This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. For the technology in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms, see Arquebus.
"Cheap Chinese foot soldier armed with a rifle. Good against infantry."
In-game description

The Arquebusier is a ranged infantry in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Chinese and are trained as part of Territorial Army, Imperial Army, and Black Flag Army. It functions identically to the Skirmisher.


The Arquebusier has a long range attack with a multiplier against heavy infantry and light cavalry and a good ranged resistance, but (like all Skirmishers) has low hit points and a weak melee attack.


The Arquebusier is automatically upgraded to Disciplined (+20% hit points and attack) at the Fortress Age.

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Ages industrial
Honored arquebusier Honored Arquebusier 300 wood,
300 coin
Upgrades Arquebusiers to Honored (+30% hit points and attack)
Ages imperial
Exalted arquebusier Exalted Arquebusier 750 wood,
750 coin
Upgrades Arquebusiers to Exalted (+50% hit points and attack); requires Honored Arquebusier

Further statistics

As the Arquebusier can only be trained by the Chinese, only improvements available to them (including native improvements) are listed here.

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry, Eagle Runner Knights
Weak vs. Heavy cavalry, Coyote Runners, artillery
Hit points Cree Tanning Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Yoga Yoga (+5%)
Smokeless Powder Smokeless Powder (+30% siege attack)
Clenched Fist Clenched Fist (+30% melee attack)
Speed Inca Road-building Incan Road-building (+20%)
Apache Endurance Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Inca Chaquis Messengers Incan Chasquis Messengers (-12%, Black Flag Army)
Cheyenne Horse Trading Cheyenne Horse Trading (-12%, Imperial Army)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost, armies)
Other Merritocracy Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards

As the Arquebusier is exclusive to the Chinese, only other civilizations' TEAM cards that affects them are listed here.


"The arquebus was a European matchlock gun that was adopted by Asian cultures in the sixteenth century. When Portuguese explorer, Fenrao Mendes Pinto, accidentallly landed on the small island of Tanegashima in the Japanese archipelago in 1543, he introduced members of the Shimazu clan to the arquebus, and altered Japanese warfare forever. Within ten years, Portuguese guns could be found on every battlefield in Japan.

Despite the advantages of requiring smaller ammunition, and having a jarring psychological effect on its targets, the arquebus had many disadvantages. It was slow to reload, leaving its user at the mercy of archers firing at a much faster rate. It was also horribly inaccurate. Training to use the weapon was required, but this took time. However, once the training was complete, the arquebus proved to be a frighteningly lethal weapon, especially once the rate of reload was shortened by the development of volley-fire tactics.

Japanese Ikko-Ikki warrior monks were the first to use controlled volley-fire in battle, unleashing 3,000 arquebusiers on the body of Oda Nobunaga’s army before the Battle of Nagashino in 1575. With the strength of their new weapon, the monks were able to repel the daimyo’s forces and hold the castle. It was such a stunning display that by 1592, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea, the arquebusier was the primary weapon used by Japanese soldiers in the attacking army.

The Chinese began to use the arquebus at about the same time as the Japanese, although it is not as well recorded. It is generally believed that early Chinese firearms were based on designs taken from the weapons used by Japanese wokou pirates, who in turn had copied the designs of the Portuguese. Once the gun was introduced to the Chinese it became a standard issue. In 1558, Chinese gunsmiths manufactured a total of 10,000 guns for the Chinese Imperial Army.


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