Predator (1987) spawned an iconic movie franchise—plus an entire crossover universe with the Alien franchise—that explores the lore of the extraterrestrial Yautja race (initially known as "Hunters").
From their hunting season customs to the hierarchy of their homelands, there's a lot more to them than we see at first glance.
The Predator films might have their ups and downs, with many written off by critics for poorly crafted narratives. Yet, even so, the Yautja remain fascinating from a lore perspective, and they never fail to inject thrilling tension into action-packed scenes.
One thing the franchise does well is to make each Yautja its own character. No two Predators are the same, as they have their own motivations, abilities, and hunting strategies.
Sure, the Yautja characters aren't individually named—likely due to the language barrier—but we can distinguish them through their different designs, characteristics, and behaviors.
And with that, here's our ranking of the different Yautja from the Predator franchise and how they stand out.
8. The City Hunter (Predator 2)
Here we have the Predator who operated in the city of Los Angeles, earning him the name "City Hunter." He scored several kills among drug dealer groups, which got the attention of a police officer.
Though he was a truly merciless killer like other Predators, he still follows the Yautja race's code of honor, as seen when he spares the lives of a pregnant woman and the baby she carries.
7. The Berserker Predator (Predators)
In Predators (2010), we're introduced to three main Yautja characters: Berserker, Tracker, and Falconer. Unlike past Predators, these three were larger and stronger due to them being Super Predators.
Berserker stands as the leader of the squad and has a not-so-common way of getting his trophies: he brings those whom he deems worthy to a "game preserve," then hunts them down as if it's hunting season.
To add to his ruthlessness, the Berserker Predator also hunts down his own kin, as shown by the remains of several other Predators and a tied-up Yautja in his lair.
6. Scar (Alien vs. Predator)
The cinema franchise crossover event Alien vs. Predator (2004) featured a Yautja ritual that had young Predators turning into "blooded hunters" after getting their first Xenomorph kill.
Scar, along with two other Predators, participated in the ritual and was the only one from the group who became a Blooded Yautja.
However, he worked together with a human (Lex Woods) to wipe out the Xenomorph hive—and then let her live. He even gave Lex a weapon made from the carcass of the fallen Xenomorph.
Scar easily killed his first Xenomorph, but he was then impregnated by the facehugger after he removed his headgear to mark his turning into a Blooded Yautja. Rookie move, Scar.
5. The Feral Predator (Prey)
The film Prey (2022) took a new turn in the Predator story, featuring a Yautja who had unique characteristics far different from the others we've seen—its physical features, its headgear, its hunting style, and more.
If the Predators of the early films were modern combatants, the Yautja in Prey was a primitive hunter who relied on raw strength with a little bit of Yautja technology (e.g. a cloaking device).
Though his prey weren't equipped that well, we were still treated to lots of interesting scenes and badass kills.
4. The Fugitive Predator (The Predator)
The Fugitive Predator was an unusual Yautja, as he went to Earth not as a hunter but to gift the human race something to use against a Predator Invasion: the Predator Killer armor.
What makes him rank this highly on our list is that he has human DNA in him. As it turns out, the human race has a deep connection with the Yautja race, and the Predators love hunting humans because the people of Earth have outsmarted them time and again.
While other Predators mainly rely on their cool helmets, the Fugitive Predator can perform interesting feats without his headgear, like voice recognition and mimicry (used to unlock a voice password).
It all goes to paint the Fugitive Predator as an improved Yautja, one who's proven himself deadly even without advanced technology.
3. Wolf (Alien vs. Predator: Requiem)
Wolf is a seasoned hunter, as shown by the many helmets that adorn the walls of his lair, plus the many weapons he has (including a whip made out of a Xenomorph's tail).
His hunting history is cemented in the little details, like how he has a missing upper-left fang and an acid-burned face—the scars of past battles that point to his victories.
Wolf went to Earth to answer a distress signal from the ship where Scar's Xenomorph hybrid emerged. He put up a good fight and killed a ton of them, including the Xenomorph-Predator hybrid, the Predalien.
2. The Upgrade Predator (The Predator)
Much like the Fugitive Predator, the Upgrade Predator is an even stronger Yautja. He's able to tank almost all of the firepower and weaponry that's thrown at him, thanks to his exoskeleton.
Aside from that defense mechanism, the Upgrade Predator also has no need for the iconic Predator helmet.
We learn in The Predator (2018) that there were bizarre experiments, modifications, and hybridizations performed on him to keep the Yautja race on top of the galactic food chain.
1. The Jungle Hunter (Predator)
The first Predator introduced, way back in 1987 with Predator, tops our list as the best Yautja of all time.
Known as the Jungle Hunter, he may not be as huge as the Super Predators and he may not have the kill count of other more brutal Predators, but his iconic appearance started the Predator craze!
What makes the Jungle Hunter so badass is how he smartly hunts down the big bad warriors (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and the gang), ratcheting up the action-packed scenes into legendary territory.