Shakurus SC1 Art2.jpeg

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Zerglings have evolved, affecting such things as their appearance. They develop small wings when given the speed upgrade.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Zerglings have been reduced in size and have much better path-finding than in StarCraft.[1] Perhaps to balance this, the zergling's attack possesses a much higher cooldown in relation to the marine and zealot than it had in the original StarCraft. An unupgraded zergling was able to attack almost twice for every time a marine fired, and had nearly a third of the zealot's cooldown. In StarCraft II an unmodified zergling cannot match this attack rate, and even with the Adrenal Glands upgrade the zergling can only strike twice for every zealot attack.

Zerglings are strong against hydralisks, marauders, and stalkers, and weak against Hellbats, hellions, archons, zealots, banelings and ultralisks.

Strategies[edit | edit source]

Zerglings are very useful for an early rush. If the opponent masses units or builds defensive buildings you can morph some of them into banelings, a superior choice against some unit types. Due to their cheap cost and high speed, zerglings are ideal scouts.

Zerglings are useful even into the late game due to their ability to surround opponents quickly.[2]

As of May 2011, the most common early-game zergling tactic is to set them up at xel'naga towers.[3]

Game Unit[edit | edit source]

Versus[edit | edit source]

Upgrades and Abilities
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 114seconds
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 136seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 157seconds
Required Hive
ve
  • +1 bonus to armor per level for zerg ground units.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey C
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 114seconds
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals 225 Vespene gas 136seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals 300 Vespene gas 157seconds
Required Hive
ve
AdrenalGlands SC2 Game1.png
Adrenal Glands
  • Increases zergling attack rate to 0.35.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey A
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 93seconds
Required Hive
ve
MetabolicBoost SC2 Zergling.png
Metabolic Boost
  • Increases zergling movement speed. The zerglings "grow wings".
Campaign Acquisition
Acquired from Evolution pit
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey M
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 79seconds
ve

Many zerg ground units may burrow, becoming invisible and revealed primarily by detectors, and may not move or attack while burrowed.

Exceptions include:

  • Roach, which may move while burrowed
  • Lurker, which may attack while burrowed
  • Infestor, which may move while burrowed
  • Baneling, which can detonate while burrowed.

Some units can unburrow via autocast, causing them to emerge and attack when an enemy moves into range.

The ability is not smartcast.

Usage
Hotkey R
Cost 2 seconds to burrow, 1 second to unburrow seconds
Acquisition
Purchased from Hatchery/Lair/Hive
Hotkey B
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 71seconds
Required Lair (WoL)
Hatchery (HotS/LotV)
ve
BanelingMorph SC2 Icon1.jpg
Baneling Morph

Transforms zergling into baneling, a glowing green creature with a suicide attack.

Usage
Hotkey E
Cost 25 Minerals 25 Vespene gas 14 seconds
Acquisition
Required Baneling nest
ve

Heart of the Swarm[edit | edit source]

In Heart of the Swarm, zerglings are available starting mission Lab Rat, and later can be upgraded into either raptors or swarmlings. At Level 10. Kerrigan can be given the Zergling Reconstitution ability, which causes killed zerglings to respawn immediately at the player's primary hatchery, up to 10 zerglings every 30 seconds. Zerglings are available on the first mission of Heart of the Swarm campaign.

Upgrades and Abilities
SC2 HardenedCarapace Icon.jpg
Hardened Carapace

Increases zergling HP by 10.

Tissue testing has revealed beneficial mutation of zergling plating. Carapace can be hardened in key locations throughout thorax. Will provide significant increase to life expectancy, hamper access to vital organs.

Campaign Acquisition
ve
SC2 AdrenalOverload Icon.jpg
Adrenal Overload

Increases zergling attack rate by 50%

Adrenal functions of zerglings simple to mutate. Often modified on battlefield through spawning pool. Possible to improve adrenal system at base level, increase glandular output. Will overload adrenaline production, greatly improve zergling attack speed.

Campaign Acquisition
ve
SC2 MetabolicBoost Icon.jpg
Metabolic Boost

Increases zergling movement speed by 60%

Bolstering metabolic system of zergling, common battlefield strategy. Possible to augment enzyme production, improve energy production rate. Will provide significant increase to movement speed, allow zerglings to close distance on foes outrun pursuers.

Campaign Acquisition
ve

Many zerg ground units may burrow, becoming invisible and revealed primarily by detectors, and may not move or attack while burrowed.

