Age of Empires Series Wiki
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This article is about the unit Age of Empires. For other uses of the term, see Heavy cavalry (disambiguation).

The Heavy Cavalry is a powerful cavalry unit in Age of Empires that can be trained at the Stable once the Iron Age is reached. As the upgrade of the Cavalry, it is much stronger in attack and bulk. Heavy Cavalry can be upgraded to Cataphracts once Metallurgy is researched.


Unit availability
Available Unavailable


Heavy Cavalry deal a +6 damage bonus against all melee infantry units except for Academy units. Thus, it can eliminate foot soldiers and Catapults very quickly, but are rather ineffective against Centurions, War Elephants, Ballistae, and Helepolises.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry
Weak vs. Centurions, War Elephants
Hit points NobilityIcon.png Nobility (+15%)
Attack ToolworkingAoE.jpg Toolworking (+2)
Metalworkingicon.png Metalworking (+2)
Metallurgyicon.png Metallurgy (+3)
Armor Leatherarmorcavalryicon.png Leather Armor Cavalry (+2/+0)
Scalearmorcavalryicon.png Scale Armor Cavalry (+2/+0)
Chainmailcavalryicon.png Chain Mail Cavalry (+2/+0)
Upgrades CataphractIconAoE1.jpg Cataphract

Civilization bonuses[]


Age of Empires[]

  • Heavy Cavalry have 1 pierce armor.
  • Heavy Cavalry have +5 attack vs infantry.

Definitive Edition[]

  • With CU9, Heavy Cavalry now have 2 pierce armor.
  • With update 38862, Heavy Cavalry have +6 attack vs infantry.


Heavy cavalry was distinguished from other cavalry by equipment and battlefield role. It was considered heavy because the warriors and horses usually wore some metal armor, including breastplates, helmets, and greaves. The horses were also oversized to more easily carry an armored man and to intimidate foes. While most cavalry acted as skirmishers and scouts on the battlefield, heavy cavalry was a shock weapon, held back for the proper moment to charge into enemy formations and ride them down. Heavy cavalry was rare in antiquity because the saddle and stirrup had not yet been invented. It took an exceptional rider to ride into a shock battle and use a lance effectively. The most famous heavy cavalry of the time was the Companion cavalry of Alexander the Great. These men were horsemen from birth on the plains of Thessaly and Macedon. Part of their devastating success in battle against the Persians may have been due to the novelty of their wedge-shaped charges, unprecedented at that time.