Age of Empires Series Wiki
Aoe3 unit type treasure guardian.png

A list of ground human Treasure Guardians

A list of ground animals, including Treasure Guardians

A list of sea manned Treasure Guardians

Defeat this guardian to collect its Treasure.
—In-game description

Treasure Guardians are special units in Age of Empires III that watch over Treasures on a map.

Guardians are not hostile until attacked, and will retaliate towards the first attacker. In groups, all respond at once. If units damaging a guardian are then moved further away, the guardian will return to guarding its treasure and instantly heal to full hit points.

All Treasure Guardians are incredibly fast and move with at least six speed. Guardians can range from human units to Orca Whales on the water. The more difficult a Treasure is to claim, determined by the number and types of Guardians, the more greater its reward.

General information[]

Treasure Guardians are infantry, cavalry, or naval units that stand in a map guarding Treasures of wood, food, coin, experience, free units, unit improvements (hit points, attack, cost reduction, train time reduction), or special bonuses for the explorer, such as increased hit points - although these bonuses only affect the explorer in that game. In The Asian Dynasties maps, other types of Treasure have been added, like for example, a food discount on all costs. The Treasure Guardians have to be killed in order to claim Treasures. In the early stages of the game some Treasure Guardians can prove a challenge to defeat and should not be taken care of by civilian units, as high losses will result. Renegade units, rather than creatures, are much tougher to defeat and should be dispatched with military force, or by use of the Explorer's abilities. Most Treasure Guardians are usually wild animals or renegade men, both of which are from the Mother Nature faction. Some of the Treasure Guardians are superficially similar to mercenaries available to hire through the Saloon.

Treasure Guardians are their own class of unit and do not inflict or receive counter bonuses when fighting normal military units. Explorers, War Chiefs, Monks, and tame animals all have attack bonuses against Treasure Guardians. In addition, Explorers can use their Sharpshooter ability to kill a single Guardian; War Chiefs can convert a single Guardian to fight for them; and Monks can stun a single Guardian for a few seconds. With these abilities, explorer upgrade cards, and any tame animals the player finds, trains, or ships, even the best guarded Treasures can be gathered more quickly.


To defeat Treasure Guardians the Explorer alone cannot take on in a direct fight, attack (preferably with the Sharpshooter ability), then turn to run. The Treasure Guardians will pursue the attacker for some time, then return to the Treasure. As soon as they turn, attack them. They will react confused, allowing the Explorer to get several free shots in, increasing his odds in the following fight. This tactic will need a lot of the players undivided attention, but it will allow him to grab more valuable Treasures early in the game.

If the has some more fighting units at hand, it is advised to attack with the Explorer and then run away in circles. The guardians will pursue the Explorer, allowing the support units to kill them without retaliation. Using the Explorer has the advantage that any damage inflicted by the guardians will auto-regenerate, but it is possible to use fast unit with weak attack as well, allowing the explorer to fight.

List of Guardians[]

There are many types of Treasure Guardians:


Land animals[]

Water animals[]





  • Update 38254 changed the word "Outlaw" to "Bandit" in the names of the three Wild West Treasure Guardian units, to avoid confusion between them and the trainable outlaws. In the name of the Treasure Guardian version of the Carib Blowgunner, the word "Outlaw" was changed to "Bandit" to avoid the misinterpretation that this unit is tagged as outlaw.
  • Outlaws and Treasure Guardians have different themes from popular culture: pirates, Wild West, Indian bandits, desert warriors, Japanese Jidaigeki, African natives, Victorian era colonial explorers, European deserters, European religious people, and East European outlaws.
  • The different Treasure Guardians were introduced in different expansions and DLC:
    • The Asian Dynasties: Black Panther, Lion, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Monitor Lizard, Orangutan, Panda, Rhinoceros, Snow Leopard, Snow Monkey, Tibetan Macaque, Tiger, White Tiger, Great White Shark, Orca, Blind Monk, Delinquent Thuggee, Fugitive Dacoit, Masterless Samurai, Smuggler, Mongol Rider, Bandit Catamaran and Marauding Junk.
    • The African Royals: Baboon, Crocodile, Elephant Guardian, Ethiopian Wolf, Hippo, Honey Badger, Hyena, Leopard, Warthog, African Vagabond, Ambushing Shongo Thrower, Colonial Gunslinger, Colonial Looter, Colonial Officer, Colonial Swashbuckler, Reckless Knife Thrower and Colonial Oppressor.
    • Knights of Mediterranean: Beast, Mad Dog, Gunman, Plague Doctor, Witch Hunter, Marauding Muskeeter, Marauding Hussar, Marauding Landsknecht, Deserted Pikeman.