StarCraft Wiki
StarCraft Wiki


Damage types[]

In StarCraft, there are three damage types: concussive, normal, and explosive. The actual damage done depends on the type and the size of the target unit, as indicated in the following table:

Unit Size Concussive Normal Explosive
Small 100% 100% 50%
Medium 50% 100% 75%
Large 25% 100% 100%

Protoss shields always take full damage.

Concussive Damage[]

Units which deal concussive damage are optimized to kill small units such as zerglings and zealots. Concussive damage is limited more than any other damage type and is comparatively a rare attack mode.

It includes the vulture, ghost, and firebat.

Explosive Damage[]

Units which deal explosive damage are optimized to kill large units and buildings. Explosive damage isn't particularly effective against small units (which suffer half of the damage). Despite the name, many explosive attacks do not deal splash damage; for instance, the siege tank's attack in tank mode is optimized for destroying armored units, but it only gains splash damage when it switches to siege mode. Exceptions to the "splash units are explosive" rule are the archon, reaver, lurker, and the high templar's Psionic Storm.

It includes all rocket attacks (e.g. missile turrets, goliaths anti-air, scouts anti-air, valkyries, wraiths anti-air), and all types of powerful cannons, like those of siege tanks and dragoons. It also includes the hydralisk's needle spines, the sunken colony's subterranean tentacle, infested terran's suicide, and the devourer's acid spores.

Normal Damage[]

Normal attacks are effective against all types of units.

It includes all melee attacks, like those of the zergling and ultralisk. It also includes laser weapons (battlecruiser and wraith), most bullets (marine) and special cases (SCV/probe/drone's attacks, protoss photon cannon, archon, scout's ground attack, carrier (interceptor's) attack, zerg spore colony, guardian, mutalisk, and scourge).

Unit Sizes[]

Unit size is only loosely correlated with the size of a unit's sprite and the amount of space a unit takes up in a transport. Unit size is more closely linked to armor quality.

A small ground unit, such as a ghost, wears personal armor, whereas a large unit, such as a siege tank, is covered with neosteel plating. Few units, such as the hydralisk, are medium-sized.

Most air units are large; indeed, all terran air units are large, even units which would be expected to be relatively small and lightly-armored, such as wraiths (compared to battlecruisers). Most powerful anti-air attacks deal explosive damage, as a result. The biggest exception to the rule is probably the mutalisk, which is small, but is expected to face explosive attacks regularly. Zerg scourges, protoss interceptors, and observers are the other small sized air units. Zerg queens and protoss corsairs are medium-sized.

Terran units[]

Unit Size Ground Attack Air Attack
SCV Small Normal -
Marine Small Normal Normal
Firebat Small Concussive+ -
Ghost Small Concussive Concussive
Vulture Medium Concussive -
Siege Tank – Tank Large Explosive -
Siege Tank – Siege Large Explosive* -
Goliath Large Normal Explosive
Wraith Large Normal Explosive
Dropship Large - -
Science Vessel Large - -
Battlecruiser Large Normal Normal
Medic Small - -
Valkyrie Large - Explosive+

* Weapon does splash damage to all units

+ Weapon does friendly splash damage (meaning it will hit allies and enemy units but not your own)

Zerg units[]

Unit Size Ground Attack Air Attack
Larva Small - -
Drone Small Normal -
Zergling Small Normal -
Hydralisk Medium Explosive Explosive
Ultralisk Large Normal -
Infested Terran Small Normal* -
Broodling Small Normal -
Defiler Medium - -
Queen Medium - -
Overlord Large - -
Scourge Small - Normal
Mutalisk Small Normal Normal
Guardian Large Normal -
Lurker Medium Normal+ -
Devourer Large - Explosive

* Weapon does splash damage to all units

+ Weapon does friendly splash damage (meaning it will hit allies and enemy units but not your own)

Protoss units[]

Unit Size Ground Attack Air Attack
Probe Small Normal -
Zealot Small Normal -
Dragoon Large Explosive Explosive
High Templar Small - -
Archon Large Normal+ Normal+
Reaver Large Normal+ -
Shuttle Large - -
Observer Small - -
Scout Large Normal Explosive
Carrier Large - -
Interceptor Small Normal Normal
Arbiter Large Explosive Explosive
Dark Archon Large - -
Dark Templar Small Normal -
Corsair Medium - Explosive+

* Weapon does splash damage to all units

+ Weapon does friendly splash damage (meaning it will hit allies and enemy units but not your own)


  • If a unit is shielded (protoss only), the shield takes full damage from any attack, regardless of the unit's size and damage type.
  • All buildings are "large" units.
  • Some attacks may also deal splash damage, which damages units around the target. Splash damage typically affects all units except the attacker's own units; the exceptions are siege tank, spider mines, and infested terrans which affect all units.