Predators and Terminators will be compared in the area of weapons, special abilities, space travel versus time travel, and cultural considerations. The two groups will then be evaluated using different scenarios.
Terminators are programmed to use any weapon on present day Earth expertly. In addition, Terminator weapons from the future are far more powerful than weapons from the present. A Terminator armed with weapons from the future would have weapons that are equal if not superior to those of the Predators. If the Predator and Terminator are fighting in gladiatorial combat in the present then Terminators are limited to weapons of the present since they cannot bring weapons from the future. Predator weapon technology includes a plasma caster, combi-stick, smart disc, spear guns, laser nets, net gun, and wrist blades. Predator weapons technology is far superior the current human weapons technology. Predators win in the weapons category if fighting in the present.
Terminators are made out of a super tough metal and have super strength. Predators have super human strength compared to humans and can throw humans across a room and deliver powerful blows but probably could not hurt a Terminator in hand to hand combat. Terminators are far, far stronger than Predators.
Predators are far more agile than your average human. Terminators have not been shown to be especially agile and may even be less agile than your average human soldier. Predators are excellent climbers and like to take the high ground. In a natural environment the Predators will stay in the jungle/forest canopy and in an urban environment the Predators will favor roof tops. Terminators are made of metal and therefore very heavy. In many cases branches would not support their weight. Cables connecting buildings that the Predators could use to move from rooftop to rooftop would not generally support the weight of a Terminator. The high ground belongs to the Predators and this gives them a tactical advantage. Furthermore, the Predators do study their prey and would avoid fighting Terminators up close and would attack the Terminators from afar and thus negate the super strength of the Terminators.
In up close combat the Terminators would literally tear a Predator to pieces but the Predators would avoid this situation and their superior agility would mean they could climb up buildings or jungle trees and avoid the Terminators while shooting at the Terminators from a distance. A Terminator is so strong that a Terminator could pull down a medium sized tree roots and all. A Terminator does not have Superman type strength and could not tear down a building in order to get at the Predator. In an urban environment the Predator can easily stay out of the reach of a Terminator.
Predators use a type of camouflage that borders on invisibility. Terminators have optics that are superior to human vision and could probably easily tell where the Predator was and aim shots at the Predator with whatever firearm the Terminator had acquired. In Predator, Major Dutch Schaeffer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) masks his thermal signature by covering his body with mud. Terminators, minus skin, would not emit any sort of thermal signature in the first place. A Predator would have a harder time seeing a Terminator than a human.
Predators do not rely on body armor to provide protection from shots but rely on agility to avoid shots instead. Terminators are extremely skilled in the use of firearms and with their superior vision would probably be able to target a Predator much more effectively than a human and the Terminator would soon score some hits. Predators can survive more hits from firearms than a human but are not invulnerable. The bio helmet would presumably provide some protection from a head shot but the bio helmet is not necessarily indestructible.
The Terminators are far more durable than the Predators but their metal exoskeleton does have a fatal weakness. The Predator’s plasma caster could take down a Terminator from the high ground. The plasma caster seems to have some sort of very accurate built in targeting system so the lack of a Terminator heat signature would not be a problem for the Predator. The T-800 is made of a titanium alloy and titanium loses strength when heated to a temperature of 430 °C (806 °F). A plasma torch, made with present day human technology, generates a plasma arc that generates temperatures in the 25,000 °C. The T-850 and T-888 is made of coltan not titanium and more heat resistant but still vulnerable to heat. Predator technology is far superior to human technology so the plasma caster would probably destroy a Terminator even made from coltan.
The T-1000 is made of liquid metal but has been shown to melt. However, the T-1000 can reform after being melted! Melting a T-1000 is not enough to destroy a T-1000. The temperatures have to be huge, not a problem for a Predator, and exposure to high temperatures have to be maintained over a period of time. The Predator would have to maintain a continuous plasma burst. There is no evidence that a plasma caster can maintain a continuous beam and given the energy needed for this task, this is doubtful. Even if the beam was continuous then the Predator must move in and make sure the liquid metal could not reform by separating the liquid metal. The Predator could use its wrist blades to slash the liquid metal as it tries to reform but the T-1000 probably could reform faster than the Predator can destroy it and even reform before the Predator reaches it from the high ground.
Terminators do not tire! Terminators have a battery that can last 120 years. A Predator presumably has greater endurance than a human but is organic and will tire eventually. In any extended fight, the Terminator has an advantage. However, the Predator will have studied its prey and avoid extended combat with a Terminator. In one to one combat, a Predator would probably be able to defeat a T-800, T-850 or T-888 but not a T-1000.
Space Travel versus Time Travel
In a war between the Predators and the Terminators, as opposed to gladiatorial combat which Predators favor, the Predators could presumably bomb the surface of a planet from space although they have never done this before and it’s not their style at all. Predators have not been shown to have missile or bombing technology. Predators do have access to nuclear weapons that are small enough to be carried on their person. When Predators fought Aliens on Earth, they preferred to go to the surface and fight the Aliens one on one (Alien vs. Predator). Predators could nuke a Terminator world but would do this as a last resort and might take such a move too late.
The Terminators have time travel on their side and can go back and time and can change events key events in any war with the Predators so they would win in the end. Terminators have no compunction about using their time travel technology. Even if the Predators nuked a Terminator planet, the Terminators could go back to an event just before the nuclear attack and stop the attack or even cause the nukes to destroy the Predators.
Predators are lone hunters. Terminators are soldiers. Terminators do work as a team very effectively. Predators are loners. A team of Terminators would have no compunction about ganging up against a lone Predator and killing them one by one. In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a team of Predators hijacks raw materials and sets up a factory in order to make even more Terminators. Predators have in the past not asked for help from other Predators even when faced with death (Predator 2). Lions are more powerful than baboons but lions lose against a tribe of baboons because baboons work together. A team of Terminators would probably win against a team of Predators.
Predator technology has evolved very little over the centuries. Predators which killed Aliens thousands of years ago on Earth more or less used the same technology as they did in the present (Alien vs. Predator). Terminator technology is not static and evolves very, very quickly. Skynet was able to make weapons in the future to eliminate the resistance that were far ahead of the original human technology that it used to take over Earth. Skynet is an AI that can take apart existing technology and then create superior technology in a systematic manner.
If a Terminator was able to kill a Predator and give the body and weapons to Skynet then Skynet could probably make specialized Terminators specially designed to kill Predators. Some Predator technology like the plasma caster might be too advanced for Skynet to reverse engineer. However, the combi-stick, smart disc, spear guns, laser nets, net gun, and wrist blades could probably be reversed engineered by Skynet. Modified Terminators could use Predator technology against the Predators in a drawn out conflict. Predator weapons are made of a special metal that defies human classification. Presumably this metal is far more durable than any human made metal. Terminators made of the Predator metal might be invulnerable to the plasma caster! The Predators on the other hand would probably disdain making their own Terminators due to reasons of honor.
Predators can operate effectively in even Antarctic environments but seem to prefer tropical environments. Can Predators operate in Antarctic environments for extended periods of time? Terminators are not bothered by cold environments in the least.
Predators can breathe Earth’s atmosphere but seem to prefer using a breathing apparatus. Predators might be more vulnerable to a gas attack than even humans. Gas weapons would not work on Terminators at all. Radiation has very little effect on Terminators. Presumably radiation would be fatal to Predators even though the Predators might have more immunity than
1) In gladiatorial combat the Predators can defeat most Terminator models.
2) The Predator probably cannot defeat a T-1000.
3) In any sort of “war” between the Terminators and the Predators then the Terminators win.