|This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the related unit in Age of Empires, see Scout (Age of Empires).|
|“||Fast with extensive line of sight.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Scout Cavalry is a light cavalry unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Stable. In a standard game playing with a non-American civilization, the player starts off with a Scout Cavalry. It has a weak attack, but they are quick and are effective against enemy Villagers and Archers from the Feudal Age on. They have an innate resistance against conversion and a +6 attack bonus against Monks.
In the Dark Age, Scout Cavalry are primarily used as scouting units, as they do not have an attack powerful enough to be an effective battle unit. This also includes the collection of Sheep and other herdables, and locating resources for mining gold and stone.
However, upon researching the Feudal Age, Scout Cavalry are automatically upgraded and gain +2 attack, +2 Line of Sight, and +0.35 movement speed. Then, they are often used for harassing enemy Villagers. Civilizations like the Huns (no Houses needed), Magyars (free attack upgrade upon each Age advance), and Mongols (faster Hunter gathering speed allowing for fast advance times) excel at performing a Scout rush. It might still be useful even until a bit after Castle Age hits due to its mobility, but the coming of Pikemen and the ever-increasing amount of Archers (who are also able to take them down easily in large enough numbers), soon to be upgraded into Crossbowmen, cause Scouts to be more and more underwhelming.
In the Castle Age, Stables are often used to train Knights instead, which are much stronger units with the same training time. However, in high ranked games, Scout Cavalry are still a common unit for the early Castle Age, due to their ability to counter typical Castle Age tactics like Monk rushes or mass Mangonels. As such, Scout Cavalry are important to defend against those units. This is particularly so on Arena and similar closed maps where it is safe for the enemy to age up quickly. The upgrade to Light Cavalry is available to all civilizations (bar the Teutons) and well worth obtaining for performing the above roles, as well as the fact that Light Cavalry are more useful as trash units than Scout Cavalry in the late game.
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Skirmishers, Villagers, siege weapons, Archers, Monks|
|Weak vs.||Infantry, cavalry|
|Hit points||Bloodlines (+20)|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Farimba (+5, Malians only)
Manipur Cavalry ( , Burmese only)
Lechitic Legacy (33% blast damage in 0.5 tile radius, Poles only)
|Firing Rate||Stirrups (+33% attack speed, Bulgarians only)|
|Armor|| Scale Barding Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Barding Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Barding Armor (+1/+2)
Silk Armor ( , Tatars only)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
First Crusade (Sicilians only)
|Creation speed|| Conscription (+33%)|
Chivalry (+40%, Franks only)
Steppe Husbandry (+100%, Cumans only)
- Berbers Scout Cavalry are /20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Scout Cavalry cost 50% less food.
- Burmese: Researching Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Burgundians: Researching Husbandry and upgrading to Light Cavalry is 50% cheaper.
- Celts: Scout Cavalry can convert herdables even if enemy units are next to them.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Scout Cavalry are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Cumans: Scout Cavalry move 5%/10%15% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Franks: Scout Cavalry starting in the Feudal Age.
- Indians: Scout Cavalry have +1/+2 pierce armor in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Magyars: Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace are free. Scout Cavalry are cheaper.
- Portuguese: Upgrades that benefit Scout Cavalry are researched 30% faster.
- Sicilians: Scout Cavalry absorb 50% of all incoming bonus damage.
- Spanish: Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Scout Cavalry don't cost gold.
- Tatars: Scout Cavalry deal +25% bonus damage from elevations.
- Teutons: Scout Cavalry gain +1 melee armor in the Castle Age and +1 melee armor in the Imperial Age (for +2 in total)
- Turks: The Light Cavalry upgrade is free. Scout Cavalry gain +1 pierce armor.
- Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, researching Conscription is 25% faster.
- A team containing Huns: Scout Cavalry are created and upgraded 20% faster. Researching Bloodlines and Husbandry is 20% faster.
- A team containing Mongols: Scout Cavalry have +2 LOS.
- A team containing Poles: Scout Cavalry +1 attack vs. archers.
- A team containing Teutons: Scout Cavalry are more resistant to conversion.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Heresy and Faith is 20% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Researching cavalry armor and attack upgrades at the Blacksmith is faster.
- Scout Cavalry receive an attack bonus of +6 against Monks.
- Heresy introduced.
- Bloodlines introduced.
The African Kingdoms
- Berbers: Initially, Scout Cavalry were 20% cheaper from the Castle Age on. With patch 4.8, that bonus was staggered to 15%/20% in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Franks: Scout Cavalry now benefit from the civilization bonus and have +20% HP.
Rise of the Rajas
- Burmese: Initially, Manipur Cavalry gives +6 attack against buildings. With patch 5.3, the bonus is spread over the two building classes (building and standard building) equally.
- Magyars: With patch 5.5, Scout Cavalry are now 15% cheaper.
- Franks: Cavalry +20% HP bonus only available from the Feudal Age, so the Scout Cavalry get normal HP in the Dark Age.
- Bulgarians: With update 42848, Blacksmith upgrades that benefit Scout Cavalry cost 50% less food. As team bonus, Blacksmiths now work 80% faster (up from 50% faster).
- Indians: With update 42848, Scout Cavalry have +1 pierce armor in the Castle Age and +1 in the Imperial Age (for a total of 2).
- Lithuanians: Initially, Scout Cavalry gained +1 attack for each garrisoned Relic, up to +5. With update 34055, this bonus no longer affects Scout Cavalry.
- Portuguese: With update 42848, technologies are researched 30% faster.
- Teutons: With update 36906, Stable units get +1 melee armor in the Castle Age and +1 in the Imperial Age (+2 in total).
- Turks: With update 42848, Scout Cavalry have +1 pierce armor.
- Once the Feudal Age is reached, the Scout Cavalry gains +0.35 speed, making it the fastest land unit in the game, even faster than its successors, the Light Cavalry and the Hussar.
- The Cuman Scout Cavalry in the Imperial Age is the fastest land unit in the game at 1.7825 speed.
- The fully upgraded Teutonic Scout Cavalry in the Imperial Age is tied with Teutonic Halberdier with the highest melee armor of all trash units with 5 melee armor.
- In the The Age of Kings manual, the upgrades list says that the Scout Cavalry is affected by Metallurgy. However, there is no such technology in Age of Empires II. Either it was a cut technology from alpha or beta, or the developers were careless while writing the manual, confusing it with the technology of the same name in Age of Empires.
- Before update 34055, Lithuanian Scout Cavalry gained +1 attack for each garrisoned Relic, up to +5.
- Their attack sounds are the same as the Villager's.
- The Sicilian Scout Cavalry line with the Faith and First Crusade technologies researched with a Teuton ally is the hardest unit to be converted.
|“||The importance of fast horse units for scouting had been learned in ancient times and carried forward into the Middle Ages. Even Middle Age armies built around heavy knights maintained a force of lightly armored scout cavalry to act as the eyes of an army on the march. Scout cavalry employed horses bred for stamina and speed. They would range far in advance and to the flanks of an army to gather information about enemy movements. Scout cavalry were less useful in battle because the men wore little armor and light weapons. They were very useful, however, once an enemy was defeated and routing. Then scout cavalry were effective in running down fleeing survivors and capturing equipment, wagons, and prisoners.||”|