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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the unit class, see Light cavalry.

Stronger than Scout Cavalry. Fast with extensive line of sight.
Age of Empires II description

The Light Cavalry is a light cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable once the Castle Age is reached. It is a fast unit with resistance to conversion that excels at taking down enemy archers, Monks, and siege weapons. Its combat abilities against other melee units such as other cavalry units or infantry is severely limited, though.

Light Cavalry cost only food to create, making them a viable alternative if the player is low on other resources. Despite their in-game description, they do not actually possess a greater Line of Sight than the Scout Cavalry. In fact the entire Scout Cavalry line have the same LOS. They all receive a +2 bonus to their Line of Sight upon every Age advance, for a total of 10 LOS in the Imperial Age.

Light Cavalry are available to all civilizations except for the Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, and Teutons.


The Light Cavalry have an exceptionally high Line of Sight and moderately better combat skills in comparison to Scout Cavalry. Against groups of siege weapons or archers, they have the speed and attack needed to run down and kill groups, though combat with other more armored melee units should be avoided. As stated in the manual, a group of Light Cavalry will make an ample replacement in any cavalry division, but the Knight and Camel Rider far exceed their attacking abilities.

It is better used in conjunction with other cavalry units and Cavalry Archers, but also useful to protect friendly archer units, as a meat shield against enemy Knights or as a direct counter against enemy Elite Skirmishers. As Light Cavalry have an innate conversion resistance and attack bonus against Monks, they can be used for countering enemy Monks, which are much more expensive to produce. Light Cavalry may often kill two Monks before being converted, even more with Faith researched. Because of this, even a player going full Knights or full Elephants should consider adding Light Cavalry to the mix if enemy Monks are predicted or seen as a reaction, using them solely and directly as Monk killers (even if they perish after the kill it's still good value).

Since Light Cavalry only costs food it is considered a "trash unit" and when gold is running low it takes the place of the cavalry in "trash wars" at the late game.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Skirmishers, Villagers, siege weapons, archers, Monks
Weak vs. Most melee units, Genoese Crossbowmen
Hit points BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging aoe2de.png Forging (+1)
IronCastingDE.png Iron Casting (+1)
BlastFurnaceDE.png Blast Furnace (+2)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Farimba (+5, Malians only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Manipur Cavalry (+6 attack against standard buildings, Burmese only)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Lechitic Legacy (33% blast damage in 0.5 tile radius, Poles only)
Armor ScaleBardingArmorDE.png Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
ChainBardingDE.png Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
PlateBardingArmorDE.png Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
CastleAgeUnique.png Silk Armor (+1/+1, Tatars only)
Firing Rate CastleAgeUnique.png Stirrups (+33% attack speed, Bulgarians only)
Speed HusbandryDE.png Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense FaithDE.png Faith
HeresyDE.png Heresy
UniqueTechCastle-DE.png First Crusade (Sicilians only)
Creation speed ConscriptionDE.png Conscription (+33%)
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)
CastleAgeUnique.png Steppe Husbandry (+100%, Cumans only)
Upgrades Hussar upgrade aoe2de.png Hussar
Winged hussar upgrade aoe2de.jpg Winged Hussar (Lithuanians and Poles only)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Berbers: Light Cavalry are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Light Cavalry cost 50% less food.
  • Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
  • Burgundians: Researching Husbandry and upgrading to Hussar is 50% cheaper.
  • Celts: Light Cavalry can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit Light Cavalry are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Cumans: Light Cavalry move 10%/15% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Franks: Light Cavalry have +20% HP.
  • Indians: Light Cavalry have +1/+2 pierce armor in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace are free. Light Cavalry are 15% cheaper.
  • Mongols: Light Cavalry have +30% HP.
  • Portuguese: Upgrades that benefit Light Cavalry are researched 30% faster.
  • Sicilians: Light Cavalry take 50% less bonus damage.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Light Cavalry don't cost gold.
  • Tatars: Light Cavalry deal +25% bonus damage from elevations.
  • Turks: The Hussar upgrade is free. Light Cavalry units gain +1 pierce armor.
  • Vietnamese: Conscription is free.

Team bonuses[]


The Age of Kings[]

  • Initially, Light Cavalry are affected twice by Husbandry (1.1 × 1.1 = 1.21 movement speed multiplier) – directly as a unit and indirectly as a part of the Cavalry unit class. Scout Cavalry are a part of the Scout unit class and thus are only affected once by Husbandry (directly as a unit).

The Conquerors[]

  • Light Cavalry receive an attack bonus of +10 against Monks.
  • Husbandry affects Light Cavalry only once (1.1 movement speed multiplier).
  • Bloodlines introduced.
  • Heresy introduced.

The Forgotten[]

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Berbers: Initially, Light Cavalry were 20% cheaper from the Castle Age on. With patch 4.8, that bonus was staggered to 15%/20% in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Franks: Light Cavalry now benefit from the civilization bonus and have +20% HP.

Rise of the Rajas[]

Definitive Edition[]

  • Bulgarians: With update 42848, Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Light Cavalry cost 50% less food. As team bonus, Blacksmiths now work 80% faster (up from 50% faster).
  • Indians: With update 42848, Light Cavalry have +1 pierce armor in the Castle Age and +1 in the Imperial Age (for a total of +2)
  • Lithuanians: Initially, Light Cavalry gained +1 attack for each garrisoned Relic, up to +5. With update 34055, this bonus no longer affects Light Cavalry.
  • Portuguese: With update 42848, technologies are researched 30% faster.
  • Turks: With update 42848, Light Cavalry units gain +1 pierce armor.


As Middle Age armies grew larger and campaigned farther afield, the importance of scouting grew. Many civilizations developed light cavalry, an improvement on scout cavalry, for this role. Light cavalry were better trained and better equipped for fighting. In battle they could be used to harass or charge enemy infantry or support their own knights in a charge. Light cavalry wore only partial armor and a shield and fought most commonly with a spear. Civilizations that could not afford extensive armor for warriors, such as barbarian groups from the East, put large contingents of light cavalry into the field.