The Rifle Rider is one of the most significant units available to the Sioux civilization. These cavalry units are the Native American version of a Dragoon, but unlike Dragoons, they are good against heavy infantry. They have a good ranged attack and hit points, but another advantage is their rapid rate of fire, at 1 hit every 1.5 seconds. That means they can easily kill large numbers of heavy infantry units such as Musketeers, Pikemen, Rodeleros, and Halberdiers in a short period of time. Their fast rate of fire is due to the rider using a repeating rifle instead of a single shot-reload rifle like the Skirmisher.
Though they are very well rounded, they fare poorly against most light infantry and light cavalry, because unlike other light cavalry, they are also classified as heavy cavalry, against whom, light cavalry has a multiplier.
It is a good idea to combine a group of Rifle Riders with several Axe Riders; the Rifle Riders can break through the enemy's line of Musketeers and Pikemen, allowing the Axe Riders to reach the Skirmishers or artillery they were protecting and eliminate them. Rifle Riders are one of the most powerful units in the game; they can even kill elephants, most mercenaries and Great Bombards without dying. However, Dragoons or War Wagons will make short work of them due to superior damage and multipliers.
Rifle Rider originally acquires Elite status, hence the stats of the unit when trained become:
- Hit Points: +25% (256)
- Hand Attack: +25% (13)
- Ranged Attack: +25% (16)
- Siege Attack: +25% (10)
- 4 Rifle Riders (Fortress Age)
- 6 Rifle Riders (Industrial Age)
- 5 Rifle Riders (Fortress Age
- 7 Rifle Riders (LV25 Home City, Industrial Age)
- Burnt Thigh Support (2 Medicine Men and 6 Rifle Riders, Fortress Age, costs 1000 Coin)
- Cavalry HP (15% HP, Colonial Age)
- Cavalry Attack (15% attack, Colonial Age)
- Cavalry Combat (15% HP and attack, LV25 Home City, Colonial Age)
- Evening Star (turns all Axe Riders into Rifle Riders, LV25 Home City, Colonial Age)
- Mustangs (all cavalry cost decreased, Fortress Age)
- New Ways (allows research of Ranged Cavalry Caracole, Colonial Age)
- Yankton Support (20% attack and 6 Rifle Riders, Fortress Age, costs 1000 Coin)
"The ultimate development of the famous Sioux art of war were their amazingly skilled horsemen armed with repeating rifles. There is an old stereotype that the American Indians were reactionary culturally, unable to adapt to modern ways. The Sioux rifle riders demonstrate the falseness of this idea – during their heyday, they were the most advanced warriors on Earth. In Europe at this time, cavalry were still fighting with sabers and lances. Even in America, the U.S. cavalry used single-shot rifles, significantly inferior to the Sioux carbines."