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Secretive, skilled archer that can hit distant targets as well as shoot fast at short range. Good against infantry.
—In-game description

The Desert Archer is an outlaw archer in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - The African Royals that can be trained by African civilizations at the Watch Tower once the Commerce Age is reached, and by European and Asian civilizations in African maps.


Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry
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)
Armor Somali oryx shields.png Somali Oryx Hide Shields (additional 10% melee/ranged resistance)
Sudanese quilted armor.png Sudanese Quilted Armor (+10% melee resistance)
Speed Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Akan Drums.png Akan Fontomfrom (+5%)
Creation speed Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)

Home City Cards[]


The African Royals[]

  • Originally, Desert Archers cost 30 food, 70 coin, had a Long Range Attack range of 20 and a Short Range Attack range of 12. With update 43871, Desert Archers cost 30 food, 75 coin, have a Long Range Attack range of 22 and a Short Range Attack range of 16.

In-game dialogue[]

The Desert Archer speaks Arabic, reusing Saracens' military units' dialogue files from Age of Empires II.

  • Select 1 Na'am? (نعم؟) - Yes?
  • Select 2 Mosta'ed (مستعد) - I'm ready
  • Select 3 Amrok (أمرك) - Your order?
  • Move 1 Na'am (نعم) - Yes
  • Move 2 Sa af'al (سأفعل) - I will do it
  • Move 3 Hassanan (حسناً) - Okay
  • Attack 1 Hojoom! (!هجوم) - Attack!
  • Attack 2 Al quetal! (!القتال) - We'll fight!
  • Attack 3 Na'am! (!نعم) - Yes
  • Attack 4 Al hojoom! (!الهجوم) - We attack!


The deserts and plains of Africa played host to many nomadic and pastoralist groups. While some were largely peaceful, others practiced a far more predatory existence and raided rival groups and sedentary settlements to capture or extort resources.

See also[]