The Terrans are the name given to the human colonists in the StarCraft universe used to distinguish them from the humans of Earth. They have a genetic history of psionic power, but are generations away from reaching this full potential. Most have no psionic powers. The Terrans have found themselves in the middle of a war between the Protoss and the Zerg, and have struggled to survive amidst the war while also dealing with civil wars. However, some seem to also have made alliances with the Protoss.


Main article: StarCraft Terran Prehistory
Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.

The ancestors of the Terrans travelled to the Koprulu Sector as a result of a botched colonization experiment conducted Doran Routhe. They consisted of political prisoners scheduled for termination by the United Powers League, but were instead placed onboard four faster-than-light spacecraft and sent to the world of Gantris IV, but ended up across the galaxy.

They settled three colony worlds: Tarsonis, Moria and Umoja. Eventually the three colonies developed subwarp and warp travel, went to war, and expanded to incorporate multiple worlds. The colonists of Tarsonis formed the Terran Confederacy, which became the most powerful Terran government in the Koprulu Sector.

Ahead of the initial campaign there is a prelude-campaign which outlines the Confederacy stamping out a Korhal-initiated rebellion and the discovery of their research specimens, the Zerg, referred to as "Xenomorphs", on the planet of Chau Sara.

However, the Zerg still manage to break loose and spread to surrounding Confederate colonies. Marshall James Raynor (known as 'Jim Raynor' to friends) takes up fight with them on his home planet of Mar Sara, but needs the support of the Sons of Korhal to fend them off.

In Episode III and afterwards, Raynor seems to be accepted among the Protoss as an ally. They became true friends in the last chapter in episode III when he, Zeratul and Tassadar fought the Zerg Overmind together, when Tassadar sacrificed himself to destroy the Overmind.

Plotline attributes

Main article: StarCraft Terran Prehistory
  • Basically the same as humans of the 21st century, but they are slowly evolving into a psionically potent race, and, of course, are much more technologically advanced, but still within the same "style" (They still use projectile firearms and rely more on metal and fossil fuels than plasma).
  • Originally were criminals rounded up and cast out on settler ships on a one year trip to a colony world. However, the navigation computer shut off during the trip and they ended up in stasis for 31 years. They ended up scattered across three colony worlds (Moria, Tarsonis, and Umoja).
  • After reuniting with the other colony worlds, Tarsonis established several colony worlds and formed the powerful, dictatorial Terran Confederacy. One colony, Korhal, went into rebellion and was nuked into oblivion. Arcturus Mengsk rounded up a force of rebels, the Sons of Korhal and began to wage a type of guerilla war against the Confederacy.
  • It is in December of 2499 when the Protoss and Zerg arrive in Confederate space, attacking the outlying colony worlds of Chau Sara and Mar Sara, respectively. However, the Protoss were obliterating the Zerg infestation of Chau Sara that had gone (supposedly) unnoticed.

Gameplay attributes

Some noticeable traits of the Terrans.

  • Average power, at a reasonable price
  • High unit efficiency, if the player uses good micromanagement
  • Very high adaptability: only race without location restrictions (can "lift off" and redeploy most of their structures without restriction)
  • Moderately efficient building method
  • Forces are comparatively fragile (although quite powerful offensively) and can easily be overwhelmed by Zerg unless prepared (e.g. marines and firebats stimpacked or in bunkers, tanks in siege mode, etc.) or upgraded
  • The Space Construction Vehicle, or SCV (basic worker unit) can repair all buildings and mechanical units (such as the Battlecruiser), and has more health than the other worker units
  • The Medic (Only in the Brood War expansion) can heal all biological units, blind enemies with its Optic Flare, and their restoration spell makes terran the only race able to remove harmfull effects. Unlike SCVs, who can only fix Terran vehices, Medics can heal biological members of other races (all Zerg ground units, Protoss Zealot, High Templar, Dark Templar).
  • Every offensive unit is ranged – even the Terran Firebat has a range of 2 matrix squares.
  • All units except the Valkyrie (Brood War only) and the Goliath have a "special" or "secondary" ability.

