Though arquebusiers did not have as great a range as crossbowmen, what they lacked in distance, they made up for in power. Their shots dealt significant damage to targets and enemy armor.
Like crossbowmen, arquebusiers did not carry melee weapons to supplement their long-ranged attacks. Instead, they would only back away and resume shooting if engaged at close quarters, using the arquebus itself to block melee attacks.
Aside from their firearms, arquebusiers carried several bags across their belts, likely containing gunpowder and lead projectiles to serve as ammunition.
By 1500, arquebusiers served the Papacy, and supported Cesare Borgia's forces during the siege of Monteriggioni. A contingent of them were able to seriously wound Ezio Auditore da Firenze in the shoulder and abdomen, tipping the attack in their favor.
Throughout Rome in the 16th century, arquebusiers could be found guarding Borgia towers, as well as rooftops around the Pantheon and Castra Praetoria. They could also be seen patrolling the streets of the Antico or Campagna districts in pairs.
Around 1503, Baltasar de Silva organized a division of arquebusiers as an ambush. He lured the traitor Fiora Cavazza into a warehouse, in which the arquebusiers were hidden; however, a team of Assassins were able to shoot down the enemies and rescue her.
Later that year, a number of French arquebusiers under Charles de la Motte were key factors in a trap set by Charles and Cesare Borgia for the Assassins of Rome. Though the Assassin apprentice team of Francesco Vecellio was able to kill several arquebusiers with bows, this broke their cover, and led to them being overwhelmed by the combined Templar forces.
Though the Assassin team escaped to the roof of an inn, another contingent of arquebusiers surrounded and fired upon them from nearby buildings, wiping virtually all of them out.
Arquebusiers continued to be used by the Templar forces in around 1511. Leandros made use of them as protection in a stronghold near Masyaf, while the Byzantines used them to protect any Assassin Dens they captured in Constantinople, as well as the rooftops of Cappadocia.
Unlike in earlier years, other than patrolling rooftops, arquebusiers also stationed themselves in reinforced outposts, which protected them from close-range or melee attacks. However, they were still vulnerable to ranged weapons.
- Similarly to enemy Crossbowmen, it was impossible to pick up the dropped weapon of an arquebusier. The weapon also disappeared shortly after moving out of the camera's view.
- Similar to Papal Guards and Brutes, arquebusiers were more often encountered during story missions.
- In the War Machine Tank memory, several agiles wielded arquebusiers.
- In the E3 trailer of Brotherhood, the appearance of an arquebusier is much more of a regular papal guard.