|“||Fast and heavy cavalry.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Knight is a heavy cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable once the Castle Age is reached. Their ability to slaughter infantry, archers, lesser cavalry, and siege weapons is unparalleled in the Castle Age, where they often form the primary fighting force. However, they are still susceptible to certain weaknesses, such as overwhelming firepower, Monks, Camel Riders, or the cavalry banes, Pikemen.
If a Meso-American civilization gets a Stable (either by conversion or by triggers), they can train a Xolotl Warrior, which has exactly the same stats as the Knight. However, due to the lack of further upgrades (Cavalier, Paladin) and important technologies (like Bloodlines, Husbandry and Blacksmith cavalry armor technologies), these tend to lose their charm in the Imperial Age. The only bonus this unit receives is the creation speed bonus of the Aztecs. Technologies affecting this unit are Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace.
The Knight, being the primary shock unit of most armies, is one of the most effective units used to disrupt enemy villages, destroy colonies, or diminish an enemy garrison. With its high attack, hit points, and natural armor, it can easily stand up against most opposition. Its ferocity can only be matched in terms of both attack power and speed by the Camel Rider, though a line of Pikemen could also serve as a good defense, provided they can catch them. It is advised to pair Archers with Knights to counter Pikemen. Monks are also a threat, mostly because Knights are faster to convert than other cavalry units.
Knights are best used in the early Castle Age, when they have few effective counters. Their presence weakens as the economy develops, when unique units, Pikemen, Heavy Camel Riders, and siege weapons come into play. Also, their enormous gold cost means that, in the long run, infantry gradually becomes easier to produce en masse, and can outnumber the Knights. Still, they and their upgraded counterparts play a significant role in the late game, particularly against archers and Trebuchets.
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Infantry, archers, Villagers, siege weapons, Cavalry Archers, Light Cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Boyars, Pikemen, Kamayuks, Berserks, Genoese Crossbowmen, Teutonic Knights, Mamelukes, Camel Riders, Monks, War Elephants, Battle Elephants|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Farimba (+5, Malians only)
Manipur Cavalry (+5 against archers, Burmese only)
|Firing Rate||Stirrups (+33%, Bulgarians only)|
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Hauberk (+1/+2, Sicilians only)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
First Crusade (Sicilians only)
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)
|Train cost||Szlachta Privileges (Gold cost -60%, Poles only)|
- Berbers: Knights are cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Knights cost -50% food.
- Burgundians: Researching Husbandry and upgrading to Cavalier is 50% cheaper. Cavalier can be researched in the Castle Age.
- Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Celts: Knights can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Knights are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Cumans: Knights move .
- Franks: Knights have +20% HP.
- Lithuanians: Knights gain +1 attack for each Relic garrisoned in a Monastery (Max ).
- Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace are free.
- Portuguese: Knights cost gold. Upgrades that benefit Knights are researched 30% faster.
- Sicilians: Knights take -50% bonus damage.
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Knights cost no gold.
- Tatars: Knights deal +25% bonus damage from elevations.
- Teutons: Knights gain +1/+2 melee armor in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching cavalry armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is faster.
- A team containing Franks: Knights have +2 Line of Sight.
- A team containing Huns: Knights are created and upgraded 20% faster. Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Persians: Knights have +2 attack against archers.
- A team containing Teutons: Knights are more resistant to conversion.
The African Kingdoms
- Berbers: Initially, Knights were 20% cheaper from the Castle Age on. With patch 4.8, the bonus was staggered to 15%/20% in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Rise of the Rajas
- Burmese: Initially, Manipur Cavalry gives Knights +6 attack against buildings. With patch 5.3, the bonus is spread over the two building classes (building and standard building) equally.
- Bulgarians: With update 36906, Knights benefit from Stirrups.
- Bulgarians: With update 42848, Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Knights cost -50% food.
- Bulgarians: Initially, the team bonus gave the Blacksmith a 50% work rate boost. With update 42848, this was changed to a 80% work rate boost.
- Burmese: With update 37650, Manipur Cavalry gives Knights +6 attack against standard buildings and no damage against buildings.
- Cumans: Initially, Knights move 10% faster. With update 34055, the bonus was staggered to 10%/15% in the Castle/Imperial Age and Cumans lost access to Husbandry.
- Lithuanians: initially, Knight gains +1 attack for each Relic garrisoned in a Monastery with a limit of +5. With update 34055, the limit was reduced to +4.
- Portuguese: With update 42848, technologies that benefit Knights are researched 30% faster.
- Teutons: With update 36906, Knights get +1/+2 melee armor in the Castle/Imperial Age.
Dawn of the Dukes
- Burmese: With update 56005, Manipur Cavalry gives Knights +5 attack against archers.
- Sicilians: With update 51737, Hauberk was introduced.
- Although all trainable knights wield swords in-game, historically knights wielded a variety of weapons (swords, axes, polearms, etc. as depicted in gallery). Initially, the Knight-line horsemen had been conceived as using lances, before lances were replaced with swords (a render of the lance-wielding Knight is seen in the gallery below).
- Knights indeed used lances with handguards for charges; however, those lances were often restricted to one-time use as they often did not survive the charge's impact.
- The Knight line is one of only four units in the game without any attack bonus (the other being the Militia, the Boyar, and the Turtle Ship).
- Depite being first available in the Castle Age, the Knight's shield resembles the Feudal Age's logo, and his armor design is closer to the Feudal Man-at-Arms than the Castle Age's Long Swordsman.
- The statistics of the Knight and the newly introduced Xolotl Warrior are identical.
|“||The knight was a heavily armored and mounted warrior who have achieved certain minimums in training and position in Middle Age society. When made a knight, a warrior was often given land to support his military expenses in return for a pledge to serve his lord on campaign for so many weeks each year. By parceling out land in this manner, a high lord controlled a hierarchy of soldiers that could be called upon when needed. Knights spent most of their time fighting or training for fighting. They practiced war in tournaments, competing for prizes and honors. Because few others could afford the equipment and training for war, knights dominated Middle Age battlefields for centuries. The evolution of new tactics featuring pikemen, longbowmen, crossbowmen and primitive handguns brought the dominance of heavy cavalry to an end.||”|
|—Age of Empires II manual|