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This article is about the Swedish unit in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. For the mercenary in the original Age of Empires III, see Hackapell.

Heavy Hand cavalry from Finland with a powerful short-ranged attack.
—In-game description

The Hakkapelit is a heavy cavalry in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition that is unique to the Swedes and can be trained at the Stable, Fort, and Galleon. It is a very powerful but frail melee cavalry who can also attack from short ranges with a carbine.


The Hakkapelit is a heavy cavalry that is similar to the German Uhlan in terms of hit points and melee attack. They do, however, have a ranged attack that is very powerful, but with a short range. This makes them the only heavy cavalry in the game that has a ranged attack, aside from Harquebusiers, which are mercenaries, and Rifle Riders, which have both heavy cavalry and light cavalry tags. It is possible to access Hakkapelits in the Commerce Age by sending the "March of the Hakkapelits" Home City Card, which converts all Hussars into Hakkapelits.

Their ranged attack is very lethal, due to high base damage and quick rate of fire, and also has an area of effect. Due to the inadequate range, they have an inability to run-and-shoot (kite), unlike most ranged cavalry units such as Dragoons. Their ranged attack does reasonably well against Heavy Infantry, especially ranged units such as Musketeers. They also have a very strong melee attack, which can be used to charge against Rifle Infantry and artillery, and also to raid villagers effectively.

Much like their Uhlan counterpart, their hitpoints are very low. This makes them less versatile when compared to Hussars. Hakkapelits are trainable from the Fortress Age, where most Dragoon type units are also available, and they simply get hard countered by them. Hakkapelits are more effective when combined with Hussars with all upgrade cards sent, where one unit can be a damage dealer and the other unit can soak damage from enemy units. Their range can be upgraded by researching Ranged Cavalry Caracole and also by sending the "Snaplock" and "TEAM Ranged Cavalry Combat" cards.

Although the UI lists a x2.0 multiplier against pets and Coyote Runners, the Hakkapelit has a hidden x0.5 multiplier against "melee infantry", which includes all pets and units with the AbstractCoyoteMan tag. The net result is that they simply do base damage to pets and Coyote Runners. The same happens with his mercenary version, the Harquebusier.


The Hakkapelit starts as Veteran, which gives them +20% hit points and attack.

If they are made available in the Commerce Age with the "March of the Hakkapelits" Home City Card, Hakkapelits will be automatically upgraded to Veteran once the player reaches the Fortress Age.

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard cavalry.png Drabants 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrades Hakkapelits to Drabants (+40% hit points and attack)
Imperial Age
Imperial cavalry.png Imperial Drabants 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Drabants to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Drabants

Further statistics[]

As Hakkapelits are unique to the Swedes, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy cavalry, heavy infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Light cavalry, Skirmishers
Hit points Cavalry Cuirass.png Cavalry Cuirass (+10%)
Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+10%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Smokeless Powder.png Smokeless Powder (+30% siege attack)
Range Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Mass Cavalry.png Mass Cavalry (-35%)
Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Hakkapelits are unique to the Swedes, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


Definitive Edition[]

  • Originally, Hakkapelits had 230 hit points. With update 9476, they have 240 hit points.
  • Originally, Hakkapelits had 10% ranged resistance. With update 13088, they have 20% ranged resistance.
  • Hakkapelits cost 90 food, 110 coin and give 20 XP when trained or killed.

The African Royals[]

In-game dialogue[]

Main article: Swedes' dialogue lines#Hakkapelit

Unlike the rest of the Swedish units, it speaks Finnish using the same dialogue files as the Hackapell.


  • Royal Guard Hakkapelits' name comes from trabants, specifically referring to the Swedish Life Guards.
    • Drabant was a unit featured in the Napoleonic Era mod. One of the developers of the mod worked on the Definitive Edition.


Hakkapeliitta is a 19th-century Finnish modification of a contemporary name given by foreigners in the Holy Roman Empire and variously spelled as Hackapelit, Hackapelite, Hackapell, Haccapelit, or Haccapelite. These terms were based on a Finnish battle cry hakkaa päälle commonly translated as "Cut them down!"

The Hakkapeliitta were well-trained Finnish light cavalrymen who excelled in sudden and savage attacks, raiding and reconnaissance in the service of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden during the Thirty Years' War. The hakkapeliitta-style cavalry was first used during the Polish-Swedish Wars of the late 16th century. The greatest advantage of the fast and lightly armored Hakkapeliitta cavalry was its charge. They typically had a sword, a helmet, and leather armor or a breastplate of steel. They would attack at a full gallop, fire the first pistol at twenty paces and the second at five paces, and then draw the sword. The horse itself was used like another weapon, as it was used to trample enemy infantry.
—In-game history section