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The queen

The queen is a zerg support unit.


A queen

The queen possesses numerous tentacles, a sinuous head, and a stretched skin membrane.[1] During the Great War and Brood War, these queens, as with the overlords, were subordinated to the cerebrates to help administrate the Swarm. Queens usually stayed near the hives where they oversaw maturing zerg and drone activities.[2] Their primary role was as an infestation specialist.[3] These queens are capable of operating in the air[4] and on the ground.[5]

On the battlefield, one of the queen's primary functions was to implant parasites in its enemies. Able to be launched from a distance, a tiny, remora-like parasite attached itself to the target,[2] 'bonding' with it should the target be organic. The parasite allowed higher zerg strains to see whatever the host saw and at the time of its first use in the Koprulu sector, could not be removed without killing its host.[2] The parasite can also provide a link for the zerg to "talk" to the host[5] and serve as a vector for the hyperevolutionary virus.[6]

A queen on the ground

With the arrival of the United Earth Directorate in the Koprulu sector however and the introduction of nano-conveyed anesthetic and attenuated laser technology they brought with them, the parasites could be safely removed if detected by medics.[7] However, by 2503[8] at least some parasites could not be detected by terran technology.[5]

The queen can also infest other creatures, causing them to expire and broodlings to emerge from them.[2] It takes time for the queen to produce these creatures, though the rate of reproduction was able to be increased through the use of gamete meiosis. In the meantime, the queen is able to spray its victims with a thick mucus, slowing them down drastically before dissolving. Most feared of the queen's abilities, however, is its ability to produce parasitic bio-toxins. These could be sprayed onto individual targets at close range.[1] Once released onto a structure, these toxins quickly infest the facility,[9] bringing the structure and those inside it under the control of the zerg. The only safeguard against this ability was that the structure had to be in a state of disrepair before the toxins could be deployed.[2]


A queen during the Great War

The queen was derived from the Arachnis brood-keeper.[2] While the brood-keepers were capable of laying clutches of eggs, such an ability was deemed unnecessary for the queens, as their role in the Swarm was not tied to reproduction.[9]

Following the Brood War, a small number of older queens continued to exist.[10][11] However, their role and biology was re-purposed into a new form,[9] which was more physically resilient, and focused on nurturing colony sites.[3]

These queens saw action again during the End War, under the command of Amon who took control of feral zerg on Aiur.[12]

AlliedCommanders SC2-LotV Art1.jpg

This article or section contains information derived from Co-op Missions, and should not be considered part of the official StarCraft storyline.

These queens were fielded by Alexei Stukov during the End War.[13]

Game Unit[]


A queen has no normal attack and uses its speed to escape danger. The queen may be a nuisance raider using Spawn Broodling against high-value units like siege tanks, lurkers, ultralisks and dragoons or harass drones and scvs that are harvesting minerals or gas. Spawn Broodlings may also be used on zerg eggs.

It is relatively fragile for cost. Defensive counters include groups of air units and enough automated defense structures to either prevent a queen from sneaking into a base or kill it before having a chance to escape.

Queens become available to the player in the campaign with the mission "Agent of the Swarm" in Episode II and "The Kel-Morian Combine" in Episode VI.


InfestCC Icon SC1.PNG
Infest Command Center

Converts a badly damaged terran command center into an infested command center. A queen moves over a flying or grounded building and disappears for a short time. Control of the building only changes when the infesting queen reappears. The now-infested command center is restored to full health.

Hotkey I
Cost 0 Energy
Range 0

Attaches a parasite to target unit or critter. Infecting player sees everything the infected unit sees. Infected detectors reveal cloaked and burrowed units. Infected cloaked or burrowed units are always visible to the infecting player.

Hotkey R
Cost 75 Energy
Range 12
Ensnare Icon SC1.PNG

All units in the 4 x 4 targeted area when Ensnare is used will have their movement speed reduced by half and attack cooldown increased by half. Cloaked units caught in the area will also be revealed for the spell's duration.

