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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
Archer aoe2DE.png Archer Ar. Range
FeudalageDE.png
30 4 0 0 4 2.0 15 80 6 0.96 0 25 45 35 37
Crossbowman aoe2DE.png Crossbowman Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
35 5 0 0 5 2.0 15 85 7 0.96 0 25 45 27 35
Arbalester aoe2DE.png Arbalester Ar. Range
Imperial Age
40 6 0 0 5 2.0 20 90 7 0.96 0 25 45 27 20
Skirmisher aoe2DE.png Skirmisher Ar. Range
FeudalageDE.png
30 2 0 3 4 3.05 19 90 6 0.96 25 35 0 22 37
Elite skirmisher aoe2DE.png Elite Skirmisher Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
35 3 0 4 5 3.05 19 90 7 0.96 25 35 0 22 36
Imperialskirmishericon-DE.png Imperial Skirmisher Ar. Range
Imperial Age
35 4 0 5 5 3.05 19 95 7 0.96 25 35 0 22 36
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE.png Cavalry Archer Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
50 6 0 0 4 2.0 35 50 5 1.4 0 40 60 34 34
Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de.png Heavy Cavalry Archer Ar. Range
Imperial Age
60 7 1 0 4 2.0 46 50 6 1.4 0 40 60 27 27
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE.png Hand Cannoneer Ar. Range
Imperial Age
35 17 1 0 7 3.49 15 65 9 0.96 45 0 50 34 19
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-DE.png Longbowman Castle
CastleageDE.png
35 6 0 0 5 2.0 10 70 7 0.96 0 35 40 18 1
LongbowmanIcon-DE.png Elite Longbowman Castle
Imperial Age
40 7 0 1 6 2.0 10 80 8 0.96 0 35 40 18 1
ChukoNuIcon-DE.png 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-DE.png 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-DE.png Mangudai Castle
CastleageDE.png
60 6 0 0 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.45 0 55 65 26 1
MangudaiIcon-DE.png Elite Mangudai Castle
Imperial Age
60 8 1 0 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.45 0 55 65 26 1
JanissaryIcon-DE.png Janissary Castle
CastleageDE.png
35 17 1 0 8 3.49 12 50 10 0.96 60 0 55 21 1
JanissaryIcon-DE.png Elite Janissary Castle
Imperial Age
40 22 2 0 8 3.49 0 50 10 0.96 60 0 55 21 1
WarWagonIcon-DE.png War Wagon Castle
CastleageDE.png
150 9 0 3 4 2.5 32 100 7 1.2 0 110 60 21 1
WarWagonIcon-DE.png Elite War Wagon Castle
Imperial Age
200 9 0 4 5 2.5 32 100 8 1.2 0 110 60 21 1
PlumedArcherIcon-DE.png Plumed Archer Castle
CastleageDE.png
50 5 0 1 4 1.9 15 80 6 1.2 0 55 55 16 1
PlumedArcherIcon-DE.png Elite Plumed Archer Castle
Imperial Age
65 5 0 2 5 1.9 15 90 7 1.2 0 55 55 16 1
ConquistadorIcon-DE.png Conquistador Castle
CastleageDE.png
55 16 2 2 6 2.9 13 65 8 1.3 60 0 70 24 1
ConquistadorIcon-DE.png Elite Conquistador Castle
Imperial Age
70 18 2 2 6 2.9 13 70 9 1.3 60 0 70 24 1
SlingerIcon-DE.png Slinger Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
40 5 0 0 5 2.0 14 90 7 0.96 30 0 40 25 1
ElephantArcherIcon-DE.png Elephant Archer Castle
CastleageDE.png
280 6 0 3 4 2.0 24 100 7 0.8 100 0 80 25 1
ElephantArcherIcon-DE.png Elite Elephant Archer Castle
Imperial Age
330 7 0 3 4 2.0 24 100 7 0.8 100 0 80 25 1
GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE.png Genoese Crossbowman Castle
CastleageDE.png
45 6 1 0 4 2.0 15 100 8 0.96 0 45 40 22 1
GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE.png Elite Genoese Crossbowman Castle
Imperial Age
50 6 1 0 4 2.0 15 100 8 0.96 0 45 40 19 1
CamelArcherIcon-DE.png Camel Archer Castle
CastleageDE.png
55 7 0 1 4 2.0 15 95 5 1.4 0 50 60 25 1
CamelArcherIcon-DE.png Elite Camel Archer Castle
Imperial Age
60 8 1 1 4 2.0 15 95 5 1.4 0 50 60 25 1
GenitourIcon-DE.png Genitour Ar. Range
CastleageDE.png
50 3 0 3 4 3.05 30 90 5 1.35 50 35 0 25 35
GenitourIcon-DE.png Elite Genitour Ar. Range
Imperial Age
55 4 0 4 4 3.05 30 90 6 1.35 50 35 0 25 37
Arambaiicon-DE.png Arambai Castle
CastleageDE.png
60 12 0 1 5 2.0 15 20 5 1.3 0 75 60 21 1
Arambaiicon-DE.png Elite Arambai Castle
Imperial Age
65 15 0 2 5 2.0 15 30 5 1.3 0 75 60 21 1
Rattanarchericon-DE.png Rattan Archer Castle
CastleageDE.png
40 6 0 4 4 2.0 23 80 6 1.1 0 50 45 16 1
Rattanarchericon-DE.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 37
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 +2 or +4
Bloodlines.png Bloodlines Stable II 25 Increases hit points for mounted archers by +20
Husbandry.jpg Husbandry Stable III 31 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 30 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 and enables creation of Hand Cannoneer
Herbal Medicine.png Herbal Medicine Monastery III 33 Garrisoned units heal 6x faster
Heresy.png Heresy Monastery III 22 Converted units die instead of changing color
Faith.jpg Faith Monastery IV 34 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
CastleAgeUnique.png Hul'che Javelineers Castle III Mayans Skirmishers throw two javelins
CastleAgeUnique.png Kamandaran Castle III Persians Foot archers cost no gold
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Arquebus Castle IV Portuguese Hand Cannoneers gain Ballistics-like accuracy
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Scutage Castle IV Sicilians Pays 15 Gold to every team member for every archer owned by the player.
CastleAgeUnique.png Silk Armor Castle III Tatars Cavalry Archers, 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 stats and production by decreasing their cost, providing more protection and being upgraded faster, 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.