Exceptions include:

  • Roach, which may move while burrowed
  • Lurker, which may attack while burrowed
  • Infestor, which may move while burrowed
  • Baneling, which can detonate while burrowed.

Some units can unburrow via autocast, causing them to emerge and attack when an enemy moves into range.

The ability is not smartcast.

Usage
Hotkey R
Cost 2 seconds to burrow, 1 second to unburrow seconds
Acquisition
Purchased from Hatchery/Lair/Hive
Hotkey B
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 71seconds
Required Lair (WoL)
Hatchery (HotS/LotV)
ve
BanelingMorph SC2 Icon1.jpg
Baneling Morph

Transforms zergling into baneling, a glowing green creature with a suicide attack.

Usage
Hotkey E
Cost 25 Minerals 25 Vespene gas 14 seconds
Acquisition
Required Baneling nest
ve

Co-op Missions[edit | edit source]

Zerglings are available to Zagara and Kerrigan. Their zergling strains automatically evolve when they reach Level 12: Zagara gains swarmlings, and Kerrigan gains raptors. The two unlock zergling upgrades at certain commander levels: Kerrigan unlocks the following upgrades at Level 4, and Zagara acquires them at Level 6. [4] [5]

Dehaka has the ability to use primal zerglings which can evolve into ravasaurs.[6]

Stetmann can construct mecha zerglings, which can be augmented with shields and increased attack speed.[7]

Mengsk can summon temporary enthralled zerglings at the cost of Imperial Mandate as part of his Dogs of War calldown.[8]

Kerrigan Upgrades and Abilities
SC2ZergBurrow.jpg
Burrow

Buries the unit underground. Burrowed unit are unable to move or attack, but they cannot be seen without detection.

Usage
Hotkey R
Cost 2 (burrow)seconds
1 (unburrow) seconds
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
ve
MetabolicBoost SC2 Zergling.png
Metabolic Boost

Increases Zergling movement speed by 60%.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey M
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 60seconds
ve
AdrenalGlands SC2 Game1.png
Adrenal Overload

Increases Zerglings attack speed by 40%.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey A
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 60seconds
Required Hive
ve
Shredding Claws SC2-LotV Icon.jpg
Shredding Claws

Zergling attacks reduce the target's armor to 0 for 10 seconds.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Kerrigan Level 4.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey R
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 90seconds
Required Hive
ve
SC2 HardenedCarapace Icon.jpg
Hardened Carapace

Increases maximum Zergling HP by 10.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Kerrigan Level 4.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey C
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 90seconds
Required Lair/Hive
ve
SC2 ZergMeleeWeap.gif
Zerg Melee Attacks

Increases the attack damage of zerg ground melee units.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 160seconds
Effect Damage: 6
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 190seconds
Required Lair/Hive
Effect Damage: 7
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 220seconds
Required Hive
Effect Damage: 8
ve
SC2 ZergGrndCara.gif
Zerg Ground Carapace

Increases the armor of zerg ground units.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 160seconds
Effect Armor: 1
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals 175 Vespene gas 190seconds
Required Lair/Hive
Effect Armor: 2
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals 250 Vespene gas 220seconds
Required Hive
Effect Armor: 3
ve
SC2 Kerrigan AC - UnlockRaptor.png
Zergling Evolution: Raptor

Evolves Kerrigan's zerglings into the raptor strain.

Fast melee unit. Leaps over obstacles and onto targets from range. Deals increased damage.

Can attack ground units.

Usage
Notes

Replace default skin Icon Zerg Zergling.jpg to raptor strain IconRaptorStrain.jpg

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Kerrigan level 12.
ve
Zagara Upgrades and Abilities
SC2ZergBurrow.jpg
Burrow

Buries the unit underground. Burrowed unit are unable to move or attack, but they cannot be seen without detection.

Usage
Hotkey R
Cost 2 (burrow)seconds
1 (unburrow) seconds
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
ve
BanelingMorph SC2 Icon1.jpg
Baneling Morph

Transforms a zergling into a baneling, a glowing green creature with a suicide attack.

