No recent wiki edits to this page.

Overview

A Starcraft I Carrier

The Carrier is the flagship of the Protoss armada, often acting as the command vessel for a Protoss Executor. Though it carries no weapons of its own, the Carrier houses eight robotic Interceptor drones that can defend the Carrier. Carriers are even capable of housing Scout fighters and even Arbiters (lore only, not in game). Carriers are capable of operating in atmospheric and deep space conditions and can make warp jumps through space.

Starcraft Brood War

CarrierStats
RaceProtoss
TypeLarge-Air
RoleHeavy Command Ship
Cost350 minerals, 250 gas
Supply6
Build Time140s
Hit Points300
Shields100
Armor4 (+1 for every air armor upgrade)
ArmamentNone on Carrier. Up to 8 Interceptors
Attack Range8 (+4 for Interceptors)
Sight Range11
Movement Speed3.33
Built AtStargate
RequiresFleet Beacon
HotkeyC
Interceptor Hit Points40
Interceptor Shields40
Interceptor Armor0 (+1 for every air armor upgrade)
Interceptor Attack6 (+1 for every air attack upgrade)
Interceptor Build Time18s
Interceptor Attack Range4
Interceptor Movement Speed13.33
Hotkey (Interceptor)I
Carriers using the high ground

Carriers are the most expensive unit in the Protoss arsenal and are rarely seen. Often when a Protoss commander reaches the late game, he must choose between Arbiters or Carriers as there often isn't enough gas to support both. Arbiters are often chosen over Carriers due to their flexibility and support spells though Carriers can be a solid choice under favorable conditions. Carriers are effective units due to their interceptors. Protoss players will always research the Carrier Capacity upgrade when they decide to tech to Carriers. Interceptors confuse the enemy AI and are often targeted first as opposed to the Carriers themselves. All Interceptors in a Carrier will launch simultaneously to attack a target and will return to the Carrier to repair. A skilled player can bypass this repair phase by constantly moving the Carrier. This allows the Interceptors more time to attack targets and allows a Carrier to attack while moving.

Instant Win?

Carriers are extremely map dependent units; they favor maps with many chokepoints, tight corridors and cliffs that confuse the anti-air unit AI and prevent anti-air units from pursuing retreating Carriers. On open ground maps, Carriers are extremely vulnerable due to their slow speed and are at danger of being destroyed while retreating. Though they offer little fighting power relative to their cost, Carriers can be deadly in numbers, leading to the popular phrase "Mass Carriers = Instant Win". Though not invincible, mass Carriers provide much firepower. They are even more effective in conjunction with a small group of Dragoons. Corsairs with Disruption Web can also be effective support units though this combination is more micro intensive.

Against Zerg, Carriers are an unpopular choice due to the effectiveness of Hydralisks under the Defiler's Dark Swarm ability. Furthermore the Defiler's Plague ability lowers the Carrier's HP to 1, drastically reducing the effectiveness of the Carrier. Zerg Scourge also pose a threat to Carriers without Corsair or Dragoon support. In a Protoss mirror matchup, the Carrier technically has no direct counter; Dragoons lack the range and mobility to engage a Carrier group and Scouts require many upgrades before they are effective. Carriers are however incredibly susceptible to spells such as Psionic Storm, Stasis and Mind Control.

...maybe not

Carriers are most often seen against Terrans when a Protoss commander is having trouble dealing with Siege Tanks and Spider Mines. Carriers force Terran players to build considerable anti-air defenses which leads to less Siege Tanks and an easier time for ground forces. Thanks to their range, Carriers can sit on top of a cliff and pick off Siege Tanks, Goliaths and SCVS. Under favorable conditions, the Terran Goliath posses little threat as the Carriers can simply abuse map terrain and the Goliath's infamously terrible AI. The Dragoon-Carrier combination is especially effective; the Carriers pick off the Siege Tanks which allows the Dragoons to run up and destroy Goliaths. Carriers are vulnerable to cloaked Wraiths however as well as the Battlecruiser's Yamato Cannon.

Starcraft II

The Tempest: a "Dark" Carrier

Originally, the Carrier was to be replaced by the Tempest, a Carrier like unit that can only attack ground units and has a special shield that reduces damage from ground units but doesn't activate against air units. Due to "emotional attachment" to the Carrier, the Carrier returns in Starcraft II with the Tempest's model in a gold and blue color scheme.

The Carrier went through several iterations before the game's launch. At one point, the Carrier summoned escort ships instead of interceptors. These escort ships are temporary and cost much more but they also deal more damage.

CarrierStats
RaceProtoss
TypeArmored, Massive, Mechanical, Air
RoleCapital Ship
Cost350 minerals, 250 gas
Supply6
Build Time120s
Hit Points300
Shields150
Armor2 (+1 for every air armor upgrade)
ArmamentNone on Carrier. Up to 8 Interceptors
Attack Range8 (+4 for Interceptors)
Sight Range12
Movement Speed1.875
Built AtStargate
RequiresFleet Beacon
HotkeyC
Interceptor Hit Points40
Interceptor Shields40
Interceptor Armor0 (+1 for every air armor upgrade)
Interceptor Attack5 (x 2) (+1 for every air attack upgrade)
Interceptor Build Time8s
Interceptor Attack Range6
Interceptor Movement Speed7.5
Hotkey (Interceptor)I

In Starcraft II, Carriers have been supplanted by the Mothership as the Protoss' most expensive unit. Carriers in SCII come with four Interceptors prebuilt and no longer require a Carrier Capacity upgrade to reach eight. However Carriers not launch Interceptors one at a time as opposed to all at once and require the Graviton Catapult upgrade at the Fleet Beacon to expedite Interceptor launch times. The Interceptor attack has been increased, changing to 5 x 2; with each +1 air attack upgrade, the Carrier gains +16 attack if it has eight Interceptors.

Mass Carriers never looked this good

Despite their attack increase, Carriers are seen even less in competitive Starcraft II. As of 2011, they have no defined role in the Protoss army. Improved anti-air units such as the Marine and the Hydralisk as well as new air-superiority flying units such as the Viking and Corruptor pose a significant threat to the Carrier. Furthermore, the Carrier only has 2 base armor as opposed to 4 in Brood War. There are very few maps that allow the Carrier to play to its strengths and the new and improved SCII AI means that units are less confused by the Interceptors. Furthermore Interceptors do not instantly heal when returned to the Carrier leading them to be picked off more easily. The Void Ray has taken over the Carrier as the Protoss air unit of choice. The Carrier seems to have taken over the Scout's role as a "humiliation unit". Carriers are seen much more frequently in team games where players can potentially mass them up and win the game.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.