Starcraft 2 Roach Unit Counter

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Click Here to Get The Osiris MethodThe Roach is a cheap, armored Zerg ground unit with a lot of health relative to its cost. The Roach is just as much used as a damage shield for other units like the Hydralisk as it is used as a stand-alone unit.

Roaches are not as common in the late game since they have a relatively high supply cost. While Roaches are great before Zerg players max out, they become less and less effective in 200/200 vs 200/200 battles.

Protoss Roach Counter

Protoss players have an easy time countering the Roach thanks to the Immortal. Roaches are also very vulnerable to good Force Field micro. As a result, Roaches are rarely used against Protoss players except as an emergency defense against early timing attacks before the Zerg has enough time to get up to Hydralisk, Swarm Host, or Spire tech. Here are the best ways to counter the Roach as Protoss:

  • Immortal: The Immortal is a true hard counter to the Roach. Just make sure you actually focus-fire the Roach with the Immortal. Do not let the Immortal waste its shots on Zerglings.
  • Sentry: Sentries do not directly counter the Roach, but Roaches are really vulnerable to Force Field. Since the Roach only has a range of 4, it can be easily pinned in a position where a longer range unit like the Immortal can hit it while the Roach cannot hit back.
  • Archon: Archons are good against the Roach, but you have to be careful about being cost effective. The Archon is a lot more expensive than 2 Roaches, so trading Archons for Roaches is not always good for the Protoss player.
  • Colossi: Colossi are excellent units to use against mass Roaches. The larger the armies, the better the Colossus gets. Use Sentries for Force Field or Zealots to help tank for the Colossus for best results.
  • Blink Stalkers: With perfect Blink micro, Stalkers will actually counter the Roach. While Stalkers do okay against the Roach without Blink, the fact that Stalkers are so much more expensive than the Roach means you cannot simply attack-move with the Stalker and hope to do well against the Roach.

Additionally, air units can be used against the Roach. Void Rays and Phoenix are the popular choices. Phoenix are actually not very strong against the Roach, but when the Phoenix have a big numbers advantage, they can pick up lone Roaches. Large Phoenix numbers are common in 3-Gate/1-Stargate builds, so I figured I would include it here.

Terran Roach Counter

Terran players have a lot of great Roach counters, but Roaches can still be successfully used against Terran. The biggest Terran Roach weakness is early in the game if the Terran has focused heavily on expanding and lacks the ability to get out Marauders or Siege Tanks. Marines and Bunkers alone do not work well versus the Roach. Here are the counters that do work against the Roach:

  • Marauder: Marauders destroy Roaches. Mass Roaches do not stand a chance against Marauders. Also, if you are feeling vulnerable to a Roach bust, try to get out a couple Marauders. Two Marauders in a Bunker can take down quite a large Roach army.
  • Siege Tank: Siege Tanks destroy Roaches. Even in tank mode, Siege Tanks can use their regular attack to deal a significant amount of damage to enemy Roaches. As usual, Siege Tanks work best when they have units in front like the Hellbat to absorb damage for them.
  • Thor (supply only or upgrade advantage): Supply for supply, Thors do well against the Roach. On a cost basis, Thors are not particularly strong against the Roach. If Thor weapons reach +3 before Roach armor upgrades reach +2, the Thor become a strong counter to the Roach. This happens surprisingly often since Terran armory upgrades are easier to get than Zerg upgrades.

While technically Roaches cannot hit back against Terran air units, Roaches can also ignore Terran air units for some time while focusing on damaging buildings and destroying workers.

Zerg Roach Counter

The Zerg do not have many good Roach counters.

  • Roach: The easiest way to counter enemy Roaches is with Roaches of your own. This is the only low tech option for dealing with enemy Roaches. Zerglings, Banelings, and Queens do not do well against Roaches.
  • Hydralisk/Roach: Once you go up to tier 2, you can counter enemy Roaches by backing up your Roaches with Hydralisks. Hydralisks have high DPS, so if they use Roaches as a tanking unit, they can safely blast away at enemy Roaches. Hydralisks alone do not perform well against Roaches when you consider the cost difference.
  • Infestor/Roach: Infestors can use Fungal Growth to help add extra DPS. If you have 50 Roaches and 5 Infestors versus an enemy with 55 Roaches, you can use Fungal Growth to turn the battle in your favor. Enemy Roaches need to be tightly packed for the damage to add up.
  • Ultralisk: Ultralisks are the only true ground-based counter to the Roach. Most ZvZs do not last long enough for Ultralisks to be an option though.
  • Brood Lord: Brood Lords are a counter to any ground unit. Roaches may try to avoid Brood Lords though, particularly if you float your Brood Lords out into the center of the map.

Mutalisks have very little DPS and cannot counter the Roach unless the Mutalisk count is very high. Roaches can ignore Mutalisks and rush down the enemy Zerg's base in equal number.

Roach Counter Video Guide

The video guide demonstrates all these Roach counters in action. All the counters listed on this page are shown in the video.

The video guide also demonstrates micro tricks you can use to help counter the Roach, such as using Force Fields to push the Roaches away.


Never forget that Roaches are very cheap. You cannot consider 10 unmicroed Stalkers a counter to 10 enemy Roaches when the Roaches are almost half the cost of the Stalker from a resource perspective.

Click Here to Get The Osiris Method