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Queen SC2 Art2

The queen

The queen [1] is a zerg support unit that appears in StarCraft II. Despite a shared name, it is a vastly different unit from its predecessor, most notably in that it no longer flies.


The creation of this breed of queen was carried out at the behest of the Queen of Blades, in order to safeguard the future of the Swarm and act as its hive-masters.[2] The queens came into use after the Brood War,[3] in use as early as 2501.[4] Abathur altered the essence of an older breed of queen[5], and ultimately from the Arachnis brood-keeper,[3] suppressing their ability to fly in order to improve their abilities to take care of the hive.[5]


Queen SC2 CineZergTrail2

A queen with eggs

Queens are sapient beings.[6] The queen's brain is encased in an armored skull, and connected to a set of nerve cords that bear resemblance to those possessed by protoss. The queen's brain gives it great mental capabilities,[3] but these queens have severe limits to their mental flexibility (unlike broodmothers),[7] and have limited independent thought, analysis, and sapience.[4] They play a limited command role in nurturing zerg nest sites.[3] In leadership roles, they oversee hives and[8] easily[3] coordinate lesser strains.[8] Queens can evolve and grow through experience, and can analyze and relay any tactical data fed to them by overlords.[3] Queens generally can't communicate verbally,[9] but have been observed to converse with other species psionically.[10] They are as able to hear, process and understand terran speech.[9]


"Saw one puke on a roach. It looked so happy. Zerg are weird."
Queen SC-FM Art1

A queen

These queens are tougher than their predecessors,[3] including an armored skull. At full height, they are roughly 1.5 times as tall as a terran wearing CMC armor.[4] The new morphology of these queens hints at the incorporation of terran or protoss DNA, or perhaps even the zerg-altered genes of the Queen of Blades herself. Such evolution implied a widespread change occurred within the zerg hierarchy, a redistribution of power making them more difficult to combat.[3] When terrans first saw this queen, the universal reaction was that someone had taken a centaur from human legend, replaced the torso with a section of a centipede, and replaced the lower, equine part with a giant crab.[9]


The egg-laying abilities of the Arachnis brood-keeper was revised and altered for these queens to allow them to produce living globs of tissue, which adhere to creep and accelerate its growth.[3] These globs are deposited via their ovipositor, mutated from the one possessed by the Arachnis brood keeper.[4] These queens also produce a thick, protein-based substance that stimulates cellular growth,[3] achieved via mitotic enzymes,[4] which they are able to expel in liquid form. When a queen covers the wounds of a zerg organism (structural or otherwise) with this reddish fluid, the damaged tissue regenerates in a matter of seconds. Conversely, if the fluid is combined with a catalyst secreted by a gland located on the queen's neck (which gives it a sickly green coloration), and forcefully injects it into a hatchery, larvae will be incubated more rapidly.

Like all ground-based zerg strains, queens move faster across creep than normal ground. However, their legs are designed so that their movement is impaired when crossing non-creep covered areas;[3] they 'skate' over creep, which, per the design of said legs, makes crossing over normal terrain more difficult.[4] Dominion scientists have speculated that this is to keep more intelligent queens within the vicinity of a hive and reduce the incentive for them to wander off on their own.[3]

Queens have the advanced ability to manipulate their "offspring";[11] for instance, by 2503,[12] they engineered the zergling morph to the baneling, a breed that can contain its explosive energies until just the right moment.[11] They have also been tasked with the spawning of numerous cocoons.[13] These queens are equipped with acid spines as projectile weapons, and claws that can be used in melee situations.[4] They can also lob spores at their enemies.[14] However, their biological weaponry is mainly used to defend hive clusters.[4]

LeviathanQueen SC2SkinImage

A Leviathan Brood queen

The queens of the Leviathan Brood are incredibly vicious and hostile. Any creatures foolish enough to approach their clutch with hostile intent may find themselves quickly impaled by many spines.

PrimalQueen SC2SkinImage

A primal queen

Primal zerg have also adopted queens, though the brutal nature of primal packs means that queens fill a very different role from the Swarm counterparts.[2]

Game UnitEdit

The queen is a ground unit with an attack consisting of spines launched by the "wings" on its back. The queen emerges directly from the hatchery (meaning it is not morphed from a larva but walks out of the hatchery) and requires a spawning pool. You cannot set a rally point for your queen, they always spawn directly next to the hatchery in available space.

Hatchery SC2 DevGameAnim1

A hatchery spawning extra larvae

Queens are strong against hellions, mutalisks, and void rays, but are weak against marines, zerglings, and zealots.

A 1:1 ratio of queens to hatcheries will allow the hatcheries to continually produce additional larvae assuming perfect timing of inject larva, though the queen would not be able to generate an energy surplus for other abilities in such a case.

Building excess queens in lieu of or in conjunction with ground units and spine crawlers is a frequent early defense option due to the queen's ability to block small ramps, attack air units, heal with transfusion and later spread creep tumors or relocate to an expansion for larva injection in the mid-game. In addition the queen's lack of an armor type means that few units deal bonus damage to the queen, making her an excellent all-around tanking unit.

The queen's movement speed bonus from creep is much larger than other zerg units, making it especially slow when off of creep, but is fairly quick when on creep.

Blizzard considers Spawn Larva to be harder to use than other race-specific macro mechanics, but believes this balances the easier unit production management.[15]

The queen portrait is unlocked when earning the Solo Zerg 250 achievement.


Upgrades and Abilities
  • Attack bonus for queens and zerg ground ranged units.
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey A
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals Terran SC1 100 Gas Terran SC1 114Time SC2 Game1
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals Terran SC1 150 Gas Terran SC1 136Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals Terran SC1 200 Gas Terran SC1 157Time SC2 Game1
Required Hive
  • +1 bonus to armor per level for zerg ground units.
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey C
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals Terran SC1 150 Gas Terran SC1 114Time SC2 Game1
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals Terran SC1 225 Gas Terran SC1 136Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals Terran SC1 300 Gas Terran SC1 157Time SC2 Game1
Required Hive

Many zerg ground units may burrow, become invisible and may be revealed primarily by detectors, and may not move or attack.

Exceptions include:

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 unburrowTime SC2 Game1
Purchased from Hatchery/Lair/Hive
Hotkey B
Cost 100 Minerals Terran SC1 100 Gas Terran SC1 71Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair (WoL)
Hatchery (HotS/LotV)
CreepTumor SC2 Icon1
Create Creep Tumor

The queen forces a creep tumor out of her bowels.[17]
Alternatively, each creep tumor may create a single additional creep tumor, using the same build time but no energy cost. This changes the tumor's appearance.

Creep tumors can only be created upon the creep, and within a range.

Hotkey C
Cost 25 Energy Terran SC1 11 secondsTime SC2 Game1
Cooldown 11 seconds (can only be used once by a creep tumor)Time SC2 Game1
SpawnLarvae SC2 Icon1
Spawn Larva

Queens can target a hatchery/lair/hive, causing it to eventually spawn four larvae. These join any already-present larvae. The larva-producing structure will not naturally produce any more larvae until the total falls below three. The larva count for any given hatchery/lair/hive cannot exceed nineteen, no matter how many times spawn larva is cast.

In Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, four larvae are spawned. In Legacy of the Void, three larvae are spawned,[18] and multiple casts can be queued on a single base.[19]

Hotkey V
Cost 25 Energy Terran SC1 29Time SC2 Game1
Cooldown 1.8Time SC2 Game1
Transfusion SC2 Icon1

The queen instantly restores 75 hit points to target biological unit or structure, plus an additional 50 health over the next 7.14 seconds.

Hotkey T
Cost 50 Energy Terran SC1
Cooldown 1Time SC2 Game1

Legacy of the VoidEdit

The queen from StarCraft re-appears in Legacy of the Void.

Co-op MissionsEdit

Kerrigan and Zagara have the ability to spawn queens in Co-op Missions. Abathur has the ability to spawn swarm queens. Stukov has the ability to spawn classic brood queens, which function similar to their StarCraft counterpart.

At Level 3, Zagara gains the ability for queens to spawn eight larva instead of four.



Centurion queen Centurion Queen

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Create 100 Larvae with Queens in a single Unranked or Ranked game.


Spawn extra larvae always as possible. It may also help in getting the Zerg Macro Master achievement.


Known QueensEdit

Queen SC2 Art3

A queen




  • A skater skirt prominently featuring a queen is available for purchase on the store.[24]



  1. 2011-10-22, BlizzCon 2011 - Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm - Campaign and Lore Panel (Full). YouTube, accessed on 2011-11-07
  2. 2.0 2.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. July 19, 2017
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Blizzard Entertainment staff. 2014-08-14. Units: Queen. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-08-14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Blizzard Entertainment. Heroes of the Storm (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). June 2, 2015
  6. 2011-06-15, Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm video preview. Atomic, accessed on 2011-07-08
  7. Blizzard Entertainment. 2012-11-26. StarCraft II Creative Development Q&A - Part 6. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2012-11-26.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Overview: Zerg, accessed on 2011-01-13
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Zahn, Timothy (November 8, 2016). StarCraft: Evolution. Del Rey Books. ISBN 0425284735.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Retaliation (in English). 2016-06-20.
  11. 11.0 11.1 2008-05-23. Baneling. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-05-23.
  12. September 27, 2011. "Timeline." StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 393-416. ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
  13. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Belly of the Beast (in English). 2010-07-27.
  14. Elder, Josh (w), Ramanda Kamarga (p). "Why We Fight." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 1 (paperback binding), pp. 6–47. Tokyopop, August 1, 2008. ISBN 978-1427-80721-2.
  15. David Kim. 2011-12-15. Q & A With David Kim. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2012-01-26.
  16. Blizzard Entertainment Staff. 2010-07-24. Infestor. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2010-07-24.
  17. Karune. 2009-02-18. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 49. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-02-18.
  18. 2015-09-03, Legacy of the Void Beta Balance Update -- September 3, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-09-09
  19. 2015-09-17, Legacy of the Void Beta Balance Update -- September 17, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-09-30
  20. Zarhym. 2010-03-12. #BlizzChat Developer Chat on Twitter – 3/12 (page 2). StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2010-03-13.
  21. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Challenge: Wings of Liberty, For the Swarm (in English). 2010-07-27.
  22. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Credits. (in English). 2010.
  23. 23.0 23.1 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.
  24. 2017-07-08, StarCraft II Skater Skirt., accessed on 2017-07-08