This article is about the archer units in Age of Empires II. For archer units in other games of the series, see Archers.

Arch.png

Archers in Age of Empires II are one of the four combat forces on land, the other ones being infantry, cavalry, and siege weapons.

General information[edit | edit source]

Archer walkanim aoe2.gif

Many different archer units firing over an enemy wall.

While being comparatively frail, all archer units possess a ranged attack, giving them an edge over non-ranged units. Most archers are foot soldiers, but there are also mounted variants. Cavalry Archers set themselves apart from foot archers by having an above average speed, making them able to hit-and-run enemy foot soldiers without casualties.

Archer units are trained at the Archery Range and become available in the Feudal Age.

Unique archer units are trained at the Castle. There are three exceptions: The Genitour, the Slinger, and the Imperial Skirmisher (unique upgrade of the Elite Skirmisher, available to the Vietnamese and their allies) are trained at the Archery Range.

Most archer units cost wood and gold, but some also cost food.

The Skirmisher, the no. 1 archer counter

Archers excel at massed battles against non-ranged units, and in battles in narrow passages and densely developed areas, like forests and towns. There, they can use their range to fire over each other, while non-ranged units have to 'dig' themselves through an army of archers. In battles with few units, though, archers have trouble holding ground.

Archers in general are superior to infantry and Monks, and can very effectively eliminate Villagers. But they struggle heavily against siege units, which deal Area of Effect damage (especially the Mangonel) and can eliminate entire armies of archers quickly. Battering Rams are also a useful supportive semi-counter against large mono-archer armies, especially for players using archers themselves. While Rams deal little to no damage to archers on their own, they can be sent close to the archers, drawing automatic fire, which they resist thanks to their high pierce armor, allowing other ranged units to quickly dispatch the distracted enemy archers. This tactic forces the opponent to use intense micromanagement. Cavalry is also quite effective against archers, since they can close the gap quickly and have high pierce armor. But the easiest counter against archers is the Skirmisher, a trash unit that is cheap, easy to mass, and does both resist archer attacks and deal bonus damage against archers.

Other notable counters are Huskarls, Eagle Warriors, Rattan Archers, and War Wagons, the latter two being archers themselves.

List of archer units[edit | edit source]

Marked with yellow background are unique units.

Archer unit Building A HP At Ar PA Ra ROF FD Ac LOS Sp F W G TT Ci
ArcherIcon.jpg Archer Ar. Range
FeudalageDE.png
30 4 0 0 4 2.0 15 80 6 0.96 0 25 45 35 35
CrossbowmanIcon.jpg Crossbowman Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
35 5 0 0 5 2.0 15 85 7 0.96 0 25 45 27 33
ArbalestIcon.jpg Arbalester Ar. Range
Imperial Age
40 6 0 0 5 2.0 20 90 7 0.96 0 25 45 27 19
SkirmisherIcon.jpg Skirmisher Ar. Range
FeudalageDE.png
30 2 0 3 4 3.05 19 90 6 0.96 25 35 0 22 35
EliteSkirmisherIcon.jpg Elite Skirmisher Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
35 3 0 4 5 3.05 19 90 7 0.96 25 35 0 22 34
Imperialskirmishericon.png Imperial Skirmisher Ar. Range
Imperial Age
35 4 0 5 5 3.05 19 95 7 0.96 25 35 0 22 34
CavalryArcherIcon.jpg Cavalry Archer Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
50 6 0 0 4 2.0 35 50 5 1.4 0 40 60 34 32
HeavyCavArcherIcon.jpg Heavy Cavalry Archer Ar. Range
Imperial Age
60 7 1 0 4 2.0 46 50 6 1.4 0 40 60 27 27
HandCannoneerIcon.jpg Hand Cannoneer Ar. Range
Imperial Age
35 17 1 0 7 3.49 15 65 9 0.96 45 0 50 34 18
Amazonarcher aoe2DE.png Amazon Archer N/A N/A 45 5 0 1 4 1.9 5 80 6 1.1 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0
Royal janissary aoe2de.png Royal Janissary N/A N/A 40 22 2 0 8 3.49 0 50 10 0.96 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0
Khan aoe2de.png Khan N/A N/A 160 12 2 2 2.1 23 95 6 1.45 N/A N/A N/A N/A 0
LongbowmanIcon.jpg Longbowman Castle
CastleageDE.png
35 6 0 0 5 2.0 10 70 7 0.96 0 35 40 18 1
LongbowmanIcon.jpg Elite Longbowman Castle
Imperial Age
40 7 0 1 6 2.0 10 80 8 0.96 0 35 40 18 1
ChuKoNuIcon.jpg Chu Ko Nu Castle
CastleageDE.png
45 8+3 0 0 4 3.65 19 85 6 0.96 0 40 35 16 1
ChuKoNuIcon.jpg Elite Chu Ko Nu Castle
Imperial Age
50 8+3 0 0 4 3.84 19 85 6 0.96 0 40 35 13 1
MangudaiIcon.jpg Mangudai Castle
CastleageDE.png
60 6 0 0 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.45 0 55 65 26 1
MangudaiIcon.jpg Elite Mangudai Castle
Imperial Age
60 8 1 0 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.45 0 55 65 26 1
JanissaryIcon.jpg Janissary Castle
CastleageDE.png
35 17 1 0 8 3.49 12 50 10 0.96 60 0 55 21 1
JanissaryIcon.jpg Elite Janissary Castle
Imperial Age
40 22 2 0 8 3.49 0 50 10 0.96 60 0 55 21 1
WarWagonIcon.jpg War Wagon Castle
CastleageDE.png
150 9 0 3 4 2.5 32 100 7 1.2 0 110 60 21 1
WarWagonIcon.jpg Elite War Wagon Castle
Imperial Age
200 9 0 4 5 2.5 32 100 8 1.2 0 110 60 21 1
PlumedArcherIcon.jpg Plumed Archer Castle
CastleageDE.png
50 5 0 1 4 1.9 15 80 6 1.2 0 55 55 16 1
PlumedArcherIcon.jpg Elite Plumed Archer Castle
Imperial Age
65 5 0 2 5 1.9 15 90 7 1.2 0 55 55 16 1
ConquistadorIcon.jpg Conquistador Castle
CastleageDE.png
55 16 2 2 6 2.9 13 65 8 1.3 60 0 70 24 1
ConquistadorIcon.jpg Elite Conquistador Castle
Imperial Age
70 18 2 2 6 2.9 13 70 9 1.3 60 0 70 24 1
Slinger Icon.jpg Slinger Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
40 5 0 0 5 2.0 14 90 7 0.96 30 0 40 25 1
ElephantArcherIcon.jpg Elephant Archer Castle
CastleageDE.png
280 6 0 3 4 2.0 24 100 7 0.8 100 0 80 25 1
ElephantArcherIcon.jpg Elite Elephant Archer Castle
Imperial Age
330 7 0 3 4 2.0 24 100 7 0.8 100 0 80 25 1
New Genoese Crossbowman.png Genoese Crossbowman Castle
CastleageDE.png
45 6 1 0 4 2.0 15 100 8 0.96 0 45 45 22 1
New Genoese Crossbowman.png Elite Genoese Crossbowman Castle
Imperial Age
50 6 1 0 4 2.0 15 100 8 0.96 0 45 45 19 1
CamelArcherIcon.jpg Camel Archer Castle
CastleageDE.png
55 7 0 1 4 2.0 15 95 5 1.4 0 50 60 25 1
CamelArcherIcon.jpg Elite Camel Archer Castle
Imperial Age
60 8 1 1 4 2.0 15 95 5 1.4 0 50 60 25 1
GenitourIcon.jpg Genitour Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
50 3 0 3 4 3.05 30 90 5 1.35 50 35 0 25 35
GenitourIcon.jpg Elite Genitour Ar. Range
Imperial Age
55 4 0 4 4 3.05 30 90 6 1.35 50 35 0 25 35
Arambaiicon.png Arambai Castle
CastleageDE.png
60 17 0 1 5 2.0 15 20 5 1.3 0 75 60 21 1
Arambaiicon.png Elite Arambai Castle
Imperial Age
65 19 0 2 5 2.0 15 30 5 1.3 0 75 60 21 1
Rattanarchericon.png Rattan Archer Castle
CastleageDE.png
40 6 0 4 4 2.0 23 80 6 1.1 0 50 45 16 1
Rattanarchericon.png Elite Rattan Archer Castle
Imperial Age
45 7 0 6 5 2.0 23 90 6 1.1 0 50 45 16 1
Kipchakicon.png Kipchak Castle
CastleageDE.png
40 4+3 0 0 4 2.2 0 90 6 1.4 0 60 35 20 1
Kipchakicon.png Elite Kipchak Castle
Imperial Age
45 5+3 0 0 4 2.2 0 90 6 1.4 0 60 35 20 35
Average N/A N/A 68.9 8.3 0.4 1.5 4.8 2.55 19.4 80 6.8 1.12 19.2 37.8 46.5 22.8 26

Technologies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are all technologies that benefit archer units. Marked with yellow background are unique technologies. This list does not contain unit upgrades.

