Why can't Zerg use Terran technology? They're intelligent enough to use technology. They have hive mind, Kerrigan, Terran-Zerg hybrids, etc.

  • 5
    Can you give an example where it is stated that the Zerg cannot use Terran technology? Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:16
  • 35
    Why would they NEED Terran technology? They nearly conquered the universe without it.
    – Erik
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:23
  • 41
    Question unintelligible. Swarm sequences simple, elegant. Terran technology not efficient, unacceptable. Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 17:14
  • 5
    Zerg do make use of Terran technology/developments, if you include the ghost program...the swarm went to great lengths to infest psionicly gifted humans Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 17:38
  • 3
    Ultralisks with siege tank turrets or yamato cannons bonded to their backs...
    – Nat
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 19:02

7 Answers 7


Although it is never shown that Zerg use Terran technology, nothing speaks against them being able to do it. At least their "leader" types are very intelligent and thus should be able to use Terran technology (at least if there are no genetic locks).

So, even though they should be able to use it, they wouldn't do it anyway as they don't need to use Terran technology. It wouldn't give them any advantage in doing so. They have their own ammunition, which they can reproduce themselves (acid, spines, etc.) while Terran ammunition is limited. They can fly in space by themselves. So, they have no need to use it.

Furthermore I'm talking here about PURE Zerg, not infested. With infested...they are able to use Terran technology and do so.

So all in all: The Zerg CAN use Terran technology (at least via infested Terrans) and even do so. But Pure Zerg won't use it because they have no need for it (they do quite well without it).

  • 14
    Not to mention their bodies simply aren't designed for most Terran technology. Most Zerg don't have the proper appendages to hold/fire a Gauss Rifle, for instance. And can you imagine an Ultralisk trying to use a touchscreen? Yikes!
    – user31178
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 10:06
  • yepp although at least zerglings I could imagine using a arifle (if it has no genelock) it sure would look ackward :)
    – Thomas
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 13:26
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    @Thomas then can't they just make there own technology for their own use, with that they can become powerful.
    – Hegao
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 14:35
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    @swswsws but they are powerful. And they have "their own technology" (as in "collection of techniques, skills, methods and processes"). Maybe they don't use machines made of metal and powered by electricity but they can evolve "ad hoc features", which can be arguably better.
    – xDaizu
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 16:36
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    @swswsws I tried to emphais on that one. Tehy have "abilities" doing the same thing where terrans have guns and spaceships for. For them their tech is biological, so they HAVE technology their own.....its just that its directly in their DNA so to say (as they can evolve and modify it).
    – Thomas
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 17:11

Zerg are capable of using Terran technology, and it was shown to happen on multiple occasions:

This is an Apocalisk, which is an Ultralisk with integrated Terran Thor armour, courtesy of Alexei Stukov, an Infested Terran

Apocalisk animation

Infested Marines


Use their armour and their guns

Infested bunkers


Not sure how much technology is going on in there, but they work like normal bunkers, except for Zerg units.

Infested anti-air turrets

Infested missile turret

Capable of turning and firing their Terran weapons.

Infested Siege tanks

Infested siege tank

Capable of driving around, and turning the Siege Mode on and off.

Yes, these are all infested, by who is in control? The Zerg. Those are not Terrans inside anymore, they are Zerg now. A part of the Swarm. Zerg can assume direct control with Infestors (as opposed to indirect infestation), too, which is a gameplay mechanic.

Why don't the Zerg use Terran technology all the time? Hubris. The Swarm believes to be the apex of evolution, the most powerful faction. Why would they use inferior tools? As for Feral Zerg, well, they're Feral.

  • 3
    All your images appear to be SCII, but I'd note that even the original had the infested command center
    – Izkata
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 19:18
  • @Izkata yup, all are either from Nova Ops or Wings of Liberty. I haven't played the original in years....
    – Petersaber
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 0:02
  • Where is the siege ultralisk from? I don't recall it in the campaign but it's friggin' awesome! Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 18:27
  • @MarkKCowan Link per Andrey's answer. Unfortunately, the sidebar indicates this unit's lifespan is only 60 seconds
    – Izkata
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 2:59
  • @Izkata gameplay balance, most likely. After all, there are numerous units that are on cooldown like that, but are not expendable in any way shape or form (usually capital ships during campaign missions)
    – Petersaber
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 10:30

I would like to supply a more nuanced answer.

First of all, clearly, the Zerg do use terran technology. The infested uses terran technology.

Now, onto the question of "Why don't pure Zerg use terran technology?".

Anthropic Principle

The most important reason is the anthropic principle and that our question kind of invites a tautology. The definition of "pure" zerg in this case would be a zerg that doesn't use terran technology. The definition of "infested" would be "zergs" that uses terran technology.

enter image description here

Infested are not just "infested humans". The image of this command center clearly shows that tenticle like things are growing out of it. The tenticle creature is a zerg, not based of humans, that uses terran technology.

