"Similar to the Siege Tank in its ability to make quick work of ground troops, the Banshee is an aerial harbinger of destruction. Agile twin turbofans accompany cloaking technologies and powerful backlash rockets, making the Banshee our military’s most capable hit-and-run option when the situation demands nothing less."
The Banshee is powered by relatively low-thrust and inexpensive VTOL turbofans capable of operating only in an atmosphere, coupled with a fantail rotor assembly for steering and banking. The turbofans are sturdy, simple in design, and relatively easy to maintain. They allow for indefinite loitering with minimal noise, which is perfect for stealth operations. The fans allow the Banshee to be dropped from orbit, but are incapable of attaining escape velocity. However, Banshees are outfitted with special propulsion systems only used in space.
The Banshee's cockpit is fully pressurized, and an oxygen generator is integrated into the ship's design—both were integrated after the ship's initial deployment. These features allow for quick orbital deployments to more efficiently support troops on the ground, and to strike at targets of opportunity.
"Overall, the design is economical and easy to maintain. Its one drawback: no anti-air capability." "That's why God invented marines. To shoot down all the crap you can't."
- A Dominion marine 'discussing' the Banshee's capabilities(src)
The Banshee is heavily optimized for its intended role. Its standard armament is air-to-ground Backlash rockets. Additional armament options were also developed. Kel-Morian Banshees were armed with rapid-firing projectile weaponry capable of striking aerial targets. By the Second Great War, Banshees could carry the Shockwave missile battery, which bombarded a longer linear area ahead of the aircraft, rather than just a smaller circular point as with the default Backlashes.
The Banshee received cloaking devices after entering service with militias and guerilla forces. Salvaged cloaking devices from Wraiths allow the Banshee to become an effective raider, and the Dominion's "stealth darling." By the Second Great War, the Dominion Armed Forces were equipping their Banshees with the DN51 cloak generator; at the time, the DN51 was such a sophisticated example of Dominion technology that special teams were deployed to recover them from crashed aircraft.
The Banshee was designed by Procyon Industries to meet requirements from the Terran Dominion for a dedicated ground attack aircraft for counter-insurgency operations. The Banshee was an entirely new design; adapting an existing design was unlikely to be satisfactory. After much experimentation, the Banshee was in use by the Dominion by 2502, and within the same year, the Kel-Morian Combine. It has proven very successful in service.
Initial deployment within the Dominion was disappointing. The aircraft was judged as too inflexible, and many were relegated to minor roles with backwater militias. Over time, ease of interstellar deployment, the ability to deliver strikes over difficult terrain, and the addition of the cloaking device, led to more widespread deployment within the Dominion. The Banshee gained a reputation as a Dominion terror weapon due to collateral damage caused in urban combat (a result of the craft's poor guidance systems for its backlash rockets). Guerilla and resistance forces also found the Banshee useful against the Dominion. Banshees are used as light-infantry support, and can operate with Vikings as air cavalry.
Despite its original purpose as a counter-insurgency weapon, the Banshee went on to be used against protoss, zerg, and terran front line forces. Little can be done to alter the public's negative perception of the Dominion, but it has nonetheless gained a permenant place in its airforce due to its low cost and easy maintenance.
In the Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, Banshees can be upgraded to fire their missiles in a straight line, doing splash damage to units in a line similar to the hellion or lurker. They can also be upgraded to consume half of the energy while cloaked, letting the Banshee remain cloaked longer.
Banshees bank on turns like some other air units.
The Shockwave Missile Battery fires multiple missiles in a straight line with each shot allowing the Banshee to hit multiple ground targets. This upgrade is useful when fighting ground targets that are packed close together.
Doubles the amount of time Banshees can stay cloaked.
Wolfe Industries offers a new model of Banshee that embeds light-dampening materials into the hull. This new hull material requires far less energy to conceal and makes it much easier for the Banshee to maintain cloak once initiated.
Attack upgrades improve attack cooldown of affected units by 5% per level.
These self-replicating ultra capacitors reduce the reload time of weapons and systems. Now each of the weapon upgrades at the armory and engineering bay increases attack speed by 5% in addition to increasing damage.
Armor upgrades increase health of affected units by 5% per level.
We have created a new lightweight alloy called vanadium. Vanadium diffuses weapon impacts much more efficiently than traditional armor plating, and it better preserves the life of our units. Now each of the armor upgrades in the armory and engineering bay increases unit life by 5% in addition to increasing armor.
Increase starting energy of all units by 100. Increase maximum energy of all units by 100.
This reactor has a larger energy reserve on startup and can hold a much larger charge. Now our specialist units can use their abilities the moment they hit the battlefield, and they can store more energy when idle for long periods of time. All "Specialists units" use energy: such as the medic, ghost, spectre, thor, wraith, banshee, raven, science vessel and battlecruiser.
Damaged mechanical units recover hit points when out of combat, at a rate of 0.6015 each second.
Our ship and vehicle hulls are now made from a material called Regenerative Bio-Steel. This material uses internal nanobots to slowly repair any damage the hull sustains. While this regeneration process is much slower than conventional SCV repairs, it can be the difference between life and death if no SCVs are available.
The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.
In the game engine as early as 2006, the Banshee was one of the first terran units conceived for StarCraft II, replacing the Wraith. It was made to be both similar and different to the Wraith, the key difference being the nature of their attack. As many cloak detector units are aerial, this would prevent the Banshee from attacking the units which presented the greatest threat to it. As such, the Banshee fulfills the role of a base raider of a "combined-arms" terran force. Visually, it hardly diverged from its original conception.
In early builds, the Banshee delivered an area of effect attack, which was removed March 2008. The area of effect attack returned in the single-player campaign in the final product.
In addition the Banshee had three unused upgrades; Cloaked Damage, Distortion Blasters and Distortion Thrusters. Distortion Blasters enabled the Banshee to deal 25% more damage, while Distortion Thrusters likewise increased the base movement speed and acceleration by 25%. Both upgrades took effect only while the Banshee remained cloaked. Cloaked Damage has no effect in-game as it remains incomplete. The banshee was also to have an Apollo Reactor upgrade that increased its energy.
The original portrait was female, but was replaced by a male as of April 2009. By June 2009, the portrait was female again but at some stage, switched back to being male. However, with the release of the StarCraft II beta, the portrait had again gone back to being female. In addition, a variant Banshee profile was available for players in the StarCraft II beta, used instead of the in-game one. The portrait was later updated.
When cloaked the pilot's visor in the portrait slides down and covers her eyes. This also happens when the Banshee flies under a friendly mothership, even if the cloak ability is not activated.
The Night Elf Banshee portrait is available for players who bought StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collectors' Edition. The Banshee Queen portrait is available for players who bought StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm digital deluxe or collectors' edition.
↑Dustin Browder, Robert Simpson, Matt Cooper, David Kim. 2009-04-16. Battle Report (2). Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2009-04-16.
↑1) In the current build, for 100 energy, the Queen can heal a biological unit or building by 200 hit points.
2) For 50 energy, the Terran Orbital Command can increase a supply depot's supply provided by +8 permanently.
3) Terran Add-Ons, Bunkers, Sensor Towers, and Missile Turrets can be salvaged for 100% of its cost. Salvage currently takes 5 seconds to complete.
4) Yes, the Banshee portrait is of a female pilot.
5) Vespene gas can still become depleted from geysers. Most geysers have 2500 gas each. Karune. 2009-06-30. Karune: Can the queen heal?Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-06-30.