Unique abilities

  • Repair — unique SCV ability; it costs minerals and possibly vespene appropriate to the unit or building being repaired. Multiple SCVs can repair the same unit or structure at a faster rate. SCVs are the only unit in the game that can repair structures or mechanical units. However, they may only repair Terran structures or units.
  • Cloaking — Ghost and Wraith ability; It allows the Ghost or Wraith to become invisible to the naked eye. The ability costs 25 energy when activated and consumes 1 energy/second for the duration of its use. However, it is possible for opponents to see a cloaked unit's "sillouette", and therefore, guess where it is and make "splashed" damage around it with certain units or spells (e.g. Psionic Storm or Ensnare). Also, detecting units of opposing teams will render the Ghost or Wraith partially visible and vulnerable to direct attack.
  • Spider Mine — Vulture ability; When upgraded, each Vulture comes equipped with 3 Spider Mines that cannot be replenished. When a Spider Mine is set, it "burrows" into the ground and becomes invisible to enemy units without detector support (in a similar manner to the burrowing ability of Zerg units). When a ground unit walks near it (excluding all three worker units, Archons, and Vultures because they are hovering units) or when planted near burrowed units, the spider mine surfaces and skitters toward the enemy unit, even if they are cloaked, causing 125 splash damage upon impact. Spider mines themselves do not render cloaked or burrowed units visible to the player, even if they may do so indirectly by attacking.
  • Lockdown — Ghost ability; it costs 100 energy and makes any robotic unit immobile and "useless" for around 60 seconds. The affected vehicle remains vulnerable to enemy attacks in this state but can still be repaired (only for Terran units) or have its shields regenerated by a Shield Battery (only for Protoss units). Only mechanical units can be affected by this, making it extremely effective against Protoss or other Terrans, and making it completely ineffective against Zerg, who use only biological/mutant units.
  • Heal — Medic ability: using 1 energy for 2 health, the Medic will automatically restore the HP of any biological unit (including friendly Protoss and Zerg units) in its sight range. Medics can only Heal one unit at a time, and only one Medic can Heal a unit at a time, so multiple Medics are typically needed for optimum efficiency, which also enables medics to heal eachother, since it can't be casted on oneself.
  • Stim Pack — Marine and Firebat ability; it lets the affected units fire and walk twice as fast, with the cost of 10 hit points. Often used in Brood War as the Medic can quickly heal the Marine or Firebat who used the Stim Pack. However, the effect is not cumulative, meaning that using the ability several times rapidly has no greater effect than than using it just once.
  • EMP Shockwave — Science Vessel ability; it drains the energy from everything within the shock radius and, on Protoss units and buildings, drains all shields. This ability is ideal for the preparation for a Nuke against the Protoss, or countering Protoss Archons.
  • Irradiate — Science Vessel ability; it deals up to 250 damage to any biological unit (I.e. any Zerg unit, as well as some Terran and Protoss units) and does splash damage to the units near the irradiated unit. An irridiated zerg can "burrow" and avoid spreading the damage, although it will still take damage itself. For biological Protoss units, it will drain the shield first, then move onto the unit.
