Age of Empires Series Wiki

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 available to all civilizations except for the Aztecs, Bengalis, Dravidians, Gurjaras, Incas, Hindustanis, Mayans, and Saracens.


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 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 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. Despite lacking Plate Barding Armor, the Poles can get Cavaliers costing only 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 Sicilian Cavalier is very special, since it absorbs 50% of incoming bonus damage, 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 an advantage of +1 melee armor only in melee combat, which does not mean much. Hence, both Malian and Bulgarian Cavaliers perform similar 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 similar to generic Paladins against Archers and in raiding.

Among Paladin civilizations, 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 Teuton Cavalier gets +2 melee armor and conversion resistance naturally, making it a force to be reckoned with, with the only drawback being missing Husbandry. The Lithuanian Cavalier is not really special out-of-the-box since it lacks Blast Furnace, but it can more than make up for the loss with extra attack (upto +4) by collecting relics. The Cuman Cavalier is also good by getting a 15% movement speed bonus over the Teuton Cavalier, or being 5% faster than generic Cavaliers. While the bonus looks small, this allows Cuman Cavaliers to chase down Trade Carts in a pinch, while also enabling them to flee from unfavourable matchups.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry, archers, Villagers, siege weapons, Light Cavalry
Weak vs. Boyars, Pikemen, Kamayuks, Berserks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Teutonic Knights, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Monks, War Elephants, Battle Elephants
Hit points BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Farimba (+5, Malians only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Manipur Cavalry (+5 against archers, Burmese only)
Firing Rate CastleAgeUnique.png Stirrups (+33%, Bulgarians 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 Hauberk (+1/+2, Sicilians only)
Speed HusbandryDE.png Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
UniqueTechCastle-DE.png First Crusade (Sicilians only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)
Train cost CastleAgeUnique.png Szlachta Privileges (-60% gold, Poles only)
Upgrades Paladin-research.jpg Paladin

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


The Conquerors[]

The Forgotten[]

Rise of the Rajas[]

Definitive Edition[]

Dawn of the Dukes[]


  • 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).
  • 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 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 armored 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.




CAVALIER (Sicilians) vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Total Resources) - AoE II- Definitive Edition


CAVALIER (Bulgarians) vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT (Total Resources) - AoE II- Definitive Edition