Cavalry is a military arm comprised of soldiers mounted on horseback, which was developed from the use of chariots, and was improved by the invention of stirrups. Cavalry units make use of the horse's superior speed, stature, and momentum to devastating effect on the battlefield. Cavalry often performed reconnaissance, and supported infantry units with flanking maneuvers, charges to break static defense lines, and attacks against supporting units such as artillery. They could also retreat well out of reach, and approach from different directions if terrain permitted.
Special weapons were designed for use on horseback, such as the lance, composite bow, saber, and carbine. Defense against cavalry required engagement in poor terrain to negate the horse's speed, archers able to attack from a distance, or highly disciplined ranks of pikemen trained to withstand the terrifying impact of cavalry charges.
Following World War I and the development of motor vehicles, cavalry units were converted to motorized infantry (using land transport vehicles), mechanized infantry (using APCs and IFVs), or tank units according to military need. Cavalry in the modern era is often limited to ceremonial purposes, but units specializing in terrain inhospitable to ground vehicles also remain active.
The Cavalry kit is introduced alongside horses in Battlefield 1. Players receive this kit and its unique appearance when spawning on a horse. Cavalry wear light, distinctive headgear (such as peaked caps, pickelhauben or keffiyeh), a modified Sappenpanzer cuirass, harnesses for carrying equipment, riding coat and pants, and long boots.
Dismounted Cavalry use a limited version of the kit carried by their horse, with a separate stash of ammunition for their primary weapon, the Russian 1895 Cavalry. A handgun replaces the Cavalry Sword as sidearm, which in turn is used as a melee weapon. Cavalry also carry Bandage and Ammo Pouches to support themselves and teammates, and a Light Anti-Tank Grenade.
Cavalry have some protection against small arms due to their cuirass. The armor may also extend to the user's head, protecting them from headshots despite their unsuitable headwear. As of a recent patch, the armor is only effective while the Cavalry player is mounted on their horse, and it is nonexistent when dismounted.
Dogtags available for using the Cavalry class are generally awarded for actions on horseback, as is the Order of the Khan medal.
- While the pistol's appearance can be customized (via other classes), the rifle cannot since the Cavalry variant isn't used by any other class, and receives no skins via Battlepacks.
- Spawning as a Cavalry Kit at the start of the round could sometimes cause the player to spawn without a horse. To avoid this a player can select the cavalry class but not press deploy until the round has started. Once the game is started the player can spawn in with their horse without issue. This bug also affected other vehicle classes. The bug was fixed by delaying the appearance of vehicles until round start.