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Fast cavalry good at raiding villagers or buildings.
—In-game description

The Steppe Rider is a melee heavy cavalry in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that is unique to the Chinese and are trained as part of the Standard Army or (since the Definitive Edition) as part of the Mongolian Army.


Steppe Riders have a fairly low attack and hit points, but they are cheap and can be fielded in large numbers. They have a high multiplier against infantry, making them equally effective against units like Skirmishers and Crossbowmen as a Hussar. They are also classified as a siege unit, giving it good resistance to building fire, but making them especially vulnerable to Minutemen fire. Steppe Riders are not used as much beyond the Commerce Age, as the Chinese have other, superior hand cavalry units that become available to them at that time.

The Mongolian Scourge card increases Steppe Riders' attack against Villagers to that of a Hussar, making them extremely good raiders. They are a lot easier to mass-produce, as they are cheaper and are shipped in larger numbers. This card is fairly important if a player is planning on raiding a lot with Steppe Riders, as a single Villager with Great Coat and Blunderbuss (or other civilizations' equivalent) will quite easily beat a Steppe Rider in melee. Steppe Riders' biggest advantage as a unit is their excellent siege.

Exalted Steppe Riders are almost exactly as strong as un-upgraded Hussars, but cost only one population.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Disciplined steppe rider.png Disciplined Steppe Rider 100 wood,
50 coin
Upgrades Steppe Riders to Disciplined (+20% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Honored steppe rider.png Honored Steppe Rider 300 wood,
300 coin
Upgrades Steppe Riders to Honored (+30% hit points and attack); requires Disciplined Steppe Rider
Imperial Age
Exalted steppe rider.png Exalted Steppe Rider 750 wood,
750 coin
Upgrades Steppe Riders to Exalted (+40% hit points and attack); requires Honored Steppe Rider

Further statistics[]

As Steppe Riders are unique to the Chinese, only technologies that they have access to are shown in the following table:

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry, buildings, villagers (with Mongolian Scourge Home City Card), artillery
Weak vs. Cavalry, 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 Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Cheyenne Horse Trading.png Cheyenne Horse Trading (-12%, Standard Army)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10% coin cost, Standard Army)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]

As Steppe Riders are unique to the Chinese, only their cards and other civilizations' TEAM cards are shown in the following tables:


The Asian Dynasties[]

  • Steppe Riders have 6.75 speed and a obstruction radius of 0.79.
  • Exalted Steppe Rider increases Steppe Rider hit points and attack by 50%.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Steppe Riders have 7.25 speed and a obstruction radius of 0.65.
  • Steppe Riders are now trained as part of the Mongolian Army.

The African Royals[]

  • With update 61213, Exalted Steppe Rider increases Steppe Rider hit points and attack by 40%.


The Mongol army of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was one of the most effective fighting forces of all time, centering its battlefield strategy on the tenets of flexibility, mobility, and siege. Clad in light armor, horse archers rode and fought independently of cumbersome supply lines, collecting valuable reconnaissance information as they disrupted enemy positions and sowed seeds of panic. Their tactic of swift advances and false retreats often left the steppe riders out of harm’s way but within arrow range for their attack. As the warriors attacked, mounted couriers relayed messages across various fronts and within the combined army, which consisted of a variety of different units working together.

When the Mongols prepared for a final siege, they brought engineers to the front. Siege engines and rockets were deployed to scatter enemy formations, and to isolate pockets of troops to keep supplies or reinforcements from reaching them.