In the Predator Series we find out that the Predator species are hunters. They search for the most worthy prey, hunt them, kill them and collect them as trophies.

A Predator's "trophy" collection from *Predator 2*
image src: What are the other alien skulls in the Predator trophy case?

What I'm interested in is, what makes humans worthy of the hunt?

In my opinion, we're weak (compared to the Predators), frail and not really much of a fight. Our only advantage is our brains (tactics), technology (including weaponry [warning: NSFW]) and our plot armour. Are those what make us worthy of hunting? Or do the Predators see something else in us which makes us worthy?

In Predator (1987) it could be said that they were just checking the place out. However they happened to come across one of our finest human specimens, Major Alan "Dutch" Shaeffer:

Arnold Swharzenegger as Major Alan "Dutch" Shaeffer from Predator (1987)
Image src: http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/avp/images/3/3d/Dutch.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20101118172113

who was a truly extreme case of human, which happened to take one of them down. But we're not all Arnold.

In Predator 2, it can be said that we took that Predator down using our tactics and our strength in numbers (as well as our big guns).

In almost every single case of 1v1 fights against a Predator and a human, the Predator wins decisively. So as a single unit, we're not much of a fight or worthy of being hunted.

  • 3
    From the novelisation "The predator leaned closer to the screen, studying the final image of this creature, dressed in camouflage and heavily armed with weapons strange in appearance but familiar in function and deadliness. Here was a creature modified and trained for a single function—to kill—exactly the creature the predator sought, the challenge worthy of his own vast skill, a kindred spirit at last, a reason to exist."
    – Valorum
    Apr 11, 2016 at 22:54
  • 4
    @Richard So it's all Arnold's fault?
    – Möoz
    Apr 11, 2016 at 22:57
  • 2
    The implication is that the Predator was looking at images from Earth and came across pictures of soldiers. It then tooled around looking for some people who fit the description.
    – Valorum
    Apr 11, 2016 at 22:59
  • 11
    Well, they probably tried sharks first. And sharks were like, oh, humans are totally hunting us to extinction. Then they tried tigers. And tigers were like, oh, humans are totally wiping us out. Recently they tried the black rhino, but couldn't get to it before it got extinct. These guys probably don't like the situation any more than we do, but humans do kinda seem like the proper target here.
    – Misha R
    Apr 12, 2016 at 0:43
  • 7
    They detected Dillon and Dutch's handshake from orbit: youtube.com/watch?v=VgPwXlTRuHs
    – Liesmith
    Apr 12, 2016 at 4:59

4 Answers 4


The reason why Predators think that humans are worthy opponents, is probably due to our resilience, and our weapons can actually hurt them, so it makes it even more prideful for the predators when they are able to kill us, it is an honor thing, they hunt us the same reason they hunt aliens, for bragging rights, and to prove themselves. If you have seen the first Predator movie, you know that they don't attack humans unless they have weapons, making it obvious that they do it for pride, and they have some sense of honor. So in conclusion they hunt us, because of our will to live, if we pick up a weapon to defend ourselves that is our will to survive, and when a Predator sees that, they want to show their power by taking parts of us as trophies.

  • if this question is your answer could you click the check mark by the answer?
    – Fox-Chan
    May 18, 2016 at 14:18

Why a worthy hunt? Individuality.

This echos in the famous lines at the end of the first movie:

Dutch: "What the hell are you."

The Predator: "Whaat, th' 'ell, ar' 'oou."

Weapons mean nothing in the end. Only those with unique minds--independent of their species instincts--make weapons useful.

See MacGyver and what ingenious things he creates from mundane materials. MacGyver would be a Hunter's ultimate choice.

Furthing that point: The Predator removed his weaponry before Dutch, because he clearly wanted a challenge. Not by removing his weapon, but by leveling himself to Dutch's level, so their individual minds now become the weapons. And Dutch does not disappoint; with all the various traps he set, that also bested The Predator in the very end.

This relates to the short story The Most Dangerous Game. And why this game is so dangerous.

Also, Predators takes the iconic lines from the first movie as blueprints when creating the Human characters for the hunting reserve's best stock.

Most of the action in that movie relied on each character's unique mindset, forged over their lifetime. Some of the Humans' actions went against what some of the Predators assumed would be the outcome; if said Predators only considered Human instinct and not sentient intelligence.

The character "Edwin" points to this. He had no big weapons, seemingly no sort of indication in his dress and demeanor--even sometimes anxious-- that may have suggested a hard past the others endured through war and crime. He was an "average Human stock" upper-blue-collar MD. Some may have wondered why he was picked to be included among all these hardened others.

He was a psychotic serial killer; paralyzing Isabel via neurotoxin and suggesting this as offering to the Super Predator. All executed by pure cunning. The physical weapon? A pocketed scalpel; as weapon of choice in his past murders. He slices Isabel with it and delivers the neurotoxin as intended.

  • Wait, there’s a “Super Predator” in the Predator movies?
    – Adamant
    Jan 23, 2018 at 4:42

Based on what we've actually seen the predators hunt in the movie series, they don't have a lot of prey choices available to them, there's humans, each other, and the unknown quadrupeds in the movie Predators. Even if you include the AVP Franchise, which many refuse to, they only have four choices of prey total and one of those, the xenomorph, is more of challenge than they really want many times. I would suggest that humans aren't so much a major challenge as dangerous enough for good sport without being too deadly, and there are lots and lots of us to go around.


Cultural Exchange & Integration

I think humans hold a special fascination for them because we're humanoids, or rather from a Predator's perspective we're "predatoids", we could be one of the few if not the only species of tool using bipeds they've encountered. Humans upon encountering a less developed species of humanoids would tend to exploit and/or integrate them into our society, maybe wipe them out if they proved a threat to us somehow. Predators however have an alien mindset/culture, to them hunting us and/or involving us in their hunts could be them lording their superiority over use or it could be them grooming us to be more like them, as brutal as it may be this might be what they consider acceptance and cultural exchange.

"That human just stabbed me with a faeces covered punji stick, how delightfully quaint"

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