|“||Stronger than Knight. Fast and heavy cavalry.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Cavalier is a heavy cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable once the Imperial Age is reached. The Cavalier builds on the strengths of its predecessor, the Knight, with a 20% increase in both attack and hit points.
Cavaliers are a powerful and versatile addition to almost any army composition. Their high attack and speed make them great for raiding and flanking, coupled with high hit points and damage resistance to provide a perfect meatshield for ranged units and siege on the frontline.
Also suffering from the same pitfalls as the Knight, Cavaliers are hard-countered by Halberdiers and Camel Riders, vulnerable to conversion by Monks and can be overwhelmed by massed archers (if used in small numbers).
Although some civilizations can upgrade to Paladins, the Cavalier is often a more cost effective choice; especially in 1v1 matches where the supply of gold is limited. If the player's army composition is not weighted towards heavy cavalry, Cavaliers with Bloodlines should suffice. Some civilizations that lack the Paladin upgrade have either a civilization bonus or unique technology that improves the combat strength or cost effectiveness: the Portuguese Cavalier costs 20% less gold and the upgrade, as well the Blacksmith upgrades affecting them, are researched 30% faster, being able to be deployed and upgraded in a reasonable time; the Berber Cavalier is 20% cheaper, which helps create a large number of them; the Burmese Cavalier gets extra attack against buildings by researching Manipur Cavalry, making them a strong choice to raid and destroy towns easily; the Malian Cavalier gets +5 attack by researching Farimba, which puts them at the second strongest Cavalier (they get one more attack than a fully upgraded generic Paladin) and has the fourth highest attack of any land unit; and Bulgarians have the strongest Cavalier in the game, thanks to Stirrups, which increases their attack speed by 33%, giving them the highest potential damage per second among the cavalry units in the game (excluding elephants), even outperforming Lithuanian Paladins with 4 Relics collected (~11.85 damage per second vs 11.6). Both Malian and Bulgarian Cavaliers perform similar in battle to generic Paladins while being cheaper to upgrade. The Burgundians are a particular case, as they can research the Cavalier upgrade in the Castle Age and also being 50% cheaper, but lack Bloodlines, which can be a really useful power-spike for early Castle Age, while also allowing an easy transition to the Paladin in the early Imperial Age. The Sicilians also have Cavaliers that can absorb 50% of incoming bonus damage, which means they are notably resistant against units that are normally effective against cavalry.
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Infantry, archers, Villagers, siege weapons, Cavalry Archers, Light Cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Boyars, Pikemen, Kamayuks, Berserks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Teutonic Knights, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Monks, War Elephants|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Farimba (+5, Malians only)
Manipur Cavalry ( , Burmese only)
|Firing Rate||Stirrups (+33%, Bulgarians only)|
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
First Crusade (Sicilians only)
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)
- Berbers: Cavaliers are 20% cheaper.
- Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Cavalier cost 50% less food.
- Burgundians: Researching Husbandry and upgrading to Cavalier is 50% cheaper. Cavalier can be researched in the Castle Age.
- Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Celts: Cavaliers can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Cavaliers are 20% cheaper.
- Cumans: Cavaliers move faster.
- Franks: Cavaliers have +20% HP.
- Lithuanians: Cavaliers gain +1 attack for each Relic garrisoned in a Monastery (Max 4).
- Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace are free.
- Portuguese: Cavaliers cost less gold. Upgrades that benefit Cavaliers are researched 30% faster.
- Sicilians: Cavaliers take 50% less bonus damage.
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Cavaliers don't cost gold.
- Tatars: Cavaliers deal +25% bonus damage from elevations.
- Teutons: Cavaliers have +2 melee armor.
- Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription, Farimba, Manipur Cavalry, Stirrups, First Crusade, and Chivalry is 25% faster.
- A team containing Franks: Cavaliers have +2 LOS.
- A team containing Huns: Cavaliers are created and upgraded 20% faster. Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Persians: Cavaliers have +2 attack against archers.
- A team containing Teutons: Cavaliers are more resistant to conversion.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching cavalry armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is faster.
Rise of the Rajas
- Burmese: Initially, Manipur Cavalry gives +6 attack against buildings. With patch 5.3, the bonus is spread over the two building classes (building and standard building) equally.
- Bulgarians: With update 36906, Cavaliers benefit from Stirrups.
- Bulgarians: With update 42848, Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Cavaliers cost 50% less food.
- Bulgarians: Initially, the team bonus gave the Blacksmith a 50% work rate boost. With update 42848, this was changed to a 80% work rate boost.
- Cumans: Initially, Cavaliers move 10% faster. With update 34055, Cavaliers move 15% faster.
- Lithuanians: initially, Cavaliers gain +1 attack for each Relic garrisoned in a Monastery, with a limit of +5. With update 34055, the limit was reduced to +4.
- Portuguese: With update 42848, technologies are researched 30% faster.
- Teutons: With update 36906, Stable units get +1 melee armor in the Castle Age and +1 in the Imperial Age (+2 in total).
- The Knight line is one of only four units in the game without any attack bonus (the other being the Militia, the Boyar, and the Turtle Ship).
- In terms of attack (19), the Malian Cavalier outclasses ordinary Paladins and is the fourth highest attack of all cavalry units, being only surprassed by the Khmer Elite Battle Elephant (21), the Lithuanian Paladin and the Elite Leitis with all 4 Relics collected (22) and the Elite War Elephant (24).
- The Bulgarian Cavalier has the fastest attack of all cavalry, as well of all melee units in the game, with a reload time of 1.35.
- Historically, cavalier (or chevalier) was a generic Gallo-Romance term for all knights.
- For historical accuracy's sake, the in-game Knight may be termed "Knight Bachelor" (who fights under a higher-ranking noble's banner), while the in-game Cavalier may be termed, more appropriately, "Knight Banneret" (who fights under his own banner).
- Ironically, the English term "Cavalier" is rarely used to describe the armoured knight and the term is generally remembered to describe the Royalists in the English Civil War.
- Although first available in the Imperial Age, the Cavalier's shield resembles more the Castle Age's icon and the shield of the Castle Age's Long Swordsman.
- Before the Definitive Edition, Cavaliers used to hold their sword with one hand when running (depending on the direction they are facing) but when during their idle or attacking animation, they held it with the other hand.
- In the Definitive Edition, the Cavalier's and Paladin's mounts possess bushy legs, possibly influenced by modern heavy-weight horses; however, even the strongest Medieval warhorses, the destriers, were drawn with short lower-leg-hair.
- The Bulgarians and Malians cannot upgrade to Paladins, but with their unique technologies researched, their Cavalier can still defeat Byzantine and Celtic Paladins. Even though the Lithuanians can research Paladin, their Cavalier with four Relics can defeat Burgundian Paladins when both are fully upgraded.
- The Saracens are the only civilization that can train Knights but cannot upgrade them to Cavaliers.
|“||There was a hierarchy among knights based on feudal rank and fighting prowess. A lowly knight might achieve great social standing through battlefield commendation, tournament victory, or marriage. Elite knights were made members of important orders, like the Order of the Garter or of the Golden Fleece. Such elite men were known as chevaliers or cavaliers. The first cavaliers were selected for their political power and fighting prowess. As the centuries passed, the orders became more of a social elite.||”|