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Slow and heavy cavalry.
Age of Empires II description

The Elite Battle Elephant is a cavalry unit in Age of Empires II HD: Rise of the Rajas that can be trained at the Stable once the Imperial Age is reached. It is a slow yet very powerful and resilient cavalry unit, in some way similar to the Elite War Elephant, but weaker and cheaper. It is considered a regional unit, as it is only available to Southeast Asian civilizations, Bengalis, and Vietnamese. All civilizations that have access to Battle Elephants (except the Dravidians) can upgrade them to Elite Battle Elephants and have special bonuses and/or technologies that benefit them. Elite Battle Elephants deal 25% trample damage.


Elite Battle Elephants are tough, durable and costly, similar to Persian Elite War Elephants, but on a lesser scale. They are characterized by high hit points, moderately slow speed and very high food costs. They are brute force units which deal trample damage, making them more effective as the size of army grows. As bulky melee units with high attack and trample damage, they are great against melee units, even if latter have some mild attack bonuses. Heavy Camel Riders do not perform well against Elephants, unlike regular Cavalry. Despite being slow and unable to catch even foot archers, they have enough hit points to survive archer fire for a long time. Even the worst Elite Battle Elephants survive 50 Arbalester shots, same as an Elite Boyar. As such, they are also good as a meatshield for allied ranged units.

They take almost double bonus damage from Spear units and Kamayuks. As high-value and slow units, they are the prime target for enemy Monks. By design, elephant civilizations lack Heresy. Elite Mamelukes are particularly effective against them with hit-and-run tactics, high base melee attack, and attack bonus. Further, Flaming Camels deal bonus damage for a total of 200 damage (before armor and blast distance are taken into account) against elephant units, and are thus extremely lethal against packed groups of Elite Battle Elephants. All counters of Elite Battle Elephants can be dealt with foot archers, which happen to be cheap and have almost the same movement speed after Husbandry.

Cavaliers may be preferred to Elite Battle Elephants for the Burmese and Khmer as Imperial Age cavalry when need be, because Elite Battle Elephants are slower and more expensive. The Bengalis can use their unique unit, the Ratha, to transform their military. They shine in pitched battles, not raiding. Another factor contributing for the use of the Elite Battle Elephant is lack of Paladin for elephant civilizations. One last advantage Elite Battle Elephants have over other units is a population efficiency factor, which is particularly important in the late Imperial Age when players reach their population limit and the only way to keep improving the army is by training units with better stats. Also, each civilization that has access to Elite Battle Elephants has specialties that benefit them, which makes their use different:

Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis[]

Bengali Elite Battle Elephants take -25% bonus damage, are more resistant to conversion, and attack 20% faster with Paiks. As such, Halberdiers and Monks are less effective. They are also more effective in melee combat and taking down buildings due to Paiks. Since the Bengalis have very confined tactics due to lacking military tree, Elephants and Rathas are the only two effective military choices for Bengalis.

It is possible for the Bengalis to make a triple elephant composition which includes the Armored Elephant, Battle Elephant, and Elephant Archer, though it costs a lot and is mostly only seen in the very late game.

Burmese AoE2 Burmese[]

Burmese Elite Battle Elephants have +1/+1 armor. Both Burmese unique technologies benefit their Battle Elephants, too: Howdah gives them +1/+1 armor (for a total of +2/+2 armor in combination with their civilization bonus) and Manipur Cavalry gives +4 attack bonus against archers. Burmese Elite Battle Elephants are a strong option against archers, while being respectable against melee units too. With Howdah researched, an Arbalester only deals 1 damage per hit to a Burmese Elite Battle Elephant if both players have all Imperial Age Blacksmith technologies researched.

Since the Burmese have no concrete answer to ranged units due to abysmal Elite Skirmishers and lacking other forms of anti-archer units, their Elite Battle Elephants may be a delay and protect their common used unit - Arambai - to deal with.

Khmer AoE2 Khmer[]

Khmer Elite Battle Elephants move 10% faster and get +3 attack from Tusk Swords. This probably makes the Khmer Elephants the most rounded Elephants, being good against melee units and buildings due to the latter, and foot archers due to the former. Elite Battle Elephants can reach 21 attack there, a value that makes them very dangerous offensive tools. It is possible for the Khmer to perform a "Battle Elephant rush". Thanks to the Khmer good food economy, civilization bonus, and unique technology, they have the strongest Battle Elephants throughout the game.

