Age of Empires Series Wiki
Rateoffire prev
AoE2DE icon Reload Time

Cavalier infobox showing Rate of Fire as 1.80

The Rate of Fire (RoF) determines the speed at which a unit or building attacks. It is a measure of the time between two attacks, e.g. a unit with an ROF of 3 will attack every 3 seconds. The lower the Rate of Fire, the faster it attacks, resulting in a higher damage output.

The rate of fire is not to be confused with firetime: 'Rate of Fire' is a value per a set time interval (e. g., rounds/attacks per minute), while 'firetime' indicates the very interval itself. However, due to 'rate of fire' being a more common term and the usage of firetimes in game code (referred to as '(Attack) Reload time'), in most sources and articles regarding Age of Empires,[1] 'Rate of Fire' is henceforth used with the meaning of 'Firetime' in this article.

Because of this, in the past, technology trees in Age of Empires II incorrectly stated the percentage values of several civilization bonuses and unique technologies. For example, the Japanese technology tree stated that "infantry attack 25% faster", which actually meant that the Japanese infantry's firetime was reduced by 25%. In reality, the attack speed is increased by the following: for .

... or by 33% in the Japanese example. With update 42848 for the Definitive Edition, the percentage numbers were updated to represent their actual effect.

Technology trees in Age of Empires used to have the same error. With Return of Rome, the percentage numbers were updated to represent their actual effect.

In the Definitive Editions and Age of Mythology: Retold, the icon used for Rate of Fire is two golden chevrons.

ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

Most infantry and cavalry units in the game have a fast ROF, as well as the Scout Ship line and the Helepolis. The Stone Thrower line, on the other hand has slow ROF, and so does the Catapult Trireme and the Juggernaut, whereas the Ballista has medium ROF.

The unit with the fastest ROF is the Fire Galley, which coupled with its large attack, means that it can easily fell ships in groups.

These civilizations have bonuses related to ROF:

AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires II[]

Rateoffire testanim aoe2de

Clockwise: an Archer, Throwing Axeman, Cavalry Archer, Camel Archer, Scorpion and Organ Gun in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.

In Age of Empires II, the most common ROF is 2. There are some units with a faster attack: most notably the Fire Ship with a ROF of 0.25, which has by far the fastest attack. Quite a few units have a slower attack, though. Units with heavy attack, such as siege weapons and gunpowder units have a much higher ROF, and most trash units also attack at a lower speed. Lastly, ships (bar the Fire Ship) range below the standard value. Listed below are all units and buildings in Age of Empires II that have a ROF different from 2 (civilization bonuses not included).

In the table below, default ROF of the generic and unique units is presented.

Unit/Building Base Rate of Fire
Fire Galley line 0.25
Elite Cataphract 1.7
Knight, Cavalier, Cataphract, (Elite) Magyar Huszar 1.8
Hussar, Winged Hussar, Paladin, (Elite) Samurai, (Elite) Plumed Archer, Condottiero, (Elite) Boyar, (Elite) Keshik, (Elite) Leitis, (Elite) Coustillier, Elite Shrivamsha Rider, (Elite) Centurion 1.9
(Elite) Mangudai, (Elite) Tarkan 2.1
(Elite) Kipchak 2.2
(Elite) Konnik 2.4
(Elite) War Wagon, (Elite) Ballista Elephant 2.5
(Elite) Conquistador 2.9
(Elite) Longboat, Spearman line, Skirmisher line, (Elite) Genitour, Galley line, (Elite) Caravel, Harbor, (Elite) Chu Ko Nu, Armored Elephant, Siege Elephant 3
(Elite) Organ Gun, Hand Cannoneer, (Elite) Janissary, (Elite) Hussite Wagon, Thirisadai 3.45
(Heavy) Scorpion 3.6
Ram line 5
Mangonel line, (Elite) Turtle Ship, Bombard Tower 6
Bombard Cannon, Houfnice 6.5
Dromon 8
Trebuchet, (Elite) Cannon Galleon 10

These civilizations have bonuses or unique technologies related to ROF:[note 1]

