Conan Exiles, much like the real world, is a place full of different races. Within the game and the extended universe, many cultures and creeds exist and often intermingle within the vast kingdoms of the known world. If you’re a roleplayer, choosing the correct race can be an incredibly important distinction for building your character.
Today we’ll be looking at all of the Conan Exiles races, delving into their backstory, culture, and characteristics. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
How Many Races Are There in Conan Exiles?
There are fourteen different playable races within the base game of Conan Exiles. These races vary across different cultures and creeds, so you’ll have no issue finding one to represent yourself and your character.
The world of Conan the Barbarian is a vast one, greatly inspired by a variety of cultures across the world. Robert E Howard, the man who created Conan, built a vast universe with deep, intricate lore that tells the tale of many different people and places. Alongside his work, further works by other authors have helped to extend his already broad scope of the world, including cultures inspired by the south-east Asians, Africans, Vikings, Egyptians, and many more.
Do Different Races Offer Different Benefits?
In the base game, there is functionally no difference between the races. Many RPG games offer various benefits and drawbacks to different races, the most obvious example of which is Skyrim from the Elder Scrolls franchise. However, this isn’t the case for Conan Exiles, and all races have the same stats and benefits.
That being said, there are roleplay mods out there for PC players that can introduce racial passive abilities and bonuses. These are generally seen on more serious roleplay servers, where your race is seen and used as an integral part of your character.
What Races are There?
As mentioned earlier, there are fourteen races within the base game of Conan Exiles. Below, I’ll go through each race, briefly explaining their history, physical traits, and their real-life inspiration where that information is available.
Do bear in mind that whilst many of these cultures are inspired by real-world examples, they are often not historically accurate, nor do they aim to be. Robert E Howard set out a lot of his inspirations in his correspondences, which lay out the world of Conan the Barbarian. These tidbits of information are often loose and ahistorical, but they make for a great story.
The Hyborian are the descendants of a race of northern barbarians. Originally, they were described as having a light-brown skin tone with grey eyes. However, after invading from the north millennia ago and overthrowing the ancient and evil empire of Acheron, they’ve mingled with other cultures and assimilated racially. Therefore, the Hyborian now have a diverse appearance.
As the dominant civilization of the aptly-named Hyborian age, the Hybori people conquered many civilizations. Hyborian blood is found across the world of Conan Exiles, including amongst the Stygians and Hyrkanians.
Hyborian people are inspired by natives of Finland, Russia, and the Baltic countries. While it is a great civilization, it was also depicted as an evil empire in Howard’s work, ruled by wizards. This may have been influenced by real-world tensions with the Soviet Union in the 1930s.
The Cimmerians, hailing from Cimmeria, were descended from ancient Atlanteans who had managed to escape before the great cataclysm doomed Atlantis to the ocean. Worshippers of Crom, the Cimmerians are depicted in-game as light-skinned with dark eyes and greyish hair.
The Cimmerians have a deep history of struggle, as, after the collapse of Atlantis, they fought many a war with the Picts. They would eventually fall in with a group of ape-men, with whom they assimilated and created the modern-day Cimmerians.
Cimmerians are known as brutal barbarians. Even to this day, they still conduct vicious raids on their neighbors to the east, north, and south. The Cimmerians are regarded as a fearsome people. A notable Cimmerian is Conan the Barbarian himself, a man who perfectly encapsulates their culture of savagery and war.
The Stygian people are heavily inspired by ancient Egyptians, an influence seen not only in their racial traits but also in the style and architecture of their culture. Their homeland is a mix of desert, plains, mountains, and marshes, and is home to many large cities including Luxury and Khemi. Fitting with Egyptian inspiration, Stygians are often somewhat dark-skinned with dark hair, and dark eyes.
Stygia plays a large part in the lore of Conan the Barbarian. It was once the home of the Khari Empire, a faction of vicious slavers that held a firm grasp on the land. They were eventually overthrown and modern-day Stygia was born from the ashes, creating a hugely influential civilization.
Stygia is a monarchy, but the true seat of power is the Priests of Set that control the daily goings on within the kingdom. Stygia is also home to The Black Ring, a group of sorcerers led by Thoth Amon, the chief antagonist of the Conan universe. Thoth Amon is also the sole reason that The Exiled Lands exist in the first place.
The Tribal Himelians are a race of mountain-dwelling tribesmen. They’re often described as tall and powerful with brown skin, curly hair, and broad shoulders. The Himelians are geographically stuck between the Turanians and Vendhyans, often leading to them having to defend themselves from the aforementioned empires.
