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Slow and heavy cavalry.
Age of Empires II description

The Battle Elephant is a cavalry unit in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas that can be trained at the Stable once the Castle Age is reached. It is a slow yet very powerful and resilient cavalry unit, in some way similar to the War Elephant, but weaker and cheaper. It is considered a regional unit as it is only available to the Southeast Asian civilizations (Burmese, Khmer, Malay and Vietnamese), as well as the Bengalis and Dravidians. All civilizations that have access to Battle Elephants have special bonuses and/or technologies that benefit them. Battle Elephants deal 25% trample damage.


Battle Elephants are an exceptionally powerful and expensive unit, but are paired with even more exceptional weaknesses.

In terms of strengths, Battle Elephants have exceedingly good stats; with high hit points, damage, and trample damage, they can beat almost any melee unit cost-effectively, especially in the early Castle Age. In addition, they are produced in only 24 seconds from Stables. A single Stable can produce 280% the hit points via Battle Elephants as opposed to Knights, allowing a defending player to significantly outproduce an attacker, even with limited production buildings. Due to the combination of these factors, Battle Elephants can be swapped into remarkably quickly if necessary, either for defense, or a surprise attack from a sneaky Stable.

However, Battle Elephants have even more potent weaknesses. They are very slow, making them unable to force engagements, and leaving them to take unfavorable fights. They tend to benefit less from the same upgrades compared to other units, resulting in their power dropping much more rapidly as the game progresses. For example, Knights gain 20% hit points from Bloodlines, while Battle Elephants gain just 8%. They also take double damage from Spearmen, and due to their high cost and power, make exceedingly tempting targets for Monks, which is further worsened by elephant civilizations' near-universal lack of Heresy.

Due to these many weaknesses, Knights are often preferred when available, at least for more general use in the Castle Age. Exceptions are certain particular situations, or civilizations with very powerful bonuses, such as the Malay.

One major situation where Battle Elephants tend to be better than Knights is where a player is rushing out an army, as they have a lower training time and have a higher cost/unit (except for the Malay). This means a player can convert resources into units much more quickly. Additionally, the slow speed of the Battle Elephant is much less of a downside when they are created or ungarrisoned much closer to enemy units and buildings. Common cases where rushing out units as fast as possible is especially important are when making forward buildings, sneaking villagers before walls come up, when defending from heavy aggression, and in landings on water maps.

Each civilization has their own potent bonuses for their Battle Elephants:

Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis[]

Bengali Battle Elephants take -25% bonus damage, are more resistant to conversion, and attack 20% faster with Paiks. As such, Pikemen and Monks are less effective. They are also more effective in melee combat and taking down buildings. Since Bengali Elephants are more resilient against their counters, Bengalis are more encouraged to rush with them. However, since the Bengalis have very confined tactics due to lacking military tree, the Elephant rush (including the Battle Elephant and/or Elephant Archer) and Ratha rush are the only two effective military choices for the Bengalis in the Castle Age.

It is possible for the Bengalis to make a triple elephant attack with the Armored Elephant, Battle Elephant, and Elephant Archer, though it costs a lot and is mostly seen in the very late game.

Burmese AoE2 Burmese[]

Burmese Battle Elephants have +1/+1 armor since Dynasties of India. Both Burmese unique technologies benefit their Battle Elephants, too: Howdah gives them +1/+1 armor (for a total of +2/+2 armor in combination with their civilization bonus) and Manipur Cavalry gives +4 attack bonus against archers. Burmese Battle Elephants are a strong option against archers, while being respectable against melee units too. A Crossbowman only deals 2 damage per hit to a Burmese Battle Elephant if both players have all Castle Age Blacksmith technologies researched. The Burmese Battle Elephant can Crossbowmen with only 3 hits when Manipur Cavalry is researched, even without any Blacksmith attack technologies researched. They can kill generic Crossbowmen with 2 hits when fully upgraded if the Crossbowmen lack any armor upgrades.

Since the Burmese have no concrete answer to ranged units due to abysmal Elite Skirmishers and lacking other forms of anti-archer units, their Battle Elephants may be a delay and protect their common used unit - Arambai - to deal with.

Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians[]

Dravidian Battle Elephants can be confusing. While they lack Bloodlines, Husbandry, Plate Barding Armor, and the Elite Battle Elephant upgrade, they have Medical Corps, which allows them to regenerate 30 hit points per minute, and Wootz Steel, which enables them to ignore enemy armor. With so many missing and unique upgrades, this makes them a particularly tricky unit to judge by intuition.

