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This article is about the cavalry units in Age of Empires II. For the armor class, see Armor class: Cavalry. For cavalry units in other games of the series, see Cavalry.
Cavalry prev aoe2de

Cavalry in Age of Empires II is one of the four combat forces on land, the other ones being archers, infantry, and siege weapons.

General information[]

Knight runanim aoe2

As understood by the game, cavalry units are mounted melee units. They have higher hit points than equivalent foot soldiers and usually higher movement speed as well. They have no range (except Mamelukes and Steppe Lancers, but these are short) and are expensive. In direct combat, cavalry easily overpower archer, infantry, and siege units.

Other mounted units, such as Cavalry Archers, Ballista Elephants, Flaming Camels, and Missionaries, do not count as cavalry proper because they are not upgraded like cavalry and do not deal melee damage. Armored and Siege Elephants benefit from all upgrades which benefit regular cavalry and do deal melee damage, so they are included.

Cavalry fightanim aoe2de

Cavalry taking out enemy infantry.

Common cavalry units (except the Armored Elephant line) are trained at the Stable and first become available in the Feudal Age. Unique cavalry units are trained at the Castle with some exceptions:

Excluding the melee Ratha, Scout Cavalry line, and Magyar Huszars with Corvinian Army, among which the latter two cost only food, all cavalry units cost food and gold. The Ratha is trained and upgraded (except for attack) as a mounted archer, hence costs wood and gold.

All cavalry units have either cavalry armor class or camel armor class (the latter only for camel units).

Despite the many advantages of the cavalry branch, there are a few drawbacks that should be considered. Like archers, they have their own common, cheap, and easy to mass counter unit: the Pikeman. Every player frequently using cavalry is bound to meet them sooner or later. Also, cavalry units are expensive, especially in terms of gold, and a strong reliance on them can cause the player to lose the game if gold runs out or gold income sources are cut off. On narrow maps with lots of obstacles like cliffs or woods, cavalry units can fall prey to ranged units that can exploit their range.

Camel Riders, Mamelukes, Flaming Camels, Kamayuks, and Genoese Crossbowmen also have bonus attack against cavalry units. As most cavalry units are expensive in terms of food and gold (except most light cavalry units), Monks are also a powerful and commonly used counter, as successfully converting even a single Knight pays off for the expense of one Monk.

Still, since every unit only takes up exactly one population space (excluding Karambit Warriors), cavalry units fill these spaces effectively, especially if the population cap is set to a low value.

The Native American civilizations cannot build Stables and normally cannot train cavalry units. As a replacement, they can train Eagle Warriors at their Barracks. If given a Stable in the Scenario Editor or in certain game modes (like MegaRandom) or if they convert one (not possible for Mayans, who do not have Redemption), they can train Xolotl Warriors, which are identical in stats to the Knights. However, as Native Americans still have no access to Stable or cavalry armor technologies, they remain of little use other than for surprise.

List of cavalry units[]

Marked with yellow background are unique units. Since Native American civilizations lack all cavalry entirely, the following list does not count them in the total. Native American civilizations are only counted for the Xolotl Warrior.

