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Ranged cavalry. Good against cavalry.
—In-game description

The Dragoon is a ranged light gunpowder cavalry in Age of Empires III that can be trained at the Stable, Fort, and Galleon upon reaching the Fortress Age.

Dragoons are available to European civilizations except for the Dutch (who have Ruyters), Germans, John Black's Mercenaries (both of which have War Wagons), Knights of St. John (Act I: Blood campaign), Ottomans, Russians (both of which have Cavalry Archers), and Swedes (who have Hakkapelits). The United States have Carbine Cavalry instead of Dragoons.


Dragoons are deceptively powerful units, combining strong ranged damage and speed. Ranged damage allows them to scale well en masse, and maneuverability makes them very responsive as well as quite survivable. With care, these qualities allow the unit to be used offensively no matter the situation.

Their stated role is as a ranged counter-cavalry cavalry unit, with multipliers against hand cavalry. Furthermore they are 0.5 units faster than melee cavalry and can effectively evade them when endangered. The main danger are Skirmishers which deal extra damage to Dragoons. Despite their reduced damage against Settlers, due to their speed Dragoons are still decent raiders. The main disadvantages of the unit are their general expense and the requirement to have active micro control over them to take advantage of their mobility. Overall, Dragoons are a formidable unit.

If playing as the Portuguese, Dragoons are available in the Commerce Age if the "TEAM Early Dragoons" Home City Card is sent. Portuguese Dragoons are also more useful than other civilizations as they can give them the advantage in range with the "Genitours" card which increases their max range and LoS by 6. Portuguese Dragoons can be upgraded to Royal Guard (+10%) and have the "Dragoon Combat" card (+20% attack and hit points). The British have same stats increase (+30%), but need 3 cards: "Cavalry Damage", "Cavalry Hitpoints" and "Cavalry Combat". Spanish Dragoons have only the "Cavalry Combat" card (+15%) but with Unction, their damage is much higher compared to other civilizations. A fully upgraded Portuguese / British Dragoon will have 52.8 Ranged Damage and 460 HP, while Spanish Dragoons with Unction will have 71.7 Ranged Damage and 430 HP. This means that the Portuguese/British will deal 158.4 and Spanish 215.32 Damage to Heavy Cavalry. Dragoons are also good against heavy infantry by kiting, where Portuguese are the clear winner here. Skirmishers can also be engaged if the Dragoons are put into melee mode.


The Dragoon starts at the Veteran level, giving them +20% hit points and attack.

If they are made available in the Commerce Age with the "TEAM Early Dragoons" Home City Card, Dragoons will be automatically upgraded to Veteran once the player reaches the Fortress Age.

Age Upgrade Cost Effect Civ.
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard cavalry.png Guard Dragoons 600 wood,
600 coin
Upgrade Dragoons to Guard (+30% hit points and attack)
Flag BritishDE.png
Flag FrenchDE.png
Guard cavalry.png Jinetes 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrade Dragoons to Jinete Dragoons (Guard Dragoons with +10% hit points and attack)
Imperial Age
Imperial cavalry.png Imperial Dragoons 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrade Dragoons to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Guard Dragoons
Flag BritishDE.png
Flag FrenchDE.png
Imperial cavalry.png Imperial Jinetes Upgrade Jinete Dragoons to Imperial Jinetes (+50% hit points and attack); requires Jinetes

Civilization differences[]

  • As seen above, the Portuguese can upgrade Dragoons to Royal Guard and Imperial Guard.
  • The Russians can ship 9 Guard Dragoons through Kalmucks.
  • The United States in the Act III campaign can upgrade Dragoons to Imperial.
  • Asian civilizations can get Dragoons by allying with the Portuguese and Russians at the Consulate, which provides armies and technologies that includes Dragoons (named Jinete for the Portuguese, Kalmuck for the Russians) listed below. These Dragoons start with +10% hit points and attack than their regular counterpart, and are automatically upgraded in every Age starting from the Fortress Age (see here for the exact values).
  • The Incas can get Dragoons through the "Tupac Rebellion" Home City Card, which turns Bolas Warriors into Guard Dragoons.
  • The United States can also acquire Dragoons through the "Armand's Legion" Home City Card, which ships 10 Dragoons and allows them to be trained at Forts.

Revolution variants[]

Independence Dragoon[]

The Independence Dragoon is a variant of the Dragoon unique to Brazil, which uses a lance to attack in melee with greater attack but without damage multipliers.

Independence Dragoons can be obtained by sending the "Guard of Honor" Home City Card, which upgrades Dragoons to Independence Dragoons if the player revolts from the Portuguese (as well as granting the Royal Guard upgrade if the player haven't yet) or allowing them to be trained if the player revolts from the Dutch.

Roșior Dragoon[]

The Roșior Dragoon is a variant of the Dragoon unique to Romania, which have 15% more attack and 10% more speed, but has 15% less hit points.

As soon as the player revolts to Romania, a Roșior Dragoon will spawn on every Outpost/Blockhouse that had been built by the player, and more can be obtained through the "Roșior Dragoons" Home City Card.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy cavalry, light infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, ranged infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+10%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Smokeless Powder.png Smokeless Powder (+30% siege attack)
Armor Sudanese quilted armor.png Sudanese Quilted Armor (+10% melee resistance)
Range Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Mass Cavalry.png Mass Cavalry (-35%)
Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Incan Chasquis Messengers (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Kalmucks.png Kalmucks (ships 9 Guard Dragoons; Russians only)
Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]


Age of Empires III[]

  • Dragoons have 30% ranged resistance.
  • Dragoons have a 2.75x multiplier against Coyote Runners.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Dragoons now have 20% ranged resistance.
  • Dragoons now have a 2.25x multiplier against Coyote Runners.


  • Even though the Dragoon's icon shows a rifle, they use the pistol instead. However, in some early screenshots, the Dragoons used rifles.
    • In the Kalmucks icon, it is also possible to see the Dragoons using rifles.
  • Portuguese Royal Guard/Consulate Dragoons' name, Jinete, translates to "Rider" and is borrowed from the Spanish word which refers to the Genitour.
  • Russian Consulate Dragoons are likely a reference to the 1st Kalmyk Regiment who fought during the Napoleonic Wars.
  • The United States' ability to access Dragoons through the "Armand's Legion" Home City Card is a reference to Charles Armand Tuffin who are notable for his role during the American Revolutionary War and later the French Revolution, leading his own cavalry unit during the former.


Dragoons were a very flexible mounted infantry, using their horses to move swiftly, then often dismounting to fight on foot with carbines, pistols, and sabers. During the eighteenth century in Europe, military leaders maintained dozens of regiments of Dragoons, placing them in a fixed role as medium cavalry. In the Americas, Dragoons were used as both cavalry and infantry. They scouted, raided camps, screened armies, and protected the rear of retreats.

Dragoons wore tall helmets, often plumed, and carried a variety of arms. The carbines they used, called "dragons," gave the Dragoons their name. This short-barreled, smoothbore weapon had less range and power than a rifle and required that Dragoons be accompanied by infantrymen or dismounted Dragoons armed with longer-range firearms.


See also[]