"True to their name, infestors spreads the Swarm's influence wherever they go. Organisms that are injected with an infestor's neural parasite become the zerg's mindless soldiers."

- Unit description(src)

The infestor

The infestor is a zerg unit that appears in StarCraft II.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Evolved from the borbu matriarch,[1] and in use by the zerg by 2503,[2][3] infestors are one of the more insidious new additions to the Swarm.[1]

Infestors are carried by sturdy legs that secrete a corrosive substance that softens the soil and allows them to burrow in the blink of an eye.[4] Unlike most zerg strains, infestors have the ability to move while burrowed,[1] and can do so at an astonishing speed.[5] Writhing sensory tentacles that extend from the infestor's jaw serve as a secondary, albeit more powerful, set of eyes and ears by means of thousands of microscopic growths that function as biological transceivers. Further Dominion research on the subject has been slow and fruitless.[4]

Within the Leviathan infestors, the defensive structures of the base creature are more pronounced. The primal zerg utilize infestors as well, but they are often the targets of larger creatures in their own pack. These infestors have evolved thickened plating along their back to protect themselves. Those infestors enslaved by the Cerberus Program were implanted with a titanium infrastructure to improve their survivability.[6]

Offensive Abilities[edit | edit source]

"Even if you survive, you will never live it down."

- A Dominion marine on the infestor's neural parasite ability(src)

An infestor

Infestors are used to support hydralisks and roaches on the battlefield.[7] They are used to plant virophages.[5]

Infestors are known to ingest infested marines to use as terror weapons on the battlefield,[4] carrying them to a combat zone.[1] The marines are stored in thick flesh cavities until the infestor regurgitates them to face their former compatriots, or anything else that might pose a threat to the Swarm.[4] These infested marines can pop right out from the ground if the infestor is burrowed.[5] Infestors are also capable of harboring larva and spewing them at enemies.[8]

Infestors attack marines

Perhaps the infestor's most dangerous feature is the neural parasite, a multi-mouthed[5] symbiotic creature living within infestors that, when spat, attaches to an enemy and controls its mind for a short period of time.[1] This is inserted through a parasitic stinger, a flexible appendage that is capable of boring through both natural and organic plating. The parasite then is then inserted directly into the target's central nervous system. The amorphous, multi-mouthed parasite cannot survive for long within a foreign body, but whatever horrific deeds the host carries out while under the influence of the Swarm will leave everlasting scars.[4] The neural parasite embeds itself near the top of the spine of the victim, and the parasite's host can still communicate through the creature's native language to their former allies.[9] Seeing the immense potential of this parasite, the Queen of Blades carried out incubation of new strains capable of living longer outside of their host.[1]

An infestor

Hardened plates of assimilated mold and fungus offer infestors protection from enemy fire and would-be predators.[4] Upon developing the fungal growth mutation,[5] this armor can also function as a weapon, as the infestor can turn the inner layer of its carapace into a viscous fluid that breaks down matter in seconds and immobilizes anything it comes in contact with.[4] The fluid is sprayed over an area, and any enemy it touches suffers both damage and immobilization. The growth reveals both cloaked and burrowed enemies.[5]

Game Unit[edit | edit source]

Infestors are strong against marines, mutalisks, and immortals, but are weak against ghosts, ultralisks, and high templar.[10]

The infestor is a ground support unit which is capable of moving while burrowed. The infestor does not have a standard attack. It can also temporarily take control of a single enemy unit with its Neural Parasite ability. Workers taken by neural parasite can construct buildings while under the parasite's control, allowing the player to potentially have the army of another race. The infestor can also cover allied units from air attacks with its Microbial Shroud ability.

When an infestor moves, it leaves behind a trail of slime. When burrowed, visible cracks on the surface can be seen by its controlling player.

Upon death, an infestor's abdomen will swell and the explode. When killed with fire, it will flail its front legs and then roll onto its side. The fungal growth is also useful at revealing cloaked units such as dark templar and ghosts.

