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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III. For the similar unit in other games of the series, see War Elephant.

Indian Heavy War Elephant powerful in close combat. Inflicts area damage. Good against archers and skirmishers.
—In-game description

The War Elephant is a heavy cavalry native warrior in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that can be trained at a Trading Post built on a Sufi Mosque settlement. The Indian civilization can also receive this unit via the Hire 6 War Elephants infinite Home City Card. It functions similar to the Indian Mahout Lancer.


The strongest native unit in the game, the War Elephant has high hit points and damage, but also low build limit. Like all elephant-type units in The Asian Dynasties, it is fairly strong against buildings.

They can be a helpful addition to the player's army if one needs an area damage-dealing unit. The result is a cost effective, population-free army of lightning-fast bruisers that can efficiently siege enemy bases.

One noteworthy use of War Elephants is for the Aztecs, since they do not normally have access to a powerful, splash-damage anti-skirmisher unit. Since the War Ceremony affects them the same as any other unit, and they have far superior hit points when compared to Coyote Runners, they can be a very powerful asset to the Aztec military.

Another use for War Elephants is to utilize them in the Commerce Age by combining them with (for example) Crossbowmen and Pikemen to form a well-rounded, complete composition. This has the advantage of entirely costing food and wood, unlike Hussars, and take 0 population instead of 2, which can save on population costs early. Of course, other civilizations can do this with their own equivalents, such as Old Han Army, Longbowmen etc.


Age Upgrade Cost Effect
Age III tech tree aoe3.png
Disciplined natives.png Sufi Discipline Training 200 wood,
150 coin
Upgrades War Elephants to Disciplined (+25% hit points and attack)
Age IV tech tree aoe 3.png
Honered natives.png Sufi Honor Training 400 wood,
300 coin
Upgrades War Elephants to Honored (+40% hit points and attack); requires Sufi Discipline Training
Imperial Age
Legendary natives.png Legendary Native Warriors
Exalted natives.png Exalted Natives
1,500 food,
1,500 wood
Upgrades native warriors to Legendary/Exalted (+50% hit points and attack)
The Legendary Native Warriors improvement is available in the Capitol for European civilizations and in the Town Center for Native American and Asian (as Exalted Natives) civilizations.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Ranged infantry, Shock Infantry, artillery
Weak vs. Heavy infantry, light cavalry
Hit points Cavalry Cuirass.png Cavalry Cuirass (+10%)
Horsemanship.png Horsemanship (+10%, Lakota only)
Comanche Horse Breeding.png Comanche Horse Breeding (+10%)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Attack Pillage.png Pillage (+25% siege attack)
Bonepipe Armor.png Bonepipe Armor (+1.0x multiplier vs. artillery, Lakota only)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Speed Comanche Mustangs.png Comanche Mustangs (+10%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Creation speed Mass Cavalry.png Mass Cavalry (-50%)
Terror Charge.png Terror Charge (-20%, Indians only)
Other Merritocracy.png Meritocracy (-20% upgrade cost)

Home City Cards[]


The Asian Dynasties[]

  • War Elephants have a multiplier of x1.5 and x0.67 vs Infantry and Heavy Infantry, and a build limit of 7 per Sufi Trading Post.

Definitive Edition[]

  • War Elephants have a multiplier of x1.75 and x0.57 vs Infantry and Heavy Infantry, and a build limit of 8 per Sufi Trading Post.

In-game dialogue[]

Main article: Indians (Age of Empires III)#In-game dialogue
  • आदेश [Ādeś] (command)
  • तैयार [Taiyār] (ready)
  • हाँ? [Hān?] (yes?)
  • मैं जा रहा हूँ [Main jā rahā hūn] (I am going)
  • मैं करूँगा [Main karunga] (I will do it)
  • हाँ [Hān] (yes)
  • युद्ध करने के लिए [Yuddh karne ke liye] (to do war – To war/To battle)
  • हमला [Hamalā] (attack!)
  • हाँ! [Hāṃ!] (yes!)


Often considered the natural predecessor of the modern-day tank, the elephant brought many unique elements to its role as a battlefield unit. Early successes had more to do with surprise and intimidation than battlefield effectiveness. Enemy horses or camels, whether frightened by the beast’s smell, or overwhelmed by its sheer size, proved powerless against the elephant. It trampled oncoming waves of infantry and knocked riders from their mounts, scattering ranks and causing general confusion. It had a similar effect on the human enemy, terrifying many men to the point of panic.