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This article is about the Age of Empires III unit. For other uses of the term, see Chu Ko Nu.

Archaic Chinese crossbow that fires at an extremely fast rate. Good against infantry.
—In-game description

The Chu Ko Nu is an archer in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Chinese and trained as a part of the Old Han Army and Standard Army. It is similar to the Crossbowman, but fires in bursts of three shots like its counterparts in previous games.


Chu Ko Nu is the best option for the Chinese to counter heavy infantry and light cavalry although they are not a best option against ranged cavalry such as War Wagons, Howdahs, or Yabusame due to their shorter range.

The Chu Ko Nu is relatively cheap, costing only 85 food, and are available since Commerce Age. Due to their fast firing speed, the Chu Ko Nu's arrows deal only 5 damage, less than a Crossbowman, but fires three shots simultaneously and has bigger multipliers; 2.0x against heavy infantry and light cavalry. Also, they can be upgraded to Honored/Guard and Exalted/Imperial levels while the Crossbowmen can't (except for the Portuguese with their Guard-esque Besteiros), which allows them to be used in Fortress Age and beyond. They fall quickly to hand cavalry as they are fairly weak, with only 90 hit points.

The Repelling Volley Home City Card increase their multipliers against heavy infantry and light cavalry into 3.0x, although they have a multiplier of 0.75x against cavalry, making them particularly weak against heavy cavalry units such as Spahi and Cuirassier.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Disciplined chu ko nu.png Disciplined Chu Ko Nu 100 wood,
50 coin
Upgrades Chu Ko Nu to Disciplined (+20% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Honored chu ko nu.png Honored Chu Ko Nu 300 wood,
300 coin
Upgrades Chu Ko Nu to Honored (+30% hit points and attack); requires Disciplined Chu Ko Nu
Imperial Age
Exalted chu ko nu.png Exalted Chu Ko Nu 750 wood,
750 coin
Upgrades Chu Ko Nu to Exalted (+50% hit points and attack); requires Honored Chu Ko Nu

Further statistics[]

As Chu Ko Nu are unique to the Chinese, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry, Eagle Runner Knights
Weak vs. Heavy cavalry, Coyote Runners, artillery
Hit points Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Carib Garifuna Drums.png Carib Garifuna Drums (+1.0x multiplier vs. villagers)
Seminole Bowyer.png Seminole Bowyer (+25%)
Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs.png Tupi Poison Arrow Frogs (+10%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Clenched Fist.png Clenched Fist (+30% melee attack)
Speed Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-12%, Standard Army)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Chu Ko Nu are unique to the Chinese, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


The Chinese chu ko nu repeating crossbow was known for its simple design and incredible rate of fire. It held a magazine of 10 bolts with steel tips, which it shot in succession, and was operated by grasping the stock in the left hand and working the lever with the right. In that swift movement, a bolt would drop into place, the string would be strung, and then the bolt would be fired, with another bolt dropping in to take its place. The weapon was specifically designed to fire rapidly and be turned on groups of enemy troops at a distance of no more than 150-250 feet. It was especially effective against cavalry. Horses provided large targets for the generally inaccurate chu ko nu, and when the animal was wounded it usually lost control and sowed pandemonium in the surrounding ranks.

Stories of the chu ko nu date back to 250 BCE, when legend has it that the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang used the weapon to shoot sharks for sport. Most accounts, however, have the creation of the chu ko nu occurring during the Chinese Han Dynasty, around the year 200 CE.