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A scout unit is a military unit (usually) with which a player starts to help locate the position of the player's, allies', and enemies' resources. The primary feature of a military scout unit is scouting, though it can sometimes engage in combat.


Scouts are typically fast-moving units with a high Line of Sight in the Age of Empires series. They are generally poor at fighting or even non-combatant. Scouts are essential in the early game; they uncover nearby areas of the map, finding resources, items, and enemies. There are other units that can fulfill this role or can complement scouting, but the units listed here excel at scouting activities and are most frequently used in this regard.

ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

In Age of Empires, the Scout is the earliest and weakest cavalry unit. There is also a ship called Scout Ship; this is the weakest of all warships in the game. Neither of these units are available until the Tool Age. Therefore, in the Stone Age, players often use a Villager or Clubman to explore the land and a Fishing Ship to explore the water instead. In Return of Rome, an Explorer and some controllable animals were added as scout units to be used on some MegaRandom generations.

Since Age of Empires runs on the Age of Empires II engine since Return of Rome, scout units have an Auto Scout ability.

Comparison among Scouts[]

Clubman Explorer Scout-0 Scout Controllable Animal
Hit points 20 60 50
Movement speed 1.3 2 1.2
Line of Sight 4 7 4
Effective scouting rate
k * 5.2 k * 14 k * 4.8
Pierce armor 0 1 0
Attack 2 3
+3 vs Archers
Attack bonuses taken
(Stone and Tool Age units)
none +4 from Axemen +4 from Axemen
where k is constant depending on units used. .

Common statistics:

  • Rate of fire - 1.5
  • Melee armor - 0

AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires II[]

On most maps, one of the following units are scouts depending on the player's civilization:

On some nomadic maps like Steppe, the player may start with a controllable animal as a Scout, irrespective of civilizations. The controllable animal can be any unit among Horse (5 variants), Bactrian Camel, and Camel, all of which are statistically equal. Controllable animals have 1.2 movement speed and 4 Line of Sight, and also automatically get +0.35 speed boost and +2 Line of Sight upon reaching the Feudal Age. This makes them identical to generic Scout Cavalry in terms of scouting in the first two Ages. However, controllable animals cannot attack.

In update 36202, the Auto Scout feature was introduced. It makes the AI take control of the unit to scout the area. Initially, this feature was only available to the one scouting unit that spawned at the very start of the game, and was not available to scouting units obtained later or trained at buildings. Since update 111772, all scout units have the Auto Scout option.

The player starts with a King in Regicide games, which is often used to scout, but the King is technically not a scout unit and must be kept alive at all costs. On some water maps, the player also starts with a Transport Ship, which does not have much purpose in early game, so it is used to scout. It does not have the auto-scout ability, but fulfills the same general role. Most players often use their herdables early for scouting the surroundings of their initial settlements.

The following table will help to understand the scouting ability of different units which are often used to scout. Transport Ships are not included, since it is a naval unit and does not have an alternative.

Comparison in the Dark Age among Scouts[]

Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout Scoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout Horse aoe2DE Hunnic Horse/Controllable Animals King
Hit points 50 45 70 50 75
Movement speed 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.32
Line of Sight 5 4 4 4 6
Effective scouting rate
k * 5.5 k * 4.8 k * 4.8 k * 4.8 k * 7.92
Pierce armor 2 2 0 0 0
(Dark and Feudal Age units)
+11 vs Herdables
+3 vs Battering Rams
+6 vs Herdables
0 vs Archers
0 vs St. Buildings
0 vs Herdables and St. Buildings
none none
Attack bonuses taken
(Dark and Feudal Age units)
+4 from Boars
+2 from Man-at-Arms
+1 from Spearmen
+3 from Boars
+15 from Spearmen
+5 from Camel Scouts in Feudal Age
+8 from Boars
+12 from Spearmen
+1 from Town Centers and Towers
+2 from Feudal Age Camel Scouts
+15 from Spearmen
+5 from Camel Scouts in Feudal Age
where k is constant depending on units used. .

Common statistics:

  • Rate of fire - 2
  • Melee armor - 0

Comparison in the Feudal Age among Scouts[]

Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout Scoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout Horse aoe2DE Hunnic Horse/controllable Animals
Cost 20 food, 50 gold 80 food 55 food, 60 gold N/A
Training time 60 for Incas and Mayans
54 for Aztecs
30 38.4 N/A
Attack 4
+8 vs Monks
+3 vs Siege Weapons
+6 vs Monks
0 vs St. Buildings
0 vs Archers
0 vs St. Buildings
+5 vs Cavalry
+2 vs Camels
Line of Sight 8 6 5 6
Movement speed 1.1 1.55 1.45 1.55
Effective scouting rate
k * 8.8 k * 9.3 k * 7.25 k * 9.3

Statistics which did not change between Dark and Feudal Age not included


  • Camel Scouts are scout units only for the Gurjaras.
  • Camels and Bactrian Camels among controllable animals have the Armor class: Cavalry, not the Armor class: Camel, unlike other camel units.
  • Controllable animals are not affected by any civilization or team bonus, ensuring equal scouting ability for all civilizations.
  • While controllable animals cannot attack, they can still convert Sheep and lure Deer.
  • Many players also use some of their herdable animals for early exploration around their initial locations, which leaves their scout to explore other areas of the maps or for luring Deer. However, this risks losing them to another player. Exploring with herdables and with Villagers is often seen in Nomad-style maps, as players don't get any scout unit until the Feudal Age.

