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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 (both foot and mounted) 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.

Dravidian Elephant Archers and Mongol mounted archers already fire 25% faster due to their civilization bonuses and have access to Thumb Ring. As a result, they have the fastest-firing and second fastest-firing (Mangudai) mounted archers in the game respectively.

Availability chart[]

Thumbringavailable AvailableThumbringunavailable Unavailable
means that the civilization had access to Thumb Ring in the past, but does not currently.


The main effects are:

These apply to every unit classified as an archer or cavalry archer (excluding the Hand Cannoneer, Janissary, Conquistador, and Arambai). However, additional effects differentiate the technology's effect on certain units:

  • Skirmisher and Genitour lines, as well as Slingers +17.6% reload time, nullifying the firing rate boost
  • Cavalry Archer and War Wagon lines +5.9% reload time, modifying the firing rate boost to +11.1%, or -10% reload time
  • Chu Ko Nu -5.9% reload time, modifying the firing rate boost to +25%, or -20% reload time

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Chinese AoE2 Chinese: Thumb Ring is 10%/15% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Spanish AoE2 Spanish: Receive 20 gold after researching Thumb Ring.
  • Tatars AoE2 Tatars: Thumb Ring is free.

Team bonuses[]

  • Britons AoE2 Britons: Researching Thumb Ring is 10% faster.
  • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: Researching Thumb Ring is 25% faster.


AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

  • Incas AoE2 Incas: Cannot research Thumb Ring.

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • Incas AoE2 Incas: Thumb Ring added to their technology tree. Thumb Ring does not increase the Slinger's Rate of Fire.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

  • With update 73855, the internal implementation of Thumb Ring is made cleaner and simpler. As a side effect, heroes and Slingers benefit from it. This change was not mentioned in the patch notes.
  • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: With update 73855, Thumb Ring is researched 25% faster as a team bonus.
  • Incas AoE2 Incas: With update 81058, Fixed an issue where Slingers incorrectly gained attack speed from Thumb Ring.


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


  • In the Definitive Edition, none of the Western European civilizations can research Thumb Ring, while all African, East Asian, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern civilizations can.
  • Neither of the civilizations introduced in Lords of the West and The Mountain Royals 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.
  • Thumb Ring benefits ranged Rathas, but not melee ones, making their Rate of Fire distinct.
  • The hero unit Tariq ibn Ziyad also has his reload time increased by 17.6% when Thumb Ring is researched.
Technologies in Age of Empires II
Economic technologies
MaleVillDEFEMALEVILLDE VillagerWheelbarrowDE Wheelbarrow · HandcartDE Hand Cart
Aoe2de food FoodHorseCollarDE Horse Collar · HeavyPlowDE Heavy Plow · CropRotationDE Crop Rotation
GillnetsDE Gillnets
Aoe2de wood WoodDoubleBitAxe aoe2DE Double-Bit Axe · BowSawDE Bow Saw · TwoManSawDE Two-Man Saw
Aoe2de gold GoldGoldMiningDE Gold Mining · GoldShaftMiningDE Gold Shaft Mining
CaravanDE Caravan
Aoe2de stone StoneStoneMiningDE Stone Mining · StoneShaftMiningDE Stone Shaft Mining
Civilian shipsDryDockDE Dry Dock · ShipwrightDE Shipwright
Market aoe2DE MarketCoinageDE Coinage · BankingDE Banking
GuildsDE Guilds
Military technologies
GeneralConscriptionDE Conscription
HeresyDE Heresy · Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion · FaithDE Faith
Melee unitsForging aoe2de Forging · IronCastingDE Iron Casting · BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace
CavalryBloodlinesDE Bloodlines · HusbandryDE Husbandry
ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor · ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor · PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor
InfantrySuplliesicon Supplies · AoE2 Gambesons Gambesons · SquiresDE Squires · ArsonDE Arson
ScaleMailArmorDE Scale Mail Armor · ChainMailArmorDE Chain Mail Armor · PlateMailArmorDE Plate Mail Armor
Ranged unitsBallisticsDE Ballistics · ChemistryDE Chemistry
FletchingDE Fletching · BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow · BracerDE Bracer
ArchersPaddedArcherArmorDE Padded Archer Armor · LeatherArcherArmorDE Leather Archer Armor · RingArcherArmorDE Ring Archer Armor
ThumbRingDE Thumb Ring · ParthianTacticsDE Parthian Tactics
SiegeSiegeEngineersDE Siege Engineers
ShipCareeningDE Careening · DryDockDE Dry Dock
ShipwrightDE Shipwright
WarGalleyDE War Galley
BuildingTownWatchDE Town Watch · TownPatrolDE Town Patrol
Masonry aoe2de Masonry · ArchitectureDE Architecture
HeatedShotDE Heated Shot · ArrowSlitsDE Arrowslits · MurderHolesDE Murder Holes · TreadmillCraneDE Treadmill Crane · HoardingsDE Hoardings · BombardTower aoe2DE Bombard Tower
HerbalDE Herbal Medicine
MonkRedemptionDE Redemption · AtonementDE Atonement · SanctityDE Sanctity · FervorDE Fervor · IlluminationDE Illumination · BlockPrintingDE Block Printing · TheocracyDE Theocracy
MaleVillDEFEMALEVILLDE VillagerLoomDE Loom · SapperDE Sappers
Miscellaneous technologies
SpiesDE Spies · SpiesDE Treason · UniqueTechCastle-DEUniqueTechImperialDE Unique technologies
Removed/cut generic technologies
Bombardcannonresearch Bombard Cannon · CannongalleonresearchDE Cannon Galleon · Cartography aoe2de Cartography · Handcannon Hand Cannon · Huntingdogs Hunting Dogs · Revetments · TrackingDE Tracking