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"The universe never gave us a chance, but we're still alive and kicking. We got tossed to the far end of the galaxy, dropped smack dab between two ugly alien armies, and we're not all dead yet? Tell me that don't say something about us. We're too dumb to die. A smart species would've given up ages ago."
JimRaynor SC2 Cncpt3

A terran

The terrans (or humans) are a young species with psionic potential. The terrans of the Koprulu sector descend from the survivors of a disastrous 23rd century colonization mission from Earth by Doran Routhe.[1] Compared to the protoss and zerg, the terrans are highly factionalized and endure frequent wars amongst themselves in addition to the more recent conflicts with their alien neighbors. Nevertheless, terrans stand as one of the three dominant species of the galaxy.[2]


"We humans are about the most ornery cusses in the galaxy."
Marine SC-FL1 Art1

A terran marine

The term "terran" generally refers to the humans descending from the survivors of the Long Sleep and consequently to the human inhabitants of the Koprulu Sector.[3] The term may be used synonymously with "human"[4][5][6] and terrans of the sector may extend its meaning to encompass those not descending from the Long Sleep.[7]

Humans of the Earth-based United Earth Directorate refer to themselves as "humans," "mankind," or "humanity,"[8][9] although they are sometimes referred to as "terrans" by Blizzard Entertainment.[10]


Main article: Terran history

The terrans arrived in the Koprulu sector via supercarriers in 2259,[11] landing on three separate planets – Tarsonis, Moria and Umoja. They were cut off from Earth.[1] The terran colonists had access to stores of fertilized eggs and frozen embryos, and even extensive cloning, using technologies found on the supercarriers. The terran population expanded rapidly for at least three generations, and for the first five or six generations there was pressure to have many children. Eventually the supercarrier technology broke down.[12]

Prior to the Great War, the terrans were primarily divided into three factions in the Koprulu sector, each based on one of the original settled planets – the Terran Confederacy, Kel-Morian Combine and Umojan Protectorate. The Confederacy was the strongest faction.[1]


Terrans of the Confederacy

During the Great War, the Terran Confederacy, experimenting with psi emitter technology, bore the brunt of attacks by the zerg (infested planets were frequently purified by the protoss) while facing the Sons of Korhal. The Sons of Korhal eventually destroyed the Confederacy by using stolen psi emitters to lure the zerg to Tarsonis;[13] the rebels created the Terran Dominion, based on Korhal, to replace the Confederacy.

Unknown to the terrans of the Koprulu sector, the humans of Earth were aware of their existence. However, no interference came from Earth until the discovery of the alien invaders, sparking panic. The new Earth government, the United Earth Directorate, dispatched an Expeditionary Fleet to take control of the sector and defeat the aliens.[14] After approximately six months of stability, the Dominion came under attack by the UED.[15] Ultimately the sector escaped UED control, but it left the Dominion weak and with the zerg as the sector's dominant power.[16][17]

By the Second Great War, the Dominion was the strongest terran force in the Koprulu Sector, vying with the Kel-Morian Combine and the Umojan Protectorate for influence.[18] On the eve of war, Raynor's Raiders resumed its anti-Dominion campaign after a period of relative inactivity.[19] The terran polities were engulfed at the start of the Second Great War by a massive zerg invasion. Sarah Kerrigan's objective was the recovery of the Keystone, and the invasion was a way of searching for it.[20] Billions of terrans were killed.[21] Ultimately, the terrans survived the conflict, but at great damage to the Dominion, and the loss of Emperor Mengsk.[22]

The Dominion was reformed under Emperor Valerian Mengsk under a new and fairer rule,[23] but this rule was tested with the advent of the End War and the return of Amon, which ended in terrans pushing back Amon's forces and defeating him in the Void.[24] Since then the terrans of the sector have existed under an uneasy peace, one that has been put to the test by internal strife[25] and external tensions, but still maintained.[26]


"Four fingers, only one thumb. How very strange..."

