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Mounted Archers in Age of Empires II are a cross between foot archer units and cavalry units, and are a branch of Archer units.

General information[]

All mounted archer units possess a ranged attack, giving them an edge over non-ranged units. Most mounted archers are characterised by mediocre (infantry-like or light-cavalry-like) hit points, no armor, and fast (cavalry-like) speed.

All mounted archers are available from the Castle Age and are trained at either Archery Range or Castle. Most mounted archers cost less wood, more gold, and no food.

Mounted Archers excel at massed battles against non-ranged or slower units, and in battles in narrow passages and densely developed areas, like forests and towns. There, they can use their range to fire over each other, while non-ranged units have to 'dig' themselves through an army of archers. In battles with few units, though, archers have trouble holding ground. In such cases, their high mobility comes in play, which helps them run away.

Mounted Archers are superior to infantry and Monks, rival both cavalry and foot archers, and can very effectively eliminate Villagers. They struggle heavily against siege units which deal Area of Effect damage (especially the Mangonel) and can eliminate entire armies of mounted archers quickly if not paid attention. Mounted archers are, however, better at dealing with siege units than foot archers, because they have almost double the survivability and superior mobility. Battering Rams are also a useful supportive semi-counter against large mono-archer armies, especially for players using archers themselves. While rams deal little to no damage to archers on their own, they can be sent close to the archers, drawing automatic fire, which they resist thanks to their high pierce armor, allowing other ranged units to quickly dispatch the distracted enemy archers. This tactic forces the opponent to use intense micromanagement. The easiest counter against archers is the Skirmisher, a trash unit that is cheap, easy to mass, and both resists archer attacks and deals bonus damage against archers.

Other notable counters are Huskarls, Eagle Warriors, Ghulams, Rattan Archers, Genitours, Camel Archers, and War Wagons, the latter three being mounted archers themselves.

All mounted archer units share the Archer armor class and the Cavalry archer armor class. Except Camel Archers (which have the Camel armor class), all mounted archers have the Cavalry armor class as well. Elephant Archers have the Elephant armor class as well.

Despite being ranged mounted units, the following are not considered mounted archer units, since they are not archers:

List of Mounted Archer units (base statistics)[]

Mounted Archer unit B A HP At Ar PA Ra ROF FD Ac LOS Sp F W G TT Ci
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE.png Cavalry Archer Ar. Range
Castle Age
50 6 0 0 4 2.0 35 50 5 1.4 0 40 60 34 35
Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de.png Heavy Cavalry Archer Ar. Range
Imperial Age
60 7 1 0 4 2.0 46 50 6 1.4 0 40 60 27 28
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon.png Elephant Archer Ar. Range
Castle Age
250 6 0 2 4 2.0 24 70 7 0.9 90 0 70 34 3
ElephantArcherIcon-DE.png Elite Elephant Archer Ar. Range
Imperial Age
280 7 0 2 4 2.0 24 85 7 0.9 90 0 70 34 3
MangudaiIcon-DE.png Mangudai Castle
Castle Age
60 6 0 0 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.4 0 55 65 26 CivIcon-Mongols.png Mongols
MangudaiIcon-DE.png Elite Mangudai Castle
Imperial Age
60 8 1 0 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.4 0 55 65 26 CivIcon-Mongols.png Mongols
WarWagonIcon-DE.png War Wagon Castle
Castle Age
150 9 0 3 4 2.5 32 100 7 1.2 0 125 60 21 CivIcon-Koreans.png Koreans
WarWagonIcon-DE.png Elite War Wagon Castle
Imperial Age
200 9 0 4 5 2.5 32 100 8 1.2 0 125 60 21 CivIcon-Koreans.png Koreans
CamelArcherIcon-DE.png Camel Archer Castle
Castle Age
55 7 0 1 4 2.0 15 95 5 1.4 0 50 60 25 CivIcon-Berbers.png Berbers
CamelArcherIcon-DE.png Elite Camel Archer Castle
Imperial Age
60 8 1 1 4 2.0 15 95 5 1.4 0 50 60 25 CivIcon-Berbers.png Berbers
GenitourIcon-DE.png Genitour Ar. Range
Castle Age
50 3 0 3 4 3.0 30 90 5 1.35 40 35 0 25 CivIcon-Berbers.png Berbers and allies
GenitourIcon-DE.png Elite Genitour Ar. Range
Imperial Age
55 4 0 4 4 3.0 30 90 6 1.35 40 35 0 25 CivIcon-Berbers.png Berbers and allies
Kipchakicon.png Kipchak Castle
Castle Age
40 4+3 0 0 4 2.2 0 90 6 1.4 0 60 35 20 CivIcon-Cumans.png Cumans
Kipchakicon.png Elite Kipchak Castle
Imperial Age
45 5+3 0 0 4 2.2 0 90 6 1.4 0 60 35 20 CivIcon-Cumans.png Cumans
Kipchakicon.png Elite Kipchak Castle Cuman Mercenaries 45 5+3 0 0 4 2.2 0 90 6 1.4 0 0 0 12 CivIcon-Cumans.png Cumans and allies
Aoe2de ratha ranged.png Ratha Castle
Castle Age
105 5 2 1 4 2.0 14 80 6 1.3 0 60 60 18 Civ icon bengalis.png Bengalis
Aoe2de ratha ranged.png Elite Ratha Castle
Imperial Age
115 6 2 1 4 2.0 14 90 6 1.3 0 60 60 18 Civ icon bengalis.png Bengalis
Khan aoe2de.png Khan Scenario Editor 160 12 2 2 4 2.1 23 95 6 1.45

