How to Complete Hibernation in Empires of the Undergrowth on Insane Difficulty
Image via SLug Disco studios

Hibernation is an unforgiving wintry extra level in Empires of the Undergrowth where the player takes heed of a wood ant colony that is preparing for the harsh winter after a harsh summer. Balancing collecting food as well as vegetation – a resource unique to the level – the player must fend off four other colonies and the desperate critters out to eat them. Here is how to beat Hibernation on insane difficulty.

How to Complete Hibernation on Insane Difficulty

The objectives of this level (on insane difficulty) are to make sure your colony doesn’t get too cold and to have 1,600 vegetation stored before the end of the game.

Vegetation is collected on the surface and brought back to heating piles. The wood will slowly decompose and provide heat, keeping your colony alive.

Constructing the Right Colony for the Job in Empires of the Undergrowth

Insane mode does not hold back in the slightest. Food is abundant to begin with but is virtually finite. The vegetation will slowly crescendo as the game moves on. Considering the other colonies and creatures are super strong and there is very limited food, your goal here is not to create a strong army to fend off the others and let your workers collect. Your goal here is to be as economic as possible.

How to Complete Hibernation in Empires of the Undergrowth on Insane Difficulty
Image via SLug Disco studios

The heating tiles cost only 10 food to place, but you need an extortionate amount, with upgrades, to even store 1,600 vegetation. The vast majority of your food will be assigned to this, so you cannot support a big army. In fact, you can’t support any army. Your colony will have to survive exclusively off of workers, and not many at that. I would recommend a few groups of workers to have 35 – 40 in total, all at level 1 – 2. Workers are extremely brittle, so no matter what upgrades you get them, they will aberly manage to kill one enemy soldier ant in a large group, so don’t even try to level them up to level 3.

Collecting Food on Insane Difficulty

At the beginning of Hibernation, set your few starting ants to collect food right outside your nest. This will ensure a swift income to hatch more worker ants. With the bolstered group, immediately go to the centre. Again, food is finite, so grabbing as much as you can is a must.

During the beginning your main concern is food, so I would recommend having one group focused on gathering food off the floor, and another group focused on killing woodlouse and Devil Coach Horse beetles.

Do not unnecessarily store food. Immediately spend it. You don’t want to waste food on constructing and upgrading food storage tiles. Either buy more nursery tiles, do some light upgrades, or, preferably, place as many heating tiles as you can.

Don’t worry about vegetation for now. There won’t be enough of it and you’re gonna need all ants on deck collecting food for the late game where it is all gone.

Enemies to Beware in Hibernation

As the game goes on, more dangerous creatures come out to play. These can really end your game prematurely if you let them eat all your ants as you will be spending too much food on hatching ants, and not enough food on placing tiles (seriously – you need a lot of heating tiles).

The spider that comes out mid-game is the one to look out for. It will rapidly circle around the map, and will devour a whole trail of ants. You must learn the spider’s movement patterns to avoid it. Otherwise, the winter may be harsher than it should have been.

How to Complete Hibernation in Empires of the Undergrowth on Insane Difficulty
Image via SLug Disco studios

The other colonies will also be after the same resources as you – so pay attention to the mini map. Your colony will never stand up to them, so just back off when you see them marching over. You want as little casualties as you can to save up food.

Related: Empires of the Undergrowth: How To Complete All Formicarium Gate Challenges

Collecting Vegetation in Hibernation

Here it comes. As the snow starts to fall, the ants start to slow down. The freezing cold will slow your ants down and will kill them if they are on the surface for too long. By now you’ve hopefully constructed enough heating tiles. If not, try destroying some food storage piles of ven nursery tiles for a little injection of more food.

The map will be littered with sticks by now, so waste no time and collect as much as you can.

How to Complete Hibernation in Empires of the Undergrowth on Insane Difficulty
Image via SLug Disco studios

Note: At the top will be two buttons – one with a temperature icon and another with the food icon. You must switch between them to toggle what your ants collect. The minimap will update on the resources that you have selected for easier location. This feature is unique to Hibernation, so may have confused some players.

The more heating tiles you have in your colony, the longer your ants can survive in the cold and the faster they’ll go, so make sure to place them throughout oyu colony and at the entrance and not squirrelled away in a chamber.

The outside will now be extremely difficult to survive in, your slowed ants will be quick meals for the creatures, so it is up to you to be extremely careful. With no more food, ants won’t be respawning. Just keep carefully collecting vegetation. Split up your groups for more coverage and to make sure that not all of your ants de if the spider or a colony catches up with one.

As you reach the end of the game, as long as you have 1,600 vegetation and an alive queen, you can finally relax and snuggle in for the cold winter.

Hibernation is a head-aching experience, but a satisfying one once completed, but it may take a few tries! Keep an eye on Gamer Journalist to keep up-to-date with any Empires of the Undergrowth news and guides.