The Core (a.k.a. Palace) is the ultimate objective on each map. There is one for each team, and to win the match the opposing team's core must be destroyed.
Each core is located in its own area at the start point for each team. It typically has a high number of hit points and also spawns minions. Cores fire on enemies, dealing splash damage. Their health scales throughout the game. Cores also have a shield that equals to 50% of the core's maximum health. If damaged, those shields will regenerate at 100 per second if the core does not take any damage after 8 seconds; therefore, if the shields are completely depleted, it will take 70 seconds for them to fully regenerate. The top of the screen displays both health (in percentage) and shields for both teams throughout the match.
Some specific maps, namely Towers of Doom and Hanamura, have different stats than the usual. In both the aforementioned maps, the cores have greatly reduced health and cannot be damaged by conventional means (having the permanent "Protected" status) except for the respective map mechanics (capturing towers and escorting payloads).
- (Patch November 14, 2017) Note: Notifications that indicate when the allied Core is under attack have been made more apparent.
- (Patch January 24, 2017) Note: Fixed an issue in which the Core could continue to reveal enemy Stealth Heroes in a small radius outside its intended reveal range.
- (Patch October 18, 2016) Note: Core attacks have received update visual effects in order to better visually indicate that they deal splash damage.
- (Patch September 13, 2016) Note: Fixed a bug in which Shield impact effects on the Core were not displaying when struck by some Abilities.
- (Patch July 12, 2016) Note: Victory determination is now much more precise in situations where both Cores are destroyed within fractions of a second. As a result, Victory will no longer be decided at random in cases where it appears that both Cores are destroyed at the same moment.
- (Patch February 2, 2016) Note: Cores are now each surrounded by a set of floating shields to better indicate when they are invulnerable.; Health bars above Cores will now clearly indicate when that Core is invulnerable.; Cores will now display an “Invulnerable” message if attacked by an enemy when no allied Keeps have been destroyed.
- 2014-01-31, Heroes of the Storm with Day9 and Dustin Browder (Full Game Cast). YouTube, accessed on 2014-06-11
- 2014-07-24, Heroes of the Storm Technical Alpha Patch Notes build 0.5.0.31360. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2014-08-06