Age of Empires Series Wiki

The Bowman is the most basic ranged unit found in Age of Empires and is armed with a bow. They can be trained from the Archery Range from the Tool Age

Due to their cheap cost, they are considered a trash unit. Although individually ineffective, they can be spammed in very large numbers and successfully take down swarms of infantry units as advanced as Legions

Bowmen do not have a direct upgrade, but stronger archer units such as Improved Bowmen and Composite Bowmen can be trained in the Bronze Age.


Tool Age[]

Bronze Age[]

Iron Age[]

Civilization bonuses[]


Age of Empires[]

  • Bowmen take 30 seconds to train.

Definitive Edition[]

  • After CU9, Bowmen take 26 seconds to train. With update 38862, they take 30 seconds to train again.


The bow was an important military weapon from the time of the first armies, being easily adapted from hunting animals to warfare. Archers required less discipline and leadership in battle because they were not expected to engage in hand-to-hand combat, a terrifying experience. Bowmen fought from a distance on the battlefield, from behind walls or other cover, and from ambush. They were usually not decisive in battle on the attack because they could not physically take ground from the enemy like infantry could. They acted mainly as defensive troops and as light troops that disrupted enemy formations prior to the decisive moment when the infantry clashed. If barrages of arrows could cause casualties and lower morale of the enemy prior to the clash, friendly infantry had a better chance of breaking the will of the enemy infantry and being victorious.