In the wider lore, Tribal Himelians hail from Afghulistan, a reinterpretation of Afghanistan. The mountains and terrain of Afghulistan are rough, and thus the Tribal Himelians live amongst the mountains, using the terrain to their benefit in both survival and warfare. The tribe is depicted as inherent warriors, built to survive a harsh landscape.
The Hyrkanians and Turanians are both descended from the ancient Lemurians, a great civilization that fell beneath the ocean after the Cataclysm. After escaping the Khari, some Lemurians crossed the Vilayet sea and began to mate with natives found on the eastern coast, eventually creating the Hyrkanians.
The Turanians are a racial group strongly linked to the Hyrkanians, with only slight differences in their culture and characteristics. Still living on the coast of Vilayet, they’ve built a large empire.
The Hyrkanians are often described as tall, dark, and slender. In-game, they’re depicted as having somewhat light skin with dark hair and eyes, striking an intimidating figure. Their link to the Lemurians runs deep, and while they may have lost some of the traditions of the Lemurian civilization, they may still have their proclivity toward sorcery and occultism.
The Khitan people hail from the eastern corners of the world, heavily inspired by ancient Chinese culture. They’re described as yellow-skinned, with facial features typical of what one would expect from a south-east Asian civilization.
The empire of Khitai is heavily tied with magic, birthing some of the world’s greatest wizards. This sorcerous foundation gives the Khitan people a reputation as proficient sorcerers. Khitai is stuck in a constant war with Kambuja, both fighting for supremacy to discover the arcane mysteries of The Scarlet Circle.
Khitan is a great race to choose if you intend to roleplay as a sorcerer. They were also the first culture to receive a DLC, The Imperial East pack. This DLC added a variety of Ancient Chinese-inspired weapons, armor, and building materials, making emulating the Khitan empire more than possible.
There is not much known about the Kushite people. They hail from the Black Kingdoms, comprised of Darfar, Keshaan, Kush, and Punt. The Kushite people are dark-skinned and are heavily inspired by North Africa.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of information about this race, there’s not much else to learn about them. We know that the worship of Derketo spread from Shem to the Black Kingdoms, and thus they likely worship Derketo in some form.
Kush is a land that contains both savage tribes and great kingdoms and thus can be a very flexible choice for roleplay purposes.
The Nordheimers, hailing from the kingdoms north of Cimmeria, is made up of two distinct tribes. The blonde Aesir and red-headed Vanir make up the Nordheimers and are both characterized by their pale skin and blue eyes. The Nordheimers are likely inspired by traditional interpretations of Viking culture, especially those coming from Nordic countries.
The Nordheimers are known as powerful fighters, regarded as fierce combatants in war. Rather than magic or trickery, they rely on their natural strength to overpower their enemies in battle. In a world of magic and mystery, the Nordheimers are fairly simple folk and make a great roleplay choice if you wish to keep things simple.
The Pictish people live a life of war. Depicted in-game as tanned with dark hair and dark eyes, the Picts are likely inspired by Pictish Scotland and other tribal groups. Translated to Latin, ‘Pict’ means “Painted One”, and thus eludes to the tribal method of war paint.
Little is known about the Pictish Wilderness. The land is full of dense forests, full of legendary beasts. The Picts are master hunters and rely on this rich ecosystem for their survival. The Picts are incredibly hostile to outsiders and live in tight-knit clans.
The Picts, much like the Nordheimers, are fairly simple folk. However, descriptions in-game hint that they are perhaps more in tune with the gods and demons than the Nordheimers. The Picts would be a great roleplay choice for a simple character that perhaps has a darker twist.
The Shemite people are an ancient culture from the lands of Shem, inspired by the modern-day Middle East, alongside Mesopotamia and parts of the Mediterranean. They are traditionally nomadic people, though certain sections of the population have settled into more permanent living arrangements.
Nomadic Shemites make for great archers and merchants, likely as a byproduct of that nomadic lifestyle. The permanently settled Shemites instead are regarded as more civilized and have developed enviable skills as Artisans.
The Shemites are a fairly simple race with a lot of flexibility in how they can be interpreted. Nomadic Shemites make a great choice for merchants, whereas those wishing to play as master craftsmen could choose to roleplay as a Blacksmith of Akbitana, one of the Shemite cities.
The Darfari, hailing from Darfar in the Black Kingdoms, is a barbaric culture of tribalism. The Darfari live in loose bands of tribes to better serve their cannibal god Yog. Their culture is driven by war and worship, and the Darfari is very much the embodiment of vicious savagery.
The Darfari are likely based on African tribes, though the name ‘Darfar’ seems to refer to Darfur, a location in modern-day Sudan. The Darfari file their teeth down and partake in cannibalism as a form of worship to their god Yog. The country of Darfar suffers from the slave trade, and some are also recruited as mercenary soldiers for foreign kings.
The Darfari is a highly religious race of savage fighters, driven by the primal desire for combat alongside the pursuit of greatness in the eyes of Yog Sothoth. The Darfari is quite an interesting culture with a wide variety of interpretations and makes for a great roleplay basis.
The Vendhyan, coming from the Golden Kingdom, is shown in-game as lightly tanned with brown hair and dark eyes. Their culture is guided by a group of rulers close to divinity, indicating a highly religious society. They’re also led by a king, though his sister Devi Yasmina is lauded amongst the Vendhyans for her health and beauty.
Vendhya is very clearly based on the societies of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Whilst it isn’t directly stated in-game, they like worship a large pantheon of gods, similar to the pantheon of real-world Hindus, and thus religion is invaluable to them. Aside from what we can infer, there is unfortunately not much information about the Vendhyans, so you can be quite flexible in your interpretations.
The Zamorians, hailing from the country of Zamora, are a dark-skinned race descended from a people more ancient than the Hyborians. They’ve been covered extensively in the works of Robert E Howard, and their homelands of Zamora have been the setting for many of Howard’s popular works. Those works include The Tower of the Elephant, The Hall of the Dead, and The Bloodstained God.
The Zamorans may be based partially on Spanish culture, though it’s hard to nail down one specific inspiration. The Zamorians seem to live in a state of common criminality, as the Zamorians are reputed to be the best thieves in the world. Zamora has a deep history, including their domination by the evil sorcerer Yara and their alliance with Nemedia.
The Zamorians are light-skinned with dark eyes and would make a great choice for someone wishing to live out their lives in The Exiled Lands as a bandit or thief character.
The Zingarans are an interesting race, very much living a two-pronged way of life. Zingaran Noblemen are chivalrous swordsmen of great renown, whereas Zingaran sailors are regarded around the world as coarse brutes, perhaps as a byproduct of the tough life on the world’s oceans.
The Zingarans are based on the more advanced segments of medieval Eurasia, including the Spanish, French, and Roman. This is shown through their perceived nobility within the cities. Though they have been the victims of many raids and annexations over the years, the Zingarans still retains a noble and deep culture and are concerned with the trade of wine and ornaments with the tribes of Kush.
Though Conan Exiles offers access to a variety of playable races, there exist others that you cannot choose to play as. Whilst there are too many to cover, we’ll take a brief look at the few races you can observe throughout Conan Exiles.
The Giant Kings
The Giant Kings are a race of serpent-esque giants that inhabited The Exiled Lands millennia before we are trapped there. They lived there peacefully for eons, befriending The Serpentmen and eventually coming into contact with The Lemurians after The Cataclysm. This friendship eventually turned hostile after the Lemurians discovered the Serpentmen in the volcano.
This caused a war between the humans and the Giant Kings, a war that saw many on both sides slain. The Giant Kings would eventually fall to the Lemurians in a battle to the north, and as they retreated, Warmaker Klael was persuaded to unleash the sandstorm on The Exiled Lands. A Lemurian named Petruso would bind the sandstorm to himself, locking it into a time loop, doomed to repeat its interrupted path for eternity. The Giant Kings were forced into retreat by the Lemurians. In the end, The Lemurians and the Khari hunted the Giant Kings to extinction, save for Warmaker Klael and the cursed body of Tyros the Deathbringer, half human and half Giant King.
The Giant Kings were devout worshippers of Set. While they seem almost as far from human as is possible, they are indeed capable of mating with humans and producing offspring, though it’s unclear if this singular case was natural or aided by sorcery.
The Serpentmen of Volusia is snake-like humanoids found primarily within the Volcano. This area is home to the Well of Skelos, guarded by the human Votaries of Skelos, and is regarded as a tough dungeon to complete. This underground city was the crux of the war between the Lemurians and the Giant Kings. Some evidence points to the Serpentmen potentially driving the Giant Kings mad to destabilize the rulers and take control of the land.
Little is known about the Serpentmen, but given the iconography within the Well of Skelos, it appears they may worship the snake god Set. They also seem to hold some ideals of racial purity, as some of the figureheads found within the Well of Skelos are notable as “pure-blood Serpentmen”.
