StarCraft Wiki
StarCraft Wiki
Shakurus SC1 Art2.jpeg

You may be looking for:

"The Quantradyne APOD-33 was the Confederacy's proof to the stars that anything with a big enough engine would fly -- no matter how badly."

The Quantradyne APOD-33 dropship[1] is a terran aerospace transport.


"When the swabbies decided to call these things dropships, they weren't kidding!"

- Private Hank Harnack in the midst of evacuating a downed dropship(src)

A dropship during the Great War

The Quantradyne is a heavily armored tactical transport equipped for both atmospheric and deep space flight,[2] utilizing twin engines fed hypergolic tanks that result in plasma exhaust, said engines being capable of shifting their angles.[1] Dropships are designed to carry anything from troops to siege tanks in both safety and speed.[3] Landings are usually carried out conventionally—easy deployment is allowed through both aft[1][4] and front ramps and its base can descend from the ship.[5] However, soldiers can also rappel down using ropes.[6] Side doors also exist[7] and furthermore, dropships are equipped with extraction fields[1] and maglev lines[8] in case the terrain is too difficult to land on.

A dropship

Early experiments to arm dropships (including ordnance packages for an air-to-ground role)[9] were abandoned in favor of maximizing payload capacity.[2] Still, soldiers can fire from the dropship themselves, such as from its bottom platform.[5] Another example of getting around this was used by Captain Jack Larimer, who removed his dropship's side doors to make room for mounted weapons.[7]

Dropships possess a number of shortcomings. They are difficult to maneuver and are prone to mechanical failures[6] and aren't exactly the most comfortable transport craft, the interior's temperatures usually uncomfortably hot, even more so during re-entry. Cooling units are installed to offset this along with air scrubbers. Restraining bars are present for the transport of passengers and overhead racks for the transport of equipment and/or belongings. The dropship's power bus is also compatible with the CMC-300 combat suit. A user can 'jack in' to the power bus and view the dropship's surroundings via a sensor system, the image being transferred to the suit's HUD.[1] Ammunition packs and stimulant dispensers are also featured.[3] During the Guild Wars, dropships were apparently bereft of gravity accelerators,[7] but this was rectified by the Great War. Dropship pilots can operate alone, although a nav/comm. console is set behind the pilot's seat.[10]

Dropships are outfitted with a signal booster, which automatically reroutes the communications of ground forces in range through them in order to allow for better communications range. However, this process is involuntary; if the dropship's signal booster is damaged ground forces in range of the booster will be unable to use long-range communications.[11]

Dropships are frequently attached to capital ships such as troopships[7] and battlecruisers.[10]


A dropship in a hanger

Quantradynes were designed by the Terran Confederacy and were in use by 2480.[3] The Colonial Fleet maintained high standards for its dropship pilots, the PEB (Preferred Experience Base) requiring an applicant to possess a combat pilot certification and hot-zone certification before being allowed access to a dropship.[12] Police forces on Confederate worlds that were wealthy enough to afford them would use dropships to ferry prisoners.[13]

The Terran Dominion maintained Quantradynes until at least 2503,[14] but most were eventually converted into medivac dropships.[15] However, some remained in service as late as 2511.[11]

Game Unit[]


Dropships are too slow to outrun aerial hunters like mutalisks, scouts, and wraiths. If destroyed any units being carried are lost as well. While it has eight slots like the shuttle and evolved overlord, the power of stimpacked infantry means a dropship can carry substantial firepower. Compared to its zerg and protoss counterparts (overlord and shuttle), the dropship has a faster speed than the overlord despite having a poor acceleration and is less fragile than the shuttle but slower.

A fleet of dropships is often used to offload units directly on top of or near an enemy base. These "drops" are a key strategy for many terran players.

The unit was voiced by Lani Minella.[16]


Purchased from Armory
Hotkey H
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 266seconds
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals 225 Vespene gas 298seconds
Required Science facility
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals 300 Vespene gas 330seconds
Required Science facility


Selected Confirming order
Repeatedly selected
Other lines


A dropship in the StarCraft alpha

During the StarCraft alpha, the dropship was much larger and could carry a lot more units inside. Their unit portrait bore great resemblance to what would become the character of Jem in the final product.[17]

The dropship was once equipped with Vortex shock-bombs.[18]

StarCraft: Ghost[]

Assault dropship concept art

Main article: Assault dropship

StarCraft: Ghost concept art depicts "assault dropships". The terrans also used the Grizzly as an (armed) transport.[19]

StarCraft II[]

The dropship's early appearance in StarCraft II

The dropship used to be very similar to the StarCraft version. It has been given a healing ability, transforming it into the medivac dropship; thus, the dropship can no longer be built in StarCraft II.[20]

The dropship touched down to unload units,[21] behavior that was previously seen in the original StarCraft alpha, but not the final edition.[22]

There was a one-second delay between every dropped unit.[23]

Blizzard was toying with the possibility of returning the dropship and making the medivac dropship an available upgrade in June 2008.[24]

Rather then medevacs, dropships appear in the commercial and on the doodad model for Bubba's Gas & Grub.[25]

Another dropship to feature within the game is the Hercules dropship, which is used to transport thors.[26]

Known Dropships[]

Dropship wireframe

Known Dropship Pilots[]


The dropship in Overwatch

  • The dropship's design, pilot personality, and unit quotations are heavily modelled or borrowed from the one found in the movie Aliens.[27]
  • Dropships appear in concept art for McCree in The Art of Overwatch.[28] The artwork itself dates back to when a StarCraft MMO was pitched in the aftermath of the cancellation of Project Titan.[29]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Hickman, Tracy (May 21, 2002). StarCraft: Speed of Darkness. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0671-04150-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 McNeill, Graham (December 30, 2008). StarCraft: I, Mengsk. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1-4165-5083-9.
  4. Benjamin, Paul and Dave Shramek (w), Mel joy San Juan (p), Noel Rodriguez et al (i). "Orientation." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 4 (paperback binding), pp. 114-161. Tokyopop, October 1, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-81698-6.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Furman, Simon (w), Federico Dallocchio, Carlos D'Anda (p, i). "StarCraft #7" StarCraft 1 (7) (January 20, 2009) DC Comics (Wildstorm).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mesta, Gabriel (July 1, 2001). StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-671-04149-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Dietz, William C. (April 6, 2010). StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books). ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
  8. Bill Slavicsek, David Eckelberry, Shawn F. Carnes (March 1, 2000). Alternity: StarCraft Edition. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0786-91618-4
  9. Banshee. Accessed on 2008-01-28
  10. 10.0 10.1 Grubb, Jeff (February 27, 2001). StarCraft: Liberty's Crusade. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0671-04148-9.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Zahn, Timothy (November 8, 2016). StarCraft: Evolution. Del Rey Books. ISBN 0425284735.
  12. Star Fleet. Accessed on 2008-01-28
  13. Waugh, James. "Perdition's Crossing (short story)." (Oct. 6, 2015). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Perdition's Crossing Accessed 2015-10-06.
  14. Golden, Christie (May 22, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #1: Firstborn. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7125-1.
  15. Blizzard Entertainment Staff. 2010-07-24. Medivac. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2010-07-24.
  16. Phoenix Interviews Lani Minella | Nancy Drew Games | HeR Interactive, Accessed July 4, 2019
  17. Renders, StarCraft Planet. Accessed on 2011-07-20
  18. [1]
  19. 2006-02-09. Grizzly. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-06.
  20. Cavez. 2008-03-11. Medic is out currently, heal to Dropship? StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2008-03-11.
  21. Admin. 2007-10-28. Starcraft 2 Terran Units. StarCraft 2 Info. Accessed 2008-04-05.
  22. Lord of Ascension. 2007-09-28. StarCraft Evolution. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2007-12-02.
  23. 1) Reapers are much faster for raiding. In dropping units (like Marines), there is a 1 second delay between each unit that is dropped. In that 8 seconds, to drop all 8 Marines, you can do a lot of damage with Reapers. Karune. 2008-04-07. Medic/Reaper/Medevac Compilation:Cavez/Karune. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-04-07.
  24. 2008-06-24. Fansite Q & A With Dustin Browder, p3. StarCraft Wire. Accessed on 2008-06-24.
  25. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Bubba's Gas & Grub. Commercial after "In Utter Darkness." (in English). 2010.
  26. Destructoid - Destructoid interview: StarCraft II's Dustin Browder. Destructoid. June 29, 2009. Last accessed: June 29, 2009.
  27. 2021-08-16, Bob Fitch Twitter., accessed on 2021-08-16
  28. 2017-10-17, TIL McCree from Overwatch was actually Prospector Logann from Starcraft. StarCraft Reddit, accessed on 2017-10-18
  29. 2017-05-11, BlizzCon 2017: How Overwatch rose from Titan’s failure. Blizzard Watch, accessed on 2017-11-05