In many places related to StarCraft and World of Warcraft there is a number "54". Is it really just a part of the decoration, or it has a special, secret meaning?

Hilt of a sword with 54 on the end

A blown up image of part of a Command Center (Orbital Command)](http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Orbital_command)

A cropped Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty screenshot

A Bunker

Recoilless Rocket Ripper X-54

Below are a few links, mostly to discussions on the forums:

What does this number mean under my portrait?

Factory 54


Bunker 54

UPDATE: modified the question to address Blizzard games in general

  • 3
    People in that thread have guessed it's a reference to Blizzard's art team, which apparently calls itself "55", Though, I don't know if that's true, and even if it is, I don't see why they would use "54" instead of just "55" Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 4:59
  • Interesting mystery...
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 0:21
  • 1
    Note that it appears in other Blizzard games as well, for example the Recoilless Rocket Ripper X-54 in World of Warcraft.
    – hammar
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 4:18
  • 1
    Also, -1 for your use of machine-aided red circle drawing.
    – fredley
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 14:08
  • 1
    @ClarityForce Get up to speed on correct circle practices and avoid this in future!
    – fredley
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 14:12

5 Answers 5


One of the StarCraft art teams is referred to as "Team 54"


  • What time index on that video does he say "Team 54"?
    – Resorath
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 17:23
  • 5
    @Resorath 0:18, the video starts right there. -.-
    – Decency
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 0:07
  • Note that he states it as "Team Five Four", not "Team Fifty Four".
    – C. Ross
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 15:32

The rationale for inserting the number "54" on various Starcraft and Warcraft art assets has not been officially revealed by Blizzard. Historically, the company has been fond of using vague references, symbology, or spoofs to draw various reactions from its ever-excitable fanbase.

As linked in other answers, many fans have conjured up suspect or relatively feasible explanations, but Blizzard tends to neither confirm nor deny these possibilities. The instances of "54" are likely yet another example of this odd habit of Blizzard, and will likely never be fully explained. Unfortunately, this makes your request for an answer to pull from "credible and/or official sources" impossible.

  • Well judging for this, I belive you have the best answer =X +1
    – Michel
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 12:14
  • 2
    An interesting insight, but not really a canonical answer.
    – fredley
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 14:07
  • 2
    This correlates with Bungie Studio's obsession with the number seven...there's probably a reason, but I'm willing to bet most of the Blizzard employees themselves barely know or remember and do it as a running joke at this point.
    – Ketura
    Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 19:57
  • 1
    I'm sure it has to do with the chat gem. Press it 54 times to unlock the secret gem level.
    – user3658
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 18:53

According to Wikipedia, 54 means "Six by nine, the incorrect Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything". Which is a phrase from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

That answer appears to receive acceptance on Starcraft forums:
http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/375108203?page=3 and Wowhead community:

It's still just a speculation but it's rather highly probable to be the correct answer.

  • 7
    Just a sidenote, quoting Wikipedia: Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) was asked many times why he chose the number 42. He gave an answer on alt.fan.douglas-adams: It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do' I typed it out. End of story.
    – user12002
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 13:41
  • 3
    While it is an entertaining explanation (Hitchhiker's Guide = awesome), if you click through the links posted, you'll notice the "acceptance" being received is dubious at best. In the battle.net link, the user "Sixen" (an MVP on the forums) is clearly goading the other users into submitting and believing their own questionable guesses. On the Wowhead link, the submitted answer is only being supported by other uninformed users.
    – johnjon
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 21:01
  • 1
    From the looks of it, I would say "highly improbable," not "highly probable." Commented Mar 16, 2012 at 16:19

A good idea for answer from: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/375108203?page=4

The purpose of the number 54 under portraits is simple. It is to inspire curiosity.

A new player coming to the game will see this number and, over time, grow curious. They will wonder what this number means, what it signifies, how it relates to them and what advantage it might give them in the game. They will scour the user guide, the forums, and the internets in search of answers. In so doing, they will gain more knowledge of the game. Eventually they will cease searching for the "meaning of 54", but only after they have exhausted all fonts of information about Starcraft 2. At this point they will be heavily invested in the game and, in addition to being better players, will play it longer.

The number itself may or may not have some inner meaning to the employees who placed it there, but it will never have meaning for us. It is a symbol of the search for enlightenment, and a prod to those who would not seek such on their own.

  • 7
    He used this link as reference. I belive that he already saw this post from Josiwe Page 2 09-09-2010. But i agree, is a good posibility. I liked the: OK, so according to D. Adams "42" was the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question, "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?". 6x9 is "54" in base-10, but it's "42" in base-13 (4x13+2 = 54). So is "54" the 'right' answer (i.e., the base-10 version)? Or is "54" also in base-13, meaning the actual decimal value is 5x13+4... which is (wait for it) ..."69"? in the same post Page 2 by Ardaglash
    – Michel
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 4:15
  • Thanks for pointing that out! I did some research and it appears to be correct / highly probable!
    – user12002
    Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 14:00

E54 on bastion and 54 in other games is a reference to the director of overwatch's daughter, her minecraft handle being e54, as well as her battletag at some point however she changed it as she hated bastion as a character.

  • 1
    Do you have any source for that? Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 13:34
  • 2
    Please add source, because your response makes no sense in chronology of 54.
    – SHRLY
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 13:53

You must log in to answer this question.