Age of Empires Series Wiki

Thumb Ring is a technology in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors available at the Archery Range upon reaching the Castle Age. Once researched, all archers (foot archers and Cavalry Archers) are able to fire faster and with 100% accuracy at non-moving targets (it does not affect gunpowder units).

This technology is different from Ballistics (researched at the University), which improves targeting against moving targets.

The Ethiopian Archer line already fires 18% faster due to their civilization bonus and have access to Thumb Ring. As a result, they have the fastest firing foot archers in the game. Mongol Cavalry Archers already fire 25% faster due to their civilization bonus and have access to Thumb Ring. As a result, they have the fastest firing Cavalry Archers in the game.

Cavalry Archers and War Wagons fire 11% faster; the Archer line, Mangudai, Camel Archers, Genoese Crossbowmen, Elephant Archers, Plumed Archers, Rattan Archers, and Kipchaks fire 18% faster; and Chu Ko Nu fire 25% faster.

Skirmishers, Genitours, and Slingers do not get a faster firing rate, only benefitting from the accuracy increase.

Technology availability
Available Unavailable

The ‡ indicates Thumb Ring was previously available for this civilization.

Affected units[]

All units listed below benefit from Thumb Ring. The Longbowman (denoted with a *) does too, but the Britons do not get Thumb Ring. Hence, this is only relevant in games with Full Tech Tree checked. The War Wagon and Genoese Crossbowman do not increase their accuracy as they are already at 100%.

Archer unit Rate of Fire increase Accuracy increase
Archer aoe2DE.png Archer +18% yes
Crossbowman aoe2DE.png Crossbowman +18% yes
Arbalester aoe2DE.png Arbalester +18% yes
Skirmisher aoe2DE.png Skirmisher no yes
Elite skirmisher aoe2DE.png Elite Skirmisher no yes
Imperialskirmishericon-DE.png Imperial Skirmisher no yes
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE.png Cavalry Archer +11% yes
Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de.png Heavy Cavalry Archer +11% yes
LongbowmanIcon-DE.png Longbowman* +18% yes
LongbowmanIcon-DE.png Elite Longbowman* +18% yes
ChukoNuIcon-DE.png Chu Ko Nu +25% yes
ChukoNuIcon-DE.png Elite Chu Ko Nu +25% yes
MangudaiIcon-DE.png Mangudai +18% yes
MangudaiIcon-DE.png Elite Mangudai +18% yes
WarWagonIcon-DE.png War Wagon +11% no
WarWagonIcon-DE.png Elite War Wagon +11% no
PlumedArcherIcon-DE.png Plumed Archer +18% yes
PlumedArcherIcon-DE.png Elite Plumed Archer +18% yes
SlingerIcon-DE.png Slinger no yes
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon.png Elephant Archer +18% yes
ElephantArcherIcon-DE.png Elite Elephant Archer +18% yes
GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE.png Genoese Crossbowman +18% no
GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE.png Elite Genoese Crossbowman +18% no
CamelArcherIcon-DE.png Camel Archer +18% yes
CamelArcherIcon-DE.png Elite Camel Archer +18% yes
GenitourIcon-DE.png Genitour no yes
GenitourIcon-DE.png Elite Genitour no yes
Rattanarchericon-DE.png Rattan Archer +18% yes
Rattanarchericon-DE.png Elite Rattan Archer +18% yes
Kipchakicon.png Kipchak +18% yes
Kipchakicon.png Elite Kipchak +18% yes

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Chinese: Thumb Ring is 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Portuguese: Researching Thumb Ring is 30% faster.
  • Tatars: Thumb Ring is free.

Team bonuses[]

  • A team containing Britons: Researching Thumb Ring is 20% faster.


The Conquerors[]

The Forgotten[]

  • Incas: Cannot research Thumb Ring.

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Incas: Thumb Ring added to their technology tree.

Definitive Edition[]

Dawn of the Dukes[]


  • Neither of the civilizations introduced in Lords of the West can research Thumb Ring.
  • As of update 56005, Vikings are the only civilization to lose access to Thumb Ring after an update and Incas are the only civilization to gain access to it.


The typical archer of the Middle Ages drew the bowstring back to his chest to fire. English longbowmen had the ability to draw back to their cheek, increasing the power and distance of their shots. Archers from Asia developed a thumb ring that made it possible to draw back to their ear or beyond. When this improvement was added to their already very powerful composite bows, their weapons proved quite effective.
The Conquerors manual


  1. Since update 56005.