Rise of Nations Wiki
Unit Information Game Strategies History
Sabotage half size version.png In the Extended Edition, this unit/building is affected by a damage bug.


Crossbowmen are the standard Foot Archers of the Medieval Age.png Medieval Age, available to upgrade from Archers and are trained at the Barracks.

Aztecs, Inca, Iroquois, Lakota and Maya have Heavy Archers in place of Crossbowmen.


After Archers become Crossbowmen, they gain +10 hit points and +2 attack strength. Besides this, the change from bows to crossbows makes their projectiles much faster, and even though their rate of fire is unchanged, this represents an advantage that makes their attack much more devastating compared to previous ages (see below). Like all Foot Archers, Crossbowmen make excellent garrisons, increasing a building's Garrison Power.png garrison power more than other unit types.

Crossbowmen are the last standard Foot Archers; they will still be available for recruitment in the Gunpowder Age.png Gunpowder Age without any upgrades, except for the nations with their unique variants, all of which will improve significantly. When the Enlightenment Age.png Enlightenment Age is reached, all Foot Archers merge into Gunpowder Infantry and become Musketeers (or their unique unit equivalent).

Projectile advantage[]

Even though the firing rate of Crossbowmen is the same as all other Foot Archers, their projectiles fly twice as fast. Since their projectiles reach their targets sooner and are more difficult to dodge, this allows Crossbowmen to kill all units faster.

In fact, Crossbowmen will soundly beat a force of Heavy Archers of the same size, which have the exact same stats. They will even do the same to Royal Hwarang and King's Longbowmen, which have better stats and are supposed to be an improvement. In the Medieval Age, only Royal Kushite Archers, specifically designed to counter other Foot Archers, will beat Crossbowmen, albeit by a very thin margin. Only in the Gunpowder age does the situation change, as all the unique Foot Archers of the age will receive a stat improvement substantial enough to soundly beat the now-outdated Crossbowmen.

Animation advantage[]

In addition to having faster projectiles, Crossbowmen release their projectiles much sooner in their attack animations than other Archers. This compounds the advantage of their faster projectiles, allowing them to sometimes land attacks on enemies who are still animating their attacks (but have not yet released a projectile / dealt damage). It can also allow Crossbowmen to kite more easily, either staying out of range of charging attackers for longer, or being able to spend more time attacking fleeing enemies.

  • Crossbowmen release their single projectile an average of 378ms into their animation.
  • Heavy Archers release their single projectile an average of 855ms into their animation.
  • King's Longbowmen and Royal Hwarang release their first projectile an average of 510.67ms into their animation, and their second projectile an average of 1577.33ms.
  • Royal Kushite Archers release their single projectile an average of 1033ms into their animation.

Unique units[]

See also[]