|“||Berber unique unit. Cavalry archer with an attack bonus vs. cavalry archers.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
Camel Archers can be upgraded to Elite Camel Archers in the Imperial Age.
The Camel Archer fits nicely in the cavalry based army of the Berbers. Due to their high attack and speed, they can support the heavy cavalry (Cavalier and Heavy Camel Rider) against all kinds of ranged units and are also a good choice if enemy Halberdiers overwhelm the army, since they can perform hit-and-run tactics against them. As far as utility is concerned, they are a versatile unit, as apart from being a hard counter against other mounted archers, they can also serve as a solid anti-infantry unit, and even directly engage against most foot archers.
Camel Archers are quite tough for a cavalry archer, boasting good HP, regeneration (with Maghrabi Camels), and more endurance against common vulnerabilities of cavalry, because they do not take damage from anti-cavalry attacks but from anti-camel attacks, which in general are lower. E.g., Camel Riders deal much less bonus damage (5 instead of 9) and Mamelukes deal no bonus damage at all, making them struggle against massed Camel Archers. On the other hand cavalry archer counters, such as Genitours, and Elite Skirmishers, still remain highly cost-effective against them (see Counters).
It should also be noted that thanks to Kasbah and Conscription, Camel Archers train in only 12.6 seconds, much faster than a generic Heavy Cavalry Archer. They are a better alternative to Cavalry Archers in almost any way, save for cost and the fact they are not available at Archery Ranges.
It is noteworthy that the Berbers lack Parthian Tactics, which makes their post-imperial Camel Archers slightly less resilient against most attacks, while also causing less damage against Spearmen than fully upgraded Heavy Cavalry Archers. However, they generally fare better against units with high anti-cavalry attack bonuses, like the Heavy Camel Rider, thanks to being in the camel armor class and having slightly higher hit points. They also have a lower frame delay, making them more effective in hit-and-run tactics.
Camel Archers can be countered with Skirmishers and, when massed, with Mangonels and Scorpions. Cavalry units like Camel Riders, Light Cavalry, and Knights can also work decently well against Camel Archers.
Genitours receive bonus damage from Camel Archers and lose in one-on-one combat, but are still cost effective when used against them. In fact, they are a good choice, because they can retreat if melee cavalry arrives to support the Camel Archers (as opposed to Skirmishers).
Eagle Warriors are also a decent choice against Camel Archers, as they have good pierce armor and more speed than Huskarls and Halberdiers, coupled with a reliable attack and an attack bonus against camels.
Comparison to the Mangudai
- The attack and range are the same, but the attack rate of the Mangudai is higher, so the damage output of the Mangudai is higher. Also, the Mangudai gets an attack bonus of +2 against Pikemen because of Parthian Tactics.
- The Camel Archer can regenerate and has one more pierce armor.
- The Camel Archer is in the camel armor class rather than the cavalry armor class, resulting in less damage taken from anti-cavalry units such as Camel Riders and Pikemen.
- They move at the same speed.
- The Camel Archer is cheaper by 5 wood and gold. Its Elite upgrade is also cheaper.
- The Mangudai holds an attack bonus against siege weapons, the Camel Archer against Cavalry Archers.
- All in all, the Mangudai holds a stronger attack, but the Camel Archer is more durable because of the regeneration ability and armor.
- In one-on-one combat, the Camel Archer easily wins.
As Camel Archers are unique to the Berbers, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Slow non-ranged units, Cavalry Archers, Conquistadors|
|Weak vs.||Huskarls, Skirmishers, Eagle Warriors, Mangonels, Camel Riders|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Attack|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
|Range|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
|Firing rate||Thumb Ring (+18%)|
|Accuracy|| Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)|
Ballistics (hit moving targets)
|Armor|| Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)|
Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
|Other||Maghrebi Camels (gives regeneration ability)|
|Upgrades||Elite Camel Archer|
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Camel Archers are created and upgraded 25% faster, and Conscription, Kasbah, and Maghrabi Camels are researched 25% faster.
- A team containing Britons: Researching Thumb Ring is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching upgrades at the Blacksmith is faster.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Indians: Camel Archers have +4 attack against standard buildings.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Faith and Heresy is 20% faster.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Chemistry and Ballistics is 80% faster.
- A team containing Tatars: Camel Archers have +2 LOS.
- A team containing Teutons: Camel Archers are more resistant to conversion.
The African Kingdoms
- Camel Archers have a +1 attack bonus against infantry and a +2 attack bonus against rams.
- (Elite) Camel Archers have 60 (65) HP, +2 anti-camel and anti-cavalry archer armor.
- Camel Archers train in 21 seconds.
Rise of the Rajas
- With patch 5.3, Camel Archers no longer have an attack bonus against infantry.
- With patch 5.7, (Elite) Camel Archers have 55 (60) HP, and they lose their bonus armor against anti-camel and anti-cavalry archer attacks. Also, they lose their attack bonus against rams.
- With patch 5.8, Camel Archers train in 25 seconds.
- Originally, the technology tree stated that the Elite Camel Archer upgrade costs food and gold, but it actually costs wood and gold. This was fixed in a patch.
- With a total cost of 7,075 resources (1,600 wood, 3,050 food, 2,425 gold), Camel Archers are the most expensive unit to fully upgrade in Age of Empires II (based on all upgrades listed above except Faith and Heresy; upgrade costs as of the Definitive Edition, update 47820).
- The Camel Archer is the only Castle unique unit that does not make the usual military unit sound when created. Instead, it makes the camel sound, like Camel Riders trained at the Stable.
- Also, it is the only camel unit that deals pierce damage.
- It is also the only unique cavalry archer that can benefit from Parthian Tactics, but whose civilization does not have access to it.
Historically, the Berbers were well known for raiding deserts. They rode camels because they were ideal for moving quickly in the sand. Using bows while riding camels would immensely help with raiding.