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Fast, with ranged attack. Ideal for hit-and-run attacks.
Age of Empires II original description

The Heavy Cavalry Archer is a mounted archer unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Archery Range once the Imperial Age is reached.

Availability chart[]

Heavycavalryarcheravailable AvailableHeavycavalryarcherunavailable Unavailable
x means that the civilization can fully upgrade its Heavy Cavalry Archer. The technologies being considered here are Bloodlines, Bracer, Ring Archer Armor, Parthian Tactics, and Thumb Ring.
- means that the civilization can almost fully upgrade its Heavy Cavalry Archer. The technology missed is either Parthian Tactics or Ring Archer Armor. Nonetheless, it has Bloodlines, Bracer, and Thumb Ring.
+ means that the civilization some civilization or team bonus or a unique technology that benefits the combat strength of the Heavy Cavalry Archer.


Using Heavy Cavalry Archers is expensive as they are strong in large numbers, not in solitude. They can hit-and-run units thanks to their movement speed, and they have high durability when engaged in combat as well. Elite Skirmishers and Onagers are devastating against mounted archers. Heavy Camel Riders are also great against mounted archers, given that they are faster and deal bonus damage against all mounted units, provided they are not microed down. Halberdiers in theory can deal with Heavy Cavalry Archers, though in practice they usually will be killed before they can attack, even without micro.

Compared to its predecessor, the Heavy Cavalry Archer has +10 hit points, +1 attack, +2 anti-Spearmen attack, +1 melee armor, +30% accuracy, and -7 seconds of training time (+26% faster training). This makes it an important upgrade when facing enemy Spearmen-line units. The increase in base accuracy particularly matters for civilizations without Thumb Ring (which raises their accuracy to 100%) or if Heavy Cavalry Archers are used prior to researching Thumb Ring. The Georgians and Khmer are the biggest beneficiaries, since the former has other prominent bonuses, and the latter has otherwise fully upgradeable Cavalry Archers.

Their armor gets upgraded through the archer line but in terms of bonus damage received they count as both archers and cavalry. Additionally, they are also counted in a special 'Cavalry Archer' class against which Elite Skirmishers and Camel Archers deal additional bonus damage.

The most popular pairing involving Heavy Cavalry Archers is with Hussars, which is the preferred combination for several civilizations. Since the Heavy Cavalry Archers cost wood and gold, the food can be invested in Hussars which can make melee support for the Heavy Cavalry Archer army to create a mobile yet devastating force. As a substitute for the Hussar, heavy cavalry units can be used if enough gold is available. That is uncommon, however, since both units have sizable gold costs.

Comparison among civilizations[]

Civilization Georgians AoE2 Georgians Huns AoE2 Huns Magyars AoE2 Magyars Mongols AoE2 Mongols Tatars AoE2 Tatars Turks AoE2 Turks Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese Complete Generic
Cost 40 wood, 60 gold 32 wood, 48 gold* 40 wood, 60 gold
HP 80 100 92 80
Rate of Fire 2 1.8 1.44 1.8
Attack 7+4 7+4 7+5 7+4
Attack vs Spearmen 6 4 6 4/6 without/with Parthian Tactics
Armor 1+3/0+4 1+4/0+6 1+3/0+4 1+5/0+7 1+4/0+6 1+3/0+4 1+4/0+6 1+3/0+4
Range 4+3 4+4 4+3
Extras Regenerates 15 hit points per minute
Cost -15% population
Receive -20% damage at elevations
Bloodlines and Husbandry are researched 20% faster. - Parthian Tactics and Thumb Ring are free; +2 LOS; Deal +20% damage from elevations Chemistry is free Conscription is free -

Further statistics[]

Strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Slow melee units, foot archers (with both Parthian Tactics and Ring Archer Armor)
Weak vs. Heavy Camel Riders, Elite Skirmishers, Elite Eagle Warriors, Onagers, Scorpions, Genoese Crossbowmen, Huskarls, Mamelukes, Camel Archers, Rattan Archers
Hit points BloodlinesDE Bloodlines (+20)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Sipahi (+20, Turks only)
Attack FletchingDE Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE Bracer (+1)
ChemistryDE Chemistry (+1)
ParthianTacticsDE Parthian Tactics (+2 vs. Spearmen)
UniqueTechImperialDE Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Range FletchingDE Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE Bracer (+1)
UniqueTechImperialDE Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Accuracy ThumbRingDE Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)
BallisticsDE Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor PaddedArcherArmorDE Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
LeatherArcherArmorDE Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
RingArcherArmorDE Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
ParthianTacticsDE Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Silk Armor (+1/+1, Tatars only)
Conversion resistance Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)
Attack speed ThumbRingDE Thumb Ring (+11%)
Movement speed HusbandryDE Husbandry (+10%)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE Conscription (+33%)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Steppe Husbandry (+100%, Cumans only)
Other UniqueTechImperialDE Aznauri Cavalry (-15% population space, Georgians only)
Civilization bonuses
Hit points Franks AoE2 Franks (+20%)
Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese (+20%)
Regeneration Georgians AoE2 Georgians (15 hit points per minute)
Attack Japanese AoE2 Japanese (+2 vs. archers, except Skirmishers)
Tatars AoE2 Tatars (+20% from elevation)
Damage resistance Georgians AoE2 Georgians (+20% from elevation)
Attack speed Mongols AoE2 Mongols (+25%)
Movement speed Cumans AoE2 Cumans (+15%)
Resource cost Huns AoE2 Huns (-20%)
Koreans AoE2 Koreans (-50% wood)
Other Celts AoE2 Celts (can convert herdable animals even if enemy units are next to them)
Team bonuses
Conversion resistance Teutons AoE2 Teutons (+3 min, +1 max)
Line of Sight Tatars AoE2 Tatars (+2)
Creation speed Britons AoE2 Britons (+10%)
Magyars AoE2 Magyars (+25%)

Indirect civilization bonuses[]

Indirect team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings[]

  • Heavy Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood, 70 gold.
  • Heavy Cavalry Archers move at a speed of 1.43.
  • Heavy Cavalry Archers train in 34 seconds.
  • Heavy Cavalry Archers have 50% base accuracy.
  • Heavy Cavalry Archers receive standard anti-archer attack bonus from Elite Skirmishers.
  • Saracens AoE2 Saracens: Heavy Cavalry Archers have +4 attack bonus against standard buildings.

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • Heavy Cavalry Archers cost 40 wood, 60 gold.
  • Franks AoE2 Franks: Heavy Cavalry Archers have +20% hit points.
  • Huns AoE2 Huns: Heavy Cavalry Archers are 20% cheaper.

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Magyars AoE2 Magyars: with patch 5.5, Recurve Bow gives +1 range and attack to Heavy Cavalry Archers.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

  • With update 44725, the attack animation duration of Heavy Cavalry Archers has been reduced from 1.3 to 1.15, reducing the overall attack delay by 11.5%.
  • Saracens AoE2 Saracens: With update 44725, Heavy Cavalry Archers no longer gain bonus attack against standard buildings.
  • With update 50292, the attack animation duration of Heavy Cavalry Archers has been increased from 1.15 to 1.17.

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

  • With update 73855, the attack bonus of Heavy Cavalry Archers vs Spearmen was increased to 4 and the effect of Parthian Tactics for them was reduced to 2.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • With update 87863:
    • Chinese AoE2 Chinese: Technologies that benefit Heavy Cavalry Archers are 15% cheaper.
    • Magyars AoE2 Magyars: Heavy Cavalry Archers are created 25% faster.
    • Koreans AoE2 Koreans: Heavy Cavalry Archers cost -50% wood.
  • With update 93001, Heavy Cavalry Archers have 80% base accuracy.

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]


There are three heroes in the game with the appearance of a Heavy Cavalry Archer:


Cavalry archers could be a devastating force when skilled and properly used, but they were as susceptible to archery fire as their enemies. One innovation intended to make them less vulnerable was to equip them with helmets and chest armor. This created the heavy cavalry archer, which was less nimble than its unarmored counterparts but able to engage in combat while taking fewer casualties. The Byzantines made extensive use of heavy cavalry archers in the engagements with horsemen from Persia and great plains to their north.
Age of Empires II manual


  • All of the new civilizations introduced in The Last Khans have access to Heavy Cavalry Archers.
  • Neither of the two civilizations introduced in Lords of the West have access to the Heavy Cavalry Archer.
  • The Tatar Heavy Cavalry Archer is tied with the Elite Ratha and the Gurjara Elite Elephant Archer for the highest melee armor of all archer units in the game, with a total of 6.
  • All civilizations with the African, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and East Asian architecture sets have access to the Heavy Cavalry Archer.



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