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Ranged raiding cavalry. Good against cavalry.
—In-game description

The Bow Rider is a mounted archer in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs that is unique to the Lakota and can be trained at the Corral.


The Bow Rider is best used against heavy cavalry units as a group of them should easily take down an enemy's group of heavy cavalry. They can also be used to fend off Heavy Infantry due to their good resistance toward melee damage and high speed.

Unlike other ranged cavalry, Bow Riders lack the 0.5 multiplier against Villagers, so they are among the best at harassing an enemy's economy, third only to Apache Cavalry (with Apache Raiders) and to Cavalry Archers with the "Irregulars" Home City Card. They should be escorted with Tokala Soldiers and/or Axe Riders, who can attack ranged infantry units, while also assisting at killing the Villagers.

Bow Riders can be trained at the Corral, at the Commerce Age, unlike other similar units. This encourages Rushing, despite their high food cost. It is highly recommended to accompagny Bow Riders with the Lakota War Chief, as he provides a speed bonus that allows them to outrun most enemy units.

A severe drawback of this unit, meant to balance the lack of a 0.5 multiplier against Villagers, is that there are no shipments of Bow Riders available to a Lakota player, unlike Axe Riders and Rifle Riders. This, combined with their high food cost, means that they require close micromanagement; they shouldn't be sent into groups of enemies without a specific purpose.


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

Further statistics[]

As Bow 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. Heavy cavalry, Coyote Runners, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, ranged infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Horsemanship.png Horsemanship (+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)
Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+10%)
Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Carib Garifuna Drums.png Carib Garifuna Drums (+1.0x multiplier vs. villagers)
Seminole Bowyer.png Seminole Bowyer (+15%)
Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs.png Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs (+10%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Range Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Sight Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
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 Bow Riders are unique to the Lakota, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


The WarChiefs[]

  • Bow Riders have 250 hit points.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Bow Riders now have 225 hit points.


When forced west by the encroachment of the European colonists, the Sioux adapted to a wide-ranging, nomadic lifestyle - aided primarily by their mastery of the horse. The Sioux were known as expert horsemen and horse breeders. They developed extremely sophisticated riding tactics. When in battle, they would wrap their legs about their horse's upper body and lean over to the side opposite their foes - taking aim from beneath the horse's neck and using the animal for cover.
—In-game history section