Cavalry unit B A Hpicon aoe2de
Attack cur
Armoricon aoe2de
Range-armoricon aoe2de
AoE2DE icon Reload Time
LOS AoE2DE icon Movement Speed
Aoe2de food
Aoe2de gold
TT Civs
Scoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry Stable FeudalageDE 45 5 0 2 2 6 1.55 80 0 30 All
Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry Stable CastleageDE 60 7 0 2 2 8 1.5 80 0 30 All except Teutons
Hussar aoe2DE Hussar Stable ImperialageDE 75 7 0 2 1.9 10 1.5 80 0 30 24
Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar Stable ImperialageDE 80 9 1 2 1.9 10 1.5 80 0 30 Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians
and Poles AoE2 Poles
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior Stable CastleageDE 100 10 2 2 1.8 4 1.35 60 75 30 Native American only
Knight aoe2DE Knight Stable CastleageDE 100 10 2 2 1.8 4 1.35 60 75 30 38
Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier Stable ImperialageDE 120 12 2 2 1.8 4 1.35 60 75 30 37
Paladin aoe2DE Paladin Stable ImperialageDE 160 14 2 3 1.9 5 1.35 60 75 30 10
AoE2 Savar Savar Stable ImperialageDE 145 14 3 4 1.8 5 1.35 60 75 30 Persians AoE2 Persians
Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout Stable FeudalageDE 70 4 0 0 2 5 1.45 55 60 48 Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider Stable CastleageDE 100 6 0 0 2 5 1.45 55 60 22 13
Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider Stable ImperialageDE 120 7 0 0 2 5 1.45 55 60 22 12
ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider Stable ImperialageDE 140 8 0 0 2 5 1.45 55 60 20 Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant Stable CastleageDE 250 12 1 2 2 4 0.9 100 70 24 6
Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant Stable ImperialageDE 300 14 1 3 2 5 0.9 100 70 24 5
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer Stable CastleageDE 60 9 0 1 2 5 1.45 70 40 24 3
Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer Stable ImperialageDE 80 11 0 2 2 5 1.45 70 40 20 3
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant Siege Workshop CastleageDE 180 4 -2 140 3 4 0.6 120 95 36 4
AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant Siege Workshop ImperialageDE 220 4 -2 150 3 4 0.6 120 95 36 4
Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider Stable CastleageDE 55 8 0 1 2 5 1.6 70 30 20 Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras
Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Elite Shrivamsha Rider Stable ImperialageDE 70 11 0 1 1.9 6 1.6 70 30 20 Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras
CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract Castle CastleageDE 110 9 2 1 1.8 4 1.35 70 75 20 Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines
CataphractIcon-DE Elite Cataphract Castle ImperialageDE 150 12 2 1 1.7 5 1.35 70 75 20 Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines
WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant Castle CastleageDE 450 15 1 2 2 4 0.8 170 85 25 Persians AoE2 Persians
WarElephantIcon-DE Elite War Elephant Castle ImperialageDE 600 20 1 3 2 5 0.8 170 85 25 Persians AoE2 Persians
MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke Castle CastleageDE 80 8 0 0 2 5 1.4 55 85 23 Saracens AoE2 Saracens
MamelukeIcon-DE Elite Mameluke Castle ImperialageDE 90 10 1 0 2 5 1.4 55 85 23 Saracens AoE2 Saracens
TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan Castle
CastleageDE 100 8 1 3 2.1 5 1.4 60 60 14/26 Huns AoE2 Huns
TarkanIcon-DE Elite Tarkan Castle
ImperialageDE 150 11 1 4 2.1 7 1.4 60 60 14/24 Huns AoE2 Huns
MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar Castle CastleageDE 75 9 0 2 1.8 5 1.5 35 45 14 Magyars AoE2 Magyars
MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Elite Magyar Huszar Castle ImperialageDE 85 10 0 2 1.8 6 1.5 35 45 14 Magyars AoE2 Magyars
BoyarIcon-DE Boyar Castle CastleageDE 100 12 4 2 1.9 5 1.3 60 70 15 Slavs AoE2 Slavs
BoyarIcon-DE Elite Boyar Castle


