Unit Spotlight: Zergling


  • Cost
    • 50 Minerals for 2 Zerglings
    • 17 Second build time
    • 0.5 Supply
    • 1 Larvae for 2 Zerglings
  • Combat
    • Damage: 5
    • DPS: 10
    • Range: Melee
    • 35 Health
  • Sight: 8 Range
  • Speed: 4.13 (+2.45 Metabolic Boost) | 5.37 (+3.18 Metabolic boost) on creep
  • Cargo Size: 1
  • Tags:
    • Biological
    • Light
  • Upgrades
    • Metabolic Boost
      • Cost: 100 Minerals 100 Gas
      • 110 Seconds to complete
      • Increases Zergling movement speed by 60%
    • Adrenal Glands (Requires Hive)
      • Cost: 200 Minerals 200 Gas
      • 93 Seconds to complete
      • Increases Zergling Attack speed by 40%


The Zergling is an incredibly versatile and useful unit. They are one of the cheapest units in the game (only 25 minerals each!) and they are also one of the fastest units in the game (the fastest with metabolic boost on creep). Zerglings are even a large damage contributor once they have been upgraded.

Here is a graph detailing Zergling DPS with upgrades included:


Considering this, +2 Melee upgrades increase Zergling DPS by 40% and with max upgrades Zerglings get a total 120% increase in damage. In comparison, the Zealot at +3 attack only has under a 40% increase in DPS, this is less than the boost Zerglings get from just +2. In contrast, marines get a 50% boost at +3 and a marine with stimpack at +3 versus a marine with no upgrades gets a boost similar to that of the Zergling at +3 melee with adrenal glands.

Until Zerglings get the adrenal glands upgrade, they are often seen as a supporting unit that allows another unit to deal lots of damage. Even once your Zerglings have the upgrade this is a role that they serve. Since it is easy to mass a lot of Zerglings, they are often used to surround enemy forces while units like Banelings, Hydralisks, Mutalisks, Ravagers or Ultralisks can deal great amounts of damage to enemy forces. In these cases the enemy units will target the Zerglings, allowing them to take the majority of oncoming damage and save the previously mentioned units.

This means that often times, especially before getting the adrenal gland upgrade, that Zerglings will lose fights to most units if they are by themselves. However this is not always the case, Zerglings are incredibly powerful against units that have high damage per shot but take awhile to fire as well as units that are slow and easy to surround. Zerglings have an advantage against:

Siege Tanks

Since they can easily surround and kill these units. With supporting units they become viable and crucial units in fights against almost all early to mid-game attacks except for a few exceptions.


Zerglings do have weakness. Since their attack speed is so high, upgrades are important factors for Zerglings to deal damage. This means that any units with a high armor amount will be difficult for Zerglings to deal with. Additionally since they are can be massed and grouped so easily and this is when they are strongest, almost every form of splash damage is good against them. The Zerglings biggest threats include:

Roaches (In high numbers)

Another weakness that the Zergling faces is any form of choke point or area in which the Zerglings must funnel or can not get a surround. In these instances, any ranged unit will trade effectively with Zerglings including adepts, marines, marauders etc.

Further Analysis

Zergling are one of the most important units for Zerg. Due to their fast speed and cheap cost, they are great tools for sending around the map to scout. They are integral for early defense as support units to keep Zerg damage dealers alive and they become real threats in the late game.

Since many Zerglings can be massed they are also great at counter attacks and runbys in smaller groups as your opponent decides to attack. With any amount of upgrades, groups of Zerglings can take out mineral lines full of workers while your opponent is distracted or focused on an attack. Added to this, due to their speed they are strong at chasing down a mineral line of workers as they run away if they are pulled from the mineral line.

To see strong Zergling play, look no further than TRUE the South Korean SC2 Pro

TRUE vs uThermal Ro.16 WCS Austin 2017

TRUE vs PtitDrogo Ro.16 WCS Valencia 2017

Art Credits to Phill Gonzo, Deviant Art

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