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Stronger than Cavalry Archer. Fast, with ranged attack.
Age of Empires II 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.

Unit availability
Available Unavailable

The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Heavy Cavalry Archers, i.e. gets Bracer, Ring Archer Armor, Thumb Ring, Parthian Tactics, Bloodlines, and Husbandry. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.

The ^ indicates that the civilization has at least one 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. After training a dozen of Heavy Cavalry Archers, they can be used to take out infantry effectively. The player must make sure they are some feet away from infantry. This tactic does not usually work well against cavalry, unless the opponent is greatly outnumbered. Skirmishers and Onagers are devastating against Cavalry Archers. Camel Riders are also devastating against Cavalry Archers, given that they are faster and deal bonus damage against all Cavalry.

Their armor gets upgraded through the archer line but in terms of bonus damage against them they count as both Archer as well as Cavalry. Additionally, along with the Mangudai, 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 the Cumans, Mongols, Huns, Indians, Saracens, Magyars, Tatars, and Turks. While a few other cavalry and/or archer based civilizations can utilize this as well, it is not as effective for them. In addition to the excellent Mongolian Hussars, their Heavy Cavalry Archers fire faster. Magyars have cheaper Hussars and a Unique Technology benefitting Heavy Cavalry Archers, while the Tatars have a Unique Technology affecting both Hussars and Heavy Cavalry Archers. Likewise, the Huns have cheaper Heavy Cavalry Archers and their Hussars are created quicker and Cumans have the fastest Hussars and Cavalry Archers as well a Unique Technology affecting both. 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 in order to create a mobile yet devastating force. As a substitute to the Hussar, the Knight can be used if enough gold is available. That is rather uncommon, however, since the gold is usually just spent on the Heavy Cavalry Archers as Knights slow down the army a little.

Comparison in the Imperial Age[]

Civilization CivIcon-Huns.png Huns CivIcon-Indians.png Indians, CivIcon-Japanese.png Japanese, CivIcon-Saracens.png Saracens CivIcon-Magyars.png Magyars CivIcon-Mongols.png Mongols CivIcon-Tatars.png Tatars CivIcon-Turks.png Turks CivIcon-Vietnamese.png Vietnamese
Cost 32 wood,
48 gold*
40 wood,
60 gold
40 wood,
60 gold
40 wood,
60 gold
40 wood,
60 gold
40 wood,
60 gold
40 wood,
60 gold
HP 80 80 80 80 80 100 92
Attack 7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen) 7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen) 7+5 (+6 vs Spearmen) 7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen) 7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen) 7+4 (+6 vs Spearmen) 7+4 (+2 vs Spearmen)
Armor 1+3/0+4 1+4/0+6 1+4/0+6 1+3/0+4 1+5/0+7 1+4/0+6 1+3/0+4
Range 4+3 4+3 4+4 4+3 4+3 4+3 4+3
Extras Bloodlines and Husbandry are researched 20% faster. - - +25% RoF Parthian Tactics and Thumb Ring are free; +2 LOS; +25% bonus damage from elevations Chemistry is free Conscription is free

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Slow and non-ranged units
Weak vs. Kamayuks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Huskarls, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Skirmishers, Eagle Warriors, Onagers, Scorpions, Camel Archers, Rattan Archers
Hit points BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines (+20)
CastleAgeUnique.png Sipahi (+20, Turks only)
Attack FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1)
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry (+1)
ParthianTacticsDE.png Parthian Tactics (+4 attack against Spearmen)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only since patch 5.5)
Range FletchingDE.png Fletching (+1)
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow (+1)
BracerDE.png Bracer (+1)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Recurve Bow (+1, Magyars only)
Firing rate ThumbRingDE.png Thumb Ring (+11%)
Accuracy ThumbRingDE.png Thumb Ring (increases accuracy to 100%)
BallisticsDE.png Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor PaddedArcherArmorDE.png Padded Archer Armor (+1/+1)
LeatherArcherArmorDE.png Leather Archer Armor (+1/+1)
RingArcherArmorDE.png Ring Archer Armor (+1/+2)
ParthianTacticsDE.png Parthian Tactics (+1/+2)
CastleAgeUnique.png Silk Armor (+1/+1, Tatars only)
Speed HusbandryDE.png Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
CastleAgeUnique.png Steppe Husbandry (+100%, Cumans only)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Heavy Cavalry Archers cost -50% food.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts: Heavy Cavalry Archers can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Heavy Cavalry Archers are 20% cheaper.
  • Cumans: Heavy Cavalry Archers move 15% faster.
  • Franks: Heavy Cavalry Archers have +20% HP.
  • Huns: Heavy Cavalry Archers are 20% cheaper.
  • Koreans: Heavy Cavalry Archers cost -20% wood. Archer armor upgrades are free.
  • Mongols: Heavy Cavalry Archers fire 25% faster.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Heavy Cavalry Archers don't cost gold.
  • Tatars: Heavy Cavalry Archers deal +25% bonus damage from cliffs and elevations. Thumb Ring and Parthian Tactics are free.
  • Turks: Chemistry is free.
  • Vietnamese: Heavy Cavalry Archers have +20% hit points. Conscription is free.

Team bonuses[]


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.
  • Saracens: Heavy Cavalry Archers have +4 attack bonus against standard buildings.

The Conquerors[]

  • Heavy Cavalry Archers move at a speed of 1.4.
  • Heavy Cavalry Archers train in 27 seconds.
  • Heavy Cavalry Archers receive an attack bonus of +2 against Spearmen.
  • Bloodlines introduced.
  • Thumb Ring introduced.
  • Heresy introduced.
  • Parthian Tactics introduced.
  • Huns: Heavy Cavalry Archers are 30% cheaper.

The Forgotten[]

The African Kingdoms[]

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

Rise of the Rajas[]

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

Definitive Edition[]

Lords of the West[]


  • 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 has the highest melee armor of all archer units in the game, with a total of 6.


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.