130 14 8 3 1.9 5 1.3 60 70 15 Slavs AoE2 Slavs
Konnikicon Konnik Castle
CastleageDE 100 12 2 1 2.4 5 1.35 60 70 16 Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians
Konnikicon Elite Konnik Castle
ImperialageDE 120 14 2 2 2.4 5 1.35 60 70 16 Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians
Leitisicon Leitis Castle CastleageDE 100 13 1 1 1.9 5 1.4 70 50 20 Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians
Leitisicon Elite Leitis Castle ImperialageDE 130 16 2 1 1.9 5 1.4 70 50 18 Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians
Keshikicon Keshik Castle CastleageDE 110 9 1 2 1.9 5 1.4 60 40 17 Tatars AoE2 Tatars
Keshikicon Elite Keshik Castle ImperialageDE 140 11 1 3 1.9 5 1.4 60 40 15 Tatars AoE2 Tatars
Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier Castle CastleageDE 115 8 2 2 1.9 5 1.35 55 55 15 Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians
Aoe2-icon-coustillier Elite Coustillier Castle ImperialageDE 145 11 2 2 1.9 5 1.35 55 55 14 Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians
Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha Castle* CastleageDE 105 10 3 2 2 6 1.3 0 60 18 Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis
Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Elite Ratha Castle* ImperialageDE 115 12 3 3 2 6 1.3 0 60 18 Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis
Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion Castle CastleageDE 110 13 2 3 1.9 4 1.35 75 85 24 Romans AoE2 Romans
Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Elite Centurion Castle ImperialageDE 155 15 3 3 1.9 4 1.35 75 85 24 Romans AoE2 Romans
AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa Castle CastleageDE 75 12 3 2 1.8 4 1.4 60 45 14 Georgians AoE2 Georgians
AoE2 Monaspa Elite Monaspa Castle ImperialageDE 90 14 5 2 1.8 5 1.4 60 45 14 Georgians AoE2 Georgians

Despite being classified as cavalry, melee Rathas benefit like ranged Rathas (mounted archer units) with respect to Line of Sight, armor, and attack bonus vs Spearmen.

Scenario Editor units[]

Cavalry unit Hpicon aoe2de
Attack cur
Armoricon aoe2de
Range-armoricon aoe2de
AoE2DE icon Reload Time
LOS AoE2DE icon Movement Speed
Centurion aoe2DE Imperial Centurion (statistically an Elite Cataphract) 150 12 2 1 1.7 5 1.35
Hussar aoe2DE Mounted Samurai 130 14 3 5 1.75 4 1.35
Crusader knight aoe2de Crusader Knight 100 18 4 4 2 5 1.2
Sogdian Cataphract icon AoE2DE Sogdian Cataphract 110 12 0 5 2 5 1.45
AoE2 Qizilbash icon Qizilbash Warrior 100 8 1 1 2 4 1.45
AoE2 Qizilbash icon Elite Qizilbash Warrior 140 11 1 1 2 5 1.45


These lists do not contain unit upgrades.

Generic technologies[]

Technology Researched at Age Effect
BloodlinesDE Bloodlines Stable FeudalageDE Increases hit points by +20
HusbandryDE Husbandry Stable CastleageDE Increases speed by +10%
Forging aoe2de Forging Blacksmith FeudalageDE Increases attack by +1
IronCastingDE Iron Casting Blacksmith CastleageDE Increases attack by +1
BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace Blacksmith ImperialageDE Increases attack by +2
ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor Blacksmith FeudalageDE Increases armor of cavalry units (except Rathas) by +1/+1
ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor Blacksmith CastleageDE Increases armor of cavalry units (except Rathas) by +1/+1
PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor Blacksmith ImperialageDE Increases armor of cavalry units (except Rathas) by +1/+2
HeresyDE Heresy Monastery CastleageDE Converted units die instead of changing color
Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion Monastery CastleageDE Increases minimum and maximum conversion time by +1 seconds each
FaithDE Faith Monastery ImperialageDE Increases minimum and maximum conversion time by +4 seconds each
ConscriptionDE Conscription Castle ImperialageDE Increases creation speed by +33% (except the Armored Elephant line)
SiegeEngineersDE Siege Engineers[note 1] University ImperialageDE Increases Armored Elephant line attack against buildings by 20%
Specific to melee Rathas

Rathas do not benefit from cavalry technologies except for their attack. Instead, they benefit from equivalent mounted archer technologies.