  • Defensive Matrix — Science Vessel ability; places a temporary shield with 250 hit points on friendly units that limits incoming attacks to one hit point damage. It can also hinder the damage from Irradiate.
  • Nuclear Strike — Requires a nuclear missile to be built in a nuclear silo (add-on to the Command Center); then a Terran Ghost can "paint" a target for the nuke by pinpointing a red dot on screen. Note that all players will be notified that a nuke is being launched. After a short time, the missile lands, doing 500 or more damage to all nearby buildings, and killing any unit except a Battlecruiser within the blast radius. A nuke will deal either 500 damage or ⅔ of the affected unit's original hit points in damage (armor decreases the damage taken by one point for each point of armor; a Battlecruiser survives a single nuclear strike by virtue of its initial 3 armor) to the target, whichever is greater. Anything within a 4 matrix tile radius of impact will receive full damage; units 2 matrix tiles beyond that receive 50% of the damage; units 2 matrix tiles beyond that receive 25% of the damage. Thus, the nuclear missile explosion has an area of effect of 8 matrix tiles in every direction from the point of impact. If the Ghost does not flee after launching, it will be killed unless it has the Ocular Implants upgrade, which increases the sight radius of the Ghost, thus keeping it out of harm's way (assuming the Ghost targeted the Nuke from its maximum sight range). While the Ghost is guiding the nuke, it can't move, attack or cast other abilities; however, it can remain cloaked if it was cloaked before the Nuke was launched. Killing the Ghost during the "painting" phase of the Nuclear Strike (after the screen has indicated the Nuke launch and before the red dot disappears) cancels the launched Nuke, which is then lost.
  • Yamato Cannon — Battlecruiser ability; it uses 150 energy to charge up and shoot an energy blast that has a range of 10, one of the longest ranges in the game. The blast does 260 explosive damage (100% damage to large units, 75% to medium units, 50% to small units). However, the range of the blast is longer than the sight range of the Battlecruiser, so it is best to scout the target before firing to achieve the longest range. Note that if the targeted unit is destroyed while the cannon is charging up, the cannon will not fire, but will still consume the 150 energy. Named after the Wave motion gun.
  • Siege Mode — Siege Tank ability; When used, the tank extends stabilizers from its base and changes the weapon in its turret to the Arclite Shock Cannon. It takes a tank around 2 to 3 seconds to deploy in and out of siege mode. While in siege mode, the tank is immobile and has a minimum attack range of 2 matrix squares (making it extremely vulnerable to melee units like the Zergling, Firebat, and Zealot). However, the tank gains the ability to fire high-powered shells (that do 70 explosive damage, plus splash damage to the surrounding area) with a range of 12, farther than any other unit in the game. Note that this range is longer than the sight range of the tank, so it is best to use a scouting unit ahead of the tank.
  • ComSat Scan — When a ComSat Station is attached to a command center, Terran players can perform ComSat scans, which can be used for temporarily revealing areas under the fog of war, as well as cloaked and burrowed units. It can also be used as a scouting ability to increase the range of a weapon for some units such as the Battlecruiser's Yamato Gun and the Siege Tank in Siege Mode, or to allow the placement of a Nydus Canal by a Zerg ally.


