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This article is about the technology in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. For the technology in Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragon, see Stirrup.

Stirrups is a technology in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition that is unique to the Bulgarians and can be researched at the Castle. Once researched, it increases the attack speed of all cavalry units by 33%.

Note that Dismounted Konniks and Cavalry Archers are unaffected by Stirrups.


Mounted Konniks have the slowest melee attack of a cavalry unit in the game; however, after researching it, their attack rate drops to that of a Knight (1.8), while having a higher base attack than Knights, so in the Castle Age, this technology is a must if the player wants to utilize them, though it is quite expensive and Blacksmith technologies should still be prioritized first. In the post-Imperial Age, Elite Konniks attack faster than generic Paladins and at the same rate as Savars. This, combined with their easy creation and being able to fight dismounted, make the Konnik one of the best cavalry units in the game, as well one of the finest unique units.

Stirrups also affects light cavalry, which puts their Hussars at a huge advantage in "trash wars" as well performing extremely good at raiding and killing Villagers, and probably makes a fully upgraded Bulgarian Hussar the strongest in the game and able to defeat generic Hussars, Mongol Hussars, and even Malian Light Cavalry with Farimba in one-to-one combat.

With update 36906, to compensate for losing access to Paladins, Stirrups was changed to affect the Knight line as well, and as a result, Bulgarian Knights become one of the most dominant units in the Castle Age, excelling at assaults and able to stand up against even Camel Riders and Pikemen, and Bulgarian Cavaliers when fully upgraded have the highest potential damage per second among the cavalry units in the game (excluding elephants), even outperforming Lithuanian Paladins with 4 Relics collected and Malian Cavaliers with Farimba (~11.85 damage per second vs 10.53 and 10.56, respectively).

Team bonuses[]


AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]


The stirrup, which gives greater stability to a rider, has been described as one of the most significant inventions in the history of warfare, prior to gunpowder. As a tool allowing expanded use of horses in warfare, the stirrup is often called the third revolutionary step in equipment, after the chariot and the saddle.

The earliest foot supports was a toe loop that held the big toe and was used in India late in the second century BC, though may have appeared as early as 500 BC. Buddhist carvings in the temples of Sanchi, Mathura and the Bhaja caves dating back between the 1st and 2nd century BC figure horsemen riding with elaborate saddles with toes slipped under girths. In this regard archaeologist John Marshall described the Sanchi relief as "the earliest example by some five centuries of the use of stirrups in any part of the world".

Stirrups real life

Cavalry reenactor with stirrups

It is speculated that stirrups may have been used in China as early as the Han dynasty (206 BC– 220 AD). The paired stirrups was invented in China during the Jin Dynasty by the early 4th century AD. The earliest extant double stirrups were discovered in the tomb of a Northern Yan noble, Feng Sufu, who died in 415 AD. The stirrup appeared to be in widespread use across China by 477 AD.

By the late 6th or early 7th century AD, primarily due to invaders from Central Asia, such as the Avars and the Bulgars, stirrups began spreading across Asia to Europe from China. In terms of archaeological finds, the iron pear-shaped form of stirrups, the ancestor of medieval European types, has been found in Europe in 7th century Avar graves in Hungary. By the 8th century stirrups began to be adopted more widely by Europeans.