Versus[edit | edit source]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Many zerg ground units may burrow, becoming invisible and revealed primarily by detectors, and may not move or attack while burrowed.

Exceptions include:

  • Roach, which may move while burrowed
  • Lurker, which may attack while burrowed
  • Infestor, which may move while burrowed
  • Baneling, which can detonate while burrowed.

Some units can unburrow via autocast, causing them to emerge and attack when an enemy moves into range.

The ability is not smartcast.

Hotkey R
Cost 2 seconds to burrow, 1 second to unburrow seconds
Purchased from Hatchery/Lair/Hive
Hotkey B
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 71seconds
Required Lair (WoL)
Hatchery (HotS/LotV)

Like many zerg ground units, the infestor can burrow. However by default the infestor can move while burrowed. The infestor use Neural Parasite and spawn infested terrans while burrowed. It moves faster under the creep.

Infestors cannot burrow underneath structures, not even destructible rocks or pylons. The pylons project a strong magnetic field which makes the ground beneath them impenetrable by "mortal means".[11]

Purchased from Automatically researched
SC2 Neural Parasite Icon.jpg
Neural Parasite

The infestor takes control of target enemy unit. Heroic units are immune.

Units maintain their upgrades and special abilities while controlled. Control reverts to the original player if the infestor is killed, when duration ends, or when the range between the infestor and the controlled unit grows too large.

Controlled probes and SCVs can build structures; the SCV will leave a structure unfinished if it reverts during the construction. Affected drones cannot mutate structures. Larva can be morphed, but hatched units return to enemy's control once the effect has worn off.

Affected units cannot be loaded into transports, and ability cannot be used on transports carrying units. Affected units can be recalled by a Nexus or Mothership.

Ability can be used on enemy infestors. Units mind controlled by affected infestors remain under player's control for normal duration, even after affected infestors revert to opponent's control. Heroic units (such as motherships) cannot be controlled.

This ability can be used while burrowed.

Hotkey E
Cost 100 Energy
Range 7[12] (unit can move up to 5 extra spaces away while still being controlled.)[13]
Duration 15
11 (LotV) seconds
Purchased from Infestation pit
Hotkey E
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 79seconds
SC2 Fungal Growth Icon.jpg
Fungal Growth

An infestor launches a projectile with a speed of 15;[14] enemy units within the area of effect (2.25 radius) have their speed reduced by 75% and suffer 30 damage over 3 seconds. Cloaked and burrowed units are revealed.

Fungal Growth stops the use of Blink, Tactical Jump and prevents units from burrowing or unburrowing. Affected units can not be loaded into buildings or transports.

Hotkey F
Cost 75 Energy
Range 10[14]
Duration 3 seconds seconds
Purchased from Automatically researched
MicrobalShroud LotV Game1.JPG
Microbial Shroud

Creates a shroud that obscures ground units below in a radius of 3.5, reducing the damage they take from air units by 50%. Lasts 11 seconds.

Hotkey C
Cost 75 Energy
Range 9
Duration 11 seconds

Upgrades[edit | edit source]

PathogenGlands SC2 Game1.png
Pathogen Glands

Increases infestor starting energy by 25.

Purchased from Infestation pit
Hotkey G
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 57seconds
  • +1 bonus to armor per level for zerg ground units.
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey C
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 114seconds
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals 225 Vespene gas 136seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals 300 Vespene gas 157seconds
Required Hive

Heart of the Swarm[edit | edit source]

Infestors are introduced in the mission "Infested," where they are required to implant virophages to infest nearby infested civilians.[15]

The infestor's Fungal Growth is stronger and applied instantly, while Neural Parasite is permanent and doesn't need to be channeled. They also have the Consumption ability, like vipers. They cannot create infested terrans; these are instead generated through plot-based mechanics (the virophage).

Upgrades and Abilities[edit | edit source]

SC2 Fungal Growth Icon.jpg
Fungal Growth

Immobilizes target units and deals 60 damage over 4 seconds. Reveals cloaked and burrowed units.