- Zamara commenting on terran physiology.(src)

Heaven's Devils SC2 Art3

A group of terrans

The average terran is 1.8m tall.[27] Maximum human life expectancy is at most 150 years, without any mental degradation,[28] though few terrans live over a century[29] and terrans over the age of 80 are still considered old.[28]

Blonde hair and blue eyes still occur naturally in terrans[30] though these traits (and others) can be altered by gene therapy and/or augmentic surgery. This can lead to a certain uniformity of appearance for those wealthy enough to afford such treatments.[15] Abathur considers the terrans to be a doomed species due to their lack of genetic diversity and the proliferation of recessive traits in their gene pool.[31][32]

NovaReigelAlarak SC2-NCO Cine1

Terrans (left) compared to a protoss (right) in size

Physically, terrans are inferior to species such as the zerg and protoss. However, terrans are known for their tenacity and ability to adapt to harsh circumstances. In addition, terrans are only a few steps away from developing into a formidable psionic power.[1]

Terrans are a suspicious species by nature, and their inner thoughts rarely correspond to how they present themselves to others.[33] Parts of the human brain give predisposition to ritual behavior.[34] Terran brains are adept at seeing patterns, even if they aren't there.[26]

Advancements in terran medical technology has removed many issues terrans faced during their development. Cybernetic implants and advanced surgeries have allowed for quicker recovery from injuries that would be permanent or fatal hundreds of years prior.[15] Terrans often make use of medical nanomachines in order to heal injuries, both on the battlefield[35] and in civilian infirmaries.[36] Retinor has eliminated the need for corrective eyewear, though some still wear glasses.[28] Cosmetic surgery is widespread and common among many wealthy terrans. However, issues such as cancer still plagued humanity, some cancers being still inoperable.[15]

The following section contains information from Heroes of the Storm that is ambiguously canonical.

Some genetic distinction exists between the terrans of the Koprulu sector and their Earth-born counterparts, due to the former's genetically aberrant ancestry.[37]


"We can become better than what we are, sir. I know this. I've tasted it."
Terran SCR Head1

A terran

Terrans are an ingenious and industrious species.[37] It can be said that for terrans, honor is less important than getting results.[38] However, terrans have also demonstrated a "great need to hold on" to those around them; an inability to let go of those close to them. Vorazun speculated that this behavior was a holdover from humanity's ancient past.[39]

Before the founding of the United Powers League, terrans possessed a diversity of beliefs; beliefs that were subsequently repressed.[1] This remained true with the Terran Confederacy,[40] which had limited tolerance for "other faiths".[5] However, a few planets in the Koprulu Sector, notably the Fringe Worlds, have resurrected old Earth religions,[3] Christianity among them,[40] in addition to creating cults,[3] the Church of Besainted Pelagius being one example.[41] For more agnostic societies, some terrans still believe in the existence of a monotheistic deity, though others are distinctively skeptical.[30]

For terrans, it is considered polite to knock before entering. This behavior is strange to the protoss, as unlike terrans, they easily sense each other, and do not have to announce their presence in such a manner.[39]

Country and rock are music genres that still exist in the Koprulu sector.[42]

Despite fragments of Earth's history being absent from terran records,[5][28] some ancient mythologies are still remembered. These include tales of various afterlives and their dark alternatives, including Hell, Tartarus and Sheol.[28] "Warrior women" are remembered from at least one mythology[15] and elements of Greek mythology have been retained also.[43]

IPistol SC2 Art1

Terran consumerism

At least in the Koprulu sector, terran cuisine is highly varied.[44] Many terrans pursue consumerism.[45] Both protoss and zerg individuals have noted that terrans are a species driven by greed.[46][47]

One belief, or rather hope that has remained more-or-less constant for humanity is a fascination with the existence of other sapient life – a hope that remained unfulfilled until contact was made with the protoss and zerg.[15] The leaders of the United Powers League were of a different mindset than their Koprulu counterparts, demonstrating a purely militaristic and xenophobic approach to the discovery of alien species.[14]

