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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For other uses, see Camel Rider.

Excels at killing other mounted units.
Age of Empires II description

The Camel Rider (called Camel before the Definitive Edition) is a cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable once the Castle Age is reached. It is good against cavalry. Every civilization that has access to Camel Riders (except for the Cumans) can upgrade them to Heavy Camel Riders. The Camel Rider is considered a regional unit.

Unit availability
Available Unavailable


Camelrider prev aoe2de.png

The Camel Rider has an attack of 15 against cavalry (before armor), which is notably high for a Castle Age unit. Cavalry can more easily escape from Pikemen than they can from Camel Riders because of their speed, meaning that whilst Pikemen can often just scare cavalry away, Camel Riders can pursue them and finish them off. Using Camel Riders against civilizations that revolve around cavalry units, such as Berbers, Franks, Mongols, Persians, and Saracens often lands great results. Upgrading to Heavy Camel Rider in the Imperial Age helps them keep pace.

Camel Riders are best used only against melee cavalry or to ambush groups of Cavalry Archers. Although Spearmen and Skirmishers can deal heavy damage to Cavalry Archers, only Camel Riders can force a fight with them. Due to to Camel Riders' weak armor and base attack, they are at a disadvantage against infantry and archers. They also lose their bonus against the resilient Cataphract, which has a special defense against anti-cavalry attack bonuses.

It should be noted that although Pikemen cost-effectively defeat melee cavalry, Camel Riders can successfully duel most melee cavalry, winning a battle of equal numbers. Camel Riders tend to fare better than Pikemen against cavalry by landing more attacks due to superior attack speed and hit points. However, if gold is scarce, Pikemen should be used instead.

Comparison in the Castle Age with all possible upgrades[]

Civilization CivIcon-Byzantines.png Byzantines CivIcon-Saracens.png Saracens Hindustanis CivIcon-Berbers.png Berbers Civ Icon Gurjaras.png Gurjaras
Cost 41 food,
45 gold*
55 food,
60 gold
55 food,
60 gold
47 food,
51 gold*
41 food,
60 gold*
HP 100 150 120 120 120
Attack bonus vs Cavalry 9 9 9 9 14
Attack bonus vs Camels and Ships 5 5 5 5 8
Extras - - +2 vs standard buildings
Attacks 25% faster
- Deals +50% bonus damage
Trained 25% faster as team bonus

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Skirmishers, siege weapons, Cavalry Archers, cavalry
Weak vs. Infantry, archers, Cataphracts, defensive structures
Hit points BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines (+20)
CastleAgeUnique.png Zealotry (+20, Saracens only)
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Farimba (+5, Malians only)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE.png Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE.png Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE.png Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
UniqueTechImperial-DE.png Frontier Guards (+4/+0, Gurjaras only)
Speed HusbandryDE.png Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
Train cost UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Kshatriyas (-25% food, Gurjaras only)
Other Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Maghrebi Camels (gives regeneration ability, Berbers only)
Upgrades HeavyCamelUpgDE.png Heavy Camel Rider

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Berbers: Camel Riders are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Byzantines: Camel Riders are 25% cheaper.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Camel Riders are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Cumans: Camel Riders move 10%/15% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Gurjaras: Camel Riders deal +50% bonus damage. Camel Riders placed at start of the game have the option of auto-scout.
  • Hindustanis: Camel Riders attack 25% faster.
  • Saracens: Camel Riders have +10 HP.
  • Tatars: Camel Riders deal 50% bonus damage from elevations (instead of 25%).

Team bonuses[]


The Age of Kings[]

  • The unit is called Camel.
  • Camels have a base attack of 5.
  • Camels have an attack bonus against cavalry of +10.
  • Camels need 29 seconds to train.
  • Camels have a movement speed of 1.4.
  • Camels have 4 line of sight.
  • Camels are in the cavalry armor class, thus taking bonus damage from anti-cavalry attacks.
  • The upgrade to the Heavy Camel Rider needs 125 seconds.

