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Powerful all-purpose cavalry.
Age of Empires II description

The Cavalier is a heavy cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be upgraded from the Knight to be trained at the Stable once the Imperial Age (Castle Age for the Burgundians) is reached. The Cavalier builds on the strengths of its predecessor with a 20% increase in both attack and hit points. Only the Saracens cannot upgrade their Knights to Cavaliers.

Availability chart[]

Cavalieravailable AvailableCavalierunavailable Unavailable
x means that the civilization can fully upgrade its Cavaliers. A missing technology is fully offset by some civilization bonus. The technologies being considered here are Bloodlines, Husbandry, Blast Furnace, and Plate Barding Armor, and not the upgrade to the Paladin.
+ means that the civilization gets some civilization or team bonus or a unique technology that benefits the combat strength of the Cavalier.


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.

As an upgrade, the Cavalier gives +20 hit points and +2 attack. With its cheap cost, this makes it a great upgrade to pick up early on.

Also suffering from the same pitfalls as the Knight, Cavaliers are hard countered by Halberdiers and Heavy Camel Riders, and are vulnerable to conversion by Monks.

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 and Plate Barding Armor 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% gold and the upgrade, as well the Blacksmith technologies 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 more of them. Despite lacking Plate Barding Armor, the Poles can get Cavaliers costing only 60 food, 30 gold with the Szlachta Privileges technology, essentially making them a viable option when gold starts to run out and still allowing them to overwhelm enemies in melee combat. The Burmese Cavalier gets extra attack against archers by researching Manipur Cavalry, making it a strong counter to archer units (and compensating for the Burmese having some of the worst Skirmishers in the game). The Malian Cavalier, despite lacking Blast Furnace, gets +5 attack by researching Farimba, which puts them at the second strongest Cavalier in melee combat (it gets one more attack than a fully upgraded generic Paladin). The Bulgarian Cavalier attacks 33% faster, thanks to Stirrups, making it the strongest Cavalier in melee combat and giving it 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 vs 10.53). The Roman Cavalier is the fastest-trained one in the game, thanks to Comitatenses, which decreases their training time by 50% and also grants them with a charge attack of 5. They are even faster to train than Frankish ones, while also having good damage potential. The Sicilian Cavalier is very special since it absorbs 33% of incoming bonus damage and can get higher conversion resistance and +1/+1 armor more than a Paladin, thanks to the First Crusade and Hauberk technologies respectively, making it the best against the regular counters of Cavalry (Monks, Halberdiers and Heavy Camel Riders) and much better against Archers and in raiding. However, it has the advantage of +1 melee armor only in melee combat, which does not mean much. Hence, both Malian and Bulgarian Cavaliers perform similarly in melee combat to generic Paladins while being cheaper to upgrade and sharing the effect with other Cavalry units as well, and Sicilian Cavaliers perform similarly to generic Paladins against Archers and in raiding. The Persians can upgrade the Cavalier to the Savar instead, which specializes as an anti-archer heavy cavalry.

Among Paladin civilizations, the Burgundians are a particular case, as they can research the Cavalier upgrade in the Castle Age and 50% cheaper. However, they lack Bloodlines, which can be a useful power-spike for early Castle Age, while also allowing an easy transition to the Paladin in the early Imperial Age.

Further statistics[]

Strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry, Villagers, siege weapons, light cavalry, Plumed Archers, Elite Skirmishers
Weak vs. Boyars, Halberdiers, Kamayuks, Berserks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Teutonic Knights, Mamelukes, Heavy Camel Riders, Monks, War Elephants, Elite Battle Elephant
Hit points BloodlinesDE Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging aoe2de Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace (+2)
UniqueTechImperialDE Farimba (+5, Malians only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Manipur Cavalry (+4 vs. archers, Burmese only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Comitatenses (+5 charge every 20 secs, Romans only)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
UniqueTechImperialDE Hauberk (+1/+2, Sicilians only)
Conversion resistance Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)
UniqueTechCastle-DE First Crusade (+4 min, +4 max, Sicilians only)
Attack speed UniqueTechCastle-DE Stirrups (+33%, Bulgarians only)
Movement speed HusbandryDE Husbandry (+10%)
Resource cost UniqueTechCastle-DE Szlachta Privileges (-60% gold, Poles only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
UniqueTechImperialDE Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)
UniqueTechImperialDE Comitatenses (+50%, Romans only)
Other UniqueTechImperialDE Aznauri Cavalry (-15% population space, Georgians only)
Civilization bonuses
Hit points Franks AoE2 Franks (+20%)
Regeneration Georgians AoE2 Georgians (15 hit points per minute)
Attack Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians (+1 per Relic garrisoned, max +4)
Tatars AoE2 Tatars (+20% from elevation)
Armor Teutons AoE2 Teutons (+2/0)
Damage resistance Georgians AoE2 Georgians (+20% from elevation)
Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians (-33% bonus damage)
Movement speed Cumans AoE2 Cumans (+15%)
Resource cost Berbers AoE2 Berbers (-20%)
Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese (-20% gold)
Other Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians (available in the Castle Age; upgrade from Knight and to Paladin costs -50%)
Chinese AoE2 Chinese (upgrade from Knight costs -15%)
Team bonuses
Attack Persians AoE2 Persians (+2 vs. archers)
Conversion resistance Teutons AoE2 Teutons (+3 min, +1 max)
Line of Sight Franks AoE2 Franks (+2)
Creation speed Huns AoE2 Huns (+20%)
Other Huns AoE2 Huns (upgrade from Knight and to Paladin/Savar is 20% faster)
Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese (upgrade from Knight and to Paladin/Savar is 25% faster)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]

  • With update 99311, the Cavalier upgrade research time reduced (100 → 80 seconds).
  • Persians AoE2 Persians:
    • With update 95810, Cavaliers get 5 gold for each military unit killed. With update 99311, this bonus is removed.
    • The Savar upgrade is introduced. It takes 150 seconds to research. With update 99311, research time increased to 160 seconds.


There are six heroes in the game with the appearance of a Cavalier:


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.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings manual


  • Before the Definitive Edition, the Knight line was one of only four units in the game without any attack bonus (the other being the Militia, the Boyar, and the Turtle Ship).
  • His icon shows him holding his sword in his left hand while he holds it in his right hand in-game.
  • In terms of attack (19), the Malian Cavalier outclasses ordinary Paladins and is the fifth highest attack of all cavalry units, being only surpassed by the Lithuanian Paladin with 4 Relics collected (20), Khmer Elite Battle Elephant (21), the Elite Leitis with 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 from the perspective of European knighthood, 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 armored knight and the term is generally remembered to describe the Royalists in the English Civil War.
  • Although first available in the Imperial Age (except for the Burgundians), 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 Cavaliers can still defeat Byzantine and Celtic Paladins. A Lithuanian Cavalier with four Relics does not need the Paladin upgrade to defeat a Burgundian Paladin in one-on-one combat.
  • The Saracens are the only civilization that can train Knights but cannot upgrade them to Cavaliers.



Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship