The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.

Zerg SC2 Cncpt2

Various concepts of zerg organisms, banelings seemingly among them

The baneling underwent considerable development in StarCraft II.

Banelings were conceived as a replacement for the infested terran. The problem with infested terrans in the original game was that acquiring unit required a lot of time, energy, a terran opponent, and even then, had to make it into closer quarters with the enemy to justify its cost. While the developers liked the idea of a zerg suicide explosive unit, they wanted one that would deal more area damage and be easier to produce in the early game.[1]

As of April 2008, banelings have been increased in size from previous builds to make it easier to focus fire on them. In addition their splash radius was increased. The supply cost was higher.[2]

Banelings were designed to punish opponents foolish or careless enough to leave their forces clustered in large bunches—prime targets to receive the most damage from a bunch of exploding bugs. The developers expected players to struggle with spacing out their units against banelings. Terran players got better and spreading out their forces to minimize baneling damage. In response, zerg players got better at maximizing their creep spread, using it as a speed boost for their banelings.[1]

One dilemma with the baneling throughout the development process was the display of team color. Since the explosive ability of the baneling yields green corrosive acid the predominant body color was green and completely overshadowing the small areas that were team colored. Identifying multiple zerg player ownership of banelings was problematic. Later an attempt was made to have the glowing bubbles on the baneling completely team color and even adjusting the explosion color to match various team colors used by players. This quickly made multiplayer look like a ridiculous Jackson Pollock painting whenever multi-colored banelings were seen exploding at the same time. After other various adjustments, such as just the front two bubbles being team colored, the decision was made to fade the team color along the body, with the forward bubbles being pure team color and the large rear bubble remaining green.[3]

Heart of the SwarmEdit

The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm which is no longer valid.

Viscous Discharge[4]

Baneling acid slows move speed of all units hit for a short period of time.[4]

CentrifugalHooks SC2 Game1
Centrifugal Hooks
  • Increases the speed of banelings.
  • +Increase the health of banelings by +5.
  • Causes banelings to roll instead of walk.
Purchased from Baneling nest
Hotkey C
Cost 150 Minerals Terran SC1 150 Gas Terran SC1 79Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair

Baneling splash radius increased by 25%.[4]

Evolve Baneling[4]

Banelings can evolve into either gorgelings or splitterlings; once the choice is made, it cannot be reversed.[4]


At BlizzCon 2011, banelings had the ability to move while burrowed.[5] This research was available when the player produces a hive.[6] It cost 150 minerals and 150 vespene.[7]

Data in the map editor exists for additional baneling upgrades in the campaign. One increases their base damage by 10; another reduces the time needed to mutate banelings from zerglings.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 2018-04-03, EVOLUTION COMPLETE: REIMAGINING CLASSIC STARCRAFT UNITS FOR STARCRAFT II. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2018-03-07
  2. One of the reasons the size of the Banelings were increased from the size in the original Protoss Release Video was to make it plausible to defend against it. Before, if you have a group of Banelings attack with Zerglings, it was near impossible to focus fire on the Banelings. In the current build, their size, splash damage distribution, and hit points have been increased. These changes still make them potent, yet still allow the possibility of defense with superior micromanagement.

    The final size of the Banelings still may change, but this is the current design they are testing.
    Karune. 2008-04-14. Baneling model - too large. StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2008-04-14.
  3. 2010, Starcraft 2: Zerg Baneling. Deviantart, accessed on 2011-07-20
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 StarCraft Legacy staff. 2011-05-30. May 2011 HoTS Gameplay Info. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2011-05-31.
  5. 2011-10-21. Blizzard Cuts and Adds StarCraft II Units. IGN. Accessed 2011-10-21.
  6. StarCraft Legacy staff. 2011-10-22. BlizzCon 2011 StarCraft II Multiplayer Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2011-10-23.
  7. The Rusher. 2011-10-26. ​A complete list of all multiplayer HOTS changes/additions, now that Blizzcon is over. Reddit. Accessed 2011-10-29.
  8. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). March 12, 2013