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The leader of your colony. Explores, fights, builds Town Centers and Trading Posts. Cannot die. If he falls unconscious, he can be rescued.
—In-game description

The Explorer is a hero in Age of Empires III. It explores uncharted areas of the map and has some special abilities to help itself and its colony. In standard random map games, all European civilizations start with an Explorer.

Overview[]

The Explorer can build Town Centers and Trading Posts. This allows the player a second attempt at rebuilding if their original colony was destroyed, provided that they have enough resources to build one and train Settlers (except for the Ottomans, who get them for free). He builds a Trading Post faster than regular Settlers, nearing that of a Coureur des Bois or a Settler Wagon.

The Explorer can explore and fight longer if he has a few units accompanying him. He can regenerate hit points, which increases as the player Ages up. Explorers are very ineffective at raiding enemy settlements early in the game, as they only deal 25% damage against villager-type units. They are also very weak against Spies and Ninja.

Unlike other units who simply die when their hit points reach 0, the Explorer will collapse. While the Explorer is in this state, the player can either pay 100 coin as ransom to whoever dealt the final blow (including Mother Nature) or help him back up on his feet with an allied unit or building (this also includes projectiles fired from friendly units); in order to rescue the Explorer, he must have at least 100 hit points.

Several "El Pollo Guapo" treasures, found on specific North American random maps, can provide additional stats such as a 20% speed boost or 20-100% hit point boost, which stacks with other treasures and technologies.

Every European civilization has a unique Home City Card for their Explorer, which improves his fighting ability and sends him a companion Explorer Dog. The Spanish Explorer, already having War Dogs of his own, does not get an Explorer Dog; instead it boosts the hit points and attack of his War Dogs.

Special abilities[]

  • Sharpshooter attack.png Sharpshooter Attack: The Explorer fires a shot that does 750 ranged damage to the target treasure guardian. 60 seconds cooldown.
  • Sharpshooter attack.png Eye of the Assassin (available on the Industrial Age): The Explorer fires a shot that does 475 (5 against Spies and Ninja) ranged damage to the target enemy infantry or cavalry. 90 seconds cooldown.
  • Spyglass.png Spyglass: The Portuguese Explorer reveals a radius of 18 (24 if the "Navigator" Home City Card is sent) centered on the target location for 5 seconds. 90 seconds cooldown (shared across all Portuguese Explorers if the "Bandeirantes" card is sent).
  • Hot air balloon icon.png Hot Air Balloon (requires the "Hot Air Balloon" card in the original Age of Empires III or The Inventor Commerce Age politician in the Definitive Edition): The Explorer spawns a Hot Air Balloon that remains for 20 seconds. 240 seconds cooldown.
  • Swashbuckler attack.png Swashbuckler Attack (requires the "Captain" card): The British Explorer performs a sweeping hand attack that does 100 (25 against villagers, Spies, and Ninja) melee damage to the target enemy and other enemies in a radius of 3 around the Explorer. 90 seconds cooldown.
  • Heavy Strike.png Heavy Strike (requires the "Duelist" card): The Swedish Explorer lands a powerful blow with the sword that does 30 (600 against Treasure Guardians) melee damage to the target enemy. 30 seconds cooldown.
  • Heal ability.png Heal (requires the "Voyageur" card): The French Explorer restores 400 hit points to friendly units in a radius of 10 centered on the target location. 120 seconds cooldown.

Upgrades[]

The Explorer is automatically upgraded on each Age starting from the Commerce Age.

  • Colonial age up.png +25% hit points and attack
  • Fortress age up.png +30% hit points and attack
  • Industrial age up.png +40% hit points and attack
  • Imperial age up.png +50% hit points

The attack increase also applies to the Explorer's special abilities.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Treasure Guardians
Weak vs. Villagers, cavalry, Spies, Ninja
Improvements
Hit points Flint lock.png Flint Lock (+10%)
Knighthood.png Knighthood (+1,000)
Peerage.png Peerage (+1,000)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (+20%; British only)
Aztec initiation.png Aztec Initiation (+100%; vanilla Age of Empires III only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Sikh Gurus.png Sikh Gurus (+50%)
Attack Paper cartridge.png Paper Cartridge (+10%)
Peerage.png Peerage (+100%)
Aztec initiation.png Aztec Initiation (+100%; vanilla Age of Empires III only)
Iroquois lacrosse.png Iroquois Lacrosse (+10%; vanilla Age of Empires III only)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Smokeless Powder.png Smokeless Powder (+30% siege attack)
Clenched Fist.png Clenched Fist (+30% melee attack)
Armor Somali oryx shields.png Somali Oryx Hide Shields (additional 10% melee/ranged resistance)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+20%; Germans only)
Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Akan Drums.png Akan Fontomfrom (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Other Carib Ambush Party.png Carib Ambush Party (train Carib Ambushers)
Loyal Nootka Warchief.png Loyal Nootka War Chief (train Nootka War Chief)
Penalties Knighthood.png Knighthood (+50 ransom cost)
Peerage.png Peerage (+50 ransom cost)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed; British only)
Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed; Dutch only)

Home City Cards[]

Click for a list of Home City Cards related to the Explorer
Green: TEAM Shipment that is sent to each player in a team

British[]

Card Description Age HC level
British Home City 1 (Captain).png Captain The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack, and can use Swashbuckler Attack; Ships an Explorer Dog
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
1

Dutch[]

Card Description Age HC level
Dutch Home City 1 (Stadhouder).png Stadhouder The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack, and build Town Centers for 300 wood; Ships an Explorer Dog
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
1
Dutch Home City 2 (Infantry Hitpoints).png TEAM Infantry Hitpoints Infantry get +15% hit points
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10

Ethiopians[]

Card Description Age
Ethiopian Home City 2 (TEAM Coffee Consumption).png TEAM Coffee Consumption Ranged Infantry get +5% speed
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png

Europeans[]

Card Description Age HC level
Spanish Home City 1 (Hot Air Balloon).png Hot Air Balloon The Explorer can summon a Hot Air Balloon to explore the map for a limited time
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10
British Home City 3 (Castramentation).png Castrametation Fort build limit +1; The Explorer can build Forts; Ships 1 Fort Wagon
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
25

French[]

Card Description Age HC level
Voyageur.png Voyageur The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack, and can use Heal; Ships an Explorer Dog
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
1
French Home City 2 (Ranged Infantry Attack).png TEAM Ranged Infantry Attack Ranged Infantry get +15% attack
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10

Germans[]

Card Description Age HC level
German Home City 1 (Buergerminster).png Buergermeister The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack, and build Town Centers and Trading Posts twice as fast; Ships an Explorer Dog
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
1

Haudenosaunee[]

Card Description Age HC level
Iroquois Home City 2 (Scout Infantry).png TEAM Scout Infantry Infantry get +8 LOS
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
10

Incas[]

Card Description Age
Inca Home City 2 (TEAM Inca Bridges).png TEAM Inca Bridges Infantry and civilian units get +5% speed; +1 Chasqui
Age I tech tree aoe3.png

Indians[]

Card Description Age HC level
Shivajis tactics.png TEAM Shivaji's Tactics All units get +5% hit points and attack
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
25

Ottomans[]

Card Description Age HC level
Ottoman Home City 1 (Agha).png Agha The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack, and +1 speed; Ships an Explorer Dog
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
1

Portuguese[]

Card Description Age HC level
Portuguese Home City 1 (Navigators).png Navigator The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack, and +6 AOE for his Spyglass; Ships an Explorer Dog
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
1
Portuguese Home City 1 (2 Explorers).png Bandeirantes Ships 1 additional Explorer
Age II tech tree aoe3.png
25
Portuguese Home City 2 (Gunpowder Infantry Hitpoints).png TEAM Gunpowder Infantry Hitpoints Gunpowder Infantry get +15% hit points
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
10

Russians[]

Card Description Age HC level
Russian Home City 1 (Polar Explorer).png Polar Explorer The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack, and +2.0x multiplier against treasure guardians; Ships an Explorer Dog
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
1
Russian Home City 2 (Ransack).png Ransack Infantry get +50% siege attack
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
25

Spanish[]

Card Description Age HC level
Conquistador (AoE3 Home City Card).png Conquistador The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack; War Dogs get +20% hit points and attack
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
1
TEAM Explorer Combat.png TEAM Explorer Combat Heroes get +20% hit points and attack
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
1
Spanish Home City 3 (Inquisition).png TEAM Inquisition All units get +10 LOS
Age I tech tree aoe3.png
10

Swedes[]

Card Description Age
Swedish Home City 1 (Duelist).png Duelist The Explorer gets +50% hit points and attack, and can use the Heavy Strike ability; also ships an Explorer Dog
Age I tech tree aoe3.png

Changelog[]

Age of Empires III[]

  • The Portuguese Explorer's Spyglass has a 120 second cooldown.
  • Hot Air Balloon requires the namesake Home City Card.
  • Eye of the Assassin deals 5000 damage.

Definitive Edition[]

  • The Portuguese Explorer's Spyglass now has a 90 second cooldown.
  • Hot Air Balloon now requires the player to advance to the Commerce Age with The Inventor.
  • Eye of the Assassin now deals 475 damage (still scales with Age to be an instant kill on all but the highest HP units, e.g. Mahout Lancers).
  • The "Castrametation" Home City Card now allows the Explorer to build Forts.

Trivia[]

History[]

Explorers set out for the New World with a variety of backgrounds and missions. Some were nobles seeking fame and wealth; others were slaves forced to accompany their masters. Some wanted to claim new lands for the nations that sponsored their voyages; others wanted to explore the lands, their peoples, and the flora and fauna.

Estevanico was a slave from Morocco, sold to the Spaniard Andres de Dorantes. Dorantes joined an expedition to explore the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico. The ill-fated venture ended with only eighty of the original crew floating on makeshift rafts, only two of which landed on the shores of Texas near Galveston with neither food, nor water. Dorantes and Estevanico set out on their own, traveling west and south. They were captives for five years, faith healers, and legends amongst the Native Americans of the area. They eventually reached Mexico City where the viceroy refused to allow Dorantes to search Texas for the Seven Cities of Gold. Dorantes sold Estevanico to the viceroy and left for Spain.

Estevanico accompanied a missionary, Father Marcos de Niza, north ranging ahead and speaking to the Native Americans he encountered about the white men following in his wake. Estevanico had runners carry crosses back to Father Niza, their size indicating the promise of the region. Each new cross that Father Niza received was larger than the previous cross, and then he received one that was massive. Estevanico had discovered a Zuni pueblo; it is unknown whether he thought this pueblo was one of the Cities of Gold, but he spent an evening camped outside the town. In the morning, the Zuni attacked and killed him, fearing his presence was a bad omen.

Gallery[]

See also[]

  • War Chief – fulfills the same role for Native American civilizations
  • Monk – fulfills the same role for Asian civilizations
  • General – fulfills the same role for the United States and the Mexicans
  • Ras – fulfills the same role for the Ethiopians
  • Emir – fulfills the same role for the Hausa
  • Grand Master – fulfills the same role for the Maltese
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