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).

The Elephant Archer is a ranged cavalry unit in Age of Empires. It is by far the strongest, most durable cavalry archer type in the game.

It is not an upgrade of any archer unit, nor does it require any prerequisite technology to research. The Elephant Archer combines the hit points of the War Elephant and the attack strength and range of the Composite Bowman.

This unit is the predecessor of the unit with the same name in Age of Empires II .

Unit availability
Available Unavailable

Gameplay Edit

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 sometimes 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 lacks 2 range points and the difference in speed is minimal compared to a fast ranged unit. 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 and the opponent isn't using Priests or Centurions then Elephant Archers are good as a backup unit.

Upgrades Edit

Tool Age Edit

Bronze Age Edit

Iron Age Edit

Archery Range Tree
Tool Age
Archery Range
Bronze Age
Improved bowman
Improved Bowman
Chariot Archer
Composite Bowman
Iron Age
Horse Archer
Elephant Archer
Heavy Horse Archer

Civilization bonuses Edit

Changelog Edit

Age of Empires Edit

  • Elephant Archers cost 180F/60G.
  • Elephant Archers have 5 attack.
  • Persian Elephant Archers move +56% (stated +50%) faster.

Definitive Edition Edit

  • Elephant Archers now cost 180F/45G (down from 180F/60G).
  • Elephant Archers now have 6 attack (up from 5).
  • Persian Elephant Archers now move +20% faster (down from +56%).

History Edit

"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."