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Pirate mercenary from the Barbary Coast.
—In-game description

The Barbary Corsair (often shortened to Corsair) is a mercenary melee heavy infantry in Age of Empires III. With high speed but relatively weak siege attack, the Barbary Corsair can be considered the mercenary version of the Rodelero.


The Barbary Corsair attacks with a large scimitar - a curved sword used across the Arabic world - and uses flaming torches to attack buildings, like most other units. Because Corsairs are melee heavy infantry, they are best at fighting cavalry units and are fairly effective against other heavy infantry units, but, for melee heavy infantry, it is relatively weak against buildings. Corsairs have an exceptional speed for infantry, only surpassed by the Spy and the Coyote Runner.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, Shock Infantry, slow infantry
Weak vs. Skirmishers, archers, artillery
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (+20%, British only)
Corselet.png Corselet (+25%, Spanish only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Counter Infantry Rifling.png Customized Merc Weapons (+30%, John Black's Mercenaries only)
Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Mapuche Tactics.png Mapuche Tactics (+50% siege attack)
Zapotec Cult of the Dead.png Zapotec Cult of the Dead (+20%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons (+10%)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+20%, Germans only)
Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army.png Standing Army (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Penalties Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed, British only)
Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost, Germans only)
Corselet.png Corselet (-15% speed, Spanish only)

Home City Cards[]

Buccaneer Captain[]

The Buccaneer Captain is a Treasure Guardian variant of the Barbary Corsair. With a siege damage of over 100, it is good at destroying buildings and ships. It only appears in the Pirates! scenario of Act I: Blood. This unit is also accessible in the Scenario Editor under the Units category, as "GRD Buc Captain".

Historical Battles[]

Pirate from the Barbary Coast.
—In-game description

A variant of the Barbary Corsair appears in the Algiers scenario of the Historical Battles, serving as a replacement for the Rodelero. He has less hit points, less attack, is not tagged as mercenary, and gives less experience when trained or killed, but can be trained in the Commerce Age, costs less resources and population, and trains in less time than his equivalent. This variant of the Barbary Corsair is also accessible in the Scenario Editor under the Units category, as "SPC Barbary Corsair".

In-game dialogue[]

The Barbary Corsair and the Buccaneer Captain speak Kabyle language.

  • Select 1 Ajuoh
  • Select 2 Wejdah - Ready
  • Select 3 Achu tevghid or Achu tevRid
  • Move 1 Eih (ⵉⵀ) - Yes
  • Move 2 Asili
  • Move 3 Akrivmen
  • Attack 1 As dam
  • Attack 2 A machawer
  • Attack 3 Eh, sidi! - Yes, sir!


The Barbary Corsairs were pirates and privateers that raided trade routes and plundered cities on the Mediterranean Sea for hundreds of years. If they had a capitol, it was Algiers - a city captured by the Barbary pirates under their leader Kair Ad Din, more commonly known as Barbarossa. The corsairs had defended Algiers from the Spanish, but turned on the ruler and claimed the city for themselves.

The Corsairs sailed sleek Galleys, crewed by slaves who rowed and were meant only for short voyages of no more than six or eight weeks. Janissaries accompanied the crews and boarded enemy ships. The reign of the Barbary Corsairs ended in the first half of the nineteenth century when the growing pressure and assault on the pirate states from Europe and Ottoman forces shut down or took control of the Barbary Coast.