From what I understand, the way Jaegers are supposed to work, 2 pilots use 100% identical movements to control the Jaeger's movement, which mimics pilots' moves.

However, the Chinese Jaeger has 3 pilots and 3 arms.

None of those pilots have 3 arms. And it's told that 1 pilot can't control a Jaeger (thus needing 2), so a 3rd pilot can't control the 3rd hand alone (and if he could, then it would be out of sync with other 2 hands).

How does this 3-person 3-arm control system work? (in-Universe explanation)

Hat/tip: CinemaSins

4 Answers 4


Drifting is a little confusing.

In both the movie and the novelization, it is stated that the minds of the pilots work in concert, sharing the neural load, but we repeatedly see each pilot acting independently at times.

The art book, "Pacific Rim: Man, Machines & Monsters" discusses the Wei triplets and Crimson Typhoon.

Once it was set that Crimson Typhoon would have three pilots, that Jaeger got three arms. "One of the brothers would be the weapons guy and the other two would be pilots in normal combat," says del Toro, "and then when it becomes the Thundercloud Formation, which is the three going at the same time, the three of them would have control."

Aside from this one quote, all of the materials indicate that all three brothers are sharing the neural load at all times during the Drifts. For example, this passage from the novelization:

The Wei triplets moved like they were one person. All Ranger pairs moved in unison while they were Drifting, but the quality of the Wei's handshake was different. Raleigh wondered what it was like. He'd had plenty of Drifts with his brother, but he and Yancy weren't identical. Seemed to Raleigh that the Weis must lose track of who was who... but maybe that was just because he didn't know what their Drift was like.

Unfortunately, none of the materials really goes into specifics regarding the Wei triplets or Crimson Typhoon. The closest thing we get is a dossier regarding Crimson Typhoon in the novelization discussing the fact that Crimson Typhoon was specifically built for the triplets.

Crimson Typhoon was specifically designed for the Wei triplets in mind, once Dr Lightcap had worked out the specifications for a triple neural-handshake and a three-layered Pons interface structure. The Weis and Crimson Typhoon are so closely identified with each other that it is doubtful any three other Rangers would be able to control Crimson Typhoon.

  • 7
    It can also be noted that the reason that Crimson Typhoon had three arms is actually because they couldn't find quadruplets. Del Toro initially wanted CT to have four arms, but they had to stick with three when they couldn't find anyone to fill the roles.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 17:45
  • From what I saw, the two pilots generally share control of the Jaeger, but have priority for one side over the other. There are numerous instances where one pilot goes out-of-sync with the other to use various other controls (like releasing Gypsy's coolant). I figure the 3 people for 3 arms has something to do with this.
    – KSmarts
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 17:07
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    If you need 2 people to let 2 arms move (2 people-arms per machine arm), isn't it simple math saying you need 3 people for 3 arms (still 2 people-arms per machine arm)?
    – Mast
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 18:37

My take, using only real-world robotics for reference;

It takes a load of calculations and minute adjustments to balance a bipedal robot (See Boston Dynamics). In order to balance a giant robot, the mech would likely to do all the calculations and balance, while the pilots just think about moving forward, letting the mechanics do the work.

Whereas weapon systems and arms are independent (again, balanced by the lower torso and legs by the computer), so the triplets could - in the handshake - all form a mental consensus to move forward or jump as a reaction, then have their way with each arm and other weapon system available to them independently.

Makes sense to me...


I believe that it’s some kind of advanced neural handshake that lets the guy in the back specially control the 3rd arm on his left instead of the actual left arm on the front.

  • 1
    When answering questions please don't give opinions. But other than that your answer is fine.
    – Gil-Galad
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 3:03

Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s like this. Each pilot works in synch to control most of CT's movements, while the two main pilots (Jin and Hu) each control one of the smaller right arms. So basically, Jin can control the right arm on the back while Hu can control the main right arm. The third pilot (Cheung) is then given control of equipment such as the jetpack and pivot waist.

  • I've rolled back your edit to remove the question from the end of your answer. If you have an additional question, please ask it in a question, not in an answer on another question. Thank you.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 9:06

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