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Terminator Wiki
The term "T-800" refers to more than one character or idea. For a list of other meanings, see T-800 (disambiguation).

The T-800

The Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Terminator,[1][2][3] also known as T-800 Terminator, Model T-800[4], or simply T-800, is a type of Terminator mass-produced by Skynet. The T-800 Terminator was Skynet's first cybernetic organism, with living tissue over a hyperalloy endoskeleton. This made it Skynet's first successful Infiltrator unit, capable of infiltrating the Resistance.[5] The T-800 was the first in a line of Series 8xx Terminators in various timelines, including the T-850 Terminators of Rise of the Machines timeline and the T-888 Terminators of The Sarah Connor Chronicles timeline.




T-800 CPU port.

The 800 Series[6][7] Terminator contains a Neural Net Processor CPU, or "learning computer", contained within the endoskull and protected by inertial shock dampers. The CPU, developed by Cyberdyne Systems, is one of the most powerful microprocessors ever built. As part of its vast internal databases, the T-800 contains detailed files on human anatomy and physiology to make it a more efficient killer.[8] The CPU can also be updated with database files related to advanced infiltration techniques, basic training for soldiers, emergency medical training, sniper training, an extensive tactical database, and detailed files from other terminators making each unit a combat veteran.[9]

Learning Capabilities and Self-Awareness[]

The CPU of a T-800 Terminator can be switched between read-write mode and read-only mode. The former allows a T-800 unit to learn new things or skills, possibly allowing for some sort of self-awareness or a "consciousness" which can enable the machine to make its own decisions rather than be bound strictly by programming. Carl is an example as [he] "grew a conscience" years after blending into human society and decided to help Sarah Connor and Grace Harper to protect Dani Ramos from a Rev-9.


The silvery metal endoskeleton of the T-800 is a microprocessor controlled triple-armored hyper-alloy combat chassis[10] and is constructed with frictionless bearings in its joints, and a servo-actuated control system. Its limbs are controlled by axial drive motors and clavicular trailing links, allowing the T-800s to maneuver faster than the T-600 Terminators, as bursts of speed of up to 22 mph[citation needed] no longer threatened the joint assemblies. The T-800 was also 20% lighter and 40% stronger than the T-600. [citation needed] The armored frame is capable of withstanding most contemporary weapons with small caliber[5][8] and sometimes even withstanding a direct hit from grenade launchers.[11][12]

A T-800 features a jack in the back of its head for plugging in a cable to receive persona templates and other instructions from its master.[13]


Main article: T-800/Durability



Targeting system

The T-800's HUD features a tracking marker, almost exactly the same with the exclusion of the many dots that would highlight a target. The T-800 is capable of running internal systems checks; calculating the distance of objects relative to itself; targeting with a precision head-up display; making detailed kinetic studies of trajectories; sampling and analyzing the atmosphere, weather patterns, wind velocity, and nicotine levels of tobacco smoke; analyzing human emotional states (in order to assess possible hostility); analyzing body language and direction of muscle contraction; calculating the force of gravity; analyzing texture and temperature of materials; and sensing radar scans. It is fitted with an internal chronometer. In order to keep track of its battle units, Cyberdyne Systems had given each one a Series number. The Series number refers to the type of internal structure or chassis (endoskeleton). However, the 800 Series also has different configurations of living tissue, each one giving it the appearance of a different person. The physical appearance of the living tissue (which was initially based on photographic records from Skynet's databases and laser scans of human soldiers) is therefore also given a Model number.

The inert T-800's are housed within a large vault-like cold-storage room. Massive doors of steel, equipped with electronic locking bolts bar the entrance to this facility. The T-800's hang in steel racks from tracks mounted in the ceiling. Hundreds of flesh covered T-800's are stored like this. They are arranged in rows of ten, where each of the bodies within each row are absolutely identical (each of the same Model). Each body hangs in its own cryogenic "hybermatrix." This cryogenic storage and the vacuum sealed room ensures that the T-800's flesh will not decay or necrotize from exposure to warm, oxygenated air that may contain pathogens. The living tissue makes it very difficult for humans to identify T-800's. A significant number of these Infiltration units have therefore been able to breach Resistance defenses and slaughter Resistance fighters. However, trained "sniffer" dogs posted at various checkpoints are effective at detecting this threat.

T-800's being deployed straight onto the battlefield as soldiers do not need a disguise and so do not receive a biological covering. These units do not need to be stored in the Cryogenic Chambers, and are stored in a huge rack filled chamber when not needed. A set of massive robotic manipulator arms stationed in the center of the chamber selects battle units when they are to be used in service. Skynet controls its battle units using direct link command, an operating mode known as "Hive," where the battle units are hooked directly into Skynet and share a collective conscious. However, there are hundreds of autonomous Terminators not under Skynet's direct control. This is the second form of operating mode and is known as "Rogue." In this mode, battle units are independent of Skynet but are programmed to return and download information.

The 800 Series is also equipped with vocals which enable it to replicate any human speech pattern of which it has heard an adequate specimen. It does this by recording and storing syllables of the subjects' voices, which it then replays and uses to digitally synthesize their speech patterns. The T-800's auditory sensors are located upon either side of its head, where human ears would be. One sensor records the full range of external sounds, while the other can automatically filter signals to within a narrow range for a specific auditory signal.

The T-800's optical sensors can sample an extended range of visible frequencies, including infrared (which can allow it to see heated bodies in total darkness). This information is then displayed on a 40,000 bit digitized display. Concussion-proof lenses protect the T-800's eyes, which are capable of moving independently. When using both eyes to track two different targets moving in different directions, depth perception is created artificially by creating a computer-generated off-angle ghost image. The T-800 is capable of motion tracking, search modes, facial identification and recognition and has extensive vision enhancement capabilities including long range "zoom" (the T-800 can snap-magnify an image by around x15), motion analysis and "night vision". The T-800’s visual systems (at least) appear to be programmed in COBOL and 6502 assembly (specifically Apple +2 assembly).

T-800 Terminators do not feel pain and they do not have nerve endings, but they can sense "injuries" