The skill tree in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a bit of a puzzle at first. Increasing it is even more of a task. You earn skills from gameplay, exploration, and experimentation. There are a few simple ways to unlock new abilities.
Unlocking skills is one of those things you stumble through early on. Without prominent guidance, players are left to experiment. This method is intentional. After all, that is how our ancestors learned. PC Invasion reported on this same issue first.
The Skill Tree
The skill tree in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey isn’t a skill tree. It’s the neuronal chart, illustrated by synapses connecting and unlocking. Here you see how much neural energy you have (the big white light in the middle) and the skills. You can open the white skills if you have enough neural energy to reach them. You cannot unlock black skills, but you can hover over them to see what you need to do to open them up.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey follows a similar structure to most skill tree based games. You must meet specific requirements to unlock certain skills. Some games, like Ark, bases this on levels. In Ancestors, unlocking skills requires you to complete certain tasks. You may need to settle in a new area, bang two rocks together, strip a dead branch, or explore new areas.
You can advance individual skill trees by continuing specific actions associated with them. PC Invasion uses the example of hunting. The more hunting you do, the more you increase that part of the skill tree. The same goes for tool use and crafting, fishing, dodging, etc.
Sometimes, a random mutation appears in a baby. To gain access to the mutation, you need to advance the generation. If that mutated individual dies before they can breed, the mutation dies with them.
Unlocking skills, other than random mutations, is entirely dependent on living in the world as an early hominid. Explore, hit some rocks together, and continue to live as an early ape to bring yourself closer to modern humans.