In Starcraft II there are certain spots on the map where Zerg players like to hide Overlords. I imagine that they are on higher level just as the main base is usually on a higher level than the natural expension on most maps. How does the mechanic work? It is clear that any ground unit can't see anything above its level (units that are on the high ground of a ramp), but does that still apply to air units or are those spots special and have therefore special rules?

2 Answers 2


In Starcraft 2, ground units can only see things on elevations equal or lesser to the elevation they are themselves. Air units can see things regardless of elevation.

An air unit, like an overlord, above one of those pillars is on an elevation greater than the elevation of any nearby ground units. Since there is usually no nearby location that is equal or higher elevation to the pillars, the only way to see the air unit is to bring another air unit nearby.

These pillars are just small areas of higher elevation. They're also impassible to ground units, so you can't plop down a siege tank up there. They have no other special rules.

  • Makes sense. Thanks for your answer! Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 19:52

Think of a vertical column above those spots which is why you can't see the overlords. (Doesn't apply in real life, you can diagonally see the overlord in those spots, but in the context of Starcraft you cannot).

All units have a field of view on the plane they are on. If you have something obstructing your view on the low ground, that obstruction goes straight up as well. However if you have a flying unit of your own (or building as Terran), your flying unit provides the view above that obstruction thereby revealing it to your low ground units which makes it vulnerable to attack.

  • Dont really understand your explanation. The question is if those spots are simply on another level or not. Commented May 31, 2019 at 16:20
  • Think of you standing on the ground and trying to look at the second floor of a building from the outside. You can't see that high up. But if you had a telescope (flying building) that extended to the second floor you can see what's up there. Without the telescope(flying unit/building) all you can see is a wall.
    – Sorean
    Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 19:53
  • Then the same applies if my ground unit is on the bottom of a ramp. On top of the ramp is a flying unit. I can't see that in that case either? So those spots are really just on another level and don't have a special set of rules? Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 8:30
  • In your example, is the flying unit at the top of the ramp an enemy unit? If so then yes it's the same logic that applies to ramps. You can't see up the ramp to shoot at it because you don't have vision up the ramp. That wall goes straight up at the top of the ramp.
    – Sorean
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 16:08

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