"No discussion of the terran battlecruiser is complete without mention of the legendary Yamato cannon, a devastating plasma weapon with enough firepower to decimate cities. Mounted on the ship's prow, the big gun draws its intense power from the ship's power core, and then uses an intense magnetic field to focus a controlled nuclear explosion into a cohesive beam of energy. The cannon is so massive that it requires its own conversion generator and a dedicated fire-control station manned by nearly 100 gunnery specialists."
YamatoGun SC1 CineInauguration1

The Yamato being fired

The Yamato cannon (a.k.a. Yamato gun) is a feared terran plasma weapon.[1][2]


"Alright boys, hit 'em with the Yamato cannon! Couple of shots from that'll flatten anything!"
YamatoCannon SC-G Cncpt1

A Yamato cannon's fire control

The Yamato cannon is mounted on the prow of battlecruisers, and draws power from their core. The cannon draws its immense power from the ship's core,[3] and then generates a dense magnetic field to harness a controlled nuclear reaction, turning it into a concentrated energy blast that can destroy almost anything with a few shots,[4] even enough to decimate cities.[3] The cannon requires a huge energy reserve to fire,[1] requiring its own conversion generator and a fire-control station manned by nearly 100 gunnery specialists.[3] However, the effects make it worthwhile.[1]

The cannon is suitable for "scorched earth" work.[5]

Umojan battlecruisers possess a more refined Yamato cannon in comparison to their counterparts.[6]

AlliedCommanders SC2-LotV Art1

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

Mercenary modifications to the reactors of Sovereign battlecruisers allow for the use of mini yamato guns, which have a smaller impact but a much quicker rate of fire.[7]


YamatoGun SC1 CineInauguration2

A ship being destroyed by a Yamato blast

By the Great War, recent research had led to the development of the weapon. In 2499, terran engineers were working overtime to retrofit existing battlecruisers with the weapon. Behemoth-class battlecruisers received such retrofits.[1] This trend continued with the Behemoth-class ships present within the Dominion Fleet. Some of the older vessels were not upgraded due to costs and limited supply.[4]

By 2502,[8] the Minotaur-class battlecruiser was in service.[9] They are equipped with the Type-V Yamato cannon,[4][10] which is more powerful than its Behemoth counterparts.[3]

Game EffectEdit

In both StarCraft and StarCraft II, the Yamato cannon's range of ten makes it an effective siege weapon, able to destroy stationary defenses and anti-air units out of their range, leaving the battlecruiser safe. However, it takes a few seconds to charge before firing once a target is acquired. Only the strongest units can survive a shot from a Yamato cannon. The Yamato cannon is best used to eliminate strong anti-air defenders, such as enemy battlecruisers, carriers, and void rays.


InterYamCannon Terran SC1
Yamato Gun

The Yamato Gun is a powerful weapon that focuses a nuclear explosion into a beam using magnetic fields. It deals 260 damage.

Hotkey Y
Cost 150 Energy Terran SC1
Range 10
Purchased from Physics lab
Hotkey Y
Cost 100 Minerals Terran SC1 100 Gas Terran SC1 120Time SC2 Game1

StarCraft IIEdit

BattlecruiserYamato SC2 Game1

Firing the Yamato cannon


YamatoCannon SC2 Icon1
Weapon Refit

Enables use of the Battlecruiser Yamato Cannon, dealing 240 damage to a target.

Purchased from Fusion core
Hotkey R
Cost 150 Minerals Terran SC1 150 Gas Terran SC1 100Time SC2 Game1


YamatoCannon SC2 Icon1
Yamato Cannon

Blasts a target with a devastating plasma cannon, causing 240 damage.

Hotkey Y
Cost 3Time SC2 Game1
Range 10
Cooldown 71Time SC2 Game1
Required Weapons Refit upgrade from the fusion core
YamatoCannon SC2 Icon1
Yamato Cannon

Blasts a target with a devastating plasma cannon, causing 600 damage to it and dealing splash damage to nearby enemies.

If Yamato fails, it will not trigger its cooldown.

Hotkey Y
Cost 3Time SC2 Game1
Range 14
Cooldown 15Time SC2 Game1


Yamato master blaster Yamato Master Blaster

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Destroy 20 units with Yamato blasts in a single Unranked or Ranked game.

DarkSkies3 SC2AchiveImage Battlecruiser Operational

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Destroy 15 units with the Battlecruiser's Yamato Cannon in the "Dark Skies" mission on Normal difficulty or higher.




  • The Yamato gun is a possible reference to the title ship of Space Battleship Yamato and its wave motion gun and, indirectly, a reference to the Yamato-class battleship used in World War II, which were the biggest battleships ever created in their time and had the largest cannons ever to be used on a battleship.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  2. SC2 Units: Battlecruiser, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2010-10-02
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 2014-12-18, Battlecruiser Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-12-21
  5. Corey Konieczka, Robert A. Kouba, Dan Clark (December 17, 2008). StarCraft: The Board Game: Brood War. Fantasy Flight Games. ASIN 1589945034
  6. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. October 17, 2016
  7. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). November 10, 2015
  8. April 6, 2010. "Timeline". StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 311 - 323. ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
  9. Randolph, Grace (w), Nan Kim (p, i). "Newsworthy." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 2 (paperback binding), pp. 68-121. Tokyopop, January 1, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-80831-8.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Maw of the Void (in English). 2010-07-27.
  11. Mesta, Gabriel (July 1, 2001). StarCraft: Shadow of the Xel'Naga. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0671-04149-6.