The Conquerors[]

  • Camels train in 22 seconds.
  • Camels have a movement speed of 1.45.
  • The cavalry armor class is removed from the Camels, so they do not take bonus damage from anti-cavalry attacks anymore. Instead, Camels are moved in another armor class along with ships, and take bonus damage from anti-ship/anti-camel attacks. The Camels themselves also gain an attack bonus of +5 against their own class (and as such, also against ships).
  • Bloodlines introduced.
  • Heresy introduced.
  • Saracens: Zealotry introduced in the Imperial Age. It gives Camels +30 HP.

The Forgotten[]

  • Camels have a base attack of 6.
  • Camels have an attack bonus against cavalry of +9.
  • The upgrade to the Heavy Camel needs 105 seconds.
  • Indians: Camels have +1/+1 armor.
  • Indians (team bonus): Camels have +5 attack against buildings.

The African Kingdoms[]

  • The ship armor class is removed from the Camel, and they receive a new armor class, against which they also gain an attack bonus of +5. Nevertheless, the Camels keep their attack bonus of +5 against ships. Anti-cavalry attacks still do not affect Camels.
  • Berbers: Initially, Camels were 20% cheaper from the Castle Age on. With patch 4.8, the bonus was staggered to 15%/20% in the Castle/Imperial Age.

Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Indians: With patch 5.8, Camels have +1 pierce armor.

Definitive Edition[]

Lords of the West[]

Dynasties of India[]

  • Camel Rider line gains +1 Line of Sight.
  • Hindustanis: With update 61321, Camel Riders lose extra pierce armor entirely. They gain access to Plate Barding Armor, and a new civilization bonus of 25% faster-attacking Camel Riders.
  • Hindustanis (team bonus): With update 61321, the attack bonus vs buildings is reduced to +2.
  • Saracens: Zealotry moved to the Castle Age.


  • The Camel Rider is one of the few units whose availability is strictly geography-based. Camels were used by different armies between the Mediterranean Sea and India from antiquity to modern day. While it is not known if the Mongols and Chinese used camels for combat, they certainly used them for transport, trade, and food.
    • Since Rise of the Rajas till the release of Dynasties of India, the Camel Rider is available to all civilizations with the Middle Eastern, African, and South Asian building styles. The East Asian building style was the only to feature both Camel Rider (Mongols, Chinese), and non-Camel Rider civilizations (Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese).
    • In Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, the Byzantines are changed to the Mediterranean building style, making them the only Camel Rider civilization with this style (or any European building style, for that matter).
    • In Dynasties of India, the Camel Rider is also partially available to the new South Asian building style: the Hindustanis and Gurjaras have access, while the Bengalis and the Dravidians do not.
  • The Mongols and Chinese imported domesticated Bactrian camels, native to the steppes of Central Asia, as the more common one-humped dromedary is originally from Arabia. Both would have been ridden by Silk Road traders.
    • In-game, Saracen Mamelukes are depicted riding Bactrian camels, despite this being historically inaccurate, as most Mamelukes rode horses, and the Camel-riding minority rode dromedaries. This inaccurate depiction possibly resulted from developers' needs to distinguish Arab Mamelukes from generic Camel Riders.
  • Camels are one of two military land units that do not make the usual military sound when created, the others being Trebuchets.
  • The Camel Rider line units are the only common cavalry units that do not have any base pierce armor.
  • Camel Riders deal bonus damage against the cheat unit Saboteur (since The Conquerors) because it is in the same unit class as ships.
  • The Cumans are the only civilization that have access to Camel Rider, but not the Heavy Camel Rider.
  • The sound effect for when Camels are killed is the same one used for when Imps are killed in Doom.


The Camel was a useful mount for warriors in desert regions of the world because it could move quickly across sand and could go long periods without water. In addition, horses shied away from the presence of camels. The Saracens made good use of camels during the Crusades; camel riders appeared out of the desert to raid Crusader outposts and caravans and then escaped back into terrain that horses could not cross.