The Transformers universe is massive and full of memorable robots that we can all get attached to. However, when it comes to how many of these living machines there are, it's much more than what meets the eye. The factions of the Cybertronians go beyond just Autobots versus Decepticons. Within those two classes are many more different factions of the Transformers. From the Maximals to the Dinobots, there's always something else to break up the pace of mere good versus evil.
One of the more unique factions is the Predacon faction. Predacons are powerful Transformers who can change into animals as opposed to trucks, planes, and tanks. This not only alters their battle strategy, but how they function as well. The Predacons are easy to spot and stick out among the crowd as a result. Either way, they're far from what's expected from these powerful robots.
Over the years, the Predacons have appeared in multiple Transformers related media, and have had some little tweaks in each iteration. However, the gist of who they are still remains intact, and it'd be best if you kept your distance when dealing with these feral robots. They tend to be quite temperamental.
If you're on the menu, they'll hunt you down. They aren't clearly Autobots or Decepticons, but they're just as powerful either way. Here are 15 deadly facts you didn't know about the Predacons.
15 They often side with Decepticons
The Predacons are often presented as a subgroup of the Decepticons. Unfortunately, their instinctive nature leads them to the side of Megatron as opposed to Optimus Prime. In some iterations of Transformers, the Predacons have even served as some of the first Decepticons, being the personal bodyguards for Megatron. No matter what their overall purpose is, it's clear that they love being bad and will continue in their ways for as long as the franchise continues. The Predacons are also a useful asset to Megatron and the other Decepticons, because of their unique strength and agility powers. They rely more on physical power rather than an impressive arsenal.
14 Built by Decepticons and Quintessons
Many different origins to the Predacons and exist, and what you understand largely stands on which continuity you follow. That having been said, there is a timeline where they were created through a combined effort of the Decepticons and the Quintessons. The Quintessons are an interesting and mysterious race of beings that, while neither Autobot nor Decepticon, usually have selfish intentions when doing anything. They allied themselves with Megatron in order to create the powerful Predacons, which raises the hairs on the back of my neck. After the Predacons were created and moving around the universe, they did obey the Decepticon leader, but because the Quintessons had more weight in their creation, they tended to follow orders from them even more. This raises more questions as far as the purpose of the Predacons goes, but it's clear that whatever they're up to it isn't good. The Quintessons themselves rebelled against Cybertron and established their own psycho planet because of it. Perhaps the creation of the Predacons was their way of bringing destruction to the world they once resided in. Whatever the case, it seems that Megatron is none the wiser, as he accepted their help and continuously uses the Predacons to get him out of a sticky situation.
13 They act on instinct
As stated earlier, the differences of the Predacons go beyond just transforming into animals. These robots actually have a much more wild and instinctive personality similar to the animals they transform into. Most of them value the rush of the hunt and will talk using teeth and claws rather than diplomatic words and political agendas. Even when it comes to food they will often fight one another to get the biggest share of the pile. While this can be a bad thing, it does yield some effective results when battling Autobots. Because they're very instinctive, they can hunt any target very well and rarely stop when giving chase. The Predacons also fight up close better than most of their opponents do because they're able to sense incoming attacks. Still, this instinctive approach does leave Megatron frustrated on some occasions. When he needs a proper, organized mission done, the Predacons aren't the best choice for the job. Besides, they perform the best when they're going after something they want, or doing something that they believe in. If there's a good meal in it for them afterward, that helps too.
12 Rivalry with Dinobots
Because of the power of the Predacons, they often went up against opponents that they could take out with ease. That includes the times they battle both Optimus Prime and Megatron. Because of this, they spent a lot of time searching for an enemy who was worth the time and effort. Eventually, they came across the Dinobots, who generally worked alongside the Autobots. It wasn't long before many brutal fights ensued, and the Predacons got their wish. The Dinobots, in many ways, are equivalent to the Predacons in size, power, and instinct. Further peppering this conflict is that Divebomb (a Predacon) and Swoop (a Dinobot) had a long, unkind history.
11 Betrayed Megatron
This is another one of those entries that is specific to a different continuity in the series. This one comes from the Marvel Comics adaptation of Transformers. Megatron was having a hard time finding Optimus Prime, so he sent for the Predacons to come to Earth, knowing that they would be able to get the job done. When they began their mission, they were approached by the Decepticon Shockwave. Those that know anything about him know that he often times tries to usurp Megatron's position, and that's what he attempted with the Predacons (due to the Decepticon leader going insane at the time). He skillfully persuaded the Predacons to turn on Megatron rather than hunt Optimus Prime, which they agreed to. They became excited with this hunt, believing that Megatron would be a great test of their skills and impressive feat if they succeeded in bringing him down. They then convinced Megatron that they were Autobots, and brought him down with relative ease. This feeds into the idea that the Predacons don't clearly align themselves with one faction or the other. They will always be instinctive creatures, and the fact that they were willing to betray Megatron is proof of that.