Technology Researched at Age Effect
FletchingDE Fletching Blacksmith FeudalageDE Increases Line of Sight by +1
BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow Blacksmith CastleageDE Increases Line of Sight by +1
BracerDE Bracer Blacksmith ImperialageDE Increases Line of Sight by +1
PaddedArcherArmorDE Padded Archer Armor Blacksmith FeudalageDE Increases armor by +1/+1
LeatherArcherArmorDE Leather Archer Armor Blacksmith CastleageDE Increases armor by +1/+1
RingArcherArmorDE Ring Archer Armor Blacksmith ImperialageDE Increases armor by +1/+2
ParthianTacticsDE Parthian Tactics Archery Range ImperialageDE Increases armor by +1/+2, and attack vs Spearmen by +2

Unique technologies[]

Technology Age Civilization Effect
Paiks CastleageDE Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis Rathas, Armored and Battle Elephant lines attack 20% faster
Kasbah CastleageDE Berbers AoE2 Berbers Castle production and research speed increased by +25% for the entire team
Maghrebi Camels ImperialageDE Berbers AoE2 Berbers Camel Rider line regenerates 15 hit points per minute
Stirrups CastleageDE Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians Cavalry attack 33% faster
Howdah CastleageDE Burmese AoE2 Burmese Increases Battle Elephant armor by +1/+1
Manipur Cavalry ImperialageDE Burmese AoE2 Burmese Increases attack against archers by +4
Logistica ImperialageDE Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines Gives Cataphracts +0.5 blast radius (5 damage) and +6 attack bonus against infantry
Steppe Husbandry CastleageDE Cumans AoE2 Cumans Scout Cavalry and Steppe Lancer lines created 100% faster
Medical Corps CastleageDE Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians Battle and Armored Elephant lines regenerate 30 hit points per minute
Wootz Steel ImperialageDE Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians Cavalry attacks ignore armor
Royal Heirs CastleageDE Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians Camel Riders receive -3 damage from mounted units
Chivalry ImperialageDE Franks AoE2 Franks Stables work 40% faster
Aznauri Cavalry ImperialageDE Georgians AoE2 Georgians Cavalry units take 15% less population space.
Kshatriyas CastleageDE Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras Cavalry costs -25% food
Frontier Guards ImperialageDE Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras Camel Riders have +4 melee armor
Marauders CastleageDE Huns AoE2 Huns Tarkans can be trained at Stables
Tusk Swords CastleageDE Khmer AoE2 Khmer Increases attack of Battle Elephant line by +3
Corvinian Army CastleageDE Magyars AoE2 Magyars Magyar Huszar gold cost is replaced by additional food cost
Farimba ImperialageDE Malians AoE2 Malians Increases attack by +5
Szlachta Privileges CastleageDE Poles AoE2 Poles Knight line gold cost reduced to 30
Lechitic Legacy ImperialageDE Poles AoE2 Poles Scout Cavalry line deals 33% trample damage within 0.5 tile blast radius
Romans AoE2 Romans Knight line and Centurions train 50% faster and receive +5 charge attack over 20 seconds
First Crusade CastleageDE Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians Increases minimum and maximum conversion time by +4 seconds each
Hauberk ImperialageDE Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians Knight line has +1/+2 armor
Silk Armor CastleageDE Tatars AoE2 Tatars Scout Cavalry and Steppe Lancer lines get +1/+1 armor
Chatras CastleageDE Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese Increases Battle Elephant line's hit points by +100

Civilization bonuses[]

Civilization Effect
Aztecs AoE2 Aztecs Xolotl Warriors are created 11% faster.
Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis Battle and Armored Elephant lines receive -25% bonus damage and are more resistant to conversion. Cavalry units deal +2 attack against Skirmishers.
Berbers AoE2 Berbers Cavalry units are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians Cavalier upgrade is available in the Castle Age.
Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines Camel Rider line is 25% cheaper.
Cumans AoE2 Cumans Cavalry units move 5%/10%/15% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
Franks AoE2 Franks Cavalry units have +20% hit points.
Georgians AoE2 Georgians Cavalry units receive -20% (-40% instead of -25%) damage when fighting from higher elevation and regenerate 5/10/15 hit points per minute in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras Cavalry units deal +20%/+30%/+40% bonus damage in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis Camel Rider-line attacks 20% faster.
Incas AoE2 Incas Xolotl Warriors cost -20/25% food in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Khmer AoE2 Khmer Battle Elephant line moves 10% faster.
Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians Knight line and Leiciai get +1 attack for each garrisoned Relic (maximum +4).
Magyars AoE2 Magyars Scout Cavalry line is 15% cheaper.
Malay AoE2 Malay Battle Elephant line is 25%/35% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Mongols AoE2 Mongols The Scout Cavalry line and Steppe Lancers +20/30% hit points in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese Cavalry units cost -20% gold.
Saracens AoE2 Saracens Camel units have +25% hit points.
Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians Cavalry units receive -33% bonus damage.
Tatars AoE2 Tatars Cavalry units deal +20% damage (+50% instead of +25%) when attacking from hills.
Teutons AoE2 Teutons Cavalry units get +1/+2 melee armor in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Turks AoE2 Turks Scout Cavalry line has +1 pierce armor and is upgraded for free.

Team bonuses[]

Civilization Effect
Franks AoE2 Franks Knight line has +2 Line of Sight.
Huns AoE2 Huns Stables work 20% faster.
Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras Camel and elephant units created 25% faster.
Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis Camel units and light cavalry units have +2 attack against standard buildings.
Mongols AoE2 Mongols Scout Cavalry line has +2 Line of Sight.
Persians AoE2 Persians Knight line has +2 attack against archers.
Poles AoE2 Poles Scout Cavalry line has +1 attack against archers.
Teutons AoE2 Teutons Minimum and maximum conversion time of cavalry units is increased by 3 seconds and 1 second respectively.


Depending on the type of cavalry unit (which is discussed below), players may prefer different civilizations, since most civilizations are specialised for one type of cavalry unit. This is done by adding specific bonuses which do not apply to other unit lines or removing key upgrades and unit lines, or having access to regional/unique units or regional/unique upgrades. For example, Franks and Teutons are most well-known for their heavy cavalry, but they lack Hussars, Camel Riders, Steppe Lancers, and Battle Elephants; Tatars have a unique technology which only applies to their Light Cavalry and Steppe Lancer lines. Some generalists exist too, like Malians who have bonuses for light cavalry, heavy cavalry, and camel units; Magyars have stronger and discounted light cavalry units, while also having Paladins.

Persians are the most versatile cavalry civilization, having access to fully upgradeable light cavalry, heavy cavalry (with Savars replacing Paladins), and camel units at the Stable, and the strongest elephant unit at the Castle, whereas Tatars have the most number of cavalry options in two Light Cavalry lines, Cavaliers, Heavy Camels, unique medium cavalry in the Keshik, and an anti-elephant camel in the Flaming Camel, all of which are fully upgradeable, except for the Paladin upgrade itself. On the other hand, the Bohemians, Dravidians, Koreans, Malay, and Vikings have the weakest cavalry, as they lack several upgrades.

Availability grid[]

