Shakurus SC1 Art2

This article concerns StarCraft II gameplay. You may be looking for:

In StarCraft II, the overlord provides control but does not provide detection.


The overlord may evolve into the overseer which is a detector and spellcaster. Against protoss, it is recommended to keep overlords surrounded with strong anti-air defense as they are highly vulnerable targets for phoenixes used in the harass role.

Game UnitEdit


OverseerMorph SC2 Icon1
Overseer Morph

The overlord can morph into an overseer, which becomes a detector.

Hotkey V
Cost 50 Minerals Terran SC1 50 Gas Terran SC1 12Time SC2 Game1 Overlord
Required Lair
GenerateCreep SC2 Icon1
Excrete Creep

The overlord creates a 2x2 patch of creep through an activated ability, the radius steadily expanding.[1]

Hotkey Generate creep: G
Stop creating creep: C
Duration 11Time SC2 Game1
Purchased from Automatically researched upon creation of lair
Required Lair


SC2 KerrImprovedOverlords Icon
Mutate Ventral Sacs

Upgrades an individual overlord, allowing it to transport units. Legacy of the Void only.

Hotkey T
Cost 25 Minerals Terran SC1 25 Gas Terran SC1 12Time SC2 Game1
Required Evolution Chamber
PneumutizedCarapace SC2 Game1
Pneumatized Carapace

Increase speed of the overlord from 0.82 to 2.63 and the overseer 2.62 to 4.72.

Purchased from Hatchery (with at least 1 other lair or hive)/Lair/Hive
Hotkey P
Cost 100 Minerals Terran SC1 100 Gas Terran SC1 43Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair

Increases armor of zerg air units.

Purchased from
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals Terran SC1 150 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 160Time SC2 Game1
Effect +1 armor
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals Terran SC1 225 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 190Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair
Effect +1 armor
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals Terran SC1 300 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 220Time SC2 Game1
Required Hive
Effect +1 armor

Heart of the SwarmEdit

VentralSacs SC2 Game1
Ventral Sacs

The overlord can transport units.

This upgrade is removed in Legacy of the Void.[2] Overlords must now be upgraded individually.

Purchased from Lair/Hive
Hotkey E
Cost 200 Minerals Terran SC1 200 Gas Terran SC1 130Time SC2 Game1

Heart of the Swarm CampaignEdit

When Kerrigan reaches a certain level overlords provide more control and are spawned instantly. This ability is called Improved Overlords.


SC2 KerrImprovedOverlords Icon
Improved Overlords

Overlords morph instantly and provide 50% more control.

Campaign Acquisition
Acquired from Kerrigan reaches Level 10.

Legacy of the VoidEdit

OverlordTransport LotV Game1

An Overlord with the ventral sacs upgrade

In Legacy of the Void, the overlord loses its ventral sacs upgrade. Instead, each overlord is upgraded individually to be able to transport units.[2] This upgrade requires an evolution chamber.[3]


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

The reason for the changes and the split between the overlord and overseer in terms of detection was that the zerg "were somewhat 'detectorific'" in StarCraft.[4]

Overlords regained the ability to transport units as of December 2008.[5]
Overlord SC2 DevRend1

Early StarCraft II overlord

Overlords used to have a slime ability, but that has been removed from the latest build.[6]

  • Slime (also known as "Corrupt Minerals")
    • The overlord could drop a non-attacking slime creature,[7] temporarily disabling resource nodes and xel'naga towers.[8][9] The minerals can be covered as they're being harvested, enabling raids which slow down an enemy's economy.[7] The creature must be killed before the minerals can be accessed.[7][4]
    • This ability took some time to "cast" and had a small cooldown timer.[7]



  1. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). July 27, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 2015-06-18, Legacy of the Void Beta Balance Update -- June 17, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-06-26
  3. 2015-09-17, Legacy of the Void Beta Balance Update -- September 17, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-09-30
  4. 4.0 4.1 INC Games: Zerg Q&A. Accessed on 2008-20-03
  5. Karune. 2008-12-17. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 47. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-12-17.
  6. StarCraft Legacy staff. 2009-04-04. Zerg Unit Information. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-06-23.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 1) The tier 1 Overlord is very slow and does not have detection, though still essential for scouting throughout the game.

    2) They are two different abilities. In generating creep, the Overlord essentially unloads a bunch of creep straight to the ground below it, which expands. Corrupting minerals takes some time to fully cast, but it creates a non-attacking creature that takes over that resource, and needs to be killed before those minerals are able to be gathered. Furthermore, you can corrupt resources that are already being mined, introducing potential Overseer raids to slow the enemy's production.

    3)Neither abilities require energy. Creep generation does not have a cooldown whereas corrupt minerals has a small cooldown timer.
    Karune. 2008-04-25. Overseers having Creep Drop, details?. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-04-25.
  8. Burnes, Andrew. 2008-03-10. StarCraft 2 - Zerg Attack: New Screenshots, Unit Images & Unit Info! Accessed 2008-03-10.
  9. Korda, Martin. Hands-on: Martin Korda gets to grips with StarCraft II and gets the lowdown on the newly evolved Zerg. Accessed 2008-05-04.