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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires. For the unit in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, see Elephant Archer (Age of Empires II).

Combines the hit points of the War Elephant and the attack strength and range of the Composite Bowman.
—In-game description in the Definitive Edition

The Elephant Archer is a ranged cavalry unit in Age of Empires that can be trained at the Archery Range once the Iron Age is reached. It is by far the strongest and most durable cavalry archer type in the game. It combines the hit points of the War Elephant and the attack and range of the Composite Bowman.


Aoede elephant archer available Available Aoede elephant archer unavailable Unavailable
x indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Elephant Archers, i.e. gets Craftsmanship and Chain Mail Archers.
+ indicates that the civilization has at least one civilization bonus that benefits the combat strength of their Elephant Archers.


The Elephant Archer is used for brute strength and durability. It is a slow unit but can take siege fire better than any archer and when in large groups they are very dangerous. They do however cost a lot of food, and can drain resources quickly if too many are built at once. Another disadvantage is because of their slow speed they are extremely susceptible to conversion from Priests and the Elephant Archer's attack is not nearly as good as the Horse Archer's or Heavy Horse Archer's.

It is good to use this unit very sparingly, mostly substituted by faster units which are cheaper and have a better attack, e.g. Horse Archers. The Phoenicians provide cheaper Elephant Archers. Persian Elephant Archers are a bit faster, but lack 1 range and the difference in speed is minimal compared to the Horse Archer anyway. They are practical in some cases, especially if used for defensive purposes, but for the most part their high cost is a major downside and they can be ineffective in many situations. If resources allow it and the opponent is not using Priests or Centurions, then Elephant Archers are good as a backup unit.

Comparison among civilizations[]

Civilization Carthaginians Egyptians Hittites Lac Viet Persians Phoenicians
Cost 180 food 60 gold 180 food 60 gold 180 food 60 gold 180 food 60 gold 180 food 60 gold 135 food 45 gold
Hit Points 750 600 600 600 600 600
Training Time 37.5 seconds 37.5 seconds 37.5 seconds 25 seconds 37.5 seconds 37.5 seconds
Armor 0+4/0 0+6/0 0+6/0 0+8/0 0+6/0 0+4/0
Attack 6+1 6+1 6+2 6+1 6+1 6+1
Range 7+3 7+3 7+3 7+3 7+2 7+3
Extras +25% movement speed +2 Line of Sight

Further statistics[]

Strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Archers
Weak vs. Priests, cavalry
Attack Alchemy Alchemy (+1)
Range Woodworking Woodworking (+1)
Artisanship Artisanship (+1)
Craftsmanship Craftsmanship (+1)
Accuracy Ballistics Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor Leatherarmorarchersicon Leather Armor Archers (+2/+0)
Scalearmorarchersicon Scale Armor Archers (+2/+0)
Chainmailarchersicon Chain Mail Archers (+2/+0)
Creation speed RoR Conscription Conscription (+25%)
Civilization bonuses
Hit points Carthaginians AoE Carthaginians (+25%)
Attack Hittites AoE Hittites (+1)
Armor Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet (+2/0)
Movement speed Persians AoE Persians (+25%)
Resource cost Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians (-25%)
Creation speed Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet (+25%)
Team bonuses
Line of Sight Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians (+2)


ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

  • Elephant Archers cost 180 food, 60 gold, have 5 attack, and 5 frame delay
  • Persian Elephant Archers move 56% faster.

Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Elephant Archers cost 180 food, 45 gold. With update 46777, they cost 180 food, 60 gold.
  • Elephant Archers have 6 attack. With update 38862, they have 5 attack again. With update 46777, they have 6 attack again.
  • Elephant Archers have 20 frame delay.
  • Persian Elephant Archers initially move 20% faster. With update 38862, they move 25% faster.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Upon release, Elephant Archers cost 180 food, 45 gold. With hotfix 85208, they cost 180 food, 60 gold again.
  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans (team bonus): Technologies benefiting Elephant Archers are researched 30% faster.
  • Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians (team bonus): Elephant Archers have +2 Line of Sight.


