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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[]

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[]

Marked with yellow background are unique units.

Archer unit B A HP At Ar PA Ra ROF FD Ac LOS Sp F W G TT Ci
Archer aoe2DE.png Archer
Archery range aoe2DE.png
FeudalageDE.png
30 4 0 0 4 2.0 15 80 6 0.96 0 25 45 35 39
Crossbowman aoe2DE.png Crossbowman
Archery range aoe2DE.png
CastleageDE.png
35 5 0 0 5 2.0 15 85 7 0.96 0 25 45 27 37
Arbalester aoe2DE.png Arbalester
Archery range aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
40 6 0 0 5 2.0 20 90 7 0.96 0 25 45 27 22
Skirmisher aoe2DE.png Skirmisher
Archery range aoe2DE.png
FeudalageDE.png
30 2 0 3 4 3.0 19 90 6 0.96 25 35 0 22 39
Elite skirmisher aoe2DE.png Elite Skirmisher
Archery range aoe2DE.png
CastleageDE.png
35 3 0 4 5 3.0 19 90 7 0.96 25 35 0 22 38
Imperialskirmishericon-DE.png Imperial Skirmisher
Archery range aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
35 4 0 5 5 3.0 19 95 7 0.96 25 35 0 22 38
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE.png Cavalry Archer
Archery range aoe2DE.png
CastleageDE.png
50 6 0 0 4 2.0 35 50 5 1.4 0 40 60 34 35
Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de.png Heavy Cavalry Archer
Archery range aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
60 7 1 0 4 2.0 46 50 6 1.4 0 40 60 27 28
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE.png Hand Cannoneer
Archery range aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
40 17 1 0 7 3.45 15 75 9 0.96 45 0 50 34 20
LongbowmanIcon-DE.png Longbowman
Castle aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
CastleageDE.png
45 8+3 0 0 4 3.0 19 85 6 0.96 0 40 35 16 1
ChukoNuIcon-DE.png Elite Chu Ko Nu
Castle aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
50 8+3 0 0 4 3.0 19 85 6 0.96 0 40 35 13 1
MangudaiIcon-DE.png Mangudai
Castle aoe2DE.png
CastleageDE.png
60 6 0 0 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.4 0 55 65 26 1
MangudaiIcon-DE.png Elite Mangudai
Castle aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
60 8 1 0 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.4 0 55 65 26 1
JanissaryIcon-DE.png Janissary
Castle aoe2DE.png
CastleageDE.png
35 17 1 0 8 3.45 12 50 10 0.96 60 0 55 21 1
JanissaryIcon-DE.png Elite Janissary
Castle aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
40 22 2 0 8 3.45 0 65 10 0.96 60 0 55 21 1
WarWagonIcon-DE.png War Wagon
Castle aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
65 5 0 2 5 1.9 15 90 7 1.2 0 55 55 16 1
ConquistadorIcon-DE.png Conquistador
Castle aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
70 18 2 2 6 2.9 13 70 9 1.3 60 0 70 24 1
SlingerIcon-DE.png Slinger
Archery range aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
60 8 1 1 4 2.0 15 95 5 1.4 0 50 60 25 1
GenitourIcon-DE.png Genitour
Archery range aoe2DE.png
CastleageDE.png
50 3 0 3 4 3.0 30 90 5 1.35 50 35 0 25 39
GenitourIcon-DE.png Elite Genitour
Archery range aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
55 4 0 4 4 3.0 30 90 6 1.35 50 35 0 25 39
Arambaiicon-DE.png Arambai
Castle aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
45 7 0 6 5 2.0 23 90 6 1.1 0 50 45 16 1
Kipchakicon.png Kipchak
Castle aoe2DE.png
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 aoe2DE.png
Imperial Age
45 5+3 0 0 4 2.2 0 90 6 1.4 0 60 35 20 39
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

The following archer units are only available in the Scenario Editor:

Archer unit HP At Ar PA Ra ROF FD Ac LOS Sp
Amazonarcher aoe2DE.png Amazon Archer 45 5 0 1 4 1.9 5 80 6 1.1
Royal janissary aoe2de.png Royal Janissary 40 22 2 0 8 3.45 0 65 10 0.96
Khan aoe2de.png Khan 160 12 2 2 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.45

Technologies[]

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
ThumbRingDE.png Thumb Ring Archery Range
CastleageDE.png
26 Increases Rate of Fire and accuracy (the latter to 100%)
ParthianTacticsDE.png Parthian Tactics Archery Range
Imperial Age
13 Increases armor by +1/+2 and attack vs Pikemen for mounted archers by +2 or +4
BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines Stable
FeudalageDE.png
25 Increases hit points for mounted archers by +20
HusbandryDE.png Husbandry Stable
CastleageDE.png
31 Increases movement speed for mounted archers by +10%
FletchingDE.png Fletching Blacksmith
FeudalageDE.png
All Increases range and attack by +1
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow Blacksmith
CastleageDE.png
All Increases range and attack by +1
BracerDE.png Bracer Blacksmith
Imperial Age
30 Increases range and attack by +1
PaddedArcherArmorDE.png Padded Archer Armor Blacksmith
FeudalageDE.png
All Increases armor by +1/+1
LeatherArcherArmorDE.png Leather Archer Armor Blacksmith
CastleageDE.png
34 Increases armor by +1/+1
RingArcherArmorDE.png Ring Archer Armor Blacksmith
Imperial Age
28 Increases armor by +1/+2
BallisticsDE.png Ballistics University
CastleageDE.png
All Improves accuracy of non-gunpowder archers at moving targets
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry University
Imperial Age
All Increases attack of non-gunpowder archers by +1 and enables creation of Hand Cannoneer
HerbalDE.png Herbal Medicine Monastery
CastleageDE.png
33 Garrisoned units heal 6x faster
HeresyDE.png Heresy Monastery
CastleageDE.png
22 Converted units die instead of changing color
FaithDE.png Faith Monastery
Imperial Age
34 Increases conversion resistance
ConscriptionDE.png Conscription Castle
Imperial Age
All Increases creation speed by +33%
CastleAgeUnique.png Atlatl Castle
CastleageDE.png
Aztecs Skirmishers and Genitours +1 attack and range
CastleAgeUnique.png Kasbah Castle
CastleageDE.png
Berbers Castle production and research speed increased by +25%
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Maghrabi Camels Castle
Imperial Age
Berbers Camel Archers regenerate (0.25 HP/s)
CastleAgeUnique.png Wagenburg Tactics Castle
CastleageDE.png
Bohemians Hand Cannoneers move 15% faster
CastleAgeUnique.png Yeomen Castle
CastleageDE.png
Britons Increases foot archer range by +1
CastleAgeUnique.png Manipur Cavalry Castle
CastleageDE.png
Burmese Increases Arambai attack against standard buildings by +6
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Rocketry Castle
Imperial Age
Chinese Increases Chu Ko Nu attack by +2
CastleAgeUnique.png Steppe Husbandry Castle
CastleageDE.png
Cumans Cavalry Archers created 100% faster
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Cuman Mercenaries Castle
Imperial Age
Cumans Allows Cumans and their allies to train 10 Elite Kipchaks for free
CastleAgeUnique.png Andean Sling Castle
CastleageDE.png
Incas Removes minimum range of Slingers, Skirmishers, and Genitours
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Fabric Shields Castle
Imperial Age
Incas Increases Slinger armor by +1/+2
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Shatagni Castle
Imperial Age
Indians Increases Hand Cannoneer range by +1
CastleAgeUnique.png Pavise Castle
CastleageDE.png
Italians Increases foot archer (except Skirmishers) armor by +1/+1
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Tower Shields Castle
Imperial Age
Lithuanians Skirmishers +2 pierce armor
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Recurve Bow Castle
Imperial Age
Magyars Increases Cavalry Archer range and attack by +1
CastleAgeUnique.png Obsidian Arrows (before Lords of the West) Castle
CastleageDE.png
Mayans Increases Archer line attack against standard buildings by +6
CastleAgeUnique.png Hul'che Javelineers (since Lords of the West) Castle
CastleageDE.png
Mayans Skirmishers throw two javelins
CastleAgeUnique.png Kamandaran Castle
CastleageDE.png
Persians Archer line gold cost replaced by additional wood cost
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Arquebus Castle
Imperial Age
Portuguese Hand Cannoneers gain Ballistics-like accuracy
CastleAgeUnique.png Silk Armor Castle
CastleageDE.png
Tatars Cavalry Archers, Kipchaks, and Genitours get +1/+1 armor
CastleAgeUnique.png Sipahi Castle
CastleageDE.png
Turks Increases Cavalry Archer, Kipchak, and Genitour HP by +20

Civilizations[]

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[]

The following civilizations have bonuses that benefit archer units:

Team bonuses[]

The following civilizations have team bonuses that benefit archer units:

Trivia[]

  • 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 13 factions that can research it being Asian cultures.
  • Among the 51 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. However their mounted counterparts are affected by Husbandry.
  • Though superficially similar to the War Wagon, the Bohemian Hussite Wagon is a Siege Weapon.

Gallery[]

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