This article is about the unit in Age of Empires III. For other uses of the term, see Pikeman.

The Pikeman is a light infantry unit available to most European civilizations in Age of Empires III.


An archaic unit, the Pikeman is trained at the Barracks, Galleon, and Fort, or shipped from the Home City. They have low attack, but high siege damage and large multipliers against cavalry. Despite having more speed than most infantry, they are not fast enough to pursue cavalry and are best used to defend against cavalry attacks. They can be countered by ranged Infantry and artillery. In the Colonial Age they are useful for destroying buildings since most civilizations lack artillery at that stage.

Pikeman are useful as a front line defense for ranged units to position behind. Using them with Crossbowman is an effective combo early in the game as they can take out infantry at long range while the Pikemen defeat any cavalry that get too close. This tactic is, however, vulnerable to artillery and anti-infantry, and they should be escorted with cavalry.

Archaic units usually cannot be upgraded beyond Veteran level, but the Spanish are able to upgrade Pikemen to Royal Guard and Imperial level, making them quite powerful past the Colonial Age. The Ottomans and the Russians are the only European civilizations not to have Pikemen, lacking hand infantry in the Colonial Age without use of Native units.

Civilization bonusesEdit


The overall stats for Pikeman can be improved by investing resources on technologies found in the Arsenal.

Veteran PikemanEdit

Veteran Pikeman is the first upgrade for the Pikeman. It is available for 200 coinIcon coin and 200 woodResources wood once Fortress Age is reached. Since both Musketeers and Halberdiers are available at the Veteran level during the same age and are better than Pikeman, players often ignore the upgrade and invest resources on other units instead. However it is recommended for the Spanish since they can upgrade them further than other civilizations and lack the Halberdier.

Hit Points: +20% (144)
Hand Attack: +20% (9)
Siege Attack: +20% (38)


Tercio Pikeman is the second upgrade for the Pikeman, available only to the Spanish. It is available for 1000 coinIcon coin and 1000 woodResources wood once Industrial Age is reached.

Hit Points: +40% (192)
Hand Attack: +40% (12)
Siege Attack: +40% (51)

Imperial Tercio is the third upgrade for the Pikeman, available only to the Spanish. It is available for 1500 coinIcon coin and 1500 woodResources wood once Imperial Age is reached.

Hit Points: +50% (252)
Hand Attack: +50% (16)
Siege Attack: +50% (67)

Arsenal provides:

Shipments Edit

This is a list of shipments that benefit the Pikeman.

Note: Spanish players have the option of being able to almost instantly (2.7 seconds) train Crossbowmen and Pikemen in the Colonial Age, due to the TEAM Archaic Soldier Training and Fencing School cards. If the upgrade Standing Army from the Church is used, Pikemen and Crossbowmen can be created instantly.
See also: Spanish Home City Cards


  • Villagers can actually defeat unupgraded Pikemen in 1 on 1 fights, due to the fact that Pikemen are only effective against cavalry and buildings.
  • Spanish Royal Guard Pikemen are named after the Tercio infantry organization system used by Spain during the Habsburg era.


"Pikemen fought in very tight formations that maximized the danger to enemies as they approached. The front rank would set their pikes against a cavalry charge, placing the butt of the staff against the ground, braced by the instep of their back foot, with the tip raised up at an angle. The rank standing just behind the first would hold their pikes straight out at about shoulder height to add still more stabbing spearheads. As firearms developed, they were integrated into units of pikemen. By the mid-seventeenth century an infantry regiment might be composed of two-thirds musketeers and a third pikemen. Eventually firearms with mounted bayonets came to replace pikes, which were little seen or used after the nineteenth century.

A typical pike was a 10- to almost 20-foot spear-like wooden staff with a steel or iron spear point. Some pikemen also carried swords and axes to attack any enemies who survived the deadly bristling of pike formation. They wore helmets, and sometimes breastplates, to defend themselves against attacks.