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Ranged cavalry armed with pistols. Good against cavalry and artillery.
—In-game description

The Ruyter is a ranged light gunpowder cavalry unit in Age of Empires III that is unique to the Dutch, which replaces the Dragoon, and can be trained at Stables, Forts, and Fluyts once the Fortress Age is reached.


The Ruyter wields pistols in combat and works best in groups to eliminate groups of heavy cavalry and hand shock infantry. Compared to the Dragoon, they operate almost identically in combat, albeit with lower individual stats. They counter artillery at range, but fare even better if set to melee mode, as long as the enemy does not have heavy infantry in melee mode guarding the cannons, in which case stagger mode would be best.

However, Ruyters take only 1 population slot, making them very population effective. It is also one of the Dutch Royal Guard units, meaning each unit can be upgraded higher than other Dutch units. They are also significantly cheaper, as coin is barely an issue for Dutch players due to the presence of Banks. The Ruyter costs mainly coin, and thanks to the Dutch Settler sharing the coin resource cost, the Ruyter fulfills a similar economic niche to Musketeers within standard civilizations, which use Food for both of those units of theirs. Finally, Ruyters work well with the Dutch infantry units because they all benefit from Arsenal upgrades. Be sure to research Ranged Cavalry Caracole to help improve both their offensive and defensive capabilities.


The Ruyter starts at the Veteran level, giving them +20% hit points and attack.

If they are made available in the Commerce Age with the "TEAM Early Dragoons" Home City Card, Ruyters will be automatically upgraded to Veteran once the player reaches the Fortress Age.

Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Guard cavalry.png Carabineers 1,000 wood,
1,000 coin
Upgrade Ruyters to Carabineer Ruyters (+40% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Imperial cavalry.png Imperial Carabineers 1,500 wood,
1,500 coin
Upgrade Carabineer Ruyters to Imperial Carabineers (+50% hit points and attack); requires Carabineers

Civilization differences[]

Further statistics[]

As Ruyters are unique to the Dutch, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Heavy cavalry, Shock Infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, ranged infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+10%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Smokeless Powder.png Smokeless Powder (+30% siege attack)
Armor Sudanese quilted armor.png Sudanese Quilted Armor (+10% melee resistance)
Range Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Ranged Cavalry Caracole.png Ranged Cavalry Caracole (+2)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Mass Cavalry.png Mass Cavalry (-35%)
Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-25%)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)
Penalties Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed)

Home City Cards[]

As Ruyters are unique to the Dutch, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


  • Due to a bug, upgrading the Ruyter to Carabineers and Imperial Carabineers does not change their model, while the Consulate Carabineer Ruyters change their model as they get auto-upgraded. This has been fixed in the Definitive Edition.
  • Royal Guard and Consulate Ruyters are named after the carabiniers (although the Dutch word "karabinier" would be more appropriate).
  • As stated in the in-game history, "Ruyter" is cognate with the German "Reiter", which is also in the game as a Mercenary unit (Black Rider).


Ruyters were a light cavalry who used pistols as their primary weapon. These soldiers were known as "Riders," and often carried several pistols with them - even having aids or servants whose job it was to carry extra pistols - because they wouldn't have time to reload the weapons when in range. Short-range fire with pistols was often deadly, but even shots that were not immediately lethal usually killed due to infection or disease because of the state of medicine at the time. Ruyters were able to fire their relatively small arms while on the move and this mobility made them fierce combatants.

Ruyters wore light armor and carried several sets of pistols. They were known to carry sabers and axes as sidearms for use when their complement of loaded pistols had been spent.


See also[]