The Khmer can also add their excellent Scorpions to aid their Elephants against most units.

Malay AoE2 Malay[]

Malay Elite Battle Elephants are very cheap, costing -35% (65 food, 46 gold). They are much less dangerous individually, lacking even Chain Barding Armor. The lack of Bloodlines is unpleasant, but much less significant. They are still ready to be used against melee units, especially considering that the Malay are the only civilization with access to Battle Elephants who have Heresy.

However, the Malay Elite Battle Elephants have the same resistance against ranged attack as Elite Boyars, while costing almost the same as Elite Steppe Lancer. The Malay Elite Battle Elephant can be seen as the "Leitis" of Elephants, crushing every thing in melee combat (thanks to cheaper cost), but dying to archers unlike others.

Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese[]

Vietnamese Elite Battle Elephants are the most tanky of them all as they get another 100 HP out of the Chatras technology. They get all relevant upgrades except Blast Furnace, which neither hurts Elephants in general, nor is it a problem for Vietnamese ones which are meant to be a meatshield for their excellent archers. The Vietnamese are the only Elephant civilization whose Elephants play a supportive role, and also with the best foot archers. The combination of Battle Elephants + Rattan Archers is very hard to deal with.

Comparison among civilizations[]

Civilization Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis Burmese AoE2 Burmese Khmer AoE2 Khmer Malay AoE2 Malay Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
Cost 100 food, 70 gold 100 food, 70 gold 100 food, 70 gold 65 food, 46 gold 100 food, 70 gold
Hit Points 320 320 320 300 420
Attack 14+4 14+4 14+7 14+4 14+2
Rate of Fire 1.666 2 2 2 2
Armor 1+3/3+4 1+5/3+6 1+3/3+4 1+1/3+1 1+3/3+4
Movement Speed 0.99 0.99 1.08 0.99 0.99
Extras Resistant to conversion
-25% bonus damage
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max) is 50% cheaper
+4 attack vs archers
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Most melee units, buildings, Resistant to most foot archers
Weak vs. Halberdiers, Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Mamelukes, mounted archers, Monks, War Elephants, Flaming Camels
Hit points BloodlinesDE Bloodlines (+20)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Chatras (+100, Vietnamese only)
Attack Forging aoe2de Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace (+2)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Tusk Swords (+3, Khmer only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Manipur Cavalry (+4 against archers, Burmese only)
Firing rate UniqueTechCastle-DE Paiks (+20%, Bengalis only)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
UniqueTechImperialDE Howdah (+1/+1, Burmese only)
Speed HusbandryDE Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted) (Malay only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Elite Battle Elephants have an attack of 16.
  • Elite Battle Elephants train in 28 seconds.
  • Elite Battle Elephants deal 50% trample damage.
  • Elite Battle Elephants have 10 bonus damage against buildings and stone defenses.
  • Elite Battle Elephants cost 120 food, 70 gold.
  • Initially, Elite Battle Elephants have a blast radius of 0.5. With patch 5.7, the radius is 0.4.
  • Burmese AoE2 Burmese: Initially, Howdah increases the armor of Elite Battle Elephants by +1/+2. With patch 5.7, the effect is lowered to +1/+1.
  • Burmese AoE2 Burmese: Initially, Manipur Cavalry gives Elite Battle Elephants +6 attack against buildings. With patch 5.3, the bonus is spread over the two building classes (building and standard building) equally.
  • Khmer AoE2 Khmer: Elite Battle Elephants are 15% faster.
  • Malay AoE2 Malay: Initially, Elite Battle Elephants are 20% cheaper. With patch 5.3, the bonus is increased to 25%. With patch 5.7, the bonus is increased to 30%.
  • Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese: Initially, Chatras gives Elite Battle Elephants +30 HP. With patch 5.7, the bonus is increased to +50 HP.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Elite Battle Elephants have an attack of 14.
  • With update 34699, Elite Battle Elephants train in 24 seconds.
  • With update 39284, Elite Battle Elephants deal 25% trample damage.
  • With update 42848, Elite Battle Elephants have 7 bonus damage against buildings and stone defenses.
  • Burmese AoE2 Burmese: With update 37650, Manipur Cavalry gives Elite Battle Elephants +6 attack against standard buildings and no damage against buildings, so it does not get partially negated by Masonry.
  • Khmer AoE2 Khmer: With update 42848, Elite Battle Elephants are 10% faster.
  • Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese: Husbandry added to their technology tree.