Terran SC-Survivors Comic1

Various terrans

If one takes an outsider's view on humanity, (e.g. a protoss's), then humanity possesses a wide, puzzling spectrum of morality.[48] When compared to the elder species, terrans are far more obsessed with the notion of private thought[17][29][49] and personal freedom[17] and are "not meant for" the unity the Khala brings.[30] Having experienced it however, a terran ghost theorized humans could become a better people were they able to share the psionic link.[29] Terrans have displayed disregard for the natural world in a manner anathema to the protoss.[1]


Main article: Terran organizations
"We could not unite under one banner or even form a coalition. In fact, every time there was a chance for that, one faction or another did something to enhance the advancement of their own political agenda over the other factions. Often at the expense of the rest of humanity."
RaynorsRaiders SC2 Art1

A poster of Raynor's Raiders—one of many terran rebel groups

The terrans are a heavily-factionalized species, with many different governments and even more groups trying to overthrow said governments. The three dominant factions in the Koprulu sector are the Kel-Morian Combine, Terran Dominion and the Umojan Protectorate, the Dominion having taken the place of the now defunct Terran Confederacy. Earth and its colonies are controlled by the United Earth Directorate, though this is not absolute.[50] It has been speculated that if ever humanity united under a single banner, it could become an unstoppable force.[37]

Many rebel groups sparr(ed) with colonial powers,[1] which have had varying degrees of success in achieving their goals.[28] Hardly a week goes by without there being some military or policing action being reported in the Koprulu Sector.[51] Military cohesiveness within units however, makes terrans a force to be reckoned with.[52]


Main articles: Terran technology listing, Terran Technology descriptions
Adjutant SC2 Head2

An adjutant—an example of terran artificial intelligence

On the galactic scale, terrans are perhaps a "middle of the road" species and something of a paradox technologically. Of the galaxy's sapient species, terrans are significantly inferior to the likes of the protoss[1][5] yet (seemingly) more advanced than other sapients.[53][54][55] From an outsider's point of view, humanity has paradoxically improved its technology despite being in an apparently constant state of conflict.[1] From an insider's point of view, such development has been possible not in spite of conflict, but because of it.[5]

Terrans have a vast assortment of weapons and vehicles at their disposal,[56] and they're always trying to create more powerful weapons.[57] Fare gauges, terrain mappers, and targeting systems are standard for terran fightercraft.[58] Their armies possess both adaptability and resilience.[38] Terran technology includes FTL transmission and sensor technology.[3] Terrans have yet to crack quantum computing.[23] The maintenance of supply lines is vital in terran warfare.[59]

Terrans greatly developed their engineering abilities after the Brood War.[59]


"Terrans are the scrappy improvisers of StarCraft, relying on cobbled-together technology and a resilient spirit to spread Southern Hospitality around a cold and unfeeling universe. Rambunctious outcasts from a dignified civilization, they roam the fringes of the galaxy armed with over-the-top weaponry: flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and whatever other explosive devices they can get their mitts on."

- Terran gameplay blurb(src)


StarCraft: Ghost[]

StarCraft II[]


"How are the terrans metal, you ask? Well, to start with, they are loud (just like good metal should be). They're crude and violent. They curse and drink and smoke and do all sorts of things considered bad for you by most societies. They call themselves things like marauder, viking, ghost, and hellion, all of which either already are or would be awesome heavy-metal band names. The terrans of the StarCraft universe aren't your typical "space men." They aren't heroes or inquisitive galaxy-faring explorers. The terrans are not trying to start a meaningful dialog with alien life-forms in the hope of creating a bold new tomorrow for mankind. Nope, not our boys."
New Gettysburg SC1 Cncpt1

Heavy metal, terran style

  • For Samwise Didier, "heavy friggin' metal" is the first thing that comes to mind when he thinks of the terrans (nukes are a close second).[60]
    • In truth, country and rock were the main musical inspirations for the terran OST in the original game.[42]
  • A general consensus exists in regards to terran weaponry, at least in StarCraft II. Generally, terran weapons are ballistic, with directed energy weapons (e.g. lasers) being reserved for high technology units (such as battlecruisers).[61]
  • In the 2013–2018 period, the terran article was the least visited playable race page on the wiki, coming in at less than half of the views the zerg article received (the next highest 'race page' in terms of visitor numbers). Lawrence Yee, who ran the numbers, noted that this could be due to the time between the release of Wings of Liberty (2010) and 2013, along with the examined data only going back five years. He further noted that terran characters, with the exception of Sarah Kerrigan, were far less popular (in terms of article views) than their non-human counterparts.[62]


"We used a low-down, dirty vibe—a little bit of a mafia vibe, a redneck vibe, a mad scientist vibe—and that was our version of the space marine. Where you're used to seeing all these polished Galactic Federations, we did the opposite: the street gangs, the prisoners."

- Samwise Didier, on the development of the terrans during StarCraft(src)

  • The idea of humans being in StarCraft was present from the outset,[63] and were the first race developed for the game.[42] However, the developers didn't want to do the "Galactic Good Guys" trope, instead going with "Surly Space Cowboys That Were Prisoners,"[63] otherwise referred to as being "akin to the outlaws of the Old West, except in power armor and rocking gauss rifles."[64]
  • The terran "race kit" began with general guidelines to help differentiate them from other popular sci-fi franchies at the time.[65] For instance, they were designed to be antithetical to the (generally) peaceful races of the Star Trek universe.[66]
  • It was intended that the terrans be different from their human counterparts in the Diablo and Warcraft universes. They ended up being, in the words of Samwise Didier, "cannon fodder, stuck in the middle of nowhere, and fighting against each other."[67]
Hydralisk SC2 Art1

Rednecks in space

  • During early development of the game (and carried on to various extents), terrans were "rednecks" (in space). The idea behind this came from Blizzard's cinematic team while the game's story was still being developed.[68] The idea of the terrans was to bring a "Wild West" atmosphere to space,[69] and they were likewise described as "space cowboys" by Glenn Stafford.[70] Chris Metzen played a key role in the "space cowboy" element, as during development, he did a picture of a cowboy. The developers thus ran with the idea of StarCraft as a space Western. Instead of riding horses, the terrans would ride vulture bikes.[65]
  • While the zerg and protoss are more esoteric, the terrans represent "the familiar" to the player.[71]
  • In the original conception of StarCraft (which took place in the 28th century), the terrans had a different backstory. Over more than six centuries they had dominated the stars, but by the time the game took place, they controlled just a fragment of their once great civilization, and were disunited.[72]
  • From a development standpoint, the terran aesthetic is that of being clunky, welded together, rusty,[73] bulky, hard-edged, etc. The root of this aesthetic lies firmly in the modern military-and-industrial look.[60] Per the "race kit" guidelines, the developers didn't want the terrans to be "super clean or fancy," nor did they want the terrans to use hard sci-fi tech.[65]
  • Along with the zerg and protoss, the terran aesthetic was decided early on in the development of StarCraft, that their structures would be square and clunky, and that the terrans themselves would be "rough and dirty."[69] Shape language theory was used for the design of terran structures, along with the protoss and zerg. In the case of the terrans, their structures are based around squares/rectangles. Key examples of this are the barracks and factory.[65]
  • For StarCraft II, several of the new terran units were given sleeker, more advanced designs when compared to their forebears. This was done to showcase the technological process terrans had made between StarCraft and its sequel.[60]


  • The terrans are the direct inspiration for the Vanguard faction in Stormgate.[76] It has been suggested (if not necessarily by the developers themselves) that the Vanguard faction is representative of the StarCraft IP as a whole within the game.[77]
  • It has been noted that the Protectorate faction of ZeroSpace appears to have been inspired by the terrans.[78]


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