Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Chariot Archer is a Mounted unit available in the Ancient Era.


Before the invention of the stirrup, it was virtually impossible to fight from horseback. There was no way to brace oneself, and the slightest push could unhorse the warrior, with disastrous results. Horses first appeared on the battlefield pulling chariots. A chariot team usually consisted of one or two horses, a driver, and an archer. The chariots' mobility made them especially dangerous to infantry: they could rush within range, fire off a volley, then escape before the foot-bound soldiers could close with them. The greatest weakness of a chariot archer team was its inability to deal with difficult terrain. On open plains they were the kings of the ancient battlefield; in hills or woods they were at a significant disadvantage.


Chariot Archers are fast ranged units, deadly on open terrain, and the first unit to require a strategic resource - Horses. They are more powerful than the Archer and can move twice the distance on open terrain (4 MPs), allowing them to reach elements of the enemy army other units can't. However, Chariot Archers suffer a horrible movement penalty when entering forest, jungle, or hill tiles (unless roads have been constructed in them). Moreover, they're too bulky to use natural terrain defense, and unlike other mounted units, cannot move after attacking.

Use the Chariot Archers to explore the world and deal with Barbarians. Against other civilizations, they're excellent at getting into privileged positions and raining fire on the enemy from afar, but defend them with melee units against the enemy's melee fighters - they are weak in close combat! Be especially careful for enemy Spearmen - as a mounted unit, the Chariot Archer is very vulnerable to them.

There is one more important detail to remember: Chariot Archers and all of their unique alternatives are ranged units, and receive upgrades as such. However, come the Medieval Era, they will all upgrade to Knights, which are mounted units with melee attacks. This means that all attack-oriented upgrades the unit gained will suddenly become useless, since it now attacks in melee, not from a distance! To circumvent this annoying fault, try to choose non-attacking upgrades, such as Cover, which will remain useful after the unit changes its attack mode.

Unique Unit Replacements[]