= Available
= Unavailable
= Researched for free or fully covered by a civilization bonus if unavailable
Civilization Light Cavalry Hussar Knight Cavalier aoe2DE Paladin aoe2DE Camel Rider Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE BloodlinesDE Husbandry BlastFurnaceDE ChainBardingDE PlateBardingArmorDE Regional units Total
Armenians AoE2 Armenians 7
Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis Battle elephant aoe2DEElite battle elephant aoe2DEAoE2DE Armored Elephant iconAoE2DE Siege Elephant icon 6
Berbers AoE2 Berbers 11
Bohemians AoE2 Bohemians 6
Britons AoE2 Britons 7
Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians 9
Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians 9
Burmese AoE2 Burmese Battle elephant aoe2DEElite battle elephant aoe2DE 11
Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines 10
Celts AoE2 Celts 8
Chinese AoE2 Chinese 10
Cumans AoE2 Cumans SteppelancericonElitesteppelancericon 12
Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians Battle elephant aoe2DEAoE2DE Armored Elephant iconAoE2DE Siege Elephant icon 6
Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians 9
Franks AoE2 Franks 8
Georgians AoE2 Georgians 9
Goths AoE2 Goths 8
Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras AoE2DE Armored Elephant iconAoE2DE Siege Elephant icon 10
Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis AoE2DE Armored Elephant iconAoE2DE Siege Elephant icon 11
Huns AoE2 Huns 10
Italians AoE2 Italians 9
Japanese AoE2 Japanese 7
Khmer AoE2 Khmer Battle elephant aoe2DEElite battle elephant aoe2DE 10
Koreans AoE2 Koreans 6
Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians Winged Hussar 9
Magyars AoE2 Magyars 10
Malay AoE2 Malay Battle elephant aoe2DEElite battle elephant aoe2DE 7
Malians AoE2 Malians 9
Mongols AoE2 Mongols SteppelancericonElitesteppelancericon 12
Persians AoE2 Persians AoE2 Savar 12
Poles AoE2 Poles Winged Hussar 8
Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese 8
Romans AoE2 Romans 8
Saracens AoE2 Saracens 10
Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians 8
Slavs AoE2 Slavs 9
Spanish AoE2 Spanish 10
Tatars AoE2 Tatars SteppelancericonElitesteppelancericon 13
Teutons AoE2 Teutons 7
Turks AoE2 Turks 11
Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese Battle elephant aoe2DEElite battle elephant aoe2DE 9
Vikings AoE2 Vikings 5

Types of cavalry[]

For camel units, see here.
For elephant units, see here.

Unlike archer units, which all fill the same role of ranged support units (or anti-archer for Skirmishers and Rattan Archers) and benefit from different upgrades, different types of horse cavalry units benefit from the same upgrades, but fill different roles.

Horse cavalry units can be classified in the following types:

Light cavalry units[]


These units are characterized by negligible gold cost, mediocre hit points, best mobility, and low attack, no base melee armor, and decent base pierce armor.



Light cavalry units are specialized for raiding. Their cheap cost and high mobility is what makes them suitable for this, which also makes them good for sniping siege, Skirmishers, and low number of archers. They are low-value units, which makes them one of the lowest priorities for conversions. As cheap units, they can be excellent filler units (meatshield/cannon fodder) between high-value ranged units and enemy units.

The Scout Cavalry line also possesses good Line of Sight which makes them a good scout unit, natural conversion resistance, and a large attack bonus vs Monks.

Light cavalry units can effectively fight light infantry units (excluding Pike-line), viz Karambit Warriors, Eagle Warriors, Ghulams, Gbetos, and Chakram Throwers.


Light cavalry units cannot take down Castles and are still weak at taking down Town Centers and Towers. They are not meant for open field combat - that is, they are not meant to fight infantry or cavalry.

They are hard-countered by the Spearman line, camel units (except maybe Camel Archers), heavy infantry, and heavy cavalry.

Notable civilizations[]

Magyars are the most well-known light cavalry civilization on account of having the cheapest Light Cavalry until mid-Castle Age, and a much stronger light cavalry unique unit after building a Castle, which beats all other light cavalry units and specializes against siege. Turks are another popular light cavalry civilization, on account of having naturally good light cavalry and free upgrades across the game, which resist ranged attacks better than all other civilizations except Tatars. The Tatars also have good light cavalry units in the form of the Scout Cavalry line, which equal the Turks against ranged units and are stronger than them in melee combat with their unique technology, as well as the Steppe Lancer, which is affected by the same upgrades. Mongols have the best early-game Scout Cavalry on account of superior economy and Line of Sight, as well as most all-round light cavalry units in the Castle Age due to extra hit points. Their units fall off rather quickly against ranged units in the Imperial Age due to lacking Plate Barding Armor, but are still good in melee combat in the late game. They are joined by the Poles, who share a similar fate, but to a lesser degree, with their Scout Cavalry killing archers sooner, and their Winged Hussars having extra attack and trample damage, but lacking Plate Barding Armor too. Lastly, Gurjaras are known for their unique light cavalry unit, which can be created in the first minute of reaching the Castle Age, as well as resisting missile attacks, the quickest speed, as well as decent damage output. Their Scout Cavalry line does not shine in the early game, and lacks Blast Furnace in the late game, but their light cavalry units can become the cheapest in the game with their unique technology. Everything about Gurjara light cavalry units makes them ideal at raiding.