Civilizations bonus affecting ROF
Civilization Bonus Affected units Base ROF New ROF
Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines Fire Galley line and Dromon attack 25% faster Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley
Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship
Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
0.25 0.2
AoE2 Dromon Dromon 8 6.4
Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians Skirmisher and Elephant Archer lines attack 25% faster Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher
Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher*
3 2.4
GenitourIcon-DE Genitour*
GenitourIcon-DE Elite Genitour*
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer
ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
2 1.6
Celts AoE2 Celts Siege weapons attack 25% faster Battering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram
Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram
Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
5 4
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel
Onager aoe2DE Onager
Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
6 4.8
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion
Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
3.6 2.88
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet 10 8
Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians Archer line attack 18% faster
(-15% reload time)
Archer aoe2DE Archer
Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman
Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
2 1.7
Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis Camel Rider line attack 20% faster Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider
Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider
2 1.6667
Japanese AoE2 Japanese Infantry attack 33% faster starting in Feudal Age
(-25% reload time)
MilitiaDE Militia
Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms
Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman
Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman
Champion aoe2DE Champion
2 1.5
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman
Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman
Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
3 2.25
SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai
SamuraiIcon-DE Elite Samurai
1.9 1.425
CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero*
Mongols AoE2 Mongols Mounted archers attack 25% faster Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer
Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
2 1.6
MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai
MangudaiIcon-DE Elite Mangudai
2.1 1.68
Kipchakicon Mercenary Kipchak* 2.2 1.76
GenitourIcon-DE Genitour*
GenitourIcon-DE Elite Genitour*
3 2.4
Saracens AoE2 Saracens Galley line attack 25% faster Galley aoe2DE Galley
War galley aoe2DE War Galley
Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
3 2.4
Spanish AoE2 Spanish Gunpowder units attack 18% faster
(-15% reload time)
(except the Conquistador)
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer 3.45 2.9325
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon
Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
10 8.5
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon 6.5 5.525
Unique technologies affecting ROF
Civilization Unique Technology Affected units Base ROF New ROF
Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis UniqueTechCastle-DE Paiks: Rathas and elephant units attack 20% faster Aoe2de ratha ranged/Aoe2de ratha melee Ratha
Aoe2de ratha ranged/Aoe2de ratha melee Elite Ratha
2 1.6667
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant
Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer
ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant
AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
3 2.5
Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians UniqueTechCastle-DE Stirrups: Cavalry attack 33% faster
(-25% reload time)
Konnikicon Konnik
Konnikicon Elite Konnik
2.4 1.8
Knight aoe2DE Knight
Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier
1.8 1.35
Scoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry
Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry
2 1.5
Hussar aoe2DE Hussar 1.9 1.425
Celts AoE2 Celts UniqueTechCastle-DE Stronghold: Castles and towers attack 33% faster
(-25% reload time)
Watch Tower icon AoE2DE Watch Tower
Guard Tower icon AoE2DE Guard Tower
Keep icon AoE2DE Keep
Castle aoe2DE Castle
2 1.5
Japanese AoE2 Japanese UniqueTechImperialDE Kataparuto: Trebuchets attack 33% faster
(-25% reload time)
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet 10 7.5
Romans AoE2 Romans UniqueTechCastle-DE Ballistas: Scorpions attack 33% faster
(-25% reload time)
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion
Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
3.6 2.7
Units affecting ROF
Civilization Unique Unit Affected units Base ROF New ROF
Romans AoE2 Romans Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon (Elite) Centurion: Nearby Militia-line attack 20% faster MilitiaDE Militia
Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms
Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman
AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary
2 1.6

Aom original icon Age of Mythology[]

The Rate of Fire also plays a role in Age of Mythology but is instead divided into two factors: Rate and AnimationRate. In a unit's proto definition, most unit attacks have a rate of 5, however it is unknown whether or not this truly affects a units Rate of Fire.

Otherwise the Rate of Fire is dependent on the frames, and total length of a unit's animation, combined with tag definitions within a unit's anim file. Animation rates can also be affected by technologies (although Weightless Mace is the only example of this).

3Icon48px Age of Empires III[]

AoE3 DE icon rof

Almost all ranged land units (such as Musketeers, Crossbowmen, and Dragoons) have a standard ROF of 3 for their ranged attacks, regardless of their weapon. Siege attacks are also generally fired at a ROF of 3. All melee attacks have an ROF of 1.5. Artillery ROF are normally in the ballpark of 4-6.

The main exceptions are ranged cavalry with a bow, such as the Bow Rider and Cavalry Archer, which have an ROF of 1.5, and mercenaries/outlaws, which vary from 1.5 to 4.0. For artillery, the Chinese Flamethrower is a very special case, having an ROF of 0.5 (essentially firing continuously), while the Great Bombard has a ROF of 8.

With the The African Royals expansion, units with variable attack of rate based on distance have been added:

Yoruba Eso Rider attack targets faster as their hit points decrease.

GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV[]

In Age of Empires IV, the attack speed (that is, the minimum time elapsed between consecutive attacks) of a unit or building is listed in the detailed statistics on the user interface. As many units have multiple different attacks (for example, melee, charge, and torch), they will have different attack speeds depending on the type of attack used. Buildings with Emplacements will have different attack speeds for each Emplacement. Attack speeds can be improved with technologies and upgrades, and can also be modified by various abilities and influences.

In general, melee attacks tend to have faster attack speeds than ranged attacks, although this is not the case for most units with both types of attacks. Melee units generally have attack speeds ranging between 1.375 seconds and 1.875 seconds, with the fastest attack being that of the Ghulam, at 1.125 seconds[note 2], while the slowest belongs to the War Elephant, at 2.875 seconds (melee tusk attack shared with the Tower Elephant), although the latter also has an additional independent attack, effectively increasing its attack speed. Meanwhile, most ranged units have attack speeds ranging between 1.625 seconds and 2.125 seconds. The Mongols' unique unit, the Mangudai, has an exceptionally fast attack speed of 0.875 seconds, giving it the fastest attack in the game outside of any special abilities or units with multiple attacks.