10 Second to the Thirteen
While the Predacons are often portrayed as subordinates to the Decepticons, the Prime series depicted them in a much different light. They were much stronger in this series than they had been previously, and that was because they were some of the most ancient beings on Cybertron. Not only were they the the most ancient, their power was second only to the original Thirteen created by Primus. Now that's what I call kings of the jungle! The Predacons were impressive and brutal individuals who decided to steal the Energon from other Transformers rather than acquire it themselves. The Predacons were feared among Cybertron as a result.
Going forward in the Prime series, the Predacons would often be spoken about in legend. They had even appeared on Earth as powerful beings that spawned many stories and myths that humans recognize in the present day. The Predacons were used in the series as a huge plot point and a source of fear for many of our favorite characters. They've always been strong and scary in other versions of Transformers, but never to the extent that they were in the Prime continuity.
Perhaps the biggest reason why the Predacons are so feared has nothing to do with who they are individually. It instead has more to do with how strong they are together. When the five original Predacons merge, they can form the combination of Predaking. Unlike the Devastator, Predaking functions in a unified fashion. Each respective Predacon all have a desire of the hunt and to get the job done. Because of this, Predaking is clear of mind and is the most effective hunter of all the Transformers. Many Autobots fear him because of how crazily powerful he really is. Wielding a massive sword, Predaking isn't afraid to get up close and personal with any of his victims. On top of being completely gigantic, Predaking can also transform into a dragon. Forget the Dinobots transforming into T-rexes and Triceratops, Predaking becomes a fire-breathing dragon.
8 Biggest Combination
Predaking is a powerful Transformer, but he sets more records than being the greatest hunter and most powerful combined form. Predaking is composed of five different Predacons who are all roughly the same size and can compete with standard Autobots and Decepticons. When put together, Predaking's size grows exponentially, and it would be quite a challenge to merely look him in the eye. Due to this, Predaking is easily the biggest combination there is. This was especially apparent when he was released as a toy in the 80s. The only way to get him was by purchasing the five separate Predacons then connecting them together to form the dragon giant himself. Predaking towers over most Transformers and is incredibly cocky because of it. He loves putting those smaller than him in their place, and he shows no signs of stopping that anytime soon.
7 Planned to be Anibots
Like all good franchises, a lot of planning goes into the Transformers series. There were a lot of different ideas thrown around before they settled on Autobots and Decepticons. Likewise, there were many proposed ideas about the Predacons before they became what they are today. The most significant difference is what the plans originally were to call them. Instead of Predacons, the animalistic Transformers were instead set to be referred to as Anibots, according to an early script for the movie in 1986. What cements the fact that these Anibots were the Predacons was that they were a group of five robots who transformed into all of the same animals and combined to become an impressive robot dragon. It is unclear whether this factored to whether they would side with good or evil, but it's clear that what was intended was somewhat far from what we got. To this day, the Predacons also have different names in other countries. While it's not quite as silly as Anibots, they are known by the titles of Destrons, Animatrons, and Destronger. Those words don't flow off the tongue nearly as well as Predacon, but we'll give them props for making the effort.
6 They're Extinct
Another source of history from the Prime series, there was a tragedy that greatly affected the Predacons millions of years ago. Back when they were feared entities on Cybertron, stealing Energon and terrorizing anyone they could get near, something happened to the planet that rid the world of the Predacons. This disaster was known as the Great Cataclysm and it made the Predacons completely extinct. Going forward, this had a lot of effect on how the present day Transformers felt about them. Believing them to be extinct, it's clear that the Autobots feared the Predacons, but were relieved that they were a part of ancient Cybertronian history.
Unfortunately, as all good story plots go, the Predacons did find a way to come back (we'll get to that in a bit), which put the Autobots in a very dire situation for quite some time. After all, anytime you see a rampaging robot dragon come from the fabric of history, you'd be a little scared yourself.