Contact and Assimilation

Let's take a step back in time. Zergs had their first contact with Terran in Starcraft 1. As such, they only had about 4-5 years to adapt Terran technology to their own use. An alien specie, which never dealt with Terran technology before (or most other kind of non-biological), would be hard pressed to just adapt terran technology for themselves. It was mainly the infested terrans that made the assimilation of terran technology possible. As infested terrans, they would mostly be adapting terran technologies for themselves, and not for zerglings.

Terran Technologies are made for Terran, not zerg

How do you propose a zergling hold a machine gun? Why would mutalisks need a oxygen tank when it doesn't need to breath in space?

We adapt technology for ourselves; the zerg can adapt themselves for technology

Zergs can try to reverse engineer a machine gun, and adapt it so a zergling can use it. Or... they can create a new subspecies which is specially designed to use a machine gun.

In summary

In summary, a zergling doesn't drive a tank because a specially designed mass of tenticles with special bio-tech interfaces can drive a tank better. You just don't think of the tenticles as a pure zerg creature, because it uses human technology.


Other than being directed by 'Infested' Terrans like Stukov or Kerrigan, the Zerg Swarm doesn't interact (nor really care to interact) with Terran systems, preferring to stick to biological rather than technological evolution.

It has actually been considered (and likely tested) by Abathur, more than likely while the Queen of Blades (Infested Kerrigan) was around. Abathur and Primal Kerrigan discuss interfacing with Terran Technology in Heart of the Swarm, before the mission 'Friends Like These...':

Kerrigan: Is it possible for the Swarm to hack into the Dominion network?
Abathur: Terran systems, inelegant. Problem with interchange. Many factors obstruct request. Biology, language.
Kerrigan: So our thoughts are too different for anything beyond simple transmissions.
Abathur: Accurate. Zerg processes complex. Incompatible with terran machinery.
Kerrigan: Then it's up to Valerian now...
Starcraft Wikia: Starcraft II: Heart of The Swarm, 'Friends Like These...'

Emphasis mine. It stands to reason that other than repurposing Armor plating as covered in Andrey's answer, or simply using 'infested' structures as a place to produce infested terrans, interaction with Terran technology is out of the question.


They use it, check this character, Alexei Stukov. He doesn't only repurpose Terran's buildings, he as well commands originally Zerg units that were upgraded with Terran's technologies, for example, the apocalisk is an ultralisk that has been merged with thor armor.

  • Do note that the Apocalisk is non-canon.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 7:11
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    @Robotnik Obviously is it non-canon. It uses a flamethrower and missiles, not a cannon. The Apocalisk is all-awesome, there is no room for canon. ;)
    – Yakk
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 11:40
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    @Yakk I have no idea what is "canon" of Starcraft, I mean this is from official StarCraft game, how can it be non canon?
    – Andrey
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 12:35
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    @Andrey It is very simple. Flamethrowers are not canon. Cannon are canon. Missiles are not canon. Guns, if small enough, are not canon. ;)
    – Yakk
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 13:29
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    @Andrey Cannon and canon are two different words. They are pronounced the same, and almost spelled the same. A pun is a play on words. By confusing the term "Cannon" (a large-barreled gun) with "Canon" (a set of things dictated as true by an authority), I was making a play on words, or in other words, a pun. I would ask for forgiveness, but puns in general are inexcusable and unforgivable.
    – Yakk
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 13:37

They can and they do use Terran and Protoss technology. The Infestor's Neural Parasite is able to take control of other units and use their abilities.


From the "Changeling" short story by James M. Waugh (emphasis mine):

Zerg? Hendrix is a zerg? That didn’t make sense. But then Wynne and Jenkins ran down the hall.

“Sarge… reactor core. That thing is in the reactor core. Come on.” They both had needle-guns and were hell-bent on chasing their prey. Without thinking, Walden ran out, leaving his gun.

“We need to get Brody to the infirmary stat!” Walden ordered.

“It’s too late, Sarge: he ain’t gonna make it,” Jenkins said. “We gotta make sure no one else ends up like that.”

“What the fekk are we chasing?” Walden asked, panting, heart rate accelerating.

“Hendrix ain’t Hendrix. We just finished poker when we caught him down there in the operations room, scanning for security codes.”

The Zerg understand Terran technology and even the Xel'naga. We see in the Changeling story that one of these organisms, mimetic, begins to steal data from the computers and, at the same time, pretends to activate the installation's self-destruction system.

When Abathur talks about incompatibility, he talks about interacting with the interstellar internet, the binary language of the computers, and all that programming material, but it is capable of being compatible with the use of sending audiovisual information to communicate.

Also, the field manual is concerned that Abathur already has the capacity of a quantum computer, and the Overmind was employing Xel'naga technology like Khaydarin crystals, as well as stealing information from Kerrigan's database or attempting to control Xel'naga temples with Xel tech.

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