In the Vernacular: Learning the Language of StarCraft (Part 1)

In the Vernacular: Learning the Language of StarCraft (Part 1)

Over its 12-year lifespan, the StarCraft community has developed its own culture, etiquette, and even its own language. As result, if you've never played StarCraft before, you might stumble across unfamiliar acronyms or phrases as you read through various blogs, announcements, forum posts, and comments available throughout the web. This vocabulary can be confusing if you're trying to learn more about the game, so in an effort to help you become fluent in the language of the StarCraft community, we've prepared a series of blogs that highlight and define some of the more popular terms for units, structures, tactics, and greetings.

In this first installment, we cover terminology for common units and structures. Like with any language, these terms can evolve and change, but we hope this will help get you started.


Units and Structures


  • Eyes - Refers to any unit that has the ability to detect invisible units (e.g. Overseer, Observer, Raven)
  • P - Protoss
  • T - Terran
  • Toss - Protoss
  • Tower - Refers to the Xel’Naga Watch Towers located around a map that can be controlled to gain vision of a designated area
  • Worker - Refers to any unit that can gather resources or build structures (e.g. Probe, SCV, Drone)
  • Z - Zerg


  • Bat - Firebat
  • BC - Battlecruiser
  • Bio - Refers to units that are mostly biological and typically built in a Barracks (e.g. Marines, Marauders), but can also refer to other biological units including Zealots and Templars
  • Bioball/Mball - A group of tightly-packed biological units including Marines and Marauders
  • CC - Command Center
  • Ebay - Engineering Bay
  • Fort/PF - Planetary Fortress
  • Gols - Goliaths
  • M&M/MM - Marines and Marauders, Marines and Medivacs
  • M3/MMM - Marines, Marauders, and Medivacs
  • Mech - Refers to units typically built in a Factory (e.g. Hellions, Siege Tanks, Thors), but can also refer to Vikings
  • Nuker - Ghost
  • Orb - Orbital Command
  • Rax - Barracks
  • Rines - Marines
  • Sci/SV - Science Vessel
  • Valks - Valkyries
  • Vikes - Vikings



  • DA - Dark Archon
  • DT - Dark Templar
  • Gate - Gateway
  • Goon - Dragoon
  • High Temp/HT/Temp - High Templar
  • Obz/Obs – Observer (this can refer to either the unit or a player observing a match)
  • VR - Void Ray
  • Zlot/Lot/Zs - Zealot


  • Bling - Baneling
  • Bsball - A group of tightly-packed Banelings and Speedlings
  • Hatch - Hatchery
  • Hydra - Hydralisk
  • Mines - Burrowed Banelings
  • Muta - Mutalisk
  • OL/OV/Ovie - Overlord
  • Pool - Spawning Pool
  • Speedling - A Zergling with movement speed upgrade
  • Ultra - Ultralisk
  • Zling/Ling - Zergling

Stay tuned next week for our coverage on tactics and greetings. Until then: GL, HF!

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