5 Cloned by Shockwave
Backpedaling to the Great Cataclysm, it wiped the entire universe of all of the Predacons. Since then, they were stories of legend and history, depending on who was speaking. However, the Predacons weren't completely obliterated. Like the dinosaur remains we find today, so too were the Predacons fossilized for other explorers to find. Eventually, the remains were discovered by the Decepticon Shockwave. As a rule of thumb: any time he's involved, you can guarantee that something really bad is about to happen. Shockwave was able to find CNA samples from the remains (you know, like the DNA that exists in the real world) and worked tirelessly on them by conducting experiments. After long hours of hard work, Shockwave ended up succeeding in successfully cloning the Predacons. These impressive marvels of science were not only as capable as the originals that plagued ancient history, but they were actually more impressive. The original Predacons in Cybertron weren't able to transform, but Shockwave's clones learned how to do it. Shockwave then used the very same CNA to splice it and create hybrids between Predacons and actual Transformers. I'm not sure what his true angle was in doing that, but it was a terrifying move nonetheless.
4 Enemies of the Maximals
The Beast Wars series has always been one of the most fascinating aspects of the Transformers universe. While they adapted a different timeline and went for a different vibe, they still banked on the success of familiar characters to still bring in money and views. Instead of the Autobots, we were given the Maximals, who were descendants of the Autobots. These heroic robots were able to transform into animals using a combination of mechanic parts and organic material. They were definitely an interesting facet of the franchise, there's no doubt about that.
Instead of the Decepticons, the Maximals were also pitted against the Predacons. It was heavily theorized that this younger faction were the descendants of the original Predacons or the Decepticons themselves, and there is evidence supporting both. The Predacons became villains because they were often lower on the food chain than the Maximals, and this caused them to hold a very long lasting grudge. Since then, the Predacons became the clear villains of the Beast Wars series. The only sad thing about them this time around is that they aren't nearly as impressive as the originals and/or the brutal combination of Predaking.
3 Pick fights with bigger foes
Because of their instinctive nature, the Predacons have an innate desire to be the most powerful robots in disguise. Due to this desire, they have a tendency to pick fights with strong opponents purposely to prove their superiority and give themselves a "worthy" challenge. Unfortunately for them, this often puts them face to face with much stronger opponents. The Autobots themselves have made quick work of the Predacons from time to time, and losses like that can discourage them.
When they form the terrifying Predaking, they then believe that they can take on just about anyone. Because of his sheer strength, he actually called upon to deal with much stronger foes. Unfortunately, like the Predacons that form his body, even Predaking falls to the bigger opponents. In every iteration of the series, the Predacons still feel that they can take on just about anyone. Think back to my mentioning of Predaking's fight with the heroic Prima. He didn't win that fight either. Despite this, the Predacons refuse to back down from a fight and will still pick on more powerful opponents just to prove a point that isn't always proven in the end.
2 They were once Decepticon Warlords
Here is another example of a fascinating piece of history from the Predacons. In the Dreamwave Generation One continuity, the Predacons were actually a group of amazing Decepticon warlords who were exiled from Cybertron and resided on the planet called Beest. It was there that the warlords had to revert to much more primal instincts in order to survive, and this changed them from the inside out. It became so severe that many of their more advanced function actually broke down and became useless. After they had adapted to the planet itself, they went unnoticed for many long years. By the time Megatron went looking for them, they were mere shadows of their former selves. Still, the Decepticon leader knew that he could tap into their potential and former status as warlords. He took all of them to a station where he tore them apart and rebuilt them as the Predacons with the ability to form Predaking.
This turned out to be an interesting take on the Predacons, but one that wouldn't be as well remembered as some of the other origin stories mentioned here. I personally like the idea of them once being warlords- it makes Predaking all the more threatening.
1 Could Have Created the Decepticons
While it's often portrayed that the Predacons were an offshoot of the Decepticons, sometimes they are portrayed as the predecessor and even creators of the villainous Transformers. While it's unclear how exactly they managed it, it's clear that the Predacons have a natural hatred for order and authority. Because of this, it's easy to believe that they might have rebelled against Cybertron and began building their own army to establish war. This isn't an unknown prospect in terms of the entire series and would give an interesting twist in terms of the villain development.
Because the Predacons are so powerful and have even predated the Decepticons at times, this only makes sense. It doesn't always add up when Megatron can bring beings more powerful than himself into his army. While this idea hasn't been explored greatly, there is ample reasoning and information that we can infer from. The Predacons have created the Decepticons in other timelines, and if this is something that gets put into the live action Transformers series, we wouldn't complain. Anything to rescue that franchise is fine by us.
Sources: Wikipedia, Hasbro