Frost Giants are large, blue humanoids found in the northwest of the Frozen North, particularly within The Temple of Frost. It’s hypothesized that these Frost Giants may somewhat be related to the Giant Kings, though that comparison is likely only drawn due to their size.
The Frost Giants are fairly primitive, focusing more on a desire for combat than anything else. There is one Frost Giant that seems to show more intelligence, known as The Outcast. Found in the Outcast Camp, it appears this Frost Giant can see beyond the realms of man and into The Outer Void, where all manner of demons and deities dwell.
The Deep Ones are a strange combination of humans and fish, likely the spawn of the sea god Dagon. These Deep Ones are found in The Sunken City dungeon and are quite grotesque. The Deep Ones are also seen within H.P Lovecraft’s ‘The Shadow over Innsmouth’, in which the residents of Innsmouth mate with fish-like entities to produce fish-human hybrids. While these Deep Ones are not the same, H.P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard were friends and shared many themes.
The Lemurians were an ancient civilization that escaped The Cataclysm. After being brutalized by The Khari, they reached The Exiled Lands and befriended the Giant Kings, who they eventually turned on upon finding the Serpentmen in the Volcano.
The tale of the Lemurians is a complicated one, and they eventually assimilated into the Hyrkanians and Turanians. For that reason, it’s difficult to find any pure-blood Lemurians within The Exiled Lands, and also the reason why you can’t play as a Lemurian in the base game.
That being said, there are a couple of Lemurians in-game. Most are located in The Sunken City, and those outside include Petruso, Yakira the Priestess of Derketo, and arguably The Witch Queen.
The Khari was a civilization in pre-modern Stygia that ran an incredibly successful slaving empire. They would eventually become displaced by rebellion, where some escaped to The Exiled Lands and eventually were destroyed by an earthquake, which led to the survivors being trapped in a cave that would later be known as The Wine Cellar.
In the darkness, they attempted to summon a demon but failed. The remaining Khari were either slaughtered or cursed to live as an undead husks. You can emulate the Khari style easily, but you cannot truly play as a Khari.
If you’re on PC, you’re fortunately going to have access to tonnes of mods that can offer access to different races, even those not naturally found within the Conan universe. Below, I’ve put together some of the best mods that you can use to augment your roleplay with new races.
Indrid’s Custom Races and Classes
Indrid’s Custom Races adds a framework for creating classes and races on a Roleplay server. Races can be granted different passive and active bonuses, and as a mad with over 37,000 downloads, it’s been a favorite on Roleplay servers. Currently, the mod is not fully updated for Update 3.0, but Indrid will doubtless have the mod fully functioning again in no time.
RA: Character Customization and RA: Fantasy Extension
RA: Character Customization and RA: Fantasy Extension are both incredibly well-made mods that are insanely popular on Roleplay servers. With over 350,000 downloads, it’s been around for a while and has been used extensively by many players.
RA: Character Customization allows you to customize and adjust your character with a variety of RP-friendly adjustments. This includes makeup, warpaints, hairstyles, scars, tattoos, and even smaller things like eye adjustments, helping you to better build your character backstory.
RA: Fantasy Extension offers access to fantasy races like Elves, Orcs, Vampires, and more. Whilst it’s not strictly accurate to Conan Exiles, it’s a great way to diversify your options even further.
Frequently Asked Questions – Conan Exiles Races
Question: Are there any benefits to picking one race over another?
Answer: In the base game, no. Roleplay servers may take a different approach, but if you’re playing an unmodded server, you won’t get any bonuses or drawbacks for playing as one race over another.
Question: Is there any way to play as the unplayable races, like the Giant Kings?
Answer: Yes and no. I’ve heard that some mods offer shapeshifting tools so you can appear as a Giant King, Deep one, etc, but it’s not great. Many animations are broken, as the game is just not designed for it. It’s possible to do so, but your quality of gameplay wouldn’t be great.
Question: Can I use the mods you mentioned on the console?
Answer: Unfortunately not. The mods on console debate have been raging for years, and while Microsoft is a little more forgiving than Sony, neither has fully allowed mods on a console for Conan Exiles, at least at the time of writing.
There are many races within Conan Exiles. While they don’t offer any objective bonuses, knowing the races is essential if you want to roleplay in Conan, or if you just want to understand the story and the world a bit more. Today we’ve looked at all of the playable races, alongside some extras. You’re now ready to start building your character! Have fun, Exile!