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Hotkey E
Cost 22 Minerals 14 Vespene gas 10seconds
Required Baneling nest
ve
MetabolicBoost SC2 Zergling.png
Metabolic Boost

Increases Zerglings movement speed by 60%.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey M
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 60seconds
ve
AdrenalGlands SC2 Game1.png
Adrenal Overload

Increases Zerglings attack speed by 40%.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey A
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 60seconds
Required Hive
ve
Shredding Claws SC2-LotV Icon.jpg
Shredding Claws

Zergling attacks reduce the target's armor to 0 for 10 seconds.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Zagara Level 6.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey R
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 90seconds
Required Hive
ve
SC2 HardenedCarapace Icon.jpg
Hardened Carapace

Increases maximum Zergling HP by 10.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Zagara Level 6
Acquisition
Purchased from Spawning pool
Hotkey C
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 90seconds
Required Lair/Hive
ve
SC2 ZergMeleeWeap.gif
Zerg Ground Attacks

Increases the attack damage of zerg ground units.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 160seconds
Effect Damage: 6
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 190seconds
Required Lair/Hive
Effect Damage: 7
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 220seconds
Required Hive
Effect Damage: 8
ve
SC2 ZergGrndCara.gif
Zerg Ground Carapace

Increases the armor of zerg ground units.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 160seconds
Effect Armor: 1
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals 175 Vespene gas 190seconds
Required Lair/Hive
Effect Armor: 2
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals 250 Vespene gas 220seconds
Required Hive
Effect Armor: 3
ve
SC2 Zagara AC - Swarmling.png
Zergling Evolution: Swarmling

Evolves Zagara's zerglings into the swarmling strain.

Fast melee units. Spawns in groups of three. Morphs almost instantly. Can morph into a baneling.

Can attack ground units.

Usage
Notes

Replace default skin Icon Zerg Zergling.jpg to swarmling strain IconZagaraZergling.jpg

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Zagara Level 12.
ve

Development[edit | edit source]

Four different zergling models were created between 2005 and 2008. The first was a placeholder for StarCraft's transition to 3D, while subsequent versions were revisions for the announcement of StarCraft II, the official reveal of the zerg, and the game's full release.[9]


The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm which is no longer valid.

Zerglings could once have the following upgrades under the old mutagen gameplay mechanic:

Posthumous Mitosis[10]

Zergling has a 20% chance to spawn 2 broodlings on death.[10]

ve
Rapid Genesis[10]

Zerglings train instantly.[10]

ve
Evolve Zergling[10]

Zerglings can transform into either raptors or swarmlings; once made, the choice is irreversible.[10]

ve

Zerglings were also scheduled to gain Corrosive Talons and Swarm Frenzy upgrades. Corrosive Talons increased their base damage by 20%.[11]

Zerglings were initially designed to have wings in their base model. However, fan outcry had the winged zergling model relegated to those with the metabolic boost upgrade.[12]

Patch 4.7.1 in Legacy of the Void decreased Unburrow speed from 0.71 to 0.36 and random delay from 0.36 to 0.08.

Achievements[edit | edit source]

ZerglingRush SC2 Icon1.jpg Zergling Rush
Points

10 Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG

Criteria

Morph 20 zerglings during the first 255 seconds of a single Melee game.

Edit

Images[edit | edit source]

Skins
Portraits

Trivia[edit | edit source]

In multiplayer, a mutant skin is available for zerglings that is unlocked upon reaching level 30 with zerg. It uses a similar model for swarmlings for base zerglings and raptors for zerglings with the metabolic boost upgrade.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Karune. 2008-09-05. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 44. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-09-05.
  2. Zerglings are always useful in late game due to their speed and ability to surround enemies. Banelings too are especially useful against both Zealots and Marines, even with their upgrades, and thus will always be useful to counter them. Additionally, Banelings are always useful in raiding, which should be done throughout the entirety of a StarCraft II game. Karune. 2009-03-16. Teir 1 Unit in Late Game. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-03-16.
  3. 2011-05-20, Poll: A Smaller Type o' Zerg. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2011-05-30
  4. Blizzard Entertainment. Co-op Missions. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Sarah Kerrigan (in English). 2018.
  5. Blizzard Entertainment. Co-op Missions. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Zagara (in English). 2018.
  6. Blizzard Entertainment. Co-op Missions. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Dehaka (in English). 2018.
  7. Blizzard Entertainment. Co-op Missions. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Egon Stetmann (in English). 2019.
  8. Blizzard Entertainment. Co-op Missions. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Arcturus Mengsk (in English). 2019.
  9. 2010-11-17. Starcraft 2: Zergling Iteratio.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 StarCraft Legacy staff. 2011-05-30. May 2011 HoTS Gameplay Info. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2011-05-31.
  11. 2011-10-21. IGN: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Pictures (PC). IGN. Accessed 2011-10-29.
  12. Carpenter, Nick (w), Didier, Samwise (w), Metzen, Chris (w), The Art of Blizzard Entertainment (hardcover). Insight Editions, February 12, 2013. ISBN 1608-87027-8.
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