Hotkey F
Cost 75 Energy
Range 10
Duration 4 seconds seconds
Purchased from Automatically researched
SC2 Neural Parasite Icon.jpg
Parasitic Domination

Target is permanently controlled by the Swarm.

Heroic units are immune.

Hotkey E
Cost 125 Energy
Range 7
Cooldown 5 seconds
Consume(Viper) SC2-HotS Icon.jpg

Drains up to 75 life from a friendly Zerg unit and gives the Infestor 2 energy for each point of life drained.

Hotkey C
Cooldown 10 seconds

Legacy of the Void[edit | edit source]

Infestors are available in the epilogue mission "Amon's Fall." They do not have their Neural Parasite ability, but can spawn infested terrans.

Co-op Missions[edit | edit source]

Stetmann has access to the mecha infestor in Co-op Missions, which allows him to heal and recharge allies, damage buildings and spawn waves of mecha roaches and mecha ravagers.

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Infested terror.jpg Infested Terror

10 Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG


Destroy 30 units with Infested Terrans in a single Unranked or Ranked game.

Would you kindly.jpg Would You Kindly...

10 Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG


Destroy 5 units with a single Neural Parasited unit in an Unranked or Ranked game.


This achievement is a reference to the game BioShock.


Development[edit | edit source]

Development Portrait

Main article: Infestor/Development

Blizzard devised a new infestor model over the course of development. StarCraft II beta files label(ed) the old incarnation as a swarm host.[16] It has also been dubbed "Fatty."

A proposed change in August 2017 was for the infestor's Fungal Growth ability to no longer hit air units, and units hit on creep would be slowed instead of rooted, but would not be able to move off the creep. Its overall radius was increased.[17]

In Legacy of the Void, infestors were to gain the Aggressive Mutation ability. This granted a flat damage bonus to allied units, making it especially effective when used on zerglings and other cheap units with a low cooldown.[18] This ability was removed during development.

Special Infestor Strains[edit | edit source]

An infestor

Images[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Blizzard Entertainment staff. 2010-07-24. Units: Infestor. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2010-07-24.
  2. Kenyon, Nate. (September 27, 2011). StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
  3. September 27, 2011. "Timeline." StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 393-416. ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 2014-09-25, Infestor Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-09-27
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  6. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. July 19, 2017
  7. Overview: Zerg, accessed on 2011-01-13
  8. Watrous, Valerie (w), Manual, Garcia (i) and Javir Mena (c). (January 5th, 2018). StarCraft II: Shadow Wars: Part 5. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Shadow Wars: Part 5 Accessed 2018-01-07.
  9. McAleese, Dany. "The Exit." (July 1, 2014). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: The Exit Accessed 2014-07-02
  10. Blizzard Entertainment staff. 2010-07-24. Units: Infestor. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2010-07-24.
  11. No, they cannot move under buildings. The ground is too compacted from the weight of the structure and the Infestor cannot tunnel through. Even Protoss Pylons make everything really hard to move through because a strong magnetic force from the Pylon makes the ground beneath it nearly impenetrable by mortal means.

    It's not really practical for the gameplay. You get "units inside units" if the the Infestor could hide under structures which is never a happy place to be. Selection gets difficult, targeting becomes challenging, etc.
    Cavez. 2009-02-26. (Question) Infester movement under buildings? Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2009-02-27.
  12. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty - Patch 1.4.0. Battle.net. Accessed 2011-09-20.
  13. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). July 27, 2010
  14. 14.0 14.1 Spyrian. 2012-12-18. Beta Balance Update #10 – December 18, 2012. Heart of the Swarm Beta Discussion Accessed 2012-12-19.
  15. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Infested (in English). 2013-03-12.
  16. 2010-02-28, StarCraft II Beta Game Images. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed on 2010-06-22
  17. 2017-08-17, StarCraft II Multiplayer - Major Design Changes. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-08-20
  18. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update: Zerg. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-11-09.
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