Technology Researched at Age Civilization Effect
Thumb Ring.png Thumb Ring Archery Range III 26 Increases Rate of Fire and accuracy (the latter to 100%)
Parthian-Tactics.jpg Parthian Tactics Archery Range IV 13 Increases armor by +1/+2 and attack vs Pikemen for mounted archers by +4
Bloodlines.png Bloodlines Stable II 24 Increases hit points for mounted archers by +20
Husbandry.jpg Husbandry Stable III 29 Increases movement speed for mounted archers by +10%
Fletching.jpg Fletching Blacksmith II All Increases range and attack by +1
Bodkinarrow.jpg Bodkin Arrow Blacksmith III All Increases range and attack by +1
Bracer.jpg Bracer Blacksmith IV 28 Increases range and attack by +1
Paddedarcherarmor.jpg Padded Archer Armor Blacksmith II All Increases armor by +1/+1
Leatherarcherarmor.jpg Leather Archer Armor Blacksmith III 34 Increases armor by +1/+1
Ringarcherarmor.jpg Ring Archer Armor Blacksmith IV 28 Increases armor by +1/+2
Ballistics.jpg Ballistics University III All Improves accuracy of non-gunpowder archers at moving targets
Chemistry.jpg Chemistry University IV All Increases attack by +1
Herbal Medicine.png Herbal Medicine Monastery III 31 Garrisoned units heal 4x faster
Heresy.png Heresy Monastery III 22 Converted units die instead of changing color
Faith.jpg Faith Monastery IV 32 Increases conversion resistance
Conscription.jpg Conscription Castle IV All Increases creation speed by +33%
CastleAgeUnique.png Atlatl Castle III Aztecs Skirmishers and Genitours +1 attack and range
CastleAgeUnique.png Kasbah Castle III Berbers Castle production and research speed increased by +25%
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Maghrabi Camels Castle IV Berbers Camel Archers regenerate
CastleAgeUnique.png Yeomen Castle III Britons Increases foot archer range by +1
CastleAgeUnique.png Manipur Cavalry Castle III Burmese Increases Arambai attack against buildings and standard buildings by +3
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Rocketry Castle IV Chinese Increases Chu Ko Nu attack by +2
CastleAgeUnique.png Steppe Husbandry Castle III Cumans Cavalry Archers created 100% faster
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Cuman Mercenaries Castle IV Cumans Allows Cumans and their allies to train 10 Elite Kipchaks for free
CastleAgeUnique.png Andean Sling Castle III Incas Removes minimum range of Slingers, Skirmishers, and Genitours
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Fabric Shields Castle IV Incas Increases Slinger armor by +1/+2
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Shatagni Castle IV Indians Increases Hand Cannoneer range by +1
CastleAgeUnique.png Pavise Castle III Italians Increases foot archer armor by +1/+1
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Tower Shields Castle IV Lithuanians Skirmishers +2 pierce armor
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Recurve Bow Castle IV Magyars Increases Cavalry Archer range and attack by +1
CastleAgeUnique.png Obsidian Arrows Castle III Mayans Increases Archer attack against standard buildings by +6
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Arquebus Castle IV Portuguese Hand Cannoneers gain Ballistics-like accuracy
CastleAgeUnique.png Silk Armor Castle III Tatars Cavalry Archers, Steppe Lancers, Kipchaks, and Genitours +1 pierce armor
CastleAgeUnique.png Sipahi Castle III Turks Increases Cavalry Archer, Kipchak, and Genitour HP by +20

Civilizations[edit | edit source]

The Britons, Chinese, Ethiopians, Italians, Mayans, Saracens, and Vietnamese arguably are the best foot archer civilizations because of their bonuses and unique technologies. The Koreans, Persians and Portuguese also have bonuses and unique technologies that benefit their production by decreasing their cost, making them strong foot archer civilizations, but weaker than the before-mentioned civilizations.

The Japanese and Saracens are the only civilizations with access to all archer units and technologies. This also applied to the Indians until patch 5.5, when Arbalesters were removed from their technology tree.

As far as mounted archers are concerned, the Berbers, CumansHuns, Indians, Magyars, Mongols, Saracens, Tatars, and Turks are the most prominent civilizations. Generally speaking, civilizations with access to Parthian Tactics have prominent mounted archers.

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

The following civilizations have bonuses that benefit archer units:

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

The following civilizations have bonuses that benefit archer units:

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Excluding the Magyars and the Berbers, all civilizations with prominent Cavalry Archers descent from various parts of Asia. This is also highlighted by the availability of Parthian Tactics, with 9 out of 10 factions that can research it being Asian cultures.
  • Among the 40 unique units in the game 13 are archers, including 5 cavalry archers. This makes the archer units the largest group as far as unique units are concerned.
  • Excluding Rattan and Plumed Archers, all foot archer, skirmisher and gunpowder units move at a constant speed of 0.96.
  • Contrary to popular belief, foot archer, skirmisher and gunpowder units are unaffected by infantry speed upgrades like Squires unless specified otherwise. However their mounted counterparts are affected by Husbandry.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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