From the many kinds of Terminators in the franchise, we learned that the T-800 were used for infiltration.

What exactly were the T-1000s used for?

From the Universal Studios promotion, it was shown that these HUGE spider liquid terminators were mainly for protecting the base, so one could say the last line of defense?

  • The T-1000 was an "advanced prototype" according to Big Arnie.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 17:35
  • @Richard: For what? Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 17:45
  • T-X was an anti-Terminator Terminator, so the T-1000 may have been a prototype for such a Terminator. Obviously the Resistance had started reprogramming T-800s by that point, so it would make sense for Skynet to have such a need. But the T-1000 was also used for infiltration.
    – Null
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 18:00
  • Would be a nightmare to have those things running around. I thought T-1000s were few and far in between the production of T-800s. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 18:03
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    For killing all humans; tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KillAllHumans
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 18:18

2 Answers 2


The T-1000 was a far better, infiltration and assault design than the T-800 making the earlier design obsolete from a production standpoint. Their overall durability eclipsed the T-800 and their mutability allowed them to, once they were able to get into a facility keep changing their appearance, destabilizing a facility due to hesitation. This meant more rebel facilities to be taken out with less effort on Skynet's part.

  • Though neither design could fool the enhanced senses of a dog, the T-1000 was far better at dispatching a dog silently. (metallic darts, spears, etc.)

  • Infiltration with the T-1000 was easier as well. Rather than having to pretend to be a wandering soldier or refugee with a particular face, like the T-800 had to do, the T-1000 could catch a soldier on an operation, torture him for a few minutes (to get his vocal parameters) feign injury and fall in line when the soldiers were on their way home. Gather a few more faces of people along the way and sneak past the defenses to a facility much greater ease.

  • The T-1000 took less damage, could withstand more damage, could repair themselves in the field longer and could be used to take out multiple facilities if they were able to stay embedded longer due to their ability to take on new forms.

  • The T-1000 was the gift that kept on giving. No worrying about pesky organic flesh going bad, no need to worry about upgrades, or software design errors causing slip ups which broke cover. If cover was broken, learn from the experience, get a new face and try again. This is the ultimate infiltration device, a device with a thousand faces and the reflexes of a human killing machine.

Given the range of effectiveness of the T-1000 unit, there must have been an overwhelming reason more of these units didn't see implementation. They were likely more resource intensive to create than an entire army of T-800s. Skynet may have only produced one and chose to send that one back in time, since in the early 21st century, it likely theorized there was no weaponry there capable of stopping it.

  • Yeah, but if you think about it, what would you hate coming at you, something solid or something liquid? Of course, when seeing all that we saw in Terminator 2; liquid metal had its advantages; however, it kept getting blown back every time it was shot. Then it had taken another 10 seconds just to recover. T-800, as observed in the Cyberdyne scene just plowed through the entire gauntlet of bullets without the slightest bit of hesitancy. The T-800 would get to you faster; although, without weapons, the T-1000 could probably get to you faster just by being stealthy and stealing appearances. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 18:32
  • @ArvinGBorkar I don't get your comment. T-1000 in the movie is portrayed as more dangerous than the T-800. It's not liquid, but liquid-at-will. When it matters it's very, very solid.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 19:01
  • 1
    @ArvinGBorkar Also, as a superb infiltration unit, its survivability is probably secondary. What matters is its chance to get to its intended target, which is higher than for a T-800 for the reasons Thaddeus outlined.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 19:03
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    I see it as the difference between a normal pistol and the Lawgivers used by Judges. Mission-variable weaponry makes all the difference in the world.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 20:04
  • Same answer as mine, if only I had articulated and expanded it more. Lesson learned. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 23:05

The purpose of the T-1000 was also infiltration.

The 800 series terminators are likely easy to recognize and it is expensive to keep coming up with new flesh suits, while the T-1000 can simply transform into a new disguise, or kill someone and take their place.

We see more evidence of this in the Terminator universe in The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV show, where the T-1001 is successfully passing as a human, showing emotion and acting much more in line with a human being.

  • However, Wolfie was able to detect the T-1000 just fine in Terminator 2 Judgement Day. That can't be it. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 17:58
  • Multiple dogs barked at the T-1000.
    – Null
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 17:59
  • @ArvinGBorkar I should have remembered that, it's literally one of my favorite movies. The rest still stands though. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 18:03
  • @Sonny Ordell: But to keep churning out liquid metal terminators, it would not be cost effective. I would think a lot of hardware would go in to making those, not to mention time. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 18:04
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    @ArvinGBorkar You do not know which of the two designs is more "cost effective", since we are more or less unfamiliar with this fictional technology. Who knows, maybe once the design was finished, T-1000 was cheaper to build. What truly matters is which one is more likely to kill its intended target. Remember, these are infiltration/assassination units, not front-line combatants (at least, the latter is not their primary mission).
    – Andres F.
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 19:05

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