Hotkey E
Cost 75 Energy
Range 9
Purchased from Queen's nest
Hotkey E
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 80seconds
SpawnBrood Icon SC1.PNG
Spawn Broodling

Creates two broodlings from the targeted ground mechanical or organic unit. The target is instantly destroyed in the process. Archons, dark archons, and robotic units such as probes and reavers may not be targeted. Broodlings last a maximum of 180 seconds.

Hotkey B
Cost 150 Energy
Range 9
Purchased from Queen's nest
Hotkey B
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 80seconds


+1 bonus to armor per level for overlords, mutalisks, guardians, devourers, scourge and queen.

Purchased from
Hotkey C
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 266seconds
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals 225 Vespene gas 298seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals 300 Vespene gas 330seconds
Required Hive
GamMeiosis Queen Icon SC1.PNG
Gamete Meiosis
  • Increases queen maximum energy by 50.
  • Increases queen starting energy from 50 to 62.5.
Purchased from Queen's nest
Hotkey G
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 166seconds


Selected Confirming order
Repeatedly selected
Other lines


During development, queens had a glaive wurm, dark swarm, and plague ability. The glaive wurm ability went to the mutalisk, while dark swarm and plague went to the defiler.[14][15]

StarCraft II[]

The queen is included in the Galaxy Map Editor for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.[16]

Queens appear in the Legacy of the Void campaign frequently under the control of Amon, as they were among the feral zerg on Aiur that he took control of. They retain their parasite, ensnare, and spawn broodling abilities. They are controllable by Alexei Stukov in Co-op Missions, where they are referred to as "brood queens."

Special Queen Strains[]

A queen


  • According to Bob Fitch, the role of the hatchery was initially going to be the taken by the queen, who would lay eggs like the Queen from the film Aliens. However, it was demed too hard to get the look and feel of the queen in this role. The queen was changed to a ground unit, and later manifested as a flying unit.[17]
  • According to the StarCraft manual, queens were utilized by the zerg before the Swarm left Zerus and were derived from the Arachnis brood-keeper.[19] The wording is ambiguous: either the "queens" present on Zerus were derived from a different species or the brood-keeper was native to Zerus.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Mesta, Gabriel (July 1, 2001). StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-671-04149-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  4. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft. (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). March 31, 1998
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Randolph, Grace (w), Seung-hui Kye (p, i). "Last Call." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 3 (paperback binding), pp. 90-131. Tokyopop, July 14, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-80832-5.
  6. Metzen, Chris & Samuel Moore (March 29, 1999). "StarCraft: Revelations." Amazing Stories 596 (Spring): 20-27.
  7. Underwood, Peter, Chris Metzen and Bill Roper. StarCraft: Brood War (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  8. April 6, 2010. "Timeline". StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 311 - 323. ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Queen. StarCraft Compendium. Accessed on 2008-02-07 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Queen" defined multiple times with different content
  10. Golden, Christie (November 27, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #2: Shadow Hunters. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-7126-1.
  11. Elder, Josh and Ramanda Kamarga. "Why We Fight." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 1, pp. 6–47. Tokyopop, August 1, 2008. ISBN 1427-80721-3.
  12. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Vivendi Games. Mission: For Aiur!. (in English). November 10, 2015
  13. 2016-12-08, Patch 3.9 Preview: New Co-op Commander Stukov. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2016-12-17
  14. Hidden Pics, Angelfire. Accessed on 2018-06-06
  15. StarCraft Beta Manual. Internet Archive. Accessed 2019-08-28.
  16. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). July 27, 2010
  17. 2021-07-25, Bob Fitch Twitter., accessed on 2021-07-26
  18. 2021-07-28, Bob Fitch Twitter., accessed on 2021-07-28
  19. Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  20. Phoenix Interviews Lani Minella | Nancy Drew Games | HeR Interactive, Accessed July 4, 2019