In the Castle Age, while they have less hit points, their regeneration can more than make up the difference, often regenerating more than 20 hit points in a given fight, and healing them between fights, which can make them surprisingly potent in a defensive role. Even in the Imperial Age, they can trade cost-effectively with standard Paladins after Wootz Steel has been researched, and offer superior performance to Champions in that role, though not better than Halberdiers. However, they are less durable than every other civilization's Elite Battle Elephants and move slower as well, and while they can still work in niche cases, they should be used judiciously.

Khmer AoE2 Khmer[]

Khmer Battle Elephants move 10% faster and get +3 attack from Tusk Swords. This probably makes the Khmer Battle Elephants the most rounded Elephants, being good against melee units and buildings due to the latter, and foot archers due to the former. Since Tusk Swords is already available in the Castle Age, Battle Elephants can reach 17 attack there, a value that makes Battle Elephants very dangerous offensive tools. It is possible for the Khmer to perform a "Battle Elephant rush". Thanks to the Khmer good food economy, civilization bonus, and unique technology, they have the strongest Battle Elephants throughout the game.

The Khmer can also add their excellent Scorpions to aid their Elephants against most units.

Malay AoE2 Malay[]

The Malay have cheaper Battle Elephants, costing -25% in the Castle Age (75 food, 53 gold) and -35% in the Imperial Age (65 food, 46 gold). This, combined with their civilization bonus that makes them Age up with relative ease, enables them to get the Battle Elephants out on the field astonishingly quickly. Combined with archers to deal with Pikemen and Monks, an early Castle Age visit of a dozen of them can prove very unpleasant to any ill-prepared town. Later on, they become much less dangerous, lacking Chain Barding Armor. The lack of Bloodlines is unpleasant, but much less significant. As they become even cheaper in the Imperial Age, they are still ready to be used against melee units, especially considering that the Malay are the only civilization with access to Battle Elephants who have Heresy. The Malay can also perform a Battle Elephant rush, but cannot sustain it due to missing upgrades and lack of economy bonuses.

However, the Malay Battle Elephants have more resistance against ranged attack than Cavaliers, with even cheaper price. The Malay can still utilize them as their own meatshield. Fully upgraded, Malay Elite Battle Elephants and Elite Boyars have the same survivability against Arbalesters. The Malay Battle Elephant can be seen as the "Leitis" of Elephants, crushing every thing in melee combat (thanks to cheaper cost), but dying to archers unlike others.

Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese[]

The Vietnamese Battle Elephants are the most tanky of them all as they get another 100 hit points out of the Chatras technology. They get all relevant upgrades except Blast Furnace, which neither hurts Elephants in general, nor is it a problem for Vietnamese ones which are meant to be a meatshield for their excellent archers. The Vietnamese are the only Elephant civilization whose Elephants play a supportive role, and also with the best foot archers. The combination of Battle Elephants + Rattan Archers is very hard to deal with.

Comparison among civilizations[]

Civilization Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis Burmese AoE2 Burmese Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians Khmer AoE2 Khmer Malay AoE2 Malay Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
Cost 100 food, 70 gold 100 food, 70 gold 100 food, 70 gold 100 food, 70 gold 75 food, 53 gold 100 food, 70 gold
Hit Points 270 270 250 270 250 370
Attack 12+2 12+2 12+2 12+5 12+2 12+2
Rate of Fire 1.666 2 2 2 2 2
Armor 1+2/2+2 1+3/2+3 1+2/2+2 1+2/2+2 1+1/2+1 1+2/2+2
Movement Speed 0.99 0.99 0.9 1.08 0.99 0.99
Extras Resistant to conversion
-25% bonus damage
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max) is 50% cheaper
+4 attack against archers
Regenerate 0.5 HP/s
Cannot upgrade to Elite
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted) ConscriptionDE Conscription is free

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Most melee units, buildings, resistant to most foot archers
Weak vs. Pikemen, Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Mamelukes, Cavalry Archers, Monks, War Elephants, Scorpions, Flaming Camels
Hit points BloodlinesDE Bloodlines (+20)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Chatras (+100, Vietnamese only)
Attack Forging aoe2de Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace (+2)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Tusk Swords (+3, Khmer only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Manipur Cavalry (+4 against archers, Burmese only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Wootz Steel (attack ignores armor, Dravidians only)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
UniqueTechImperialDE Howdah (+1/+1, Burmese only)
Conversion resistance Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted) (Malay only)
Attack speed UniqueTechCastle-DE Paiks (+20%, Bengalis only)
Movement speed HusbandryDE Husbandry (+10%)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
Other UniqueTechCastle-DE Medical Corps (regenerate 30 HP per minute, Dravidians only)
Upgrade EliteBattleElephantUpg Elite Battle Elephant

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Battle Elephants train in 28 seconds.
  • Battle Elephants deal 50% trample damage.
  • Battle Elephants have 7 bonus damage against buildings and stone defenses.
  • Battle Elephants cost 120 food, 70 gold.
  • Initially, Battle Elephants have a blast radius of 0.5. With patch 5.7, the radius is 0.4.
  • Initially, the Elite Battle Elephant research costs 800 food, 500 gold and takes 80 seconds to research. With patch 5.7, the research costs 1200 food, 900 gold and takes 100 seconds.
  • Burmese AoE2 Burmese: Initially, Howdah increases the armor of Battle Elephants by +1/+2. With patch 5.7, the effect of Howdah is lowered to +1/+1.
  • Burmese AoE2 Burmese: Initially, Manipur Cavalry gives Battle Elephants +6 attack against buildings. With patch 5.3, the bonus is spread over the two building classes (building and standard building) equally.
  • Khmer AoE2 Khmer: Battle Elephants move 15% faster.
  • Malay AoE2 Malay: Initially, Battle Elephants are 20% cheaper. With patch 5.3, the bonus is increased to 25%. With patch 5.7, the bonus is increased to 30%.
  • Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese: Initially, Chatras gives Battle Elephants +30 HP. With patch 5.7, the bonus is increased to +50.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

  • Malay AoE2 Malay: With update 47820, Battle Elephants are 30%/40% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]

  • With update 95810, Battle Elephant base movement speed increased from 0.85 to 0.88.

Aoe2 hb Victors and Vanquished[]

  • With update 111772, Battle Elephant cost decreased from 110 food, 70 gold to 100 food, 70 gold, and base movement speed increased from 0.88 to 0.9.
  • Malay AoE2 Malay: With update 111772, the Battle Elephant discount civilization bonus was decreased from -30/40% in the Castle/Imperial Age to 25/35%.


  • Available to six civilizations and spanning three architecture sets (South Asian, Southeast Asian, and East Asian), the Battle Elephant is the most widely available Elephant unit in Age of Empires II.
  • After update 37650 of the Definitive Edition, elephant heads will appear peeking out of Transport Ships loaded with 10 Battle Elephants or other elephant units.
  • The Dravidians have objectively the worst Battle Elephants. They fulfill no purpose, and are the only ones lacking Husbandry and the Elite upgrade.
    • Ironically, the Dravidians historically developed one of the most powerful Elephant troops. In the Chola Dynasty, they not only utilized many Elephants in their main military, but also used the Sri Lankan subspecies which are more suited for battle. This is done primarily to reflect their historical reference in the Chinese text Great Tang Records on the Western Regions which describes the Indian states during the Kannauj Tripartite Struggles, that "the Pratiharas of Kannauj were famous for their cavalry, the Bengal army was feared on account of its Elephants and the Deccan forces effectively employed the infantry corps." This can be seen in the cavalry-, elephant-, and infantry-focused designs of the Gurjaras, Bengalis, and Dravidians, respectively.
  • Balancing Battle Elephants is tough, since making them better in 1vs1 open maps, can make them overpowered in team game closed maps.
    • The Khmer are the best example of this. They had 15% movement speed bonus, which helped them keep up with foot archers even without Husbandry, 33% cheaper Tusk Swords than the current price, and 16 base attack for Elite Battle Elephants before the Definitive Edition. They were the sole reason to bring down Elite's attack from 16 to 14. However, despite the attack nerf, the new Khmer farming bonus made the Battle Elephant play extremely strong. That led to reducing the blast attack from 50% to 25%, reducing the attack bonus vs buildings, as well as the Khmer receiving their own nerfs.
  • The Burmese and Dravidians are the only civilizations with both unique technologies affecting Elephants.
  • The Dravidians and Vietnamese are the only civilizations with no civilization bonus affecting Elephants directly.
  • The Malay are the only civilization with no unique technology affecting Elephants.


Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship