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A space platform infested with creep

"What the hell is that? Looks like the ground there is alive."

Creep is a living zerg superorganism. It has a purple coloration[1] and is a viscous substance[2] that feels thick and slimy.[3] Creep is psionically-sensitive and may be influenced and controlled by psionic entities.[1] It is used to nourish zerg structures, larvae,[4][5] and other strains.[6]


Probably best to stay away from creep...


Creep may be deposited in a number of ways. Some zerg structures, such as hatcheries, serve as loci for creep growth.[7] Hive spores may also be used in the initial stages of infestation.[7][1] Post-Great War evolution has seen zerg creatures gain the ability to spread creep as well; overlords by direct secretion, and indirectly by queens through laid creep tumors.[8] If left unchecked, creep can consume an entire planet within days.[9]


The spread of creep across a world

Creep has a cellular structure.[1] Zerg ground strains can move faster over creep than normal ground due to a collection of microscopic filaments that allow them to 'skate' across creep rather than breaking through it.[2] Creep binds every zerg colony located on it; creep can be considered an organism unto itself, with zerg structures its organs.[10]

Creep spreads rapidly if left unchecked. This proliferation may be observed in real time.[3][4] Creep helps to sustain itself and other zerg organisms by processing minerals[5][4] extracted from the ground via deep tendrils.[11] Creep is able to envelop and consume biological matter, including corpses of the fallen.[12]

Creep may grow in anaerobic environments[1] and over water.[11] It may also grow over hollows in the terrain; attempting to traverse over such hollows may cause creep to tear and give way.[13][11]


Creep consuming terran structures

Creep is notably averse to extremely high temperatures and will not grow in unsuitably hot places. While it may be set alight by high explosive or incendiary ordnance,[1] its remarkable regenerative properties makes complete extermination by brute force a difficult proposition. Removal may only be guaranteed by destroying the structures serving as growth loci.[7] It may be difficult to tell when creep is truly dead.[13] Protoss glassing has been used numerous times to eradicate planetary infestation.[10]


Most zerg structures are effectively giant organs and draw sustenance from creep. A notable exception is the extractor. A zerg colony forms a single living creature through the interconnectivity of creep,[7] Zerg gain nourishment from the creep,[4][5] and without it resort to consuming other organisms,[14] even one another, to survive.[15] Creep contains a network of neural connections, alerting the nearby hive of incoming intruders.[16]


Creep sample

Confederate Experiments[]

The Terran Confederacy conducted experiments with creep, after discovering xenomorphs on a number of fringe worlds. In secret facilities such as the Fujita Facility on Vyctor 5 and the Ghost Academy on Tarsonis, they discovered they could grow it from spores and control its growth with heat. Using ghost subjects such as Sarah Kerrigan, they found it could be controlled psionically. The Vyctor 5 and Ghost Academy experiments were destroyed by the Sons of Korhal.[1]

The PAX Experiment[]

In 2502,[17] a protoss scientific organization, the Protoss Advance/Experimental Facility (PAX), conducted their own experiments with creep. They infected it with a virus, hoping to destroy all creep and thus commit xenocide against the zerg.

The mutated creep proved infectious, was even able to engulf two zealots assigned to their facility, "infesting" one of them – Ruom. It became a "psionic predator," and could "impede" the Khala and cause madness among the nearby Khalai. Ruom went on a rampage, killing the other protoss.

The entire facility was frozen and abandoned. However, it was later discovered by a terran military expedition, which found the mutated creep to still be alive...[4]

Game Uses[]


Most zerg structures can only be built upon the creep. Terrans and protoss cannot build structures on creep. Terran buildings may not land on the creep, however they may lift-off. The creep will expand to fill the vacated space over the course of a few seconds. Creep colonies and their evolutions can extend the creep.

StarCraft: Ghost[]

In early builds of StarCraft: Ghost, creep would be sensitive to Nova's touch, and would alert nearby zerg structures to Nova's presence if disturbed.[18]

StarCraft II[]

The creep in the BlizzCon 2008 build

In StarCraft II, creep is intended to be used as a resource, and zerg players will want to invade the map with creep.[19] Creep dissolves in 30 seconds if not supported.[20]

Most zerg units move 30% faster on creep. Drones are an exception,[21] along with air units.[22] Spine and spore crawlers, as well as hydralisks and queens, move much faster on creep.[23] Primal zerg units do not gain a movement bonus.

Creep does not "climb" or "fall" down cliffs,[24] but does flow down ramps.[25] If a carefully positioned overlord drops creep on the edge of a cliff, it will expand on the hill and the lower ground simultaneously.[24] Creep can also be poured onto ramps.[26]

The creep does not "belong" to any one player; it has no affiliation. Creep is creep.[27][28][22]

Creep only dies if the nearby generator dies and it is on the edge of a patch. Creep inside a large patch, but deprived of generators, will not die. A ring-shaped patch will not automatically expand to cover the "empty" center without the normal assistance of generators.

