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Stronger than Cannon Galleon. Long-range warship used to attack targets on shore to establish beachhead.
Age of Empires II description

The Elite Cannon Galleon is a naval vessel in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Dock in the Imperial Age. As an upgrade of the Cannon Galleon, it has an even longer range and more attack, but remains weak against other ships. It excels at destroying immobile targets on land.

Unit availability
Available Unavailable

The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Elite Cannon Galleons, i.e. gets Dry Dock. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.

The ^ indicates that the civilization has at least one civilization or team bonus or a unique technology that benefits the combat strength of the Elite Cannon Galleon.


Elite Cannon Galleons have an exceptionally long range and deal bonus damage against buildings. They can outrange Castles and Bombard Towers, so they are almost the sea-going equivalent to Bombard Cannons, only being slightly faster. They deal huge damage, but their slow rate of fire and very slow projectile speed makes it weak and ineffective against Galleons and other ships, particularly Fire Ships.

Elite Cannon Galleons should be always deployed with an escort, most likely Fire Ships and Galleons. As they outrange Towers and Castles, Elite Cannon Galleons must almost always be used for dealing with such structures that deal bonus damage against ships.

Generally speaking, Elite Cannon Galleons should only be used to clear the shoreline off enemy buildings, and not be put against enemy ships.

Spanish Elite Cannon Galleons are significantly better than the ones of all other civilizations, because their projectiles are much faster (7 tiles/second instead of 3 tiles/s) and hit moving targets with Ballistics-like behavior (The Ballistics research is not required). They also fire 18% faster since update 42848.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings
Weak vs. Ships, Bombard Cannons, Monks
Range Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Artillery (+2, Turks only)
Accuracy Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Arquebus (hit moving targets, Portuguese only)
Armor CareeningDE.png Careening (+0/+1)
CastleAgeUnique.png Carrack (+1/+1, Portuguese only)
Speed DryDockDE.png Dry Dock (+15%)
UniqueTechCastle-DE.png Wagenburg Tactics (+15%, Bohemians only)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
Creation speed ShipwrightDE.png Shipwright (+54%)
Train cost ShipwrightDE.png Shipwright (-20% wood)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Berbers: Elite Cannon Galleons move 10% faster.
  • Burgundians: Elite Cannon Galleons have +25% attack.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Hindustanis: Elite Cannon Galleons have +1/+1 armor.
  • Italians: Elite Cannon Galleons are 20% cheaper. Researching Chemistry, Careening, Dry Dock, and Shipwright is 33% cheaper.
  • Koreans: Elite Cannon Galleons cost -20% wood.
  • Persians: Elite Cannon Galleons are created 20% faster. Careening and Dry Dock are researched 20% faster.
  • Portuguese: Elite Cannon Galleons have +10% HP and cost -20% gold. Upgrades that benefit Elite Cannon Galleons are researched 30% faster.
  • Spanish: Elite Cannon Galleons fire 18% faster, and have Ballistics-like accuracy and faster missiles.
  • Tatars: Elite Cannon Galleons deal +25% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations.
  • Turks: Elite Cannon Galleons have +25% HP.
  • Vikings: Elite Cannon Galleons are 20% cheaper.

Team bonuses[]

  • A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
  • A team containing Turks: Elite Cannon Galleons are created 25% faster.
  • A team containing Teutons: Elite Cannon Galleons are more resistant to conversion.


The Age of Kings[]

  • Shipwright only reduces the wood cost by 20%.
  • Mongols: Can train Elite Cannon Galleons.
  • Turks: Elite Cannon Galleons have 150 HP. Due to a bug, Elite Cannon Galleons do not benefit from the civilization bonus that gives all other gunpowder units +50% HP.

The Conquerors[]

  • With patch 1.0b, Shipwright also decreases train time by 35% now.
  • Heresy introduced.
  • Spanish: Elite Cannon Galleon's projectiles are affected by the technology Ballistics and are 4× faster.
  • Turks: Artillery introduced. Elite Cannon Galleons now benefit from the civilization bonus and have +25% HP (the bonus was reduced).
  • Koreans: Cannot train Elite Cannon Galleons.

The Forgotten[]

  • Italians: Elite Cannon Galleons are 15% cheaper.
  • Mongols: Elite Cannon Galleon removed from technology tree.
  • Spanish: Elite Cannon Galleons fire with Ballistics-like accuracy (without need for the technology itself) and their cannonballs move at 7 tiles/s (~3.6× faster).

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Italians: With patch 4.8, Elite Cannon Galleons are now 20% cheaper.
  • Portuguese: Elite Cannon Galleons cost -15% gold.

Definitive Edition[]

Lords of the West[]

Dawn of the Dukes[]

  • Since update 54480, Elite Cannon Galleons' projectile speed is increased from 1.95 to 3.

Dynasties of India[]

  • With update 61321, siege units and ships are now resistant to armor-ignoring attacks similarly to buildings.


  • If an Elite Cannon Galleon is created in the Scenario Editor for a player that is not in the Post-Imperial Age, it will be able to do actions like follow or protect other units, which it can't do when created during a game.
  • The Elite Cannon Galleon is the naval unit with the longest base range (15), and has the second longest base range of all units, just behind the Trebuchet. The Turkish Elite Cannon Galleon gets a +2 range bonus from their unique technology, making it the unit with the second longest range, tied at 17 with any regular Trebuchet with Siege Engineers researched, a value that is only beaten by the Tatar Trebuchet with Timurid Siegecraft researched (19 range).
  • Before the Definitive Edition, Cannon Galleons and Elite Cannon Galleons shared the same icon and model. They were the only non-unique units to do so. However, in the Definitive Edition, Elite Cannon Galleons have a new unique model and icon.
  • Said shared model (retained by the unupgraded Cannon Galleon in the Definitive Edition) is armed with a Late Medieval Bombard Cannon that is lashed to the ship, implying that it was put on a ship not designed to carry cannons (as referenced in the History section). In contrast, the Elite Cannon Galleon is armed with a more advanced bronze Culverin from the 16th century, with trunnions, and the ship's bow has a figurehead.
  • The in-game description of the Elite Cannon Galleon upgrade mentions that it has an extra +100 anti-building bonus over the Cannon Galleon. In reality, it only has an extra +75 anti-building bonus.
  • Before the introduction of the Burgundians, none of the Western European civilizations have access to it in the Definitive Edition .


Primitive cannon were first mounted on ships in the fourteenth century. These were mounted in the stern or bow for firing forward or aft. Small weapons were mounted on the rails for use against enemy crews in close action. The first ship built specifically for carrying cannon appeared in 1406. Effectively mounting a large number of cannons on a ship took many years to work out. It required new designs to compensate for the enormous weight of the guns high on the ship’s sides. Tackle had to be designed to allow the guns to be fired and reloaded safely. Safe procedures were also needed for storing and accessing powder. Useful cannon galleons did not appear until late in the Middle Ages.