Aom original icon Age of Mythology[]

In Age of Mythology each culture has one designated scout unit, and some civilizations have additional scout units. There are some god powers that can be used to explore the map, such as Loki's Spy, and Set's Vision.

The designated Greek scout is the Kataskopos, which is a starting unit; more cannot be trained. All Greek civilizations can train the Pegasus once they have a Temple, and Poseidon players also have the Hippocampus, which appears for free at the Dock.

The designated Egyptian scout is the Priest, though Spearmen and other units are more suitable from the Classical Age. Set, however, has animal units that greatly help with exploration. The Norse have the Ulfsark as their scout, and Odin also has Ravens that help with scouting from the Classical Age.

Atlanteans use Oracles and Oracle Heroes for scouting, while the Chinese use Scout Cavalry to explore the map.

Originally all civilizations were to have Scout Cavalry, which also functioned as Trash Cavalry, however this was changed to make them more unique.

3Icon48px Age of Empires III[]

In Age of Empires III and its expansions, the starting explorer units play an important role in scouting. European civilizations start with a special unit called the Explorer, Asian civilizations start with a Monk, Native American civilizations start with a War Chief (who can convert treasure guardians for scouting purposes), African civilizations starts with cavalry heroes with a Chaos ability (the Ras for the Ethiopians, the Emir for the Hausa) and Federal American civilizations starts with a General (Mexicans also gets a Padre in the Commerce Age). These unit types can build Trading Posts and Town Centers (except Generals and the Padre), in addition to having special abilities for combat that allow them to claim treasures in the early game.

Native Scouts may be found randomly at a map guarded by treasure guardians, Native American civilizations can also train them after receiving a specific shipment, and the French start with one. In the Plymouth map, all players start with an Intrepid Turkey Scout that can assist in scouting and if killed by an opponent, gives food.

Furthermore, some civilizations feature additional unit types dedicated to scouting:

  • European civilizations (excluding the Spanish) can ship an Explorer Dog.
  • European civilizations can also ship Home City Cards that a grant temporary Hot Air Balloon (spawned by the Explorer) and a permanent Advanced Hot Air Balloon.
  • The Dutch start with an Envoy, and civilizations allied with a Dutch player receive three once the TEAM 3 Envoy shipment is sent.
  • Civilizations playing on the Mongolia map start with a Mongol Scout, and civilizations allied with a Chinese player receive two once the TEAM 2 Mongol Scouts Home City Card is sent.
  • The Aztecs start with a Warrior Priest and an Eagle Scout. The Aztec War Chief can train a limited number of Eagle Scouts, which can assist the War Chief with scouting and claiming treasures. Similarly, the Shaolin Master can train Disciples, the Spanish Explorer can train War Dogs, and there are some shipments and technologies that allows to the main scout unit to train pet animals that can assist for scouting and claiming treasures.
  • The Inca have Chasquis they receive with Age advancements and with some early shipments. They are a fast moving infantry, very helpful for scouting, claiming treasures, and are also able to build Town Centers and Tambos (Inca replacement for the Trading Post).

Europeans and Federal Americans can train Spies at the Church (or equivalent), which can be good scouting units, as they have Stealth mode (which makes the unit invisible to the opponent), while the Ottomans and the Hausa can train Muhbirs from the Mosque. Other civilizations also have some units with stealth mode.

GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV[]

There are three types of scout units depending on the civilization:

Despite the Mongols having access to the Scout, they start the game with the Khan, which is a ranged light cavalry, hence more useful. The generic Scout cannot be upgraded at all, while the Khan automatically is, and the Malian Scout can be. The Khan, however, is limited to 1, and is spawned automatically 120 seconds after the previous one died.

Comparison among units[]

AoE4 Scout Scout AoE4 WarriorScout Warrior Scout AoE4 Khan Khan
Cost 70 food 90 food None
Time 25 15 120
Hit points 110 110 GameIcon-DarkAgeAoE4 90
GameIcon-FeudalAgeAoE4 115
Melee attack 1 1 -
Melee RoF 2 2 -
Ranged attack 3 3 GameIcon-DarkAgeAoE4 2
GameIcon-FeudalAgeAoE4 3
Ranged RoF 1 1 2
Range 2.88 2.88 GameIcon-DarkAgeAoE4 5
GameIcon-FeudalAgeAoE4 5.5
LoS 9.11 9.11 GameIcon-DarkAgeAoE4 9.11
GameIcon-FeudalAgeAoE4 11.11
  • Melee armor: 0
  • Ranged armor: 0
  • Speed : 1.625


The main purpose of scout units are uncovering the map and herding Sheep. No other unit can convert Sheep. Converted Sheep follow the scout at its speed, but when moving on their own, they become 85% slower.

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