deviation.


Mods come in five tiers normal (grey), standard (green), fine (blue), excellent (purple), and legendary (gold). Excellent and legendary mods have unique core effects. Legendary mods have 4 random attributes, excellent mods only have 3. When farming the highest difficulty Monoliths or Silos every mod you loot has a guaranteed purple tier random attribute. If a slot doesn't have a excellent or legendary mod you like then use a fine mod instead for more damage. For example, body armor mods are defensive and situational, but you can replace it with a fine mod with base damage as its core effect. So instead of having situational defense, you instead get a percent increase in your damage type.

Farming Starchrom

Starchrom currency rolls for blueprints in the Wish Machine or buys full completed blueprints for a higher price. Rolling in the Wish Machine is RNG and it might take a lot of rolls to get the blueprints you're looking for. But, if you know the specific one you want then save up your starchrom and buy it. Every week you can purify cortex's for up to 4k Starchrom and complete journey challenges for an increasing amount each week. Also, don't forget to check the free path of the battlepass for more Starchrom. You keep all the blueprints you unlock throughout a season to use in future seasons.


Another endgame grind is collecting all the deviations. Deviations captured range from level 1-5 in skill rating and activity rating. Your gloves decide what tier deviations you can capture. So the higher tier gloves you have, the higher chance you have to capture high tier deviations. You farm some in the previously mentions Monoliths and Silos. You can find other deviations throughout Nalcott and you have to check back regularly to see if higher tier appear.

6 Week Cycle

As the season progresses more regions unlock and new world events begin appearing. Each season has a theme and at the end of the season you keep everything except your level, energy, map exploration progress, and season challenge progress. However, you can save some things in Eternaland.

Once Human Official Release Date Trailer

What is Once Human? Conclusion

Once Human is a game that traverses a plethora of genres and takes many of the feel good features from other games to enhance the experience. Notably, crafting takes from all chests in your territory, not just your inventory. As well as stamina drain being forgiving and only there to limit roll spamming so it doesn't feel as hindering. Once Human does a great job at dipping their toes into so many gameplay types without becoming overbearing with any one aspect. Get prepared to experience it yourself when Once Human releases on July 9th.

If you haven't already, head over to our Discord to stay up to date with our content development.

Written by: Soap_GOD

Reviewed by: mkaytea, Tenkiei

© 2024 Maxroll Media Group, All Rights Reserved