This article is about the unit in Age of Empires. For the similar unit in Age of Empires II, see Cataphract (Age of Empires II).
AgeIron Age
Trained atStable
Cost70 Food,
80 Gold
Rate of FireFast
Upgraded FromHeavy cavalry Heavy Cavalry
The Cataphract is the upgrade of the Heavy Cavalry in Age of Empires. It is the strongest hand cavalry in the game besides hero units. To upgrade the Heavy Cavalry to a Cataphract, 2000 Food and 900 Gold is required after Metallurgy is researched. Only a certain number of civilizations have the ability to train this unit. Cataphract deals +5 damage bonus against all melee infantry units except for Academy units.


Tool Age Edit

Bronze Age Edit

Iron Age Edit

Unit Evolution: Cavalry

Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Cataphract


The cataphract is an uncommon unit, and only these civilizations can train them:

Civilization BonusesEdit

  • Macedonians: Cataphracts have +2 line of sight and are four times resistant to conversion.
  • Yamato: Cataphracts cost 25% less resources.


While a somewhat handy unit just by itself, the cost of the upgrade is so ridiculously high that many players find it pointless to research, as it generally does not pay off. In Death Matches Cataphracts are considered to be a good way for non-chariot civilizations to take on Catapults.


"The cataphract was an improvement on ancient heavy cavalry represented by Alexander the Great’s Companions. The Companions wore only helmets, greaves, and cuirass (breastplate). Cataphracts wore chain mail that covered more of the body and often armored their horses partially also. This gave greater protection against arrows and hand-to-hand weapons. Cataphracts were very expensive to equip, however, and appeared in the armies of only the most warlike and wealthy cultures."

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