The Burgundians, Burmese, Celts, Franks, and Slavs lack key upgrades for their archer units, making them the weakest archer civilizations. The Bulgarians and the Spanish are the only civilzations that lack the Crossbowman upgrade.

As far as mounted archers are concerned, the Berbers, Cumans, Huns, Indians, Koreans, 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:

  • Aztecs: Archers are created 11% faster.
  • Britons: Foot archers have +1/+2 range in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Bulgarians: Blacksmith technologies that benefit archers cost 50% less food.
  • Burgundians: Hand Cannoneers have +25% attack.
  • Burmese: Monastery technologies that affect archers are 50% cheaper.
  • Byzantines: Skirmishers are 25% cheaper.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Infantry are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Cumans: Cavalry Archers move 10%/15% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Ethiopians: The Archer line fires 18% faster.
  • Franks: Cavalry Archers have +20% hit points.
  • Huns: Cavalry Archers are 10%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Koreans: Archer units cost 20% less wood; Archer armor upgrades are free.
  • Italians: Hand Cannoneers are 15% cheaper.
  • Lithuanians: Skirmishers move 10% faster.
  • Mayans: Archers are 10%/20%/30% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Mongols: Cavalry Archers fire 25% faster.
  • Portuguese: Archer units cost 20% less gold; Technologies that benefit archers are researched 30% faster.
  • Sicilians: Archers receive 50% less bonus damage.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith technologies that affect archers cost no gold; Hand Cannoneers fire 18% faster.
  • Tatars: Archers deal +25% damage when attacking from higher elevation. Parthian Tactics and Thumb Ring are free.
  • Turks: Hand Cannoneers have +25% HP and Chemistry is free.
  • Vietnamese: Archery Range units have +20% HP and Conscription is free.

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

The following civilizations have bonuses that benefit archer units:

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Excluding the Berbers, all civilizations with prominent Cavalry Archers originated in 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 48 unique units in the game 15 are archers, including 8 cavalry archers. This makes the archer units the largest group of unique units.
  • 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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