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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III. For the technology in Age of Empires II HD: The Forgotten, see Sipahi.

Powerful cavalry available only from the Home City.
—In-game description

The Spahi is a melee heavy cavalry unit in Age of Empires III that is unique to the Ottomans and can only be shipped from the Home City or chosen as an age up reward when aging to the Industrial Age. It is the second strongest melee cavalry unit in the game, behind the Mahout Lancer.


The Spahi is effective against enemy Skirmishers, archers, Shock Infantry and artillery, but can be countered by heavy infantry and light cavalry. The Spahi fights with a mace, and deals damage over a certain area rather than a single unit. It is considered one of the most effective units in the game and is almost twice as strong as a Cuirassier. 5 Spahis can be sent as a Fortress Age shipment, costing only 1000 food to ship, which means a player can get the equivalent of 9 Cuirassiers in just one Fortress Age shipment, making it one of the best shipments in the game.

Spahi have a special trait; like the Explorer and his dog, they can regenerate hit points, allowing them to last longer in a game.

In the original game, the player could have a maximum of 43 Spahi (3 with the The Grand Vizier politician in the Industrial Age and 40 shipped from the Home City – 22 in the Industrial Age and 18 in the Imperial Age), but in the Definitive Edition, infinite cards of Spahis were introduced.


The Spahi is automatically upgraded in Industrial Age and Imperial Age. Unlike other units, however, their name is not changed to reflect this.

Industrial age up.png +30% hit points and attack
Imperial age up.png +50% hit points and attack

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ranged infantry, Shock Infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Cavalry Cuirass.png Cavalry Cuirass (+10%)
Horsemanship.png Horsemanship (+10%, Lakota only)
Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Pillage.png Pillage (+25% siege attack)
Bonepipe Armor.png Bonepipe Armor (+1.0x multiplier vs. artillery, Lakota only)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Penalties Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)

Home City Cards[]


Age of Empires III[]

  • Spahis have a ranged resistance of 10%.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Spahis now have a ranged resistance of 20%.
  • Fixed a bug which causes Spahis shipped to non-Ottoman players (through "TEAM 4 Spahis") to not be automatically upgraded in Industrial and Imperial Ages.


  • Spahi is the Western rendition of Ottoman Turkish sipahi, which itself was borrowed from Persian sepâhi.
  • Before release, Spahi were originally the unique Ottoman variant of the European Hussar.
    • The Spahi shown in the history portrait is from that time of game development, which shows an unused texture in the final game for a visual upgrade called Elite Spahi in the game files.


The Spahis were cavalry for two different nations. Their name derives from a Persian word for soldier, "sipahi." They were elite cavalry in the Ottoman army, performing much the same duties as the janissaries, only mounted. There were more spahi than any other cavalry in the Ottoman army. They were also Algerian cavalrymen that fought for the French in Africa. These cavalrymen revolted when the French wanted them to leave Africa to aid France in the Franco-Prussian wars.

Mounted soldiers, they wore baggy pants and riding boots. Long, heavy cloaks, turned out to show the lining, draped them shoulder to calf, and they covered their heads with turbans. Armed chiefly with swords, they also carried firearms and spears.