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The probe is the basic protoss construction unit.
Probes are robotic drones that date back to the protoss's Second Age and stand at at the forefront of protoss colonization and military efforts. They were originally designed by the Khalai Caste to lay the foundation for protoss colonies on hostile worlds where living workers would be at too great a risk. Self-sufficient, probes are functional, light, and easy to produce. Their outer shell does not offer much in the way of protection (even factoring in their plasma shield) but it allows probes to operate virtually anywhere without sacrificing speed or mobility. The frame can also absorb light and turn it into energy, forgoing the need for a power supply.
The probe truly shines in its service to protoss military might, providing service to the nexus of any protoss base. They are also used to warp in structures, manufacturing and planting micro-beacons, allowing fully functional buildings to be warped in over interstellar distances. This process enables the protoss to quickly settle on new worlds, or establish nexus points to strike at their enemies, while only using a handful of probes.
As multipurpose platforms designed to operate in hazardous environments (likely teeming with dangerous creatures), probes are equipped with a miniature energy projector, which shoots out a particle beam. Commonly used to collect samples and mineral crystals, the beam can be boosted to cause kinetic damage to targets deemed a threat. Probes are also often used as rudimentary spies, sent ahead to survey the potential locations of enemy encampments.
Typically, probes are not programmed with personality aspects such as bravery or curiosity.
Probes utilized by the Daelaam are calibrated to gather resources with as little ecological impact as possible. The Tal'darim, however, have no use for such precautions.
Some junker gangs have managed to salvage probes from abandoned protoss colonies, retrofitting them with terran technology to bring them into their service.
Though the probe’s basic design has remained unchanged for many cycles, inventive phase-smiths are always experimenting with ways to improve its operational efficiency. The Dominion Engineering Corps has maintained continual efforts to replicate protoss probe technology, in spite of regular complaints from the SCV pilot's union.
Probes are able to construct facilities from scratch. If the situation calls for it, probes may be used as a last line of defense.
- For StarCraft gameplay information see: Probe (StarCraft).
- For StarCraft in-game quotations see: StarCraft Probe Quotations.
Artwork of the probe exists for StarCraft: Ghost.
- For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Probe (StarCraft II).
- A probe plush is available for purchase from the Battle.net store. It has the ability to glow in the dark and makes probe noises when moved.
- A probe lanyard is available for purchase from the Battle.net store.
A probe pet is available in Diablo III for those who purchase the digital deluxe or collector's edition of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. A Tal'darim-themed probe is likewise available in the game for those who purchase the Season 1 War Chest.