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An Eastern pirate in search of booty. Good against cavalry and buildings.
—In-game description

The Wokou Pirate is an East Asian outlaw in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. It is available on the Borneo and Indochina maps.


The Wokou Pirate is an outlaw unit armed with a sword, similar to the Pirate. It requires less population than most outlaws, but also costs a lot of Coin. Though not as strong against cavalry as Pikemen or other Hand Infantry units, it has a unique bonus against Villagers, making them neat for harassing an enemy's economy.

Like other outlaws, Wokou Pirates are best utilized in the Commerce Age, their use diminished as the game progresses. Their anti-villager bonus provide a unique niche among other Hand Infantry, but are less cost-efficient raiders than cavalry.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, Shock Infantry
Weak vs. Light cavalry, artillery
Hit points Infantry Breastplate.png Infantry Breastplate (+10%)
Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (+20%, British only)
Corselet.png Corselet (+25%, Spanish only)
Cree Tanning.png Cree Tanning (+5%)
Maya Cotton Armor.png Maya Cotton Armor (+20%)
Navajo Weaving.png Navajo Weaving (+5%)
Folk Heroes.png Folk Heroes (+20%, Europeans only)
Atonement.png Compunction (+35%, Asians only)
Attack Carib Kasiri Beer.png Carib Kasiri Beer (+10%)
Mapuche Tactics.png Mapuche Tactics (+50% siege attack)
Zapotec Cult of the Dead.png Zapotec Cult of the Dead (+20%)
Yoga.png Yoga (+5%)
Master Lessons.png Master Lessons (+10%)
Folk Heroes.png Folk Heroes (+20%, Europeans only)
Atonement.png Compunction (+35%, Asians only)
Speed Military Drummers.png Military Drummers (+10%)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+20%, Germans only)
Inca Road-building.png Quechuan Mountaineering (+20%)
Apache Endurance.png Apache Endurance (+5%)
Sight Town Watch.png Town Watch (+2)
Creation speed Standing Army.png Standing Army (-25%)
Folk Heroes.png Folk Heroes (-50%, Europeans only)
Inca Chaquis Messengers.png Quechuan Diet (-25%)
Train cost Mapuche Ad-mapu.png Mapuche Ad-mapu (-10%)
Penalties Thin Red Line.png Thin Red Line (-25% speed, British only)
Coffee Trade.png Coffee Trade (-10% speed, Dutch only)
Tillys Discipline.png Tilly's Discipline (+10% cost, Germans only)
Corselet.png Corselet (-15% speed, Spanish only)

Home City Cards[]


Definitive Edition[]

In-game dialogue[]

The Wokou Pirate uses the Wokou Junk's dialogues.

Main article: Japanese (Age of Empires III)#In-game dialogue


The term "wokou" is a combination of the Chinese word “wo,” referring to Japanese, and "kou,” meaning bandit or invasion.

Beginning in the thirteenth century, no group of sailors was as feared or as mighty as the plundering wokou pirates, a clan of Japanese raiders and smugglers who terrified the Chinese and Korean coasts. The first attacks occurred in 1223, triggering immediate calls for the Kamakura shogunate of Japan to corral these scoundrels and prevent further attacks on the Korean coast. In 1227, as a show of strength, the shogun had ninety suspected wokou pirates decapitated before the visiting Korean envoy.

During the Mongol invasions of the mid-thirteenth century, wokou attacks fell in number, most likely due to a heightened military preparedness on the part of both the Japanese and Korean governments. But this did not last. In the late fourteenth century, as central authority in Japan weakened, the wokou took full advantage, even branching out to initiate attacks along the coast of China. They profited highly from a severe trade embargo forced on Japan by the Qin and then Ming Dynasties of China, reaping rewards as black markets flourished. The wokou experienced periods of rise and decline, even attacking China with a makeshift fleet in 1419, but they ultimately became obsolete.

At its peak, the wokou culture was enough to threaten even the most powerful Asian rulers, and to appeal to the most ordinary of citizenry. Many men left behind their lives to seek fortunes at sea. Chinese merchants, militiamen, smugglers, Korean pirates, Portuguese sailors, traders, and even missionaries joined up with the notorious wokou pirates.


The Smuggler is a treasure guardian with high hit points but relatively low melee damage. He can be dealt easily using artillery or anti-infantry units, but can be quite hard to beat in melee combat, so in early game, it is recommended to convert or snipe as many Smugglers as possible.


For centuries, smugglers have worked within the laws of all nations to exploit scarcity and produce a profit. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, restrictive economic policies of mercantilism encouraged smuggling in France, the Spanish colonies, and North America. When the British attempted to fight the practice by enforcing the Navigation Acts, they contributed to the growing resentment that exploded into the American Revolution. During the Prohibition era in the United States, smuggling flourished across the continent.

Today, with the existence of widespread commercial privacy and active black markets, smuggling is more common than ever. Smugglers worldwide often traffic in luxury articles, stolen art, electronic devices, and software.