Despite not being classified as Cavalry Archers, Melee Rathas get upgraded as Ranged Rathas (mounted archers) with respect to Line of Sight, armor, and attack bonus vs spearmen.


Technology Researched at Age Civilization Effect
ThumbRingDE.png Thumb Ring Archery Range
Castle Age
28 Increases Rate of Fire and accuracy (the latter to 100%)
ParthianTacticsDE.png Parthian Tactics Archery Range
Imperial Age
13 Increases armor by +1/+2 and attack vs Spearman by:
  • 0 for Genitours and War Wagons
  • 4 for Cavalry Archers and Heavy Cavalry Archers
  • 2 for all others
BloodlinesDE.png Bloodlines Stable
Feudal Age
28 Increases hit points by +20
HusbandryDE.png Husbandry Stable
Castle Age
35 Increases movement speed by +10%
FletchingDE.png Fletching Blacksmith
Feudal Age
All Increases range and attack by +1
BodkinArrowDE.png Bodkin Arrow Blacksmith
Castle Age
All Increases range and attack by +1
BracerDE.png Bracer Blacksmith
Imperial Age
35 Increases range and attack by +1
PaddedArcherArmorDE.png Padded Archer Armor Blacksmith
Feudal Age
All Increases armor by +1/+1
LeatherArcherArmorDE.png Leather Archer Armor Blacksmith
Castle Age
All except CivIcon-Burmese.png Burmese Increases armor by +1/+1
RingArcherArmorDE.png Ring Archer Armor Blacksmith
Imperial Age
31 Increases armor by +1/+2
BallisticsDE.png Ballistics University
Castle Age
All Improves accuracy against moving targets
ChemistryDE.png Chemistry University
Imperial Age
All Increases attack by +1
HerbalDE.png Herbal Medicine Monastery
Castle Age
38 Garrisoned units heal 6x faster
HeresyDE.png Heresy Monastery
Castle Age
24 Converted units die instead of changing color
FaithDE.png Faith Monastery
Imperial Age
38 Increases conversion resistance
ConscriptionDE.png Conscription Castle
Imperial Age
All Increases creation speed by +33%
CastleAgeUnique.png Atlatl Castle
Castle Age
CivIcon-Aztecs.png Aztecs Genitours +1 attack and range
CastleAgeUnique.png Paiks Castle
Castle Age
Civ icon bengalis.png Bengalis Rathas and Elephant Archers attack 20% faster
CastleAgeUnique.png Kasbah Castle
Castle Age
CivIcon-Berbers.png Berbers Castle production and research speed increased by +25%
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Maghrebi Camels Castle
Imperial Age
CivIcon-Berbers.png Berbers Camel Archers regenerate 15 HP per minute
CastleAgeUnique.png Steppe Husbandry Castle
Castle Age
CivIcon-Cumans.png Cumans Cavalry Archers created 100% faster
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Cuman Mercenaries Castle
Imperial Age
CivIcon-Cumans.png Cumans Allows Cumans and their allies to train 5 Elite Kipchaks per Castle for free
CastleAgeUnique.png Medical Corps Castle
Castle Age
Civ Icon Dravidians.png Dravidians Elephant Archers regenerate 20 HP per minute
CastleAgeUnique.png Kshatriyas Castle
Castle Age
Civ Icon Gurjaras.png Gurjaras Elephant Archers and Genitours units cost -25% food
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Frontier Guards Castle
Imperial Age
Civ Icon Gurjaras.png Gurjaras Elephant Archers get +4 melee armor
CastleAgeUnique.png Andean Sling Castle
Castle Age
CivIcon-Incas.png Incas Removes minimum range of Genitours
UniqueTechImperialDE.png Recurve Bow Castle
Imperial Age
CivIcon-Magyars.png Magyars Increases range and attack of mounted archers except Genitours by +1
CastleAgeUnique.png Hul'che Javelineers Castle
Castle Age
CivIcon-Mayans.png Mayans Genitours throw additional javelin
CastleAgeUnique.png First Crusade Castle
Castle Age
Menu techtree sicilians.png Sicilians Mounted Archer units are more resistant to conversion
CastleAgeUnique.png Silk Armor Castle
Castle Age
CivIcon-Tatars.png Tatars Mounted Archers get +1/+1 armor
CastleAgeUnique.png Sipahi Castle
Castle Age
CivIcon-Turks.png Turks Increases Mounted Archers' HP by +20

