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The warp drive is a device that allows vessels to enter warp space.



The Daelaam Ark's warp drive

The protoss developed warp engines long before the terrans, allowing their expansion into the stars millennia before mankind.[1][2] Protoss warp drives are powered by quantum induction reactors. If a warp drive is sufficiently damaged, a breach can occur, resulting in the engine exploding and damaging the ship host to the drive. A ship will be dropped out of warp space once this occurs.[3]


"That humans had achieved warp technology was more a demonstration of how easily knowable this universe could be than evidence of any native intelligence."

Terrans developed warp engines by the 23rd century, which allowed the colonization of the Solar System, travel to further star systems (coupled with cryogenic hibernation) and eventually travel to the Koprulu Sector. Upon their botched landing, the exiled terrans had to redesign warp travel (it took them sixty years to redevelop subwarp engines using information taken from the ATLAS).[4] The warp engines require maintenance from specialized engineers called "warp rats"[5] and, if damaged, must be extensively repaired.[6]

Terran warp drives have FTL signatures (a.k.a. drive signatures). These signatures can be traced, but the effort can be hindered if the drive is being used by a stealth ship.[7]

Drive failure can have catastrophic consequences, such as violent implosions that can result in the total loss of a ship and its crew.[8] Terran jumps through warp space can be short ranged or long range, the latter being reserved for large ships such as battlecruisers. For these jumps, a few hours are required to charge up the engines, along with plotting the co-ordinates. A long jump can be made instantly in desperate circumstances, but this is regarded as extremely hazardous.[9]

Game Structure[]

StarCraft II[]

The protoss warp drive appears as a structure in "Enemy Within." Niadra must destroy it as part of the mission.


  1. Golden, Christie (November 27, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #2: Shadow Hunters. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7126-8.
  2. 2014-12-01, BlizzCon 2014 LotV Lore Community Corner Discussion with James Waugh. YouTube, accessed on 2015-04-03
  3. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Enemy Within (in English). 2013-03-12.
  4. Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  5. Neilson, Micky (December 18, 2000). StarCraft: Uprising. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0743-41898-0 (eBook).
  6. Furman, Simon (w), Federico Dallocchio (p, i), Milen Parvanov (col). "StarCraft #2" StarCraft 1 (2) (June 24, 2009) DC Comics (Wildstorm).
  7. Brian Alexander, Akex Acks (w), Carlos Rodríguez (i) and Sandra Molina (c). (April 2, 2022). StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast - The Complete Collection. Blizzard Entertainment. ISBN 978-1950366866
  8. 2014-12-18, Battlecruiser Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-12-21
  9. Rosenberg, Aaron (June 1, 2006). StarCraft: Queen of Blades. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-7133-4.