Civilizations which have good light cavalry units in the support role are Berbers, which are cheapest among fully upgraded, but have no combat advantage; Bulgarians, which attack faster; Malians, which have extra attack; Cumans, which are created very fast and move slightly faster; and Lithuanians, which have extra melee armor (like Tatars), +5 hit points and +4 attack vs gunpowder units. The Sicilians' Scout Cavalry also shines in the early game, on account of being much harder to counter. All light cavalry units available to players allied with the Hindustanis deal more damage against buildings, which is most beneficial for breaking through Palisades in the Feudal Age and Hussar raids in the lategame.

Medium cavalry units[]


These units are the middle ground between light cavalry and heavy cavalry, and as such have no defined role. They have the attack of light cavalry, but the hit points of heavy cavalry. They have decent base melee armor and good base pierce armor. They cost good amount of gold, but not as much as heavy cavalry. The general rule for these units is that they should be used for raiding, the reason for which is mentioned alongside the units, with care (because gold is involved).


Tarkans are often used by Huns as archer-resistant units, since their damage output and pierce armor is very similar to Sicilian Cavaliers, but have even more hit points. Keshiks are the strongest option for the Tatars in general combat, considering that they are much better than Tatar Cavaliers, and since Keshiks are cheap in gold, the Tatars have no problem sustaining production. Coustilliers are not often used by the Burgundians, since they are strictly worse in combat after the first few seconds and do not threaten buildings as such. However, they are useful at taking down siege weapons with the charge attack, which quickly overwhelms the low armor of siege weapons.


Same as light cavalry, though Tarkans are anti-building too.


Same as heavy cavalry, though gold cost is not a limitation of Keshiks.

Heavy cavalry units[]

Heavy cavalry AoE2 DE

Heavy units are also called "all-purpose". They are characterized by high gold cost* , high hit points, good base melee armor, and good base pierce armor* . They are meant for open-field combat, as they beat all units (except direct counters) population-efficiently.



While they can perform all roles which light cavalry units perform (except anti-Monk), doing so will cost a lot of gold which is better utilized elsewhere. Their high pool of hit points (except Monaspas) and armor makes them very effective in fighting all kinds of infantry and cavalry (except direct counters), while also being good against foot archers. In good numbers, they perform really well against defensive structures.

Heavy cavalry units are very commonly used against Eagle Warriors, because they can force (unlike heavy infantry) and win (unlike light cavalry) engagements.

Boyars are the most heavily armored heavy cavalry unit, having both high melee and pierce armor, as well as the same offensive power as Paladins, being able to perfectly counter even the strongest Paladins in the game. They are also good against archers, as well as not being too hard to mass in the Imperial Age with Slavic Castles that cost less stone after Detinets. Despite not having the same level of armor, Centurions are also very competent heavy cavalry unit overall, especially with Comitatenses researched.

Cataphracts are the strongest heavy cavalry unit against infantry and camels due to their anti-infantry attack and good amount of cavalry armor.

Leiciai are very strong against other heavy cavalry units, because of their high attack (that can be further improved by each garrisoned Relic, up to +4), ability to ignore armor (which heavy cavalry tends to have the most), and cheap gold cost (which no other heavy cavalry except Monaspas can keep up with). They are also exceptionally good against infantry units, including Halberdiers, that they can kill in three hits with two Relics (making Leiciai cost effective in such match ups), but are still outperformed by the Cataphract in those situations.