Divided into land and air.


  • Terran Civilian — A unit with no attack. It is a special unit, and cannot be created. It is used in some missions of the Starcraft campaign mode.
  • SCV (Space Construction Vehicle) — Worker, the toughest of the three. The SCV is considered to be both biological and mechanical; that is, it can be either repaired by another SCV or healed by a medic. It is also vulnerable to a Ghost's Lockdown and a Queen's Spawn Broodling.
  • Marine — Armored Infanty Trooper. Can attack land and air units. They are a very good all-around unit. They also are the only "first-tier" unit that can attack air targets. They have an attack range upgrade as well. Marines are among the most versatile units in the game; they can be useful even in the late game so long as upgrades are researched. Marines wear the CMC-300 powered armor suit and wield the C-16 "Impaler" Gauss rifle, which fires 8 mm spikes at hypersonic speeds through magnetic acceleration. The U-238 Shell upgrade replaces these spikes with depleted Uranium shells, giving their weapons greater range. Once researched, the Marine can also use the stim pack (a pack of drugs that include artificial adrenaline and rapid use steroids) ability, which allows him to sacrifice some of his health (as the stim pack causes a large variety of health problems) for a temporary increase in attack and movement speed. Its effect is not cumulative. In Brood War the medic can restore the health of a stimpacked marine or firebat while allowing it to keep the benefits.
  • Firebat — Armored Assault Trooper. Attacks only ground units, it has a short-ranged attack (a pair of Plasma-based Perdition Flame Throwers) that does splash damage. Splash does not hurt friendly units, but will damage allied units. It shares the stim pack upgrade of the Marine. Firebats are powerful against small-sized units, but weak against medium and large enemies. They are extremely powerful against "first-tier" enemies, especially Zerglings, and a stimpacked group can decimate even zealots. The Firebat uses the CMC-660 heavy combat suit. Requires Academy.
  • Goliath — Mech assault unit, attacks air and land units, using twin 30mm smoothbore Autocannons against ground, and Hellfire AA Scatter Missiles against air. The Charon Booster (missile range) upgrade (Brood War only) rivals Guardian range. Goliaths are very large and have difficulties traveling in large groups. Goliaths are more meant for anti-air combat (such as defending Missile Turrets from Guardians) rather than ground combat, making it a good unit to team with siege tanks. Requires Armory.
  • Arclite Siege Tank — Mobile Artillery Cannon/Heavy Tank armed with Twin 80mm Cannon in "Tank" mode and a 120mm Shock Cannon in "Siege" mode (once it is researched). During the transformation phase the siege tank cannot move or attack. A tank in siege mode has the longest attack range of any unit, and can shoot farther than it can actually see with the help of another unit scouting ahead, however it does have a minimum range. Siege mode has splash damage while tank mode does not. When placed behind mine fields/bunkers, Siege Tanks in siege mode make an excellent defensive unit, or for taking out defences from a long range. It cannot fire at anything airborne. Requires Machine Shop add-on.
  • Vulture — This single-seat Terran hoverbike is capable of deploying Spider Mines, as well as moving at great speed. With the speed upgrade it is the fastest unit in the game . The Vultures fire grenades, which are powerful against small units, but weak against bigger ones. The grenades can only attack ground units.
    • The Spider Mine (when idle) mimics the Zerg burrowing capability. When activated (by proximity to a ground enemy that is not floating: floating units include Archons, workers, and Vultures), it tracks its target and detonates, dealing large area splash damage. A Medic casting Optical Flare on friendly Spider Mines reduces the Mines' sight range, causing it to only unburrow when an enemy unit is close by. Spider Mines can be destroyed either while they are tracking their target, or by other units with the help of a detector. Spider Mines themselves are not detectors, but they will still target cloaked units, making them useful against Ghosts and Dark Templar. A good way to protect your ranged units from Spider Mines is to use the attack-move command. The ranged units will quickly destroy the mine, if they are fast enough.
  • Medic — The Medic's main purpose is to heal biological ground units (Brood War only). Apart from its basic "heal" ability, the Optical Flare and Restoration abilities can also be researched. Optical Flare "blinds" its target, reducing its sight range to one and removing any detection abilities. Optical Flare can only be removed by other Medics using the Restoration ability. Restoration is a handy ability that allows the player to remove the effects of an enemy's special abilities from a single unit (except for the Protoss stasis field). The Medic also heals allied units. Requires Academy.
  • Ghost — The Ghost uses a 25mm C-10 Canister Rifle and has several special abilities. It can engage a cloaking device (draining additional energy as it stays cloaked) and "Lockdown" enemy mechanical units, immobilizing and disabling them for a short period of time. Their most devastating ability is the targeting of a specific point for a nuclear strike. A red dot will appear and all enemies warned of a launch at which they will be searching for the red dot in hope to kill the ghost before its too late (if they succeed the missle too is lost), or get units out of the way. The nuke needs to have been bought first at reasonably high price at a nuclear silo. The Ocular Implants upgrade allows the ghost to have a larger range of sight, allowing a Ghost to avoid being killed by its own nuke. The Ghost's C-10 canister rifle is well-suited for light-weight enemies, but does poorly against medium or heavy targets. Because Ghosts are more expensive than Marines, and their slow rate of 'concussive' fire is only fair agianst light or small units, Ghosts are rarely used for combat, only being used to Lockdown or Nuke. Requires Science Facility with attached Covert Ops Add-On.


