The Chariot Archer is a powerful military unit in Age of Empires that combines the speed and mobility of the Chariot and the attack strength of the Improved Bowman. The Wheel technology is a prerequisite to upgrade before any Chariot units can be trained.
The Chariot Archer is a popular Bronze Age unit because of its combined speed, strength, range of attack, and the fact that it costs no gold, which makes it a so-called trash unit. Its speed allows it to fly right past towers and catch Villagers quickly. It possesses 7 range, allowing it to find exposed units or for reconnaissance. As it is fast and has good range, it is strong in numbers.
Chariot Archers have +8 damage vs Priests and ×8 conversion resistance.
After CU9, Chariot Archers no longer do bonus Damage vs Priests.
With update 38862, Chariot Archers have ×2 conversion resistance.
Around 1700 BC, two existing technologies of military consequence, the chariot and the bow, were merged to create a fearsome new military weapon the chariot archer. Armored archers carried in fast chariots dominated the battlefields of the civilized world for the next 500 years and remained useful for some time after that. In the open ground of the settled plains and river valleys, the chariot archer was devastating due to its speed, mass, and firepower. Chariot archers were typified by the Egyptian nobility and pharaohs of the New Kingdom, 1552-1069 BC, who prided themselves on their archery. The first recorded battle of history, Megiddo in 1460 BC, was fought with chariots carrying archers.
The chariot archer was the dominating battlefield weapon from China to Greece from about 1600 to 1200 BC, according to the historical and archaeological record. The long reign of chariot armies was due to several factors, including most importantly the placement of a composite bow archer in the basket with the driver and using the chariot as a mobile firing platform. The fast-firing chariot archer was devastating against slow, poorly armored infantry in the open areas of the civilized cultures. The glorious vision of elite archers from the nobility fighting from their expensive chariots and wheeling around the battlefields at will pervaded all civilized cultures of the time.