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HOTS Tactics - Useful Timings for Zerg Builds and Units

Updated on February 19, 2013


Due to constant updates and changes to the timings of Zerg units and buildings, the below times may be incorrect.

However, they will generally be correct and will be useful for those who want a general idea of when to expect what against Zerg opponents, or when their pushes or macro times should be.

The information is taken from various sites and from personal experimentation. If you have any queries or complaints feel free to comment in the section at the bottom of the article.

[HOTS builds will be added to this hub as soon as the game is released in March and builds are well established within the community]

Links to the other races and their timings are found at the bottom of the page.

The Typical Times for the Different Zerg Tech Completion Against the Different Races

Typical Tech Time Against Protoss
Typical Tech Time Against Terran
Typical Tech Time against Zerg
Spire after Infestation Pit
Not Viable
Infestation Pit
Infestation Pit after Spire
Hive after Infestation Pit
Zerg Times Vary Considerably

Established Zerg Builds & Timings: Rushes


Vs. Protoss

  • Roach/Speedling: 3 Roaches @4:27, speed +12 lings @5:10
  • Roach/Speedling All In vs. Forge Fast Expand: 7 roaches + 10 speedlings @6:20

Vs Zerg:

15 Hatch First

  • Hatchery down @2:12, ling speed @6:15,

Transition to lair + 3rd queen

  • Lair @6:33
  • Hydra den @7:13
  • Infestation pit @7:23 -> pathogen glands @8:43
  • Spire(see 3.2)/burrow @8:13
  • Roach speed/baneling speed @8:23
  • OL speed @7:30 -> ventral sacs @8:40

Transition to Hive
• Hive @9:00
• Ultralisk Cavern @10:10
• Greater Spire @10:45

Macro-Play: 14 Gas 14 Pool

  • 14 gas, 14 pool (fin @ 3:10), 15 overlord, 15 queen + 2 lings, 20 expansion hatchery placed @4:00 Ling speed research @5:00

Transitioning to Lair from 14 Gas 14 Pool Allows:

  • Lair @6:45
  • Hydra Den @7:35
  • Spire @8:30
  • Roach/Baneling Speed @8:35
  • Infestation Pit @7:35 -> Pathogen Glands @9:00
  • Overlord Speed Upgrade @7:45 -> Ventral Sacs @8:55 -> Possible drops in enemy base @9:05

Transition to Hive from 14 gas 14 pool allows:
• Hive @9:30
• Ultralisk Cavern @10:30
• Greater Spire @11

14 Pool, 16 Hatch

  • 14 pool finishes @ 3:10
  • 16 Hatch down @2:42, 20 gas, ling speed @6:45
  • Transition to lair + 3rd queen @7:10

General Facts to Consider

  • It takes 3:15 to research Zergling Speed after putting down a gas
  • A 14 pool finishes @ 3:10
  • It takes 3:10 from starting Lair to having Baneling/Roach speed finished
  • It takes 3:30 from starting a Lair to having Mutalisks on the field
  • It takes 3:40 from starting a Lair to having Corruptors on the field
  • From starting a Lair it takes 5:00 to research both roach speeds and tunnelling claws
  • It is 2:10 from starting an infestation pit to having an infester with a fungal growth if you start producing your infester when pathogen gland research is 40% complete (so it is produced with the upgrade in effect).
  • Otherwise it would take 2:25 to get that infester and wait for it to generate energy.

Higher Teching

  • It takes 4:00 from starting a Hive to having Brood Lords on the field if you already have a spire and corruptors.
  • It takes 3:40 to get Ultralisks out on the field from starting a Hive

Upgrade Smoothness

  • Begin your Lair when +1 is 50% done and you will be able to start +2 smoothly after +1 is done
  • Starting Hive when +2 is 50% will do the same for +3 upgrades



  • 6 Pool @2:10
  • Roaches @3:30-5:00
  • Roach + Speedling @5:10
  • Baneling Bust @5:20+
  • Roach/Speedling All in @6:20+

A Summary of When Possible Tech Could be Started when you Open Different Ways

Tech Available
14 Gas 14 Pool
15 Hatch First
(20 Hatch) 3:55
Hydralisk Den
Roach/Baneling Speed
Drops in Enemy Base
Infestation Pit
Pathogen Glands Research


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