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Malian unique infantry unit with ranged melee attack. Fast-moving.
Age of Empires II description

The Gbeto is the unique unit of the Malians in Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms. It is a light and quick infantry unit with a high long-ranged attack. Gbetos attack by throwing knife-like weapons at the target.

Gbetos can be upgraded to Elite Gbetos in the Imperial Age.


Gbetos are ranged infantry units, dealing melee damage at range like the Mameluke and Throwing Axeman. They have the longest range of these units, the highest attack, and high movement speed. They are fragile by lack of any base armor and low hit points, but are capable of dealing out considerable damage readouts. Since they move quite fast, they can employ hit-and-run tactics against all other infantry apart from Elite Eagle Warriors, Woad Raiders, and Celtic Condottieri. But by using their range and high melee attack, they can defeat Eagle Warriors quickly, so in total they are effective against the entire infantry branch bar the Teutonic Knight.

Despite their good base range, Gbetos can be outranged by foot archers and are vulnerable against most ranged units due to their low HP and pierce armor. Onagers and Heavy Scorpions can be lethal for Gbetos, but with good micromanagement, they can effectively get close to the machines and destroy them. In any case it is recommended to only use a small army for that tactic, as hits taken have devastating effect. Hand Cannoneers are also quite effective against Gbetos.

Gbetos are in certain ways a better alternative to Cavalry Archers when it comes to hit-and-run attacks. First, because Gbetos deal melee damage, they can easily dispose of units with high pierce armor such as Huskarls, Elite Skirmishers, and Rams whereas Cavalry Archers will have some difficulty even when upgraded. Secondly, Gbetos do not share the former's weakness against Pikemen, and win even if the enemy gets close.

Gbetos are very versatile and can perform various roles effectively. For example, Gbetos upgraded with Arson can destroy unprotected bases quickly and retreat safely when the situation becomes disadvantageous. Gbetos also work well with cavalry units (especially Light Cavalry) because both are fast and can cover each other's weakness. Cavalry acts as meat shield and eliminates units dangerous to Gbetos (especially siege weapons and archers), while Gbetos provide additional damage from behind and protect the cavalry from Pikemen.

Comparison with other ranged melee units[]

Castle Age[]

ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower
Cost 55 food, 25 gold 50 food, 40 gold 65 food, 30 gold
Training time 17 seconds 17 seconds 15 seconds
Hit Points 60 40 40
Melee Attack 7 10 3
Attack Bonus +1 vs Eagle Warrior
+1 vs Standard Building
+1 vs Eagle Warrior +1 vs Eagle Warrior
+1 vs Standard Building
Range 3+1 5 5
Line of Sight Range + 2 Range + 1 Range + 2
Rate of Fire 2 2 2
Attack delay 1 1 0.8
Armor 0/0 0/0 1/0
Movement Speed 1 + 0.1 1.25 + 0.125 1.15
Upgrade Cost 1,000 food, 750 gold 900 food, 600 gold 1,000 food, 650 gold
Upgrade Time 45 seconds 45 seconds 45 seconds
Other properties Causes 100% pass-through damage

Imperial Age[]

ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Elite Throwing Axeman GbetoIcon-DE Elite Gbeto Aoe2de Chakram Elite Chakram Thrower
Cost 55 food, 25 gold 50 food, 40 gold 49 food, 30 gold
Training time 17 seconds 17 seconds 15 seconds
Hit Points 70 50 50
Melee Attack 8+2 13 4
Attack Bonus +2 vs Eagle Warrior
+2 vs Standard Building
+2 vs Eagle Warrior +2 vs Eagle Warrior
+2 vs Standard Building
+1 vs Infantry and Condottiero
Range 4+1 6 6
Line of Sight Range + 2 Range + 1 Range + 2
Rate of Fire 2 2 2
Attack delay 0.82 1 0.8
Armor 1/0 0/0 1/0
Movement Speed 1 + 0.1 1.25 + 0.125 1.15
Other properties Causes 100% pass-through damage

Comparison with other options[]

Castle Age[]

Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman
Cost 45 food, 20 gold 50 food, 40 gold 25 wood, 45 gold
Training time 21 seconds 17 seconds 27 seconds
Hit Points 60 40 35
Attack 9+2 melee 10+2 melee 5+2 pierce
Attack Bonus +6 vs Eagle Warrior
+3+2 vs Standard Building
+1 vs Eagle Warrior
0+2 vs Standard Building
+3 vs Spearmen
Range 0 5 5+2
Line of Sight 6 Range + 1 Range + 2
Rate of Fire 2 2 2-0.3
Attack delay N/A 1 0.35
Armor 1+2/1+4 0+2/0+2 0+2/0+2
Movement Speed 0.9 + 0.09 1.25 + 0.125 0.96
Upgrade Cost 300 food, 100 gold
750 food, 350 gold
900 food, 600 gold 450 food, 400 gold
Upgrade Time 60 seconds
85 seconds
45 seconds 50 seconds
Attack properties N/A Attacks in a straight line Can track moving targets

Imperial Age[]

Champion aoe2DE Champion GbetoIcon-DE Elite Gbeto Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cost 45 food, 20 gold 50 food, 40 gold 25 wood, 45 gold 45 food, 50 gold
Training time 21 seconds 17 seconds 27 seconds 34 seconds
Hit Points 70 50 40 40
Attack 13+2 melee 13+2 melee 6+3 pierce 17 pierce
Attack Bonus +8 vs Eagle Warrior
+4+2 vs Standard Building
+2 vs Eagle Warrior
0+2 vs Standard Building
+3 vs Spearman +10 vs Infantry
+2 vs Ram
+1 vs Spearman
Range 0 6 5+2 7
Line of Sight 7 Range + 1 Range + 2 Range + 2
Rate of Fire 2 2 2-0.3 3.45
Attack delay N/A 1 0.35 0.35
Armor 1+3/1+7 0+3/0+4 0+3/0+4 1+3/0+4
Movement Speed 0.9 + 0.09 1.25 + 0.124 0.96 0.96
Attack properties N/A Attacks in a straight line Can track moving targets Attacks in a straight line

Further statistics[]

As Gbetos are unique to the Malians, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Elite Skirmishers, Pikemen, Cavalry Archers, Battering Rams, infantry, Light Cavalry
Weak vs. Archers, Scorpions, Mangonels, Boyars, Teutonic Knights, Hand Cannoneers
Attack Forging aoe2de Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE Iron Casting (+1)
ArsonDE Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
Armor ScaleMailArmorDE Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)
ChainMailArmorDE Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
PlateMailArmorDE Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
Speed SquiresDE Squires (+10%)
Conversion defense Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Kasbah (+25%, with a Berber ally only)
Regeneration UniqueTechCastle-DE Stronghold (30 HP/min when within 18 tiles square of a team Celts Castle)
Upgrades EliteUniqueUnitDE Elite Gbeto

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • On release, Elite Gbetos had 14 attack. With patch 4.8, their attack is reduced to 13.
  • Gbetos have 30 hit points.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Tracking removed; all infantry now receive +2 LOS from the Feudal Age instead.
  • Initially, the Gbeto had an attack delay of 1.2. With update 42848, Gbetos have an attack delay of 1.0.

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]


There is one hero in the game with the appearance of a Gbeto:

  • Yodit aoe2DE Yodit (only in the HD Edition)


  • The Gbeto is the second trainable female unit, after the female Villager.
  • If a Gbeto is left idle, she will start throwing her kpinga vertically with one of her hands, and then catch the knife with the same hand.
  • In Fon language (a language native to Benin, a small West African nation), the word gbeto means "huntress". And according to Hélène d'Almeida-Topor (a French historian specialized in Dahomey history), the Dahomey Amazons (an all-female military regiment of Dahomey Kingdom located in today's Benin) were formed from elephant huntresses.[1][2] It is unknown why they were picked as the Malian unique unit since historically, they were not part of the Mali Empire; though there remains the possibility that the in-game Malian civilization represents not just the Mali empire but also other West African peoples, including the Fon, to whom the Gbeto and Dahomey Amazon belong.
  • The Gbeto is armed with a Kpinga throwing knife, which in real life is wielded by the Azande, not the Fon.
    • However, in her unit portrait, she wields historically accurate single-bladed & one-edged throwing knives that appear to resemble (the unrelated) Kukris.
  • A historically appropriate unique unit for the Malians would be the Mali Empire's elite cavalry corps, the Farari (sg. Farariya). Indeed, one type of farari is the namesake of Malians' unique technology Farimba ("great brave man").
  • The Gbeto appears as the Dahomey Amazon in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - The African Royals, being a mercenary ranged infantry.
  • Their counterparts in Age of Empires IV are the Musofadi Warrior and Musofadi Gunner, both of which are unique to the Malians.


Video overview[]


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