Stronger than Cavalier. Fast and heavy cavalry.
Age of Empires II description

The Paladin is a heavy cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable once the Imperial Age is reached. Like most other cavalry, Paladins are strong and agile. They are considered to be one of the strongest and most effective units in the game.

Unit availability
Available Unavailable

The * indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Paladins, i.e. gets Blast Furnace, Plate Barding Armor, Bloodlines, and Husbandry. Faith and Heresy are not taken into account because they only contribute to their combat strength in a very situational manner.

The ^ indicates that the civilization has at least one civilization or team bonus or a unique technology that benefits the combat strength of the Paladin.
The ‡ indicates Paladins was previously available for this civilization.

Tactics[edit | edit source]

Paladin walkanim aoe2.gif

Paladins are one of the strongest and, though not cheap, most effective units, and a full team of forty can easily destroy any ill-prepared town or army. In one on one combat, Paladins can slay Halberdiers, though larger numbers of Halberdiers and Camel Riders can defeat them. Paladins have low conversion resistance and thus are susceptible to enemy Monks. Siege weapons are ineffective against Paladins in most situations, but if cautiously used, especially Onagers can deal a great deal of damage. However, if used against ordinary infantry, archers, siege units, and unsuspecting towns, Paladins dominate the field. Still, Paladins should always be used with caution as flaws in the implementation of these units can prove very costly.

Best civilizations[edit | edit source]

Despite lacking Bloodlines, the Franks have some of the strongest Paladins in the game due to their civilization bonus which grants them +20% HP, making them very powerful against melee (can survive one more hit from Halberdiers) and ranged units and excellent at raiding. They also have the most easily massed and upgraded Paladin once Chivalry is researched, which increases the work rate of Stables by 40%.

The Huns have the second fastest training and upgrading time as a result of their team bonus which makes their Stables work 20% faster.

The Lithuanians can potentially have the strongest Paladin as one of their civilization bonuses gives +1 attack for each Relic gathered, with a maximum of +4. Because of this, their damage output can be very high even against their direct counters. Also, they can destroy buildings pretty fast.

Despite lacking Husbandry, the Cumans have the fastest Paladin in the game, due to their civilization bonus granting them +15% movement speed, allowing them to chase down enemies and disengage from fights easily.

The Teutons also lack Husbandry, but have the Paladin best-suited for prolonged melee, thanks to their civilization bonus that provides +2 melee armor, which enables them to survive one more hit from Halberdiers and allows them to perform similarly to the Boyar and Teutonic Knight against melee units.

The Persians have the most effective Paladin at countering ranged units as their team bonus increases their attack against units in the Archer armor class by 2.

Further statistics[edit | edit source]

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
Upgrades
Hit points Bloodlines.png Bloodlines (+20)
Attack Forging.jpg Forging (+1)
Ironcasting.jpg Iron Casting (+1)
Blastfurnace.jpg Blast Furnace (+2)
Armor Scalebardingarmor.jpg Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Chainbardingarmor.jpg Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Platebardingarmor.jpg Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Speed Husbandry.jpg Husbandry (+10%)
Conversion defense Faith.jpg Faith
Heresy.png Heresy
Creation speed Conscription.jpg Conscription (+33%)
CastleAgeUnique.png Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)

Civilization bonuses[edit | edit source]

Team bonuses[edit | edit source]

Changelog[edit | edit source]

The Conquerors[edit | edit source]

The Forgotten[edit | edit source]

Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]

