SC2 Week: Meet the Zergling


There are 48 units in StarCraft 2. Through next Friday, we're highlighting seven of our favorite pieces of sci-fi military equipment in Blizzard's follow-up. Third in our series is the penny of the hive mind, the Zergling.


Race: Zerg

What it is: The pinky finger of the Zerg's many-armed menagerie

Build cost: 50 minerals

Build time: 24 sec

Requires: Spawning Pool

Supply: 1

Real-world analog: African, ankle-gnawing ants

Armament: Claws

Best against: Marines, resourcing units

Worst enemies: Zealot (Protoss), Colossus (Protoss), Siege Tank (Terran), Hellion (Terran)

Advantages: Raw speed, cheap, can morph into Banelings

Disadvantages: 35 hit points (that's almost half of a Terran SCV),

Quote: “[sound of unsettling hatching]; [insectoid scurry]; [slurp].”

Who it's for: Impatient players that value aggressive finesse over cerebral, prepared strategy. Pushing “all-in” with a Zergling rush can be an attractive tactic, but if you fail, the invested resources could leave you defenseless against higher-tiered units.

Available upgrades

Metabolic Boost (100 minerals, 100 gas) - Increases Zergling movement speed

Adrenal Glands (200 minerals, 200 gas) - Increases Zergling attack rate by 20%.

Plasma Shields (200 minerals, 200 gas) - Increases armor.

Our take:

The pawns of their race, Zerglings are the embodiment of the overused, oversimplifying battle call “Zerg rush!” They rely on overwhelming numbers and raw speed to deal death by a thousand cuts. Also see: the oldest trick in the StarCraft book.

A brood Zerglings often attack before an opponent is fully scouted; players that employ a Zergling rush rely on the speed of their early economics to crank out a pile of cheap attackers. The best defense against a 'Ling swarm (other than countering with armored units) is scouting your opponent and protecting your base by blocking entrances.

In the early and mid-game, Zerglings' ability to transform into a suicide unit, the Baneling . At the cost of 50 minerals and 50 gas, 'Lings become acid-filled, volatile bulbs that detonate on contact, unleashing painful splash damage on anything nearby.

(Front page Zergling art by Mr.--Jack .)


Hey folks, beloved mascot Coconut Monkey here representing the collective PC Gamer editorial team, who worked together to write this article! PC Gamer is the global authority on PC games—starting in 1993 with the magazine, and then in 2010 with this website you're currently reading. We have writers across the US, UK and Australia, who you can read about here.