Creep Creation[]

There are several ways of creating creep. The overlord can generate creep. Creep tumors generate their own creep and make it easy to spread creep over the map. Creep can also be created by hatcheries, and when a nydus worm is created, creep is spawned around it.

Creep Structures[]

Zerg structures not in the boundaries of the creep will slowly degenerate and eventually die, taking 2 damage per second.[29]

Structures other than zerg cannot be built on the creep although they can be surrounded by it.

In Co-op Missions, terran and protoss structures can be built on creep.


Main article: Creep/Development


In StarCraft II, when creep spreads across the terrain and touches objects such as trees, the trees wither, making the effect of the creep on the environment more realistic.

In Warcraft III, Scourge buildings spread (and can only be built upon) blight, which functions almost identically to creep, except for not dissipating over time.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Neilson, Micky (December 18, 2000). StarCraft: Uprising. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-1898-0 (eBook).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-08-14. Queen Science. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2022-03-26.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mesta, Gabriel (July 1, 2001). StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-671-04149-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Furman, Simon (w), Tomás Aira (p, i), German Erramouspe (i). "Creep." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 2 (paperback binding), pp. 26-67. Tokyopop, January 1, 2009. ISBN 1427-80831-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Before long, the organic mat of Zerg creep spread over the charred surface of the planet. The nourishing substance offered food and energy for the various minions of the new colony." Mesta, Gabriel (July 1, 2001). StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-671-04149-5.
  6. 2014-12-01, BlizzCon 2014 LotV Lore Community Corner Discussion with James Waugh. YouTube, accessed on 2015-04-03
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  8. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). July 27, 2010
  9. Kenyon, Nate. (September 27, 2011). StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Grubb, Jeff (February 27, 2001). StarCraft: Liberty's Crusade. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-671-04148-7.
  12. Brooks, Robert. "“The Education of PFC Shane”." (April 4, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: The Education of PFC Shane Accessed 2013-04-04.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Hickman, Tracy (May 21, 2002). StarCraft: Speed of Darkness. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-671-04150-9.
  14. Bogdanove, Kal-El. "Frenzy." (Feb. 28, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Frenzy Accessed 2013-02-28.
  15. Golden, Christie (November 6, 2012). StarCraft II: Flashpoint. Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books). ISBN 978-1451-65962-7.
  16. Gerrold, David. "“In the Dark”." (May 2, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: In the Dark Accessed 2013-05-02.
  17. April 6, 2010. "Timeline." StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 311 - 323. ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
  18. 2014-18-12, StarCraft: Ghost Demo Build., accessed on 2020-02-16
  19. Pardo, Rob and Zetaras Xal'Kurat. 2008-06-29. WorldWide Invitational 2008: Pictures, Presentations, Videos (StarCraft II Panel: Evolving Design) SC2 Blog. Accessed 2008-06-30.
  20. If life gives you an Overlord dumping his creep on your base, you blow up that Overlord.

    Maxed out creep range from one Overlord is a little bigger than the range of a Pylon's power radius, and will take about 15 seconds to reach max range and generally recede within 30 seconds(subject to balance) after the Overlord is destroyed or stops unloading creep.
    Karune. 2008-09-16. How Do You Remove Enemy Creep? StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-09-16.
  21. Karune. 2008-09-15. StarCraft II Discussion Topic: Zerg Creep. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-09-15.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Karune. 2008-10-28. StarCraft II Q&A Batch 45. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-10-28.
  23. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). July 27, 2010
  24. 24.0 24.1 Zerg's Creep does not climb up or fall down from a cliff. However if you generate the Creep from the Overlord right at the edge of the hill, you can see the Creep expand both side of the hill and the lower ground at the same time. Cydra. 2008-12-01. So creep will go down a ramp, but (Cydra's first post). StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-12-01.
  25. Creep expands on a ramp as well, I was meaning that it doesn't fall down from the cliff or doesn't climb up the cliff from the lower ground. Cydra. 2008-12-01. So creep will go down a ramp, but (Cydra's second post). StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-12-01.
  26. StarCraft Legacy staff. 2008-06-28. WWI 2008 Media. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2008-06-28.
  27. Browder, Dustin and Kevin Yu. 2008-06-05. Episode 3. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-06-5.
  28. Another clarification I'd like to add, creep has no affiliation to players, thus in Zerg vs Zerg games, the speed increase will help out all Zerg units, friend or foe. Karune. 2008-09-16. StarCraft II Discussion Topic: Zerg Creep (page 3). StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-09-19.
  29. Leord. 2008-06-30. List of New Zerg Changes. StarCraft Wire. Accessed 2008-06-30.