  • Valkyrie (Brood War only) — This heavily armored flying attack frigate fires air-to-air missiles that, individually, do light damage, but have a large area of effect. Valkyries are well-suited for dealing with light-weight air units, such as Mutalisks or Scourges. Requires Armory.
    • The Valkyrie was present in the Alpha version of StarCraft as a ground-attack bomber and gunship. It was named after the XB-70 Valkyrie bomber, a Vietnam War-era bomber that was never put into production. The original Brood War version may have been a ground-attack craft, and featured "afterburners" which required energy but enabled it to fly at great speed. However, it became an anti-spacecraft vehicle and the afterburner ability was removed, after a balance issue involving using the afterburner to speed into Zerg bases and decimate their Zerg Overlords, and then flying out.
  • CF/A-17 Wraith — Space Superiority Fighter produced at the Starport, can be upgraded at the Control Tower and the Armory. Its Cloaking Field ability (researched at the Control Tower) allows the Wraith to become invisible for a period of time. Its Burst Laser do little damage against ground units and buildings. Its Gemini air-to-air missiles, however, do a great deal of damage quickly. The Wraith's relatively high airspeed and cloaking ability makes it a good first responder to an attack.
    • During the Guild Wars most space battles took place between battlecruisers and "gunships" (No longer in production, possibly predecessor of the Valkyrie (Brood War only)); The Wraith, agile enough to evade laser battery fire, has since replaced the gunship.
  • Behemoth Battlecruiser — Arguably the most powerful Terran unit in the game, it can be outfitted with the Yamato Cannon (a magnetically-focused energy blast that can be researched at the Physics Lab add-on to the Science Facility), and can attack air and land units. However, its normal laser attack has an extremely slow firing rate, and does a relatively small amount of damage for a unit of its cost. The Yamato Cannon expends a great deal of energy, but allows the Battlecruiser to obliterate any small units or buildings in one hit, such as the Protoss Photon Cannon. An upgrade to the amount of energy points is available (also in the Physics Lab). Requires Physics Lab add-on.
  • Explorer Science Vessel — This air unit is a spellcaster that can't attack. It can detect cloaked enemy units in its vicinity. One of its notable features is its ability to place a "Defensive Matrix" around any other unit, (except itself), which functions as an extra shield for a limited time (the shield absorbs approximately 250 normal damage). The Science Vessel can also fire an EMP shockwave to drain all buildings and units of shields or energy that are within its blast radius (this is extremely useful against the shield-dependent Archons and Dark Archons), and can "irradiate" an organic unit, causing it to slowly lose hit points until it dies or takes 250 damage (whichever comes first). Requires Science Facility.
    • Its pilot seems to share a striking voice similarity to Mr Burns.
  • Dropship — This is a flying transport that has no attack abilities. It is slightly faster than a Protoss Shuttle without Gravitic Drive, but much slower than one with. It is also faster than upgraded Overlords, and its toughness lies between them and the more fragile Shuttles. It can hold up to eight unit slots (Each unit takes up a certain number of slots; infantry take up one, light metal take up two, and heavy metal take up four). Requires Control Tower add-on.
    • The name of the unit, as well as many quotes by the pilot, comes from Aliens, the movie and its sequels.


Divided into Basic and Advanced buildings.

Basic buildings

Unlike the buildings of other races, the major Terran buildings are mobile; they can lift off, fly slowly, and land elsewhere. Only air-to-air or ground-to-air attacks can damage these buildings when in the air. Buildings that have been lifted off can be repaired in mid-air by SCVs. If the building has an add-on, the add-on is left behind. Add-ons can only function when the main building is attached, and any one building may only have one add-on attached. If an add-on is left behind, any Terran player may take possession of it later by landing or building next to it.

Unlike those of other races, a Terran building will burn down (take damage automatically) if its hit points are in the red zone (less than ⅓ of total hit points). Hit points slowly decrease until they reach 0, when the building is destroyed and must be rebuilt. Only SCVs can prevent the building from burning down by repairing the building into the yellow or green state (greater than ⅓ or ⅔ of total hit points, respectively).

