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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. For the native unit, see Lakota Axe Rider.

Mounted warrior good against skirmishers, foot archers, and artillery.
—In-game description

The Axe Rider is a melee heavy cavalry in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs that is unique to the Lakota and can be trained at the Corral.


The Axe Rider has a higher attack than most other cavalry units, making it quick and efficient at killing Shock Infantry. However, Axe Riders also have relatively low hit points (before upgrades), so it is recommended to guard them from heavy infantry and ranged cavalry. Mass Axe Rider production relies on gathering a large amount of food so it is advisable to take control of the map early and secure as many hunts as possible to produce them in large numbers.

It is a good idea to combine them with Rifle Riders as they can break through the enemy's line of Musketeers and Pikemen, allowing the Axe Riders to reach the skirmishers or artillery they were protecting and eliminate them.

Due to the incredible number of upgrades and Home City shipments the Lakota have to upgrade their cavalry units, Axe Riders scale exceptionally well into the late stages of the game. When fully upgraded, they possess 675 hit points and 80 attack, while being quite cheap (with Mustangs) and only two population. This of course does not take into account any available native upgrades, team cards, auras or ceremonies.

In the original The WarChiefs, the "Morning Star" Home City Card, available for a level 40 Sioux Home City, grants the Axe Rider the Nature Friendship ability to convert Treasure Guardians; having a group of Axe Riders accompanying the Sioux War Chief allows the player to quickly collect all treasures and convert all Treasure Guardians. In the Definitive Edition, "Morning Star" instead gives all hand cavalry a 2.0x multiplier against Treasure Guardians.

Special ability[]

Nature friendship.png Nature Friendship (requires the "Morning Star" Home City Card; not available in the Definitive Edition): Converts a Treasure Guardian to the Axe Rider's side with the process taking 4 seconds to complete. 90 seconds cooldown.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Elite cavalry.png Elite Axe Riders 200 wood,
100 coin
Upgrades Axe Riders to Elite (+25% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Champion cavalry.png Champion Axe Riders 400 wood,
200 coin
Upgrades Axe Riders to Champion (+25% hit points and attack); requires Elite Axe Riders
Imperial Age
Legendary cavalry.png Legendary Axe Riders 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Axe Riders to Legendary (+50% hit points and attack); requires Champion Axe Riders

Further statistics[]

As Axe Riders are unique to the Lakota, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ranged infantry, Shock Infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Horsemanship.png Horsemanship (+10%)
Cavalry Cuirass.png Cavalry Cuirass (+10%)
Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Bonepipe Armor.png Bonepipe Armor (+1.0x multiplier vs. artillery)
Pillage.png Pillage (+25% siege attack)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Axe Riders are unique to the Lakota, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


The WarChiefs[]

Knights of the Mediterranean[]

  • With update 13.12327, Axe Riders cost 150 food, 50 coin.


  • Despite being called Axe Rider, the weapon they use is a gunstock war club, an indigenous weapon used by Native Americans. Indigenous tribes of America most likely created the design of the club based upon European firearms.


When the Sioux discovered horses, they were so impressed they named the new animal the Wonder Dog. It changed their entire way of life. Almost overnight, they became one of the most famous nomad peoples of history. Their effectiveness in combat is best summed up by the fact that the Sioux were long considered the best cavalry in the world.