Monaspas, despite starting with less hit points, can scale up to 22 attack if massed at groups of 20. Combined with their higher melee armor, better speed, ability to regenerate hit points, taking less damage when fighting uphill, taking less population space after Aznauri Cavalry, and low cost, it makes them almost as good as Leiciai in melee combat and cost-effectiveness, even against other heavy cavalry and infantry.

Konniks are the best heavy cavalry unit that can be the earliest to deploy because of the Krepost, that cost less than a Castle, allowing the player to build numbers much earlier than other civilizations. With the ability to still keep fighting as dismounted, makes them the best when dealing with most anti-cavalry units, coming over the top against Camel Riders and Pikemen and being able to keep up cost-effectively against Paladins in straight-up melee fights (only after Stirrups).

A special mention to Rathas, which can switch between melee and ranged modes, thus completely changing the type of unit they are, which provides them more flexibility.


Heavy cavalry units are high-value units, which is their biggest weakness on most maps, since gold is limited. Being high-value units, they are the second highest priority for conversion (just after elephants). They (except Cataphracts) struggle against the cheap Spearman line and Camel Riders. Mamelukes are another generalist unit which beat heavy cavalry (even Cataphracts).

Despite their high armor, Boyars are the slowest of the heavy cavalry units (excluding the Teutonic Paladin). This means that faster melee units can decide to not engage them in melee, and they can be easily exploited by mounted archers with hit-and-run tactics.

Archers are good against Cataphracts, Leiciai, and Monaspas when kept away from them. Cataphracts are the weakest heavy cavalry unit against archers and buildings because of their low attack and armor. However, if managing to get close, their blast attack devastates foot archers. Leiciai have bad pierce armor too, but their low gold cost and ability to two-shot most foot archers with 2 Relics somewhat offsets the weakness. Monaspas simply have much less hit points compared to heavy cavalry units.

Unique heavy cavalry units (except maybe the Leitis and Monaspa) are flawed in 1vs1 because by the time player gets enough Castles, gold becomes an issue. However, the Konnik is probably the easiest to deploy early, thanks to the Krepost, but Konniks at the same time have a major drawback, which is the large number of upgrades they need to be fully upgraded (taking both infantry- and cavalry-related technologies), as well as having lower damage output than Knights without Stirrups.

Notable civilizations[]

Civilizations whose heavy cavalry dominate the battlefield better than usual are Franks, due to the bonus hit points on their Knights as well as faster creation backed by a strong economy; Teutons, for the higher melee armor Knights, which also have conversion resistance, and cheaper farming; Bulgarians, for their higher attack speed and easy-to-get Blacksmith upgrades; Lithuanians, which increase attack with Relics, as well as their unique unit, which shreds heavily armored units; Burgundians, which can basically get +2 attack on their Knights in the Castle Age, and Paladins very quickly in the early Imperial Age, on account of cheap upgrades and superior economy; Sicilians, which resist anti-cavalry units naturally, Monks after their first unique technology, and archers after their second unique technology, which makes their Cavaliers very hard to counter. The Berbers perform really well until mid-Castle Age, on account of a steep discount, but fall of due to lacking Paladins. The Poles can get one of the cheapest Knights with their unique technology, but lack both Paladin and Plate Barding Armor, which makes them a quantity-over-quality civilization. Sicilian Knights, Bulgarian and Byzantine unique units are difficult to counter with regular counters, which makes them versatile. Slavs and Bulgarians can opt for their unique units instead of their Cavaliers, which are much easier to get going in the late game with cheaper production buildings.

Civilizations with access to the Paladin, Husbandry (except Cumans) and Plate Barding Armor are automatically considered good heavy cavalry civilizations in the late game, since this option is still better than generic Cavaliers. Lacking Bloodlines (except for Franks and Burgundians) makes such options weaker in the mid-game though, since the Paladin upgrade comes in a bit late and is very expensive. As such, Huns, Spanish, Cumans, Magyars, Burgundians and Lithuanians without Relics are all viable options. Given enough gold and research time, Byzantine Paladins are also viable.



  1. This occurs because of Armored Elephants' siege nature, not because of their cavalry nature.
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