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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For other uses, see Archer.

Quick and light. Weak at close range; excels at battle from distance.
Age of Empires II description

The Archer is an archer unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Archery Range. While mediocre in terms of attack, HP, and armor, it compensates for that by having a ranged attack, which can easily decimate enemy infantry of early Ages.


Archer walkanim aoe2.gif

Archers are extremely proficient raiding units in the Feudal Age due to their ranged attack. With it, they can easily pick off enemy infantry such as Men-at-Arms or Spearmen and disrupt the enemy's economy by harassing their Villagers. However, they are extremely ineffective against all buildings, Scout Cavalry, and Skirmishers. Archers often are the Feudal Age rush unit of choice, because they are the most effective Feudal Age unit against Villagers (thanks to their range, allowing for quick kills, and negating small quick-Walls) and they do not cost food, allowing the player to stockpile food for advancing to the Castle Age.

Archers performing a Feudal Age rush, harassing enemy Villagers

The Feudal Age counters to Archers (Scouts and Skirmishers) are quite food intensive, delaying the defending player's Castle Age advance substantially, if they are not prepared for it. Mid-sized to large groups of Archers make extremely good early harassment soldiers due to the absence of Knights from both sides. It can still be effective mid-game, but its power rapidly diminishes with the introduction of not only Knights, but also Scorpions and Mangonels. Many early rush strategies like the Tower rush can become more successful if supported with Archers as they can garrison in the attacking Towers and increase the number of arrows fired.

Their ranged attack can also prove helpful when defending from an early raid. When garrisoned inside Watch Towers or placed behind a Wall, they can be very effective.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry, Villagers
Weak vs. Skirmishers, Scout Cavalry, Eagle Scouts
Attack FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1)
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry (+1)
Range FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1)
CastleAgeUnique.png Yeomen (+1, Britons only)
Firing rate ThumbRingDE.png Thumb Ring (+18%)
Accuracy ThumbRingDE.png Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100% for non-moving targets)
BallisticsDE.png Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor PaddedArcherArmorDE.png Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
LeatherArcherArmorDE.png Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
RingArcherArmorDE.png Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
CastleAgeUnique.png Pavise (+1/+1, Italians only since The African Kingdoms)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
UniqueTechCastle-DE.png First Crusade (Sicilians only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
Other CastleAgeUnique.png Kamandaran (replaces the cost gold for wood, for total 60 wood each unit, Persians only)
Upgrades Crossbowman-research.jpg Crossbowman

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Aztecs: Archers are created 11% faster.
  • Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Archers cost -50% food.
  • Britons: Archers have +1/+2 range in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts: Archers can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Archers are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Ethiopians: Archers fire 18% faster.
  • Italians: Researching Ballistics and Chemistry is 33% cheaper.
  • Koreans: Archers cost -20% wood. Armor upgrades are free.
  • Mayans: Archers are 10%/20%/30% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Portuguese: Archers cost -20% gold. Upgrades that benefit Archers are researched 30% faster.
  • Sicilians: Archers absorb 50% of all incoming bonus damage.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Archers do not cost gold.
  • Tatars: Archers deal +25% bonus damage from a cliff or an elevation. Thumb Ring is free.
  • Turks: Chemistry is free.
  • Vietnamese: Archers have +20% hit points. Conscription is free.

Team bonuses[]


The Age of Kings[]

The Conquerors[]

The Forgotten[]

The African Kingdoms[]

Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Vietnamese: Initially, Archers had +10%/+15%/+20% HP in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. With patch 5.8, they have +20% HP.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Bulgarians: Initially, the Team Bonus gave the Blacksmith a 50% work rate boost. With update 42848, this was changed to a 80% work rate boost.
  • Bulgarians: With update 42848, Blacksmith updates cost -50% food.
  • Persians: Kamandaran technology introduced in replacement for Boiling Oil, making Archers cost 50 wood. With update 34699, Kamandaran makes Archers cost 60 wood.
  • Koreans: Initially, Archers cost -15% wood. With update 39284, they cost -20% wood.
  • Koreans: With update 42848, Archer armor upgrades are free.
  • Portuguese: With update 42848, technologies are researched 30% faster.
  • Saracens: Initially, Archers have +3 attack bonus against standard buildings. With update 34055, Archers have +1/+2/+3 attack bonus against standard buildings in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.

Lords of the West[]


  • In terms of wood, the units from the Archer line are the cheapest archers in the game.
  • With 30, the Archer has the fewest hit points of all military units, tied with the Skirmisher and the Karambit Warrior; the Villager is the only trainable unit with less HP (25 without Loom).
  • The Archer line units are the only common archer units that do not have any base melee armor nor pierce armor.
  • In pre-release versions of Age of Empires II, Archers and Crossbowmen were two separate lines. Archers were trash units that were cheap, fast firing, inaccurate, and weak, and consisted of the Archer itself, and the Composite Archer. Crossbowmen were expensive, costed wood and gold, slower firing, more accurate, and gave a high damage output.
    • In real life, an archer's training consumes more time and resources than a crossbowman's.


The bow remained an important military weapon after the fall of Rome, although less so in areas of Europe covered by dense forests. Archers could fight from a distance, from behind walls or other cover, and from ambush. They were usually not decisive in battle on the attack because they could not physically take ground from the enemy like infantry could. They acted mainly as defensive troops and as light troops that disrupted enemy formations prior to the decisive moment when the armies clashed hand-to-hand. If barrages of arrows could cause casualties and drain the fighting spirit of the enemy prior to the clash, friendly troops had a better chance of breaking the will of the enemy and being victorious. Archers were also very useful when both defending and attacking a castle.