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"Foolproof way to spot one of these - the smell. Marines smell bad. These don't."

- A Terran Dominion marine on changelings(src)

A changeling in its original form

The changeling is a zerg spy produced by the overseer. It is a very weak and unstable creature with a short lifespan.



- A changeling(src)

A changeling

The changeling, composed of a protoplasmic substance, is capable of shape-shifting into a form resembling a terran. In its normal form, it has a gaunt, skinny upper body with a small head and two long arms, but its lower body is a shapeless, blob-like mass that oozes and pulsates while the changeling drags it behind as it crawls. It can shift between specific appearances. It can even send out psionic impressions leading terrans to believe that everything is "all right."

It is intelligent, capable of operating computers. It possesses more strength than an unarmored human and can transform part of its body into a deadly bone blade, although its primary purpose does not appear to be combat.[1]


"Zerg ain't dormant like they say, Sarge. Looks like they walking amongst us now."

- Wynne(src)

The changeling was developed as late as 2503[2] by the Queen of Blades, who was testing it against the terrans before war broke out. The Terran Dominion, learning about the new breed, also conducted their own tests.[1]

Game Unit[]


The changeling has a limited lifespan, which is measured by a decreasing bar visible on the interface below the name, and it will die when the bar is zeroed. The changeling has its own wire-frame and portrait when not transformed. The changeling sometimes speaks, and its voice does not change when transformed.

The changeling game unit has no attack or abilities other than shape-shifting; any weapons it appears to carry are false. Changelings can easily be detected if you select your zealots/marines/zerglings, and use/dance. The changeling will not dance.

The changeling's maximum hit points do not change, but they appear as the duplicated unit's hit points. For instance, a changeling resembling a marine will appear to have 45 hit points, but will in fact still have five hit points.

When a changeling takes the shape of a zergling, it will have wings if the zerg it copied have the Metabolic Boost upgrade. These wings can be seen on the wireframe of the unit. The Map Editor refers to the changeling's zergling shape as "zergling with wings".[3]


ShapeShift SC2 Icon1.jpg

The changeling shifts upon approaching an enemy unit. It takes on the color of the nearby enemy, and the form and wireframe of the basic combat unit (marine, zealot, or zergling) of the nearby enemy's race. The transformation is permanent.

The changeling appearance exactly matches the assumed unit's form at the time of transformation; the changeling gains only the visual effects of upgrades.

Shapeshift may be autocast.



Meet the spy.jpg Meet the Spy

10 Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG


Kill 5 Changelings in a single Unranked or Ranked game.


This achievement is a reference to Team Fortress 2's Meet the Spy video as an introduction to the class 'Spy', who could disguise as enemy players.



Changelings were first seen at the 2008 WorldWide Invitational event.[4]

Overseers were briefly removed from multiplayer in Heart of the Swarm[5], effectively removing changelings as well. However, the overseer returned to the game as Blizzard examined how to make its abilities more interesting.[6]

During development of Heart of the Swarm, changelings could be spawned from "siege" range.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Waugh, James. "Changeling" (November 18, 2009). Blizzard Entertainment. Changeling. Accessed 2009-11-18.
  2. September 27, 2011. "Timeline" StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 393-416. ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
  3. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). 2010-07-27.
  4. Zetaras Xal'Kurat. 2008-07-04. WorldWide Invitational 2008: Aftermath. SC2 Blog.
  5. 2011-10-21. Blizzard Cuts and Adds StarCraft II Units. IGN. Accessed 2011-10-21.
  6. Dustin Browder. 2012-04-11. Developer Update: Heart of the Swarm Multiplayer - Starcraft II., accessed on 2012-04-11.
  7. Blizzard Entertainment, Teamliquid. 2012-06-09. Heart of the Swarm Update. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2012-06-09.