|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 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 frame delay. Their armor gets upgraded through the archer line but in terms of attack bonus against them they count as both archers and cavalry.
Cavalry Archers are one of the best harassers of the game. When attacking with Cavalry Archers the player must always micromanage them properly in order to maintain distance from the enemy targets. Tactics that employ these units require a large amount 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.
The most popular pairing involving Cavalry Archers is with Hussars, which is the preferred combination for the Cumans, Mongols, Huns, Saracens, Magyars, Tatars, and Turks. While a few other cavalry and/or archer based civilizations can utilize this as well, it is not as effective for them. In addition to the excellent Mongolian Hussars, their Cavalry Archers fire faster. Magyars have cheaper Hussars and a unique technology benefitting Cavalry Archers, while the Tatars have a Unique Technology affecting both Hussars and Cavalry Archers as well both dealing +25% damage from higher ground. Likewise, the Huns have cheaper Cavalry Archers and their Hussars are created quicker, and Cumans have the fastest Hussars and Cavalry Archers, and also have a unique technology affecting both. Since the Cavalry Archers cost wood and gold, the food can be invested in Hussars which can make melee support for the Cavalry Archer army in order to create a mobile yet devastating force. As a substitute to the Hussar, the Knight can be used if enough gold is available. That is rather uncommon, however, since the gold is usually just spent on the Cavalry Archers as Knights slow down the army a little.
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Slow and non-ranged units|
|Weak vs.||Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Huskarls, Skirmishers, Eagle Warriors, Mangonels, Scorpions, camel units, Rattan Archers|
|Hit points|| Bloodlines (+20)|
Sipahi (+20, Turks only)
|Attack|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Parthian Tactics (+4 attack against Spearmen)
Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only since patch 5.5)
|Range|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
|Firing rate||Thumb Ring (+11%)|
|Accuracy|| Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)|
Ballistics (hit moving targets)
|Armor|| Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)|
Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
Silk Armor ( , Tatars only)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
Steppe Husbandry (+100%, Cumans only)
|Upgrades||Heavy Cavalry Archer|
- Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Cavalry Archers cost -50% food.
- Burgundians: Researching Husbandry is 50% cheaper.
- Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Celts: Cavalry Archers can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Cavalry Archers are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Cumans: Cavalry Archers move 10%/15% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Franks: Cavalry Archers have .
- Italians: Researching Ballistics and Chemistry is 33% cheaper.
- Koreans: Cavalry Archers cost wood. Armor Upgrades are free.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Mongols: Cavalry Archers fire 25% faster.
- Portuguese: Cavalry Archers cost gold. All technologies benefitting Cavalry Archers are researched 30% faster.
- Sicilians: Cavalry Archers take -50% bonus damage.
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Cavalry Archers cost no gold.
- Turks: Chemistry is free.
- Tatars: Cavalry Archers deal +25% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations. Thumb Ring and Parthian Tactics are free.
- Vietnamese: Cavalry Archers have hit points. Conscription is free.
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
- A team containing Britons: Cavalry Archers are created and upgraded 20% faster. Researching Thumb Ring and Parthian Tactics is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching archer armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is faster.
- A team containing Huns: Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Faith and Heresy is 20% faster.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Chemistry and Ballistics is 80% faster.
- A team containing Tatars: Cavalry Archers have +2 Line of Sight
- A team containing Teutons: Cavalry Archers are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings
- Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood, 70 gold.
- Cavalry Archers move at a speed of 1.43.
- Cavalry Archers have a range of 3.
- Saracens: Cavalry Archers have +4 attack bonus against standard buildings.
- Cavalry Archers move at a speed of 1.4.
- Cavalry Archers have a range of 4.
- Cavalry Archers receive an attack bonus of +2 against Spearmen.
- Bloodlines introduced.
- Thumb Ring introduced.
- Heresy introduced.
- Parthian Tactics introduced.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are 25%/30% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood, 65 gold.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are 15%/25% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Magyars: Recurve Bow introduced, it gives +1 range to Cavalry Archers.
- Turks: Sipahi introduced.
The African Kingdoms
- Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood, 60 gold.
- Franks: Cavalry Archers have +20% HP.
- Huns: Cavalry Archers are 10%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Portuguese: Cavalry Archers cost -15% gold.
Rise of the Rajas
- Magyars: With patch 5.5, Recurve Bow gives +1 range and attack to Cavalry Archers.
- Vietnamese: Initially, Cavalry Archers have +15%/+20% HP in the Castle/Imperial Age. With patch 5.8, they have +20% HP.
- Bulgarians: With update 42848, Blacksmith upgrades 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: 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: Cavalry Archers cost -15% wood. With update 39284, they cost -20% wood.
- Koreans: With update 42848, Archer armor upgrades are free.
- Portuguese: With update 39284, Cavalry Archers cost -20% gold.
- Portuguese: With update 42848, all technologies are researched 30% faster.
- 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.
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%.
- Saracens: With update 44725, Cavalry Archers no longer gain bonus attack against standard buildings.
- With update 50292, the attack animation duration of Cavalry Archers has been increased from 1.15 to 1.17.
|“||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.||”|