Zerg Timings

Intro

While it is obviously impossible to quantify the exact timings of every Starcraft build, this page will hopefully provide a general framework that can be used when playing against Zerg in your games.  Keep in mind that Zerg players in the lower leagues will usually lag behind these exact timings, so just because your in-game clock is past time X does not mean that you no longer have to worry about that timing.

Comprehensive List of Zerg Timings by In-Game Clock

2:00
  • 2:00 – 7pool finishes (ZvX)
  • 2:10 – Hatchery First placed (ZvX)
  • 2:17 – 10pool finishes (ZvX)
  • 2:55 – 14pool finishes (ZvP/ZvZ)
3:00
  • 3:10 – 3rd Hatchery started if going for a 3 Hatch before Pool (ZvT/ZvP)
  • 3:12 – 7pool reaches your base (ZvX)
  • 3:30 – 10pool reaches your base (ZvX)
  • 3:55 – Earliest a 3rd Hatchery can go down when opening 14 Pool (ZvP)
4:00
  • 4:45 – Metabolic Boost finishes in Speedling All-in (ZvP)
  • 4:55 – Metabolic Boost finishes after 14gas/14pool (ZvP/ZvZ)
5:00
6:00
  • 6:30 – 2base Baneling Bust (ZvX)
  • 6:45 – Metabolic Boost finishes after Hatchery First (ZvX)
7:00
8:00
9:00
  • 9:00 – 2base Spire will finish (ZvX)
  • 9:15 – Earliest a 2base Swarm Host/Queen Nydus can hit your base (ZvP)
10:00
11:00
12:00+
  • Depending on the amount of aggression in the game, Zerg can finish Hive research around this time (ZvX)

Note that after this point (and even before this point), exact Zerg timings become a lot less important, and tactics/strategy become key.  In general, when playing against Zerg, denying bases and positioning aggressively will give you the leg-up in the late-game that you need to crush the swarm.  Be sure that you have the map vision necessary to spot runbys and prevent your army from being surrounded in the open field.