Attempting to use elephants in combat posed a number of problems, including the central one of how the elephant would fight and cause casualties. One answer was to place a box on the elephant's back from which archers could shoot. The archers were protected by the box and could fire down into the melee below. That worked only as long as the elephant remained standing and within range of the enemy. In the years following the death of Alexander the Great, many western kings adorned their armies with elephants but they were rarely effective. Armies of ancient India used elephants more successfully for many centuries.
Age of Empires manual


  • A Carthaginian Elephant Archer, alongside the Carthaginian War Elephant and Armored Elephant, has the highest hit points of any unit in the game, all with 750.
  • Before the Definitive Edition, the Elephant units (i.e. the War Elephant line and the Elephant Archer) used an African Savannah Elephant, which is inaccurate, as they have never been successfully used in warfare in any significant capacity. Since the Definitive Edition, the elephants were made smaller to depict the North African forest elephant (also informally called Carthaginian Elephants), which is an extinct subspecies of elephants that was present in North Africa and often utilised for warfare by various South European and North African cultures, most notably by the Carthaginians during the Punic Wars. The Indian empires used the larger Indian Elephants, which were also acquired by their neighbours, such as the Persians.


Tech tree[]

Archery Range
Returnofrome greek barracks icon Barracks
Stone Age Icon (DE)
Tool Age Icon (DE)
Bronze Age Icon (DE)
Iron Age Icon (DE)
Aoede bowman available
Aoede improved bowman available
Aoe improved bow icon Improved Bow
Composite Bowman
Chariot Archer
Wheelicon Wheel
Horse Archer
Aoede heavy horse archer available
Elephant Archer

Units in Age of Empires
CivilianReturnofrome female villager icon Villager · Returnofrome trade cart icon Trade Cart
OtherAoE2 DE priest icon Priest · Slinger-0 Slinger · Returnofrome artifact icon Artifact
Civilian ship1 Fishing Boat Fishing Boat · 2 Fishing Ship Fishing Ship
3 Trade Boat Trade Boat · 4 Merchant Ship Merchant Ship
InfantryClubman Clubman · AxemanAoEDE Axeman
Short Swordsman Short Swordsman · Broad Swordsman Broad Swordsman · AoE nuRoR Long Swordsman icon Long Swordsmen · Returnofrome legionary icon Legionary
HopliteDE Hoplite · AoE nuRoR Phalangite icon Phalangite · Returnofrome centurion icon Centurion
ArcherBowman aoe1de Bowman
Improved Bowman22 Improved Bowman · Composite Bowman Composite Bowman
Chariot Archer111 Chariot Archer
Horse Archer Horse Archer · Returnofrome heavy horse archer icon Heavy Horse Archer
EAICON DE Elephant Archer
CavalryScout-0 Scout
ChariotDE Chariot · ScytheDE Scythe Chariot
Cavalry111 Cavalry · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon Heavy Cavalry · Returnofrome cataphract icon Cataphract
War ElephantDE War Elephant · Returnofrome armored elephant icon Armored Elephant
Camel RiderDE Camel Rider
SiegeStone ThrowerDE Stone Thrower · CatapultDE Catapult · Returnofrome heavy catapult icon Heavy Catapult
BallistaDE Ballista · Returnofrome helepolis icon Helepolis
War Ship7 Scout Ship Scout Ship · 8 War Galley War Galley · 9 Trireme Trireme
Catapult Trireme Catapult Trireme · Returnofrome juggernaut icon Juggernaut
10 Fire Galley Fire Galley
5 Light Transport Light Transport · 6 Heavy Transport Heavy Transport
Scenario Editor-only units
Short Swordsman Chieftain · Donkey caravan aoe2DE Donkey · Clubman Explorer · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon General · AoE2 DE priest icon High Priest · Returnofrome horse icon Horse · HeavyCavalryDE Mercenary (removed) · Penguin aoe2DE Penguin · AoE2 DE priest icon Pharaoh · 5 Light Transport Raft · Returnofrome artifact icon War Chest