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
Habiru Canaan (Adonizedek)
  • Gains FaithIcon Faith from kills.
  • If purchased with gold, gains Strength Combat Strength if it starts its turn adjacent or on a Bonus Resource.
Unitflag heavychariot
Heavy Chariot
The Hittites (Suppiluliumas I)
  • Is a Melee unit
  • +30% Strength Combat Bonus vs. Melee Units
  • Enemy units beginning a turn adjacent to this unit have -1 Moves Movement
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • -1 Moves Movement
  • +11% Production Production Cost
Unitflag heqakhasut
The Hyksos (Apophis)
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • +10% Strength Ranged Strength (11 vs 10)
  • May build Forts while near a conquered city; doing so repairs and improves nearby tiles
Horse Archer
The Huns (Attila)
  • Doesn't require Horses Horses
  • +16% Strength Strength (7 vs 6)
  • Starts with the Accuracy I promotion
Javelin Cavalry
Numidia (Massinissa)
  • Can move after attacking
  • No Rough Terrain Penalty
Khitan Hunter Great Liao (Shengzong)
  • Can range attack over obstacles.
  • Requires no Horses Horses.
  • Unlocked at Trapping.
Unitflag moran
The Maasai (Mbatian)
  • -2 Moves Movement (total 2)
  • -1 Range (total 1)
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • May construct Pastures instantly
  • May enter rival territory
Unitflag onagerwagon
Onager Wagon
Akkad (Sargon)
  • Movement does not halt in rough terrain
  • Ignores enemy zones of control
  • No movement cost for pillaging
  • Does not require Horses Horses
Reindeer Archer The Evenks (Bombogor)
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • Does not lose all Movement points upon entering Rough Terrain
  • Begins with the Woodsman promotion
  • Grants the Woodsman promotion to stacked civilians
  • -33% Strength Defensive Strength in Open Terrain
Royal Skula
Scythia (Ateas)
  • Unlocked at Animal Husbandry
  • -28.5% Production Production Cost
  • If all moves are used without attacking, attacks a valid target automatically
The Kassites (Burnaburiash I)
  • Available at Animal Husbandry
  • Starts with Volley
Scythed Chariot small
Scythed Chariot flag
Scythed Chariot
Pontus (Mithridates VI)
  • Requires Iron Iron to train
  • Has a melee attack instead of a ranged attack
  • Passively damages adjacent enemy units with lower levels
  • +6 Strength Combat Strength than the Chariot Archer (12 vs 6) and -1 Moves Movement (3 vs 4)
Unitflag shivatir
Parthia (Mithridates I)
  • +50% Strength Combat Strength (9 vs 6)
  • +10% Strength Ranged Strength (11 vs 10)
  • Ignores enemy zones of control
  • May move after attacking and retreat before combat if outnumbered
  • Unlocked at Horseback Riding
  • -1 Range (total 1)
South-Pointing Chariot Qin (Zheng)
  • Begins with the Scouting I promotion, boosting its Visibility.
  • Can be upgraded further with the Scouting II and III promotions as it earns XP in combat, allowing it to double as a Scout.
Three-man Chariot
The Hittites (Mursili II)
  • +4 Strength Combat Strength
  • Ignores enemy zones of control
  • Can attack enemies while moving
Emishi uu
Tumikorkur  Emishi (Aterui)
  • Starts with the Indirect Fire promotion.
  • Counts as mounted for the purposes of the Emishi Unique Ability.
Unitflag tuoma
Tuo Ma
Xia (Yu)
  • Nearby units earn Experience 25% faster
  • +33% Strength Defense (8 vs 6)
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • -1 Moves Movement (total 3)
Uegontum Yamnaya (Weikpotis)
  • +1 Moves Movement, -3 Hitpoints.
  • No terrain penalties on river tiles.
  • Clearing Ancient Ruins or promoting on a Religion Holy Site spawns another Uegontum.
  • Settlers stacked with an Uegontum share its Moves Movement points.
War Chariot
Egypt (Ramesses II)
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • Does not require Horses Horses
War Elephant
India (Gandhi) (without the India Pack installed)
  • +33% Strength Combat Strength (8 vs 6)
  • No terrain movement penalties 
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • -1 Moves Movement (total 3)
War Elephant
Maurya (Ashoka)
  • Does not require Horses Horses
  • +50% Strength Defense (9 vs 6)
  • +10% Ranged Strength (11 vs 10)
  • No terrain movement penalties
  • -1 Moves Movement (total 3)
  • +20% Production Production Cost (67 vs 56)
War Mahout The Indo-Greeks (Menander I)
  • Requires no Horses Horses.
  • Unlocked at Mathematics.
  • Begins with +2 bonus XP per Citizen Population when it is trained in a conquered city.
  • +25% bonus to resisting War City Attacks.
Unit Types
Ancient Era
ArcherChariot ArcherScoutSpearmanTriremeWarrior
Classical Era
Composite BowmanCatapultHorsemanSwordsman
Medieval Era
Renaissance Era
Industrial Era
ArtilleryCavalryGatling GunIroncladRifleman
Modern Era
Anti-Aircraft GunBattleshipCarrierDestroyerGreat War BomberGreat War InfantryInfantryLandshipMachine GunSubmarineTriplane
Atomic Era
Anti-Tank GunAtomic BombBazookaBomberFighterHelicopter GunshipMarineMobile SAMParatrooperRocket ArtilleryTank
Information Era
Giant Death RobotGuided MissileJet FighterMechanized InfantryMissile CruiserModern ArmorNuclear MissileNuclear SubmarineStealth BomberXCOM Squad
Civilian Units
ArchaeologistCaravanCargo ShipInquisitorMissionarySettlerWork BoatWorker
Great People
Great AdmiralGreat ArtistGreat EngineerGreat GeneralGreat MerchantGreat MusicianGreat ProphetGreat ScientistGreat Writer