  • Lithuanians: Initially, the Relic bonus had a maximum of +5 attack. With update 34055, it was reduced to a maximum of +4.
  • Cumans: Initially, their Paladins moved 10% faster and had access to Husbandry. With update 34055, it was increased to 15% faster but they lost access to Husbandry.
  • Teutons: With update 36906, Stable units get +1 melee armor in the Castle Age and +1 in the Imperial Age (+2 in total).
  • Bulgarians: Originally have access to the Paladin. With update 36906, they no longer have access.
  • 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.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Paladin's upgrade cost, at 1,300 food and 750 gold, is the fourth most food demanding in the game (only War Elephants, Onagers, and Cataphracts need more). However, if the cost of upgrading Knights to Paladins is considered, at 1,600 food and 1,050 gold, only Mangonels and War Elephants are more expensive to upgrade.
  • The in-game Paladin is inspired by the fictionalized Charlemagne's Twelve Peers.
    • The original Latin title palatinus (palace official) evolved into the Medieval title Count Palatine. A more correct and encompassing name for these in-game heavy melee horsemen would be Allodial Knight / Allodial Chevalier (a knight / chevalier who holds his own land, instead of holding a fief granted by a higher-ranking noble; thus he owes neither rent nor service to anyone).
    • Allodial Knights were present in Medieval English kingdom (including Wales, conquered and annexed since 1283), so it's historically inaccurate (though understandable from balancing's perspective) that Britons lack Paladins.
  • The Paladin has a slower attacking speed (1.9) compared to its predecessors (1.8) for balancing purposes.
  • 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).
  • With the introduction of The African Kingdoms, the Paladin became the most exclusive unit in the game, being available to only eight different civilizations. Before The African Kingdoms was released, that title was held by the Siege Onager. With the release of Definitive Edition, however, the Paladin was tied with the Siege Onager as the most exclusive unit in the game (the Eagle Warrior, Battle Elephant, and Steppe Lancer are generally treated as Native American, Southeast Asian, and Central Asian unique units respectively rather than regular ones, otherwise the latter would have this distinction). With update 36906, the Paladin takes back the title of the most exclusive unit in the game.
  • All civilizations that have access to the Paladin are European or Middle Eastern. As of the Definitive Edition, Cumans, a Central Asian civilization, may also train Paladins.
  • The exclusivity of the Paladin among the civilizations is also an indicator that, historically, that civilization made extensive use of heavy cavalry as part of their armies.
    • Still, historical inaccuracy remains: e.g. Huns, Cumans, early Magyars, and Lithuanians fielded mostly Light Cavalry (although the Lithuanian access to Paladins mostly reflects their alliance with the Polish, who utilized heavy cavalry during medieval times).
  • A fully upgraded Lithuanian Paladin with four Relics gets 22 attack, is tied with the Elite Leitis and the Elite Shotel Warrior by having the second strongest attack of all units outside of the siege and gunpowder section, being only surpassed by the Elite War Elephant with 24 attack.
    • Before update 34055, the Lithuanian Paladin reached 23 attack with all five Relics and was able to kill generic Halberdiers in three hits.
  • A fully upgrade Teutonic Paladin has the second highest melee armor of all cavalry and the fourth highest of all land units with 7 melee armor, only behind of the Bulgarian Two-Handed swordsman with Bagains (8), the Elite Boyar (9) and the Elite Teutonic Knight (13).
    • Both the Frankish and Teutonic Paladin can defeat, by a small margin, the Elite Boyar.
  • In the Definitive Edition, the Cavalier's and Paladin's mounts possess bushy legs, possibly influenced by modern heavy-weight horses; however, even the strongest Medieval warhorses, the destriers, were drawn with short lower-leg-hair.
  • With update 36906, the Bulgarians became the first and only civilization that lost access to the Paladin in the game (but getting Stirrups to their Knights in exchange).
    • Before the update, the Tatars were the only civilization introduced in the Definitive Edition that lacked access to the Paladin.
  • There's a rumour that Paladin was available to the Malians in one of the betas of The African Kingdoms.
  • The fully upgraded Byzantine and Celtic Paladin lose against the fully upgraded Bulgarian and Malian Cavalier.

History[edit | edit source]

The ultimate fighting knights were paladins, the cream of the cavalier class. Paladins were champions for their lords and their orders of knighthood. These men were of the highest social class and elite warriors. They often made up the personal bodyguard of a great king and were sworn to protect his life with their own.
Age of Empires II manual

Gallery[edit | edit source]


Videos[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Since update 36906.
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