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Aztecs: Mounted Archers are created 11% faster.
  • Bengalis: Elephant Archers receive -25% bonus damage and are more resistant to conversion.
  • Bulgarians: Blacksmith technologies that benefit mounted archers cost -50% food.
  • Burgundians: Husbandry is 50% cheaper.
  • Burmese: Faith and Herbal Medicine are 50% cheaper.
  • Chinese: Technologies that benefit mounted archers are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Cumans: Mounted Archers move 10%/15% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age. Archery Ranges and Stables cost -75 wood.
  • Dravidians: Genitours and Elephant Archers attack 25% faster.
  • Franks: Mounted Archers have +20% hit points.
  • Gurjaras: Genitours deal +50% bonus damage.
  • Huns: Mounted Archers are 10%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Italians: Ballistics and Chemistry are 33% cheaper.
  • Koreans: Mounted Archer units cost -20% wood. Archer armor upgrades are free.
  • Mongols: Mounted Archers fire 25% faster.
  • Portuguese: Mounted Archer units cost -20% gold. Technologies that benefit mounted archers are researched 30% faster.
  • Sicilians: Mounted Archers receive -50% bonus damage.
  • Spanish: Blacksmith technologies that affect mounted archers cost no gold.
  • Tatars: Mounted Archers deal +50% damage when attacking from higher elevation (instead of +25%). Parthian Tactics and Thumb Ring are free.
  • Turks: Chemistry is free.
  • Vietnamese: Cavalry Archers, Genitours and Elite Kipchaks have +20% hit points and Conscription is free.

Team bonuses[]

  • Berbers: Genitour available at the Archery Range.
  • Britons: Archery Ranges work 20% faster.
  • Bulgarians: Blacksmith technologies that affect mounted archers are researched 80% faster.
  • Gurjaras: Camel Archers and Elephant Archers are created 25% faster.
  • Huns: Bloodlines and Husbandry are researched 20% faster.
  • Hindustanis: Camel Archers have +2 attack against standard buildings.
  • Incas: Genitours have +2 line of sight.
  • Lithuanians: Faith, Herbal Medicine, and Heresy are researched 20% faster.
  • Malians: Ballistics and Chemistry are researched 80% faster.
  • Tatars: Mounted Archers have +2 Line of Sight.
  • Teutons: Mounted Archers are more resistant to conversion.


Mounted archers are rarely used in the early Castle Age. This is because of the large number of upgrades required to kickstart production. Cavalry Archers need three production buildings (unless allied with the Britons) for good production, unlike two for Crossbowmen and Knights, on top of also needing a Stable for relevant upgrades, the wood cost of which adds up very quickly.

Prominent civilizations[]

Civilizations which can circumvent some of these limitations can perform really good Cavalry Archer rushes. The most famous civilizations are Mongols (faster firing), Tatars (extra vision, free Thumb Ring), and Huns (10% discount, no need for Houses).

Some other civilizations also get help from their civilization bonuses, but lack key technologies, which limits them from going for cavalry archer rushes. These civilizations are Cumans (free movement speed bonus, cheaper Archery Ranges and Stable; lack Bracer), Koreans (-20% wood cost, free Archer Armor upgrades; lack Bloodlines) and Portuguese (-20% gold cost; lack Heavy Cavalry Archers).

Genitours are used for raiding and countering other archers only, hence they are not seen very often. Elephant Archers cost a lot of food (but no wood), and are too slow to perform hit-and-run tactics of other mounted archers, hence they are not seen in the early Castle Age.

Cavalry Archers become more viable in later stages of the game and are used for various purposes. With all relevant technologies researched, Magyars have the best cavalry archers in the game for offensive purposes. Even in the late game, Mongols and Huns have their reputation of good cavalry archer civilizations, with the former often preferring its unique unit over the Heavy Cavalry Archer. Following them are Tatars and Turks, which have very good survivability. Most civilizations also lack either Ring Archer Armor or Parthian Tactics, which means that Saracens and Japanese, who have both of these upgrades and other relevant upgrades, but no bonuses, are considered above average. Since both these civilizations also have Arbalesters, Heavy Cavalry Archers are seldom used. Vietnamese Heavy Cavalry Archers are underused, despite having free hit points while having all relevant upgrades (except Parthian Tactics). Elite Camel Archers are very popular units, because being ranged, mobile, and self-healing, they are very easy to keep alive, with their tendency to counter other mounted archers being icing on the cake. Dravidian and Bengali Elite Elephant Archers are also beastly and provide the tough ranged support role very well.


  • Excluding the Berbers, all civilizations with prominent Cavalry Archers originated in various parts of Asia, including all 13 with access to Parthian Tactics (though the Huns, Magyars, and Bulgarians ended up establishing their empires in Europe).
  • Among the 57 unique units in the game, 8 are mounted archers.
  • Though superficially similar to the Korean War Wagon, the Bohemian Hussite Wagon is a siege weapon.
  • Elite Kipchaks can be created even in the Dark and Feudal Ages, provided the player has a Castle, which can happen on some maps, especially Fortress.