  • In the alpha, a technology called "Stirrup" existed, allowing the training of lance cavalry units. This was removed at one point during development, meaning stirrups did not appear in the final game until over 20 years later.
Unique technologies in Age of Empires II
AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBritons AoE2 Yeomen · Byzantines AoE2 Greek Fire · Celts AoE2 Stronghold · Chinese AoE2 Great Wall · Franks AoE2 Bearded Axe · Goths AoE2 Anarchy · Japanese AoE2 Yasama · Mongols AoE2 Nomads · Persians AoE2 Kamandaran · Saracens AoE2 Bimaristan · Teutons AoE2 Ironclad · Turks AoE2 Sipahi · Vikings AoE2 Chieftains
UniqueTechImperialDEBritons AoE2 Warwolf · Byzantines AoE2 Logistica · Celts AoE2 Furor Celtica · Chinese AoE2 Rocketry · Franks AoE2 Chivalry · Goths AoE2 Perfusion · Japanese AoE2 Kataparuto · Mongols AoE2 Drill · Persians AoE2 Citadels · Saracens AoE2 Counterweights · Teutons AoE2 Crenellations · Turks AoE2 Artillery · Vikings AoE2 Bogsveigar
AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEAztecs AoE2 Atlatl · Huns AoE2 Marauders · Koreans AoE2 Eupseong · Mayans AoE2 Hul'che Javelineers · Spanish AoE2 Inquisition
UniqueTechImperialDEAztecs AoE2 Garland Wars · Huns AoE2 Atheism · Koreans AoE2 Shinkichon · Mayans AoE2 El Dorado · Spanish AoE2 Supremacy
AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEIncas AoE2 Andean Sling · Italians AoE2 Pavise · Magyars AoE2 Corvinian Army · Slavs AoE2 Detinets
UniqueTechImperialDEIncas AoE2 Fabric Shields · Italians AoE2 Silk Road · Magyars AoE2 Recurve Bow · Slavs AoE2 Druzhina
AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBerbers AoE2 Kasbah · Ethiopians AoE2 Tigui · Malians AoE2 Royal Heirs · Portuguese AoE2 Carrack
UniqueTechImperialDEBerbers AoE2 Maghrebi Camels · Ethiopians AoE2 Farimba · Malians AoE2 Torsion Engines · Portuguese AoE2 Arquebus
AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBurmese AoE2 Manipur Cavalry · Khmer AoE2 Tusk Swords · Malay AoE2 Thalassocracy · Vietnamese AoE2 Chatras
UniqueTechImperialDEBurmese AoE2 Howdah · Khmer AoE2 Double Crossbow · Malay AoE2 Forced Levy · Vietnamese AoE2 Paper Money
AoE2-DLCicon-5 The Last Khans civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBulgarians AoE2 Stirrups · Cumans AoE2 Steppe Husbandry · Lithuanians AoE2 Hill Forts · Tatars AoE2 Silk Armor
UniqueTechImperialDEBulgarians AoE2 Bagains · Cumans AoE2 Cuman Mercenaries · Lithuanians AoE2 Tower Shields · Tatars AoE2 Timurid Siegecraft
AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBurgundians AoE2 Burgundian Vineyards · Sicilians AoE2 First Crusade
UniqueTechImperialDEBurgundians AoE2 Flemish Revolution · Sicilians AoE2 Hauberk
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBohemians AoE2 Wagenburg Tactics · Poles AoE2 Szlachta Privileges
UniqueTechImperialDEBohemians AoE2 Hussite Reforms · Poles AoE2 Lechitic Legacy
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEBengalis AoE2 Paiks · Dravidians AoE2 Medical Corps · Gurjaras AoE2 Kshatriyas · Hindustanis AoE2 Grand Trunk Road
UniqueTechImperialDEBengalis AoE2 Mahayana · Dravidians AoE2 Wootz Steel · Gurjaras AoE2 Frontier Guards · Hindustanis AoE2 Shatagni
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DERomans AoE2 Ballistas
UniqueTechImperialDERomans AoE2 Comitatenses
AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals civilizations
UniqueTechCastle-DEArmenians AoE2 Cilician Fleet · Georgians AoE2 Svan Towers
UniqueTechImperialDEArmenians AoE2 Fereters · Georgians AoE2 Aznauri Cavalry
Removed technologies
UniqueTechCastle-DEPersians AoE2 Boiling Oil · Saracens AoE2 Camelry · Saracens AoE2 Madrasah · Mayans AoE2 Obsidian Arrows · Slavs AoE2 Orthodoxy · Koreans AoE2 Panokseon
UniqueTechImperialDEVikings AoE2 Berserkergang · Persians AoE2 Mahouts · Sicilians AoE2 Scutage · Saracens AoE2 Zealotry
Revised technologies
UniqueTechImperialDE Couriers · UniqueTechImperialDE Manipur Cavalry · UniqueTechImperialDE Paper Money · UniqueTechCastle-DE Royal Heirs