Siege engines, which generally do siege damage (with the exception of the Springald, Ribauldequin, and Culverin, which have ranged attacks instead), have the slowest attack speeds, ranging from 3.125 seconds for the Springald to 13.625 for the Huihui Pao, although the Grenadier, which also does siege damage, has a similar attack speed to most ranged infantry. Warships, which have either ranged or siege attacks, have similar attack speeds to siege engines.

The base attack speed of torch attacks for most units is 2.12 seconds. In the original campaigns released with the game, which have not since been rebalanced, the attack speed of all torch attacks is 4.12 seconds. The attack speed of charge attacks is irrelevant, as once the first hit is landed, a charging unit will switch to their standard melee attack. Likewise, the Donso's special ranged attack, which replaces the charge attack of other melee units, has an attack speed of 0.75 seconds listed in the detailed statistics, but can in practice requires the same reload time of other charge attacks (about 10 seconds) before it can be used again.



  • AoE4 ArrowVolleyAbility Arrow Volley (Active) - Longbowmen can activate the ability to reduce base attack time by 1 second.
  • AoE4 AttackSpeedDrums Attack Drums (Passive, toggled) - Mehters can use their ability to increase the attack speed of nearby units by +15%.
  • AoE4 AttackSpeedArrow Attack Speed Arrow (Active) - The Khan can use the Attack Speed Arrow to increase the attack speed of nearby ranged units by 50%. for 5/10/12 seconds, depending on Whistling Arrows. Does not affect siege engines.
  • AoE4 Fortitude Fortitude (Active) - Sipahi can activate the ability to gain 50% attack speed and receive +50% damage from melee sources for 10 seconds.
  • AoE4 NetworkOfCastles Network of Castles (Passive) - English Town Centers, Outposts, Stone Wall Towers, and Keeps increase the attack speed of units in a 12.5 tile radius is increased by +20% when enemy units are nearby. This can be upgraded to +40% after researching Network of Citadels.
  • AoE4 QuickStrike Quick Strike (Passive) - Ghulams deal a second hit after finishing an attack (effectively increases its attack speed to 0.813 seconds, 1.625 seconds for both attacks)
  • AoE4 ShieldWall Shield Wall (Active) - Limitanei can enter the Shield Wall formation to reduce their attack (and movement speed) by -25%, in exchange for taking -30% less damage.
  • AoE4 StaticDeployment Static Deployment (Passive) - Streltsy increase their ranged attack speed by 30% if stationary for 10 seconds. This also affects their melee attack, although it only increases the melee attack speed by ~13%.



  1. Corrected for actual rate of fire; inverse values affecting 'AttackReload time' were usually presented in game before update 42848.
  2. Its special ability also allows it to perform two attacks in the span of 1.625 seconds, effectively an attack speed of 0.813 seconds


Gameplay elements in the Age of Empires series
Age · Ability (II · M · III · IV) · Architecture set (II · III) · Area of Effect (Trample damage) · Armor/Resists (hack/melee · pierce/ranged · crush/siege)  · Armor class/Tag (I - original · I - Return of Rome · II · IV) · Artificial intelligence · Attack (Attack bonus/Multiplier) · Attack delay · Attack ground · Aura (IV) · Auto Scout · Building (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization bonus · Cheat code (I · II · M · III · IV) · Conversion · Counter · Diplomacy · Gaia/Mother Nature · Game modes · Garrison · Gather Point · Healing · Hit points · Hotkey · Line of Sight · Mini map · Player · Population · Range · Rate of Fire · Regeneration · Relic (II · M · IV) · Repairing · Resource (Renewable resources) · Scenario Editor (I · II · M · III · IV) · Score · Signal Allies/Flare · Soundtrack (I · II · M · III · IV) · Speed · Stealth mode · Taunt · Technology (I · II · M · III · IV) · Technology tree (I · II · IV) · Town Bell · Trade (IV) · Tribute · Unit (I · II · M · III · IV) · Unit formation · Unit stance (III) · Upgrade (I · II · III · IV) · User interface · Victory · Villager Priority
Genie Engine
Frame delay · Full Tech Tree · Team bonus
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of EmpiresRuins · Discovery
AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires IIPass-through damage · Projectile duplication
Bang Engine
Autoqueue · Snare
Aom original icon Age of MythologyGod (Major · Minor) · God power · Settlement
3Icon48px Age of Empires IIIAge-up methods (Politician/Tribal Council/Wonder/Federal State/Alliance· Banner army · Consulate · Damage Cap · Home City · Home City Card · Inspiring Flag · Minor civilization · Nuggets · Promotion · Revolution · Target Lock · Trade Monopoly · Trade Route · Treasure
Essence Engine
GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IVBounty · Dynasty · Fire armor · Imperial Council (Vizier Point) · Influence · Landmark · Religion · Sacred Site · Variant civilization
If a gameplay element has different pages across games, like civilization, the individual pages are linked in brackets.