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • With update 87863, Elite Battle Elephants' Line of Sight was increased from 5 to 8.

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]

  • With update 95810, Elite Battle Elephant base movement speed increased from 0.85 to 0.88.

Aoe2 hb Victors and Vanquished[]

  • With update 111772, Elite Battle Elephant cost decreased from 110 food, 70 gold to 100 food, 70 gold, and base movement speed increased from 0.88 to 0.9.
  • Malay AoE2 Malay: With update 111772, the Battle Elephant discount civilization bonus was decreased from -40% in the Imperial Age to -35%.


There are two heroes in the game with the appearance of an Elite Battle Elephant:


  • The rider of the Elite Battle Elephant (and its standard counterpart) is wielding a ngao, a long polearm weapon meant to be used to attack ground troops below the elephant. While the rider is seen using it during the attack animation in conjunction with the elephant, it is purely cosmetic.
    • Additionally, for the rider to be able to use the weapon, a second rider at the rear who acts as a dedicated mahout is required, as it is very hard to handle the animal while attacking at the same time. Even so, most of the war elephants in South East Asia utilized four riders; the front rider who wielding a kho ngao (a special variant of ngao with an additional hook to control the elephant in emergency cases) and giving the command to his rear counterpart, the rear rider/mahout who is mainly tasked with handling the animal, and two dedicated troops on a howdah, wielding various kinds of polearms to defend the ride.
  • After update 37650 of the Definitive Edition, elephant heads will appear peeking out of Transport Ships loaded with 10 Elite Battle Elephants or other elephant units.
  • Since update 54480, a fully upgraded Vietnamese Elite Battle Elephant has 420 HP, a value that is only beaten by the fully upgraded normal War Elephant (470 HP) and Elite War Elephant (620 HP), making it the unit with the second highest HP. Note that this is more than double the HP of a fully upgraded Paladin (180 HP). It can defeat the Burmese Elite Battle Elephant in 1 vs 1.
  • A fully upgraded Khmer Elite Battle Elephant has 21 attack, making them the Stable unit with the highest attack, as well as tied with the Aztec Champion and the Elite Teutonic Knight for the third highest attack of all land units outside of siege and gunpowder units, only behind the Elite Leitis with 4 Relics collected and the Elite Shotel Warrior with 22 attack, and the Elite War Elephant with 24 attack.
  • A fully upgraded Burmese Elite Battle Elephant has 9 pierce armor, making them the Stable unit with the highest pierce armor, as well as the melee cavalry with the highest one. Also, it is tied with the Elite Elephant Archer and the Tatar Elite Genitour for the highest one for any mounted unit, as well as with the Imperial Skirmisher, which has 9 pierce armor, for the third highest pierce armor in the game. This value is only beaten by the Elite Rattan Archer, the Elite Huskarl, the Inca Elite Eagle Warrior, the Lithuanian Elite Skirmisher with 10 pierce armor, and the Lithuanian Imperial Skirmisher with 11 pierce armor. It can take up to 320 Arbalester shots, which is more than the Elite War Elephant can take (207 shots). It is also the Stable unit with the second highest melee armor, with 6.
  • Elite Battle Elephants are the most nerfed unit, as their upgrade price and time, attacks, trample damage, and bonus against buildings have all been weakened, but with only train time reduced, mostly because they can turn the tide of team games in the late game and be very hard to counter, especially the Khmer one. Because of this, the Elite Battle Elephants from other civilizations suffered considerably from these changes, making them not as worthy to use. Due to this, all were buffed specifically to be better in combat in later updates (with the Burmese one getting back the former effect from the Howdah technology, the Malay Battle Elephant discount being bigger in the Imperial Age, and the Vietnamese Castle Age unique technology, Chatras, providing twice the hit points as before). It also made the Bengalis a very weak civilization due to the former nerf of this unit, which is a core unit for them. Further improvements were made for the unit, such as cheaper food cost, faster speed, cheaper upgrade cost (though still more expensive compared to at release) and more Line of Sight.
  • The fully upgraded Malay and Vietnamese Elite Battle Elephants lose to fully upgraded Elite Boyars in 1 vs 1 combat (since update 50292).
  • None of the Elite Battle Elephants are only just fully upgraded.
  • The Burmese are the only civilization with both unique technologies affecting Elephants.
  • The Vietnamese are the only civilization with no civilization bonus affecting Elephants directly.
  • The Malay are the only civilization with no unique technology affecting Elephants.



Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship