Here is an overview of all Predator types and subspecies from the Predator movies, including the classic, elder, young blood, bad blood, super and the newly introduced hybrid Yautja types. Although the Predators are hard to classify, there still seems to be some distinct Yautja types based on rank, age, gender, subspecies, fighting style and clan affiliation. As a bonus, the more prominent Predator types from the expanded lore of comic books and games are also included. Overall, there are about ten Predator types from the movies and several dozen from the expanded lore.
The classic Predator is the most well-known Predator type. They prefer to use fewer weapons than other types, resort to little armor and choose to mostly hunt humans in the hot climate. They usually only use the shoulder cannon and wrist blades. The Jungle Hunter is the most famous classic Predator, but the classic Predator also shows up in Predators (bound to tree) and several comics, notably Predator: Big Game.
Lost Tribe Predator
The Lost Tribe Predators were a type of Predators who hunted together in Los Angeles in the late 90ties. They had darker skin than the Classic Predators and liked to use different types of weapons to hunt their human prey. Their weapons included the disc, speargun and combi-stick. They were also more reckless and left some of their weapons behind for humans to find and use. The Lost Tribe Predators left Earth in their ship in 1997 to an unknown location and their future in the Predator timeline is unknown. The Lost Tribe Predators showed up only in Predator 2.
Smallest Predator Type: Yautja Youngling
Predator babies and toddlers are called sucklings and they spend their first years together with their mother and siblings. Their first step in the Predator rank hierarchy is becoming younglings when Predator children reach their early teens. Although there are some small Predators as well (Shorty from AvP: War), the Younglings are the smallest Yautja type. Younglings still stay close to their family and clans, but already start to train for hunts and combat. They are observant and respect their elders, although some can become rebellious and aggressive. Similar to the physiology of human teens, they have short dreadlocks, smaller height and lean bodies. They are not given any armor yet and only use simple weapons for training.
Young Blood Predator
The young blood Predators are juvenile Predators who have not been blooded yet. This means they have not participated in an official hunt to gain them a blooded status. Usually, on this hunt the Xenomorphs are being hunted. Although inexperienced, the Young Bloods use a multitude of different weapons, but are more focused on their melee capabilities. This is most likely to bring fourth a challenging hunt. Often, the young blood Predators are killed on their first hunt like happened in Antarctica in 2004 in the events of the Alien vs. Predator movie. Of the three young bloods Celtic and Chopper were killed outright by Xenomorphs while Scar managed to last a bit longer.
The next step for the Young Bloods in the Predator rank hierarchy is to become blooded. In most Yautja clans, this is achieved by hunting and killing a Xenomorph and marking oneself and the bio-mask with a clan symbol written with Alien acid. Being more capable than his two brothers in the first AvP movie, only Scar managed to kill a Xenomorph and blood himself with a finger of a Xenomorph. The blooded rank is perhaps one the most common and is sometimes given to humans as well.
Elite Predators are experienced hunters who have not reached the elder status. They are blooded warriors who have many trophies and have gone on many hunts usually on different planets. When needed, they are sent on special missions like saving and teaching Young Bloods, clearing out Alien infestations or stopping Predator tech from falling into the wrong hands. Notable elite Predators are Wolf from Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem and Dark from Aliens vs. Predator 2010 the video game.
The elder Predator is a leader of a tribe or a clan of Predators. They are centuries old and have endured several hunts and gained many trophies. Generally more wise than their young companions, they choose to stay in the background and evaluate on the hunt in the end. The first elder Predator shows up in the end of Predator 2 and another in the finale of Alien vs. Predator. Both elders must witness the death of a younger Predator and give the surviving human a trophy.
The super Predators are different subspecies of Yautja who are physically stronger and more vicious than the regular Predators. They have red eyes and more reptilian appearance. Their dreadlocks are more swept back and their face is longer than the regular Predators. When hunting, the super predators tend to use traps and Hell-Hounds to flush out their prey. 3 super Predators - Berserker, Tracker and Falconer hunted on the Game Preserve planet in the Predators movie and were all killed by humans.
It is not clear if the Fugitive Predator can be considered a new Yautja type. He could have easily been an Elite Predator who turned into a Bad Blood and became wanted by the Assassin Predators. However, as explained in the expanded Yautja lore, there were others like him who share the same armor, motivations, and spliced DNA which make them unique to other types. The prequel book Predator: Hunters and Hunted contained another Fugitive who left his mask with Stargazer, which was picked up later by the Yautja in the movie. More fugitives showed up in the Archie vs. Predator II comic series, where they again had a feud with the assassins. The Fugitive is also a playable Predator type in Predator: Hunting Grounds where it was released as a DLC. Finally, there are the Emissary Predators, who share the same masks but chose to wear human military-styled armor.
The Assassin Predators (also known as hybrid Predators) are a group of Predators who genetically enhance themselves from species on several planets, including Earth. This is one of the physically biggest types of Predator, even bigger than the super Predators and about the same size as the black goo infected Predators. They are dispatched to hunt down other Predators as happened in The Predator, where a lone Assassin was sent to kill the Fugitive Predator and did so with relative ease. The Assassins employ Predator dogs in their hunts who help to track down their prey.
Feral Predator is the latest Predator type from the movies and it will appear in the upcoming Predator: Prey. According to director Dan Trachtenberg, this new Predator is from different hemisphere of the Predator Homeworld and a little bit of a different breed. While recent Predator movies have gone with a biggest and strongest Predator route, the Feral Predator is slim and agile. He is also more tribal in nature, moving away from the metallic heavy-armored Predators from the AvP movies. The feral Predator wears a bone mask and uses a gauntlet shield, a piece of Predator equipment not seen before. It is also possible he will use the Predator bow, a weapon introduced in Predator: Hunting Grounds.
Bad Blood Predator
The bad blood Predators are a type of Predators who are disowned by their clansmen for breaking the rules or conducting something criminal. They are often mentally unstable and tend to kill anyone or anything in sight. A notable bad blood Predator killed his clan members, stole a spacecraft and escaped to Earth to hunt in the Pine Barrens. An enforcer Predator was sent to hunt him down, only to be killed by the bad blood Predator.
The enforcer Predators are basically the Predator police force. Instead of hunting humans or Aliens, they hunt down criminal Predators who have broken the rules. The enforcers are known for their white armor and spiky helmet. They tend to be focused on their mission and are not distracted by other hunting opportunities. A notable enforcer Predator appears in the Predator: Bad Blood comic, where he is finally killed by the bad blood Predator.
The ancient Predators are a type of Yautja who are several centuries, some even a millennia old. They have moved on the from the clan elder roles and are basically doing their own thing in retirement. The ancient Yautja are also referred to for wisdom and knowledge by the younger hunters. An ancient Predator appears in the Predator: Homeworld comic, where he kills some renegade Predators on Earth. There is also an ancient Yautja in Aliens vs. Predator 2: Primal Hunt video game, although his old age is partly due to being frozen in a stasis field for centuries.
Highest Predator Rank: Predator King
The Predator King is the highest rank of Yautja. It is a mysterious and rare Predator type that has only appeared in a few instances of Predator lore. While elders are the leaders of the clans, the king is a leader of dozens of clans hunting in one area of space. A version of the Predator King appeared in the Rage War trilogy, which included Kalakta, a thousand-year-old Predator who commanded the Predator race into battle against the Rage and their Xenomorphs. The King has often appeared in fan art and most recently as a statue by XM Studios.
Biggest Predator Variant: Infected Predator
The infected Predator is a type of Predator that is infected by the Black Goo produced by the Engineers. Although Predators are notoriously resilient towards viruses, the black goo mutates the Predator and makes him a mindless killing machine. The mutation makes the Predator physically bigger and stronger. What is more, the mutation is able to grow extra arms for the Predator. With the power of the mutation, this Predator type is able to defeat most opponents in unarmed combat, including Aliens. The infected Predator makes an appearance in the long-running Fire & Stone comic book series.
Earliest Yautja Type: Alpha Predator
The Alpha Predator was a legendary Yautja who can be considered to be the first hunter and one of the founders of the whole race. The Alpha lead a huge revolt against the insectoid Amengi race, a species that had enslaved the Yautja. He then decorated himself in the style of the Amengi, wearing a huge mask and bone armor. This unique Predator type appeared as a playable character in Predator: Hunting Grounds and NECA made an exclusive figure about the same time. Behind the scenes, the Alpha Predator design was inspired by the first Predator suit worn by Jean-Claude Van Damme.
The Exiled Predators were banished under mysterious circumstances to a small Pacific Island long ago. They had very limited technological capabilities, either because their gear was destroyed in the ship's crash or they were stripped of it. The group resorted to building their weapons, mask, and armor from the materials at hand, mostly from wood, bone, and rock. Starting with seven members, their population declined to 4 members during the years. Finally, when the Predator Hunters arrived and clashed with the Exiles, only one final Yautja remained. The Exiled Predators first showed up in the first and best Predator: Hunters comic line and later as a playable DLC in Predator: Hunting Grounds.
The Predators can also be classified by their fighting style and armor, which is how they were grouped in the Aliens vs. Predator 2 PC game. These classes were especially prominent in the multiplayer side of the game, where the player could choose their Predator type. Perhaps the most memorable of these was the Heavy Predator, essentially a Predator tank with lots of health but slow movement speed. This Predator also showed up in single-player, as a miniboss for both the Colonial Marine and Xenomorph campaigns, where it preferred to use melee weapons. The heavy Predator had a giant skull on its right shoulder and a smaller one in the groin area, which were trophies of unknown creatures.
Like with many other species, the Predators can be classified into two genders, male and female. The female Yautja are somewhat rare while most human and Xenomorph encounters have been with the male members of the species. The first prominent female Predator in the series was Big Mama from the AvP: Deadliest of the Species comic series. She was bigger than males and perhaps even more aggressive, having a strong maternal instinct to save her children. Later on, Predator: Hunting Grounds introduced several other female Predators, including customizable huntresses, the Valkyrie Predator, and the Cleopatra Predator. These females were leaner in size, but more agile and equally ferocious as males.
As mentioned previously, a human can be blooded as well, becoming a human Predator who can don Yautja gear and even a specially fitted bio-mask. The blooded humans would be reluctantly accepted into the Predator ranks and allowed to live together with other Yautja. However, this would stem some discord, especially in the lower ranks of Predators. Before his death, Scar marked Alexa Woods with a blooded mark on her cheek, as she successfully killed a Xenomorph in melee combat. However, Machiko Noguchi is perhaps the most famous blooded human, as she lived and hunted together with Predators for at least a year.
Alternate Predator Type: Emissary Predator
The Emissary Predators initially only existed in the alternate cut of The Predator, before the third act of the movie was dropped and changed to a more horror-themed one. Supposedly, two friends of the Fugitive Predator arrived on Earth and joined up with humans to fight the Assassin Predator. They were supplied with US army apparel and weapons and were even mounted on top an armored vehicle together with the Loonies. The Emissaries were most likely killed in the battle. They were later canonized by a NECA figure and a DLC pack for Predator: Hunting Grounds. The lore offered in the game was different from the alternate version of the movie, indicating that the Emissaries styled their armor to be similar to modern military combatants, to confuse and intimidate them.
Crossover Predator Type: Meta Predator
The Meta Predators are one of the most ridiculous Predator types from the Expanded Universe, appearing in one of the weirdest Predator crossover comics - JLA vs. Predator. In this story, a rogue Dominion geneticist spliced a clan of Predators with the abilities of the Justice League. Each Predator got a superpower from one of the Justice League members, including Superman and Plastic Man. There was even a Batman Predator, which makes no sense as Batman has no superpowers. The Meta Predators battled the JLA and lost their powers at the end, in a non-violent conclusion that is unlike other Predator stories.
Predator Subspecies: Hish-qu-Ten
The Hish-qu-Ten are the bottom of the list, and rightfully so. They are an uncanny off-shoot of the Yautja, but dumber and less-honorable than their regular Predator relatives. First introduced in the much-hated novel Predator: Forever Midnight, they were a clan that slaughtered unarmed women and children, changed their gender and random intervals, and had their "kill glands" triggered which set them into a mindless frenzy. The Hish were later retconned to be an ancestor species to the Yautja, as depicted in the backstory of the Alpha Predator from Predator: Hunting Grounds. The Hish-qu-Ten Predator variant also showed up in Mortal Kombat XL.
In conclusion, the Predator franchise features several types, subspecies and ranks of the Yautja, a race of extraterrestrial hunters who travel the universe to hunt challenging prey. The Predators can be categorized by various factors factors such as age, rank, gender, subspecies, fighting style, and clan affiliation. While some of these Predator types have only appeared in movies, others have been introduced through comic books and games. The Predator franchise continues to expand, with new types of Predators being introduced with each new installment, which can be both a curse and a blessing.