Age of Empires Series Wiki
Info icon.png
This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. For other uses of the term, see Ninja.

Japanese assassin. Highly effective against mercenaries, Explorers, War Chiefs, and Monks.
—In-game description

The Ninja is a mercenary melee heavy infantry unit in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. It is a stealthy unit that excels against heroes and mercenaries, similar to the Spy.

Ninja are also available to the Japanese in The Asian Dynasties through Japanese Isolation at the Consulate as Ninjutsu-Zukai.


Ninjas are infantry units that are very effective against heroes and mercenaries. Ninjas themselves are mercenaries, so are easily countered by Spies. The Ninja can also use Stealth Mode, which can be detected by an Explorer or Town Center (or other units or buildings).

The Ninja differs from the Spy in that it is classified as a mercenary, in contrast to the Spy, making the Spy very effective against Ninjas. The Ninja also has much higher cost, slightly less speed, much lower Line of Sight and much lower multipliers, but it has more hit points and much higher base damage and siege damage. Ninjas also take up 4 population per unit, despite only costing 200 coin, whereas Spies take up only 1 population per unit, despite costing 125 coin. Ninjas are slightly more deadly against mercenaries, but less effective against heroes, and are far less useful for scouting.

As is the case with Spies, Ninjas are not cost effective against any units other than mercenaries and heroes. However, they do much better against normal units than Spies do, because of their higher base damage. This makes them more well-rounded than Spies. Ninjas are classified as Heavy infantry and Infantry, making them especially vulnerable to skirmishers and artillery.

The Ninja also has worse accessibility than Spies, as Spies are always available from the Church/Mosque from the Commerce Age onward (except for the Dutch Church from the Japanese Consulate), can be sent from the Home City by European civilizations, while the Ninja can sometimes be trained at the Saloon/Monastery, or sent with Home City shipments by certain civilizations.

Ninjas are very useful in the third and fourth scenarios of the Chinese campaign (by choosing Japanese Mercenaries at the Consulate) because most enemies on these maps (namely, Jaguar Warriors and Eagle Warriors) are classified as Native Warriors, which the Ninja has bonuses against.

The Ninjutsu-Zukai is identical to the Ninja, but are easier to access since they can be trained from the Japanese Consulate if Japanese Isolation is chosen. They start with +10% hit points and attack than the regular Ninja, and are automatically upgraded in every Age starting in the Fortress Age (see here for the exact values).

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heroes, mercenaries, native warriors
Weak vs. Cavalry, artillery, defensive buildings
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (+20%, British only)
Corselet.png Corselet (+25%, Spanish only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Mapuche Tactics.png Mapuche Tactics (+50% siege attack)
Zapotec Cult of the Dead.png Zapotec Cult of the Dead (+20%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons (+10%)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+20%, Germans only)
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)
Penalties Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed, British only)
Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost, Germans only)
Corselet.png Corselet (-15% speed, Spanish only)

Home City Cards[]


The WarChiefs[]

Definitive Edition[]

  • Ninjas now no longer have a 5.0x multiplier against native warriors.

In-game dialogue[]

The Ninja speaks Japanese but with different lines than the Japanese civilization's ones, which is also shared with the Ronin.

  • はい? [Hai?] (Yes?)
  • 用意! [Youi!] (Ready!)
  • ご命令を? [Gomerei o?] (Your command?)
  • 了解しました [Ryoukai shimashita] (I understand)
  • すぐにかかります [Suguni kakarimasu] (Immediately)
  • そうだ! [Souda!] (It is!)
  • 攻撃! [Kougeki!] (Attack!)
  • 戦え、戦うんだ! [Tatakae, tatakaunda!] (Fight, fight!)


Shrouded by the mists of time, the exploits of the ninja continue to fire imaginations across the globe. During the turbulent years of Japan's sixth and seventh centuries, a secret class of warrior priests emerged. Rulers of opposing factions came to value the ninja for their skills in stealth, combat, and espionage.

As the centuries passed, the legendary powers of the ninja grew: invisibility, shape-shifting, flight; even the ability to pass through solid walls. Modern filmmakers blend historical fact with ancient myth to fashion a portrait of a warrior class that continues to fascinate and terrify.




NINJA vs EVERY UNIQUE UNIT - AoE 3- Definitive Edition