Age of Empires Series Wiki

The Horse Archer is a ranged cavalry unit in Age of Empires that can be trained at the Archery Range once the Iron Age is reached. It is the very first cavalry archer to appear in the Age of Empires series, and the predecessor of the Cavalry Archer in Age of Empires II and the same unit in Age of Empires III.

Unit availability
Available Unavailable


The Horse Archer is a fast ranged cavalry that can be made during the Iron Age in the Archery Range. Horse Archers are one of the more expensive archer units, but their decent attack, good range and, most importantly, high speed makes them one of the best units of the Iron Age.

Although only having a tenth of an Elephant Archer's hitpoints, the Horse Archer has more than double its speed. Having this key ability allows them to outmaneuver most units in open terrain. Under ideal conditions in one on one combat, horse archers dominate the field. As a result, this makes them a great choice in guerilla warfare. However, due to their fragility, their attacking potential becomes less powerful the more they are bunched together on the battlefield where they can be prime targets for siege weaponry that does area of effect damage. The Horse Archer can be upgraded to the more powerful Heavy Horse Archer.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Slow and non-ranged units, Priests
Weak vs. Elephant Archers, Ballistae, Camel Riders
Hit points NobilityIcon.png Nobility (+15%)
Attack Alchemy.png Alchemy (+1)
Range Woodworking.png Woodworking (+1)
Artisanship.png Artisanship (+1)
Craftsmanship.png Craftsmanship (+1)
Accuracy Ballistics.png Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Armor Leatherarmorarchersicon.png Leather Armor Archers (+2/+0)
Scalearmorarchersicon.png Scale Armor Archers (+2/+0)
Chainmailarchersicon.png Chain Mail Archers (+2/+0)
Upgrades HHA1.gif Heavy Horse Archer

Civilization bonuses[]


Age of Empires[]

  • Horse Archers have 2 pierce armor.
  • Yamato Horse Archers cost -30% but move 20% slower.

The Rise of Rome[]

  • Yamato Horse Archers cost -25% and now move at normal speed.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Horse Archers now have 1 pierce armor (down from 2).
  • With update 9, Yamato Horse Archers cost -20%. With update 38862, the discount was further reduced to -15%.


Horse archers can be deadly if used properly in large numbers.

Horse archers started to gradually replace chariot archers on the ancient battlefields from the Iron Age on. Two ranged cavalrymen had the firepower of a single Chariot Archer and could move faster on the battlefield. Also, a loss on the battlefield was of only one horse and the archer in contrast to the loss of a chariot, of the men on the chariot and often, of the horses.  The horse archers' use was gradually limited when many cultures, such as the Greeks made increasing use of heavy cavalry (such as the Companion cavalry), and skirmishing troops. The Chinese also built the Great Wall to protect themselves against these cavalrymen and other armies from the western steppes.


Archery Range Tree
Tool Age
Archery Range
Bronze Age
Improved bowman.png
Improved Bowman
Chariot Archer
Composite Bowman
Iron Age
Horse Archer
Elephant Archer
Heavy Horse Archer