  • Command Center — Constructs SCVs and serves as a drop-off point for resources (minerals and vespene gas). Also contributes 10 to the supply limit. If it is damaged into the red zone of its hit points, it can be infested by a Zerg Queen. Once infected, it is controlled by the infecter Zerg team, and can be lifted off and flown, as a normal Command Centre would be able to. Instead of creating SCVs, however, it makes "Infested Terrans", which are suicide units that do 500 splash damage. The Infested Command Center becomes a biological structure, heals over time, no longer burns down, and can no longer be repaired.
    • ComSat Station add-on — Scans anywhere on the map for several seconds, using 50 energy. Reveals all enemy units (even cloaked or burrowed) and buildings. It is an efficient and risk-free way of scouting out an enemy base (requires Academy). Note that using the ComSat scan causes a small visual effect at the site of the scan, alerting the affected players that the scan took place.
    • Nuclear Missile Silo add-on — Produces and launches nuclear missiles (200 Minerals and 200 Gas; 8 Supply). Requires the Covert Ops add-on for the Science Facility.
  • Supply Depot — Contributes 8 to the supply limit, with a maximum of 200 (each unit takes up a certain amount of supply points). Supply Depots are the main reason that Terran bases are mostly cluttered. As they are needed for supply, they are constructed in great numbers. However, unlike Zerg overlords (which are units and take up no space) and Protoss Pylons (which are also needed for powering structures, and are more compact than Supply Depots), Supply Depots make effective walls and can be used as barriers or to channel enemy units into a kill box. They take up by far the most space of any main supply-providing units or structures.
  • Engineering Bay — Provides three levels of armor and weapons upgrades for Barracks units and SCVs (SCV weapon is not upgraded but its armor is). Also is needed to build missile turrets.
  • Barracks — Trains Marines, Firebats, Ghosts, and (in Brood War) Medics. (Medics, Firebats require Academy, Ghosts require Academy, Science Facility and Covert Ops add on).
  • Refinery — Allows the harvesting of Vespene gas by SCVs. The SCV which builds the refinery will automatically start harvesting from it.
  • Missile Turret — Provides automated surface-to-air attack - includes detector. It is often necessary, in Brood War, to back them up with upgraded Goliaths, as their range is not sufficient to attack Guardians (Missile Turrets have a range of 7 matrix squares, while Guardians have a range of 8).
  • Academy — Provides upgrades for infantry and the ability to train Firebats and Medics (upgrades include Stim Packs for Marines and Firebats, range upgrade for Marine, Restoration, Optical Flare, and energy upgrade for Medic) (requires Barracks).
  • Bunker — Has no attack of its own, but can house up to four infantry units (Marine, Firebat, Ghost, Medic, or SCV). Units inside sustain no damage, and are free to return fire. Marines also receive a slight range increase, that, combined with U-238 Shells, puts them on equal range footing with upgraded Protoss Dragoons (requires Barracks).

Advanced buildings

  • Factory — Constructs Vultures, Siege Tanks, and Goliaths (requires Armory).
    • Machine Shop add-on — Required to produce siege tanks. Provides upgrades for mechanized ground units (Spider Mines and speed upgrade for Vulture, siege mode for Siege Tanks, and the Goliath air range upgrade (Brood War only)).
  • Armory — Allows for three levels of weapon and armor upgrades for Factory and Starport units and is also required for Goliaths and Valkyries (requires Factory).
  • Starport — Constructs Wraiths, Dropships, Battlecruisers, Science Vessels, and Valkyries (requires Factory).
    • Control Tower add-on — Required for Dropships, Battlecruisers, Science vessels, and Valkyries. Allows for upgrades to the Wraith (cloaking ability and energy upgrade).
  • Science Facility — Allows for the construction of and upgrades to Terran Science Vessels (EMP shockwave, Irradiate, and energy upgrade) (also required for second and third level armor and weapons upgrades at Engineering Bay and Armory) (requires Starport).
    • Physics Lab add-on — Allows production of Battlecruisers and provides upgrades for them (Yamato Cannon and energy upgrade)
    • Covert Ops add-on — Allows production of and provides upgrades for Ghosts (sight upgrade, lockdown, cloaking, and energy upgrade)

Strategy and Techs

Terran players usually follow one of two main general tech trees: Infantry or Metal.

  • Infantry refers to producing mass numbers of Marines supported by Medics. This strategy is generally used against Zerg opponents and is also called "M&M," referring to the Medic-Marine combo. Firebats can be used to support the marines as well, as their splash damage is extremely effective against massed zealots while marines are generally weak against them. (Off-strategy note: This only counts for the Brood War expansion.)
  • Metal refers to focusing on mechanical units (Tanks, Vultures, Goliaths, Wraiths and Battlecruisers). This strategy is generally used against Protoss and Terran players.

External links

Template:StarCraftda:Terran es:Terran he:טראן nl:Terran no:Terrans pl:Terranie pt:Terrans sv:Terran zh:Terran

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