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This article is about the unit. For the technology, see Flaming Arrows.

Japanese cannon that shoots an exploding arrow. Better against infantry and artillery than buildings.
—In-game information

The Flaming Arrow is an artillery unit in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Japanese and can be trained at the Castle once the Fortress Age is reached, and by Shogun Tokugawa. As the name implies, it shoots flaming arrows effective against infantry, artillery, buildings, and ships.


Flaming Arrows play similarly to Falconets of most European civilizations. They are much weaker than Falconets, but have 2 more range and move as quick in Limber as in Bombard mode, making them more mobile in battle, but less mobile when repositioning armies. They can weaken formations of enemy infantry from a range and can sink ships very effectively as well. They are less effective against buildings than Falconets, but in groups can easily take them down. They have a far slower Rate of Fire, a slower attack animation and slightly smaller Area of Effect than Falconets and Horse Artillery, which makes their damage per second far lower. As with other artillery, they are weak against cavalry, shock infantry, and Culverins.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Honored siege.png Honored Flaming Arrow 250 food,
250 wood
Upgrades Flaming Arrows to Honored (+25% hit points and attack, +0.5× multiplier vs. artillery)
Imperial Age
Exalted siege.png Exalted Flaming Arrow 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrades Flaming Arrows to Exalted (+50% hit points and attack, and +2 range and LOS); requires Honored Flaming Arrow

Further statistics[]

As Flaming Arrows are unique to the Japanese, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry, artillery, ships, buildings
Weak vs. Cavalry, Culverins, Arrow Knights
Hit points Professional gunners.png Professional Gunners (+10%)
Attack Heated Shot.png Heated Shot (+1.5x multiplier vs. ships)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Gunners Quadrant.png Gunner's Quadrant (+6)
Speed Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-10%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Flaming Arrows are unique to the Japanese, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


The Asian Dynasties[]

  • Exalted Flaming Arrow increases Flaming Arrow attack and hit points by 50%.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Exalted Flaming Arrow increases Flaming Arrow attack and hit points by 50%, and grants +2 range and Line of Sight.
  • Flaming Arrows have a x0.5 multiplier vs Arrow Knights.


The flaming arrow was exactly what its name suggests, a barbed projectile fired, in most cases, from a European cannon, as the Japanese had not developed effective artillery of their own. Each arrow was wrapped with a flammable covering and ignited. There was also a more explosive version, on which gunpowder was encased in a ball located just below the barbed tip. When fired, a flaming arrow would bury itself in the wood of a gate or wall and burn, hopefully setting the whole structure ablaze.

Japanese daimyo, Tokugawa Ieyasu, had a keen interest in building more advanced artillery for his armies. He leveraged his connections with English and Dutch traders to import a variety of European model cannons. It is believed that he utilized these weapons, as well as the flaming arrow, in sieges during the famous Sekigahara campaign of 1600 that eventually led to the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate.