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"Those goofy mercs are still using Vultures, can ya believe it? Damn things are death traps even when you ain't got people shooting at ya."
"Careful now, Swann. My old Vulture saved my skin more times than I care to remember. I ain't gonna listen to you trash talk a classic piece of engineering like that."
"Classic?! I suppose you could call 'em that. 'Course most folks like a bike that don't explode on them when the repeller seals freeze up, or when the fuel cells start leaking radioactive waste - but hey, who cares if it's a 'classic,' right?"
"No one likes a smart-ass, Swann."

- Rory Swann and Jim Raynor discussing the vulture(src)

The vulture-class hover bike (a.k.a. vulture hover cycle)[1] is a terran hoverbike used mainly for scouting. Despite its reputation as a deathtrap, it is still considered a classic piece of engineering by enthusiasts.[2]


"Vulture Hover Bikes...they were fast, light and highly maneuverable and gave their riders about as much protection as a paper hat."


The vulture is a lightly-armored one-man hoverbike primarily used for scouting and patrol.[1]


A vulture during the Guild Wars

The vulture is designed with speed and reliability in mind.[3] Its limited gravity hover technology allows the bike to travel over rough terrain with little loss of traction or speed, and reach speeds up to 230 miles per hour.[1] Three men could overload a bike.[4] Their magnetic frequency can also be adjusted to make it easier to cross some obstacles (e.g. the tracks used by maglev trains).[5] An onboard computer and sensors mounted in the "nose" of the craft keeps it at a steady pace for most of the time[6] and a navigation system is present.[5] These features make the vulture suitable for patrolling the vast wildernesses typically found around terran colonies.[3] They produce a humming whine as they move.[7] Vultures can operate in low gravity or zero gravity through built in gravity accelerators that allow them utilize artificial gravity.[8]

A vulture c. 2496

The bike can catastrophically fail if the repulsors freeze up, or the fuel cells begin leaking radioactive material.[9][10] The vulture's driver seat can be enclosed depending on model, customization, or operating environment[11] and can be configured for someone to ride shotgun.[6][12] A C-14 rifle can be holstered on the side of the vehicle's nose.[13]

Technology similar to that found in the vulture is available in civilian hoverbikes, such as the 428 hoverbike.[14]


A vulture during the Great War

Originally, the standard vulture armament was an anti-personnel[1] grenade launcher.[15] Since the Brood War however, vultures may instead be equipped with a mounted laser cannon.[16] Other optional equipment includes spider[3] and cerberus[17] mines, ion thrusters[3] and a microfabricator.[17]

A vulture c. 2504

Vultures are ill-suited for heavy combat, given their light frame.[3][11] However, they make excellent skirmishers, especially against lightly armored targets.[3] In the Confederate Armed Forces, vultures operated as cavalry-style vanguard units, speeding ahead of military columns, scouting and wreaking havoc on resource operations behind enemy lines.[18] In some occasions, vultures were formed into small squadrons, usually attached to mechanized infantry. Given the speed at which the bikes move however, it was difficult to maintain cohesion.[11]

Vultures are also tasked with scavenging ("scavenger hover bike" is a term occasionally used).[7]


A vulture c. 2505

The vulture was in use by 2478,[19] In the Confederate Armored Vehicle Corps, aspiring vulture pilots had to pass a minimal physical fitness exam before becoming a pilot.[20]

The vulture remained in use by the Dominion Armed Forces.[21] Dominion Ghost Program trainees begin training in the use of vultures in their second year.[14] Their role was diminished when the Dominion turned to the hellion to meet its military scouting needs.[18] However, even after the End War, vultures can still be found in use by the Dominion Armed Forces.[13] They also continue to be used by rebel and mercenary groups,[22] and are especially popular with pirates and raiders.[18] Prospectors also continue to use vultures.[23]

Game Unit[]


For StarCraft gameplay information see: Vulture (StarCraft).
For StarCraft in-game quotations see: StarCraft I Vulture Quotations.

StarCraft: Ghost[]

StarCraft Ghost Logo2.jpg

This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
The content may be significantly out of date. Please do not add speculation to this article, and remember to cite a published source for details.

Nova riding a vulture

The vulture unit in StarCraft: Ghost is still a lightly-armored fast-moving vehicle. It is armed with either an AGP-2 "Thumper" Grenade Launcher[15] or a laser cannon.[16] Capable of being used by ghosts and light infantry, it is nonetheless vulnerable to enemy attacks, including having the vehicle stolen from underneath the driver.

StarCraft II[]

For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Vulture (StarCraft II).
For StarCraft II in-game quotations see: StarCraft II Vulture Quotations.

Heroes of the Storm[]

Heroes DevLog2.jpg

The following section contains information from Heroes of the Storm and is not canon to StarCraft continuity

Jim Raynor on the vulture mount

The vulture appears as a mount in Heroes of the Storm. Its color schemes correspond to Raynor's Raiders, the Terran Dominion, and Project Shadowblade.[24]

Known Vulture Pilots[]

A vulture pilot

A vulture pilot

417th Confederate Marine Platoon

War Pigs


Jim Raynor's vulture on sale

The vulture's unit portrait in StarCraft II is based on Jason Huck.[25] A large Horde logo can be seen on his left arm.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 SC1 Vulture. StarCraft Compendium. Accessed on 2008-01-24
  2. Blizzard Entertainment. Heroes of the Storm. (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). June 2, 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  4. Dietz, William C. (April 6, 2010). StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books). ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Golden, Christie (April 12, 2011). StarCraft II: Devils' Due. Simon & Schuster (Gallery Books). ISBN 978-1416-55085-3.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Grubb, Jeff (February 27, 2001). StarCraft: Liberty's Crusade. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0671-04148-9.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mesta, Gabriel (July 1, 2001). StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0671-04149-6.
  8. Neilson, Micky (December 18, 2000). StarCraft: Uprising. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-1898-0 (eBook).
  9. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Rory Swann (in English). 2010.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Conversations after Cutthroat (in English). 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Hickman, Tracy (May 21, 2002). StarCraft: Speed of Darkness. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0671-04150-2.
  12. Golden, Christie (May 22, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #1: Firstborn. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7125-1.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Houser, Jody (w), Guzmán,Gabriel (p, i). "StarCraft: Scavengers: Issue 2" StarCraft: Scavengers 2 (7) (August 29, 2018) Dark Horse Comics.
  14. 14.0 14.1 DeCandido, Keith R. A. (November 28, 2006). StarCraft: Ghost: Nova. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0743-47134-3.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Source: BlizzCon 2005 StarCraft: Ghost information. Terran Vehicles. Artist: Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  16. 16.0 16.1 2006-02-09. Vulture. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-06.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Armory upgrades (in English). 2010.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  19. McNeill, Graham (December 30, 2008). StarCraft: I, Mengsk. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 1416-55083-6.
  20. Armored Vehicle Corps. Accessed on 2008-01-28
  21. 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.
  22. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Cutthroat (in English). 2010-07-27.
  23. Houser, Jody and Robinson, Andrew (w), Sepulveda, Miguel (p, i). "StarCraft: Soldiers: Issue 1" StarCraft: Soldiers 1 (7) (January 23, 2019) Dark Horse Comics.
  24. 2015-09-21, In Development - Lt. Morales, Artanis, skins, and mounts!. YouTube, accessed on 2015-09-27
  25. 2010-05-02, Blizzard's Dustin Browder talks StarCraft 2. JoyStiq, accessed on 2010-05-03