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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the armor class, see Armor class: Cavalry archer. For the unit in Age of Empires III, see Cavalry Archer (Age of Empires III).

Fast, with ranged attack. Ideal for hit-and-run attacks.
Age of Empires II original description

The Cavalry Archer is a mounted archer unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Archery Range once the Castle Age is reached. Its high speed and ranged attack make it an excellent harasser, hit-and-runner, and a good counter for infantry units. With enough micromanagement, a small force of Cavalry Archers can take out whole contingents of foot-soldiers. However, they are hindered somewhat by their high attack delay. Their armor gets upgraded through the archer line but in terms of attack bonus against them they count as both archers and cavalry.

Availability chart[]

Cavalryarcheravailable AvailableCavalryarcherunavailable Unavailable
x means that the civilization gets Bloodlines and Thumb Ring, so it can fully upgrade its Cavalry Archers in the Castle Age.
+ means that the civilization has a civilization bonus or team bonus or a unique technology that benefits the combat strength of the Cavalry Archer.


Cavalry Archers are one of the best harassers in the game. When attacking with Cavalry Archers the player must always micromanage them properly to maintain distance from the enemy targets. Tactics that employ these units require a lot of resources since these units work way better if used in large numbers. Cavalry Archers are an excellent way to deal with slow-moving melee units like most infantry. They also possess very solid stats all-around, so they fare well even when caught in battle.

However, Cavalry Archers require many technologies to be researched to make them effective, meaning it is difficult to get a group of them out in a reasonable timeframe without them being weak. Additionally, they are countered very cost-effectively by Elite Skirmishers, which Cavalry Archers generally cannot outrange, as these can soak up the damage from Cavalry Archers, and deal drastic bonus damage to them. Mangonels and Scorpions can also be devastating to a group of Cavalry Archers if they don't avoid their projectiles, while rams or Armored Elephants can be used as a very effective damage sponge against them.

Various unique units are strong against Cavalry Archers, whether through dealing bonus damage to them (i.e. Camel Archers) and/or having too much pierce armor for the Cavalry Archers to handle (e.g. War Wagons). Huskarls, Ghulams, and Eagle Warriors are very deadly to Cavalry Archers due to their high pierce armor, bonus damage, and having enough speed to catch them (or at least enough so the Cavalry Archers cannot effectively kite them). Shrivamsha Riders are also a very effective counter for the Gurjaras; despite not dealing bonus damage or having high pierce armor, the Shrivamsha Riders' unrivaled movement speed and projectile-dodging mechanic make them a menacing foe to Cavalry Archers.

Further statistics[]

Strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Most infantry, most foot archers with all armor technologies
Weak vs. Genoese Crossbowmen, Huskarls, Elite Skirmishers, Genitours, Eagle Warriors, Mangonels, Scorpions, camel units, Rattan Archers, Camel Archers, Elephant Archers, War Wagons, Hussite Wagons, Shrivamsha Riders, Ghulams
Hit points BloodlinesDE Bloodlines (+20)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Sipahi (+20, Turks only)
Attack FletchingDE Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE Bracer (+1)
ChemistryDE Chemistry (+1)
ParthianTacticsDE Parthian Tactics (+2 vs. Spearmen)
UniqueTechImperialDE Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Range FletchingDE Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE Bracer (+1)
UniqueTechImperialDE Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Accuracy ThumbRingDE Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)
BallisticsDE Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor PaddedArcherArmorDE Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
LeatherArcherArmorDE Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
RingArcherArmorDE Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
ParthianTacticsDE Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Silk Armor (+1/+1, Tatars 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 ThumbRingDE Thumb Ring (+11%)
Movement speed HusbandryDE Husbandry (+10%)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Steppe Husbandry (+100%, Cumans only)
Other UniqueTechImperialDE Aznauri Cavalry (-15% population space, Georgians only)
Civilization bonuses
Hit points Franks AoE2 Franks (+20%)
Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese (+20%)
Regeneration Georgians AoE2 Georgians (10/15 hit points per minute in the Castle/Imperial Age)
Attack Japanese AoE2 Japanese (+2 vs. archers, except Skirmishers)
Tatars AoE2 Tatars (+20% from elevation)
Damage resistance Georgians AoE2 Georgians (+20% from elevation)
Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians (-33% bonus damage)
Attack speed Mongols AoE2 Mongols (+25%)
Movement speed Cumans AoE2 Cumans (+10%/15% in the Castle/Imperial Age)
Resource cost Huns AoE2 Huns (-15%/-20% in the Castle/Imperial Age)
Koreans AoE2 Koreans (-50% wood)
Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese (-20% gold)
Other Chinese AoE2 Chinese (upgrade to Heavy Cavalry Archers costs -15%)
Team bonuses
Conversion resistance Teutons AoE2 Teutons (+3 min, +1 max)
Line of Sight Tatars AoE2 Tatars (+2)
Creation speed Britons AoE2 Britons (+10%)
Magyars AoE2 Magyars (+25%)
Other Britons AoE2 Britons (upgrade to Heavy Cavalry Archer is 10% faster)
Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese (upgrade to Heavy Cavalry Archer is 25% faster)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings[]

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

  • Cavalry Archers move at a speed of 1.4.
  • Cavalry Archers deal an attack bonus of +1 against Spearmen. With patch 1.0b, it is increased to +2.
  • Cavalry Archers receive extra attack bonus (+2) from Elite Skirmishers.
  • Bloodlines introduced.
  • Thumb Ring introduced.
  • Heresy introduced.
  • Parthian Tactics introduced. With patch 1.0b, it also gives Cavalry Archers +4 attack bonus vs Spearmen.
  • With patch 1.0b, Cavalry Archers have a range of 4.
  • Huns AoE2 Huns: Cavalry Archers are 25%/30% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

  • Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood, 65 gold.
  • Huns AoE2 Huns: Cavalry Archers are 15%/25% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Magyars AoE2 Magyars: Recurve Bow introduced, it gives +1 range to Cavalry Archers.
  • Turks AoE2 Turks: Sipahi introduced.

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Magyars AoE2 Magyars: With patch 5.5, Recurve Bow gives +1 range and attack to Cavalry Archers.
  • Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese: Initially, Cavalry Archers have +15%/+20% hit points in the Castle/Imperial Age. With patch 5.8, they have +20% HP.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians: With update 42848, Blacksmith technologies that benefit Cavalry Archers cost -50% 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 AoE2 Cumans: Initially, Cavalry Archers move 10% faster. With update 34055, the bonus was staggered to 10%/15% in the Castle/Imperial Age and Cumans lost access to Husbandry.
  • Koreans AoE2 Koreans: Cavalry Archers cost -15% wood. With update 39284, they cost -20% wood.
  • Koreans: With update 42848, Archer armor technologies are free.
  • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: With update 39284, Cavalry Archers cost -20% gold. With update 42848, all technologies are researched 30% faster as a civilization bonus.
  • Saracens AoE2 Saracens: Initially, Cavalry Archers have +3 attack bonus against buildings. With update 34055, Cavalry Archers have +2/+3 attack bonus against buildings in the Castle/Imperial Age.

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

  • With update 44725, the attack animation duration of Cavalry Archers has been reduced from 1.3 to 1.15, reducing the overall attack delay by 11.5%.
  • With update 50292, the attack animation duration of Cavalry Archers has been increased from 1.15 to 1.17.
  • Saracens AoE2 Saracens: With update 44725, Cavalry Archers no longer gain bonus attack against standard buildings.

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

  • With update 73855:
    • The effect of Parthian Tactics for Cavalry Archers was reduced to 2.
    • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: All technologies are researched 25% faster as a team bonus.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • With update 87863:
    • The Magyar team bonus was changed from foot archers +2 Line of Sight to Cavalry Archers trained 25% faster.
    • Chinese AoE2 Chinese: Technologies that benefit Cavalry Archers are 5%/10%/15% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
    • Koreans AoE2 Koreans: Cavalry Archers cost -50% wood.

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]


Archers mounted on horses originated in ancient times on the great plains of Asia and continued to make up the bulk of the armies from this region throughout the Middle Ages. The Mongol armies that conquered most of Asia, the Middle East, and much of Europe were predominately cavalry archers. For the time they were a unique combination of firepower and speed. They could cross almost any kind of terrain quickly, strike unexpectedly, and withdraw if necessary before heavy cavalry or infantry units could react. The Mongols especially mastered the tactics of hitting, running, and ambushing, avoiding hand-to-hand fighting until the enemy was completely demoralized. Cavalry archers were most effective on open ground with plenty of maneuvering room. They were least effective against fortified positions that could not be starved out and required a hand-to-hand assault.
Age of Empires II manual


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