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This article is about the technology in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms. For the unit in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, see Arquebusier.

Arquebus is a technology in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms that is unique to the Portuguese and can be researched at the Castle once the Imperial Age is reached. Once researched, it provides Portuguese gunpowder units with the same accuracy boost that arrow-using units gain by researching Ballistics, i.e. they aim at moving targets as accurately as at non-moving targets. Arquebus also increases the speed of the projectiles.

Researching Ballistics is not necessary to make Arquebus work.


Arquebus is the cornerstone of the Portuguese army in the Imperial Age. It is highly useful if the player favors the use of Hand Cannoneers and Organ Guns due to it increasing the accuracy of those units at longer ranges. This lets them neutralize incoming melee units more effectively, thus remedying one of their major weaknesses. It also benefits Bombard Cannons, Bombard Towers, and Cannon Galleons, making them more effective when dealing with moving targets, which helps them defending a location.

Civilization bonuses[]


The African Kingdoms[]

Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Arquebus now has a smaller effect on gunpowder units, the speed modifier is reduced by 75%.
  • With patch 5.2, the speed modifier for Bombard Cannons and Bombard Towers is removed.
  • With patch 5.7, the speed modifier for Bombard Cannons and Bombard Towers is now +0.2.


  • Despite the reduced powder load, the arquebus was indeed more accurate than the hand cannons it replaced; this was primarily due to the fact that its matchlock mechanism allowed the weapon to be aimed with both hands and the attention of the gunner to be focused upon the target, not on priming their weapon.
  • Bombard Towers already benefit from regular Ballistics, however they can still easily miss, as their cannonballs travel quite slowly. The additional projectile speed increase from Arquebus is nigh unnoticeable and does not help much.
  • The Arquebus effect on projectile speed is relatively minute:
    • For the Cannon Galleon, projectile speed is increased by 17% (3 → 3.5 tiles per second) (compare it with 7 t / sec for Spanish Cannon Galleon projectile);
    • For the Bombard Tower, projectile speed is increased by 6.7% (3 → 3.2 t / sec);
    • For the Bombard Cannon, projectile speed is increased by 5% (4 → 4.2 t / sec);
    • For other gunpowder units, projectile speed is increased by 6.7% (7.5 → 8 t / sec).