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This article is about the Age of Empires III unit. For the unit in Age of Empires II, see Janissary (Age of Empires II).

Powerful Ottoman infantry that acts like a powerful Musketeer.
—In-game description

The Janissary is a ranged heavy gunpowder infantry in Age of Empires III that is unique to the Ottomans and can be trained at Barracks, Forts, and Galleons.


The Janissary fulfills the role of the Musketeer from other civilizations, though it costs more food than a Musketeer. They are one of the three heavy infantry units available to the Ottomans, the other two being the Grenadier and the Nizam Fusilier. They have significantly more hitpoints than Musketeers.

Although the Janissary marches slowly and is weak against artillery, Skirmishers, and archers, it is strong against cavalry and Shock Infantry. The Janissary fights at range with a musket and does slightly less ranged damage than a Musketeer and uses a yatagan (Turkish sword similar to Greek kopis and signature weapon of the Janissary) for melee attacks, doing less damage to cavalry than a Musketeer, but more damage to other units. Like the Musketeer, Janissaries can be upgraded to the Imperial level.

In the early Ages, Janissaries combined with Abus Guns form a somewhat expensive but very powerful combination as artillery such as Falconets is not available until the Fortress Age. Janissaries will devastate any cavalry that come near the group while the Abus Guns will take out any infantry they meet.

Even if the player does not plan to make Janissaries late in the game (because of the presence of highly upgraded artillery), the player should keep about 10 on hand if the "Battlefield Construction" card is in the player's deck. With this card, Janissaries can build Barracks, Stables, and Artillery Foundries to bring even more pressure to a weakened opponent immediately, and not have to bring a Settler that runs the risk of getting killed on the way to the battlefield to build military buildings. They do build far slower compared to a Settler, so this is why bringing 10 of them will speed up the process (8 can focus on constructing one building while the other two construct others or replace them if they die).


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Veteran infantry.png Veteran Janissaries 200 wood,
200 coin
Upgrades Janissaries to Veteran (+20% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard infantry.png Guard Janissaries 600 wood,
600 coin
Upgrades Janissaries to Guard (+30% hit points and attack); requires Veteran Janissaries
Imperial Age
Imperial infantry.png Imperial Janissaries 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrades Janissaries to Imperial (+50% hit points and attack); requires Guard Janissaries

Campaign appearances[]

In the Age of Empires III campaign, Janissaries are led by Sahin The Falcon to attack Morgan Black and the Knights of St. John, battling them for the majority of the campaign. However, with the threat of The Circle, they later assist Morgan in stopping them.

Civilization differences[]

Further statistics[]

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

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, Shock Infantry, heavy infantry
Weak vs. Skirmishers, archers, artillery
Hit points Flint lock.png Flint Lock (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Socket Bayonet.png Socket Bayonet (+20% melee attack)
Paper cartridge.png Paper Cartridge (+15%)
Iroquois lacrosse.png Iroquois Lacrosse (+10%, vanilla Age of Empires III only)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Smokeless Powder.png Smokeless Powder (+30% siege attack)
Clenched Fist.png Clenched Fist (+30% melee attack)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army.png Standing Army (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Tufanci Corps.png Tufanci Corps (ships 15 Janissaries)
Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Janissaries are unique to the Ottomans, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards that are shown in the following tables:


Age of Empires III[]

  • Janissaries cost 100 food, 25 coin, give 13 XP when trained or killed, and have 235 hit points.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Janissaries cost 90 food, 25 coin, give 12 XP when trained or killed, and have 210 hit points.


The ranks of the janissaries were filled by all manner of people pressed into the service of the Sultan - slaves, European prisoners of war, or captured Christians. They were not allowed to wear beards or marry, but were known to enjoy wine. There is some disagreement whether they were required to remain celibate. Without families of their own, when a janissary died his property passed to his regiment, or orta - a Turkish word meaning hearth. Their ranks were peppered with culinary terms; the commander was called the "head cook" and the next in command, the "soup distributor". They carried as a symbol of honor a heavy iron pot, which if lost or destroyed greatly disgraced the orta. They were encouraged to be independent, and could be very unruly and even disrespectful to their superiors. Many rose to political prominence in addition to being a powerful military presence. The janissaries were slaughtered in Constantinople in 1826, during an event now called the Auspicious Incident. The janissaries had gathered in protest to Mahmud II's imposition of European drill and discipline on the janissary corps. The sultan ordered them killed with no quarter by his newly raised regiments of European-style soldiers. The janissary corps was broken.

Janissaries were known for their colorful dress, white felt hats and remarkable mustaches. They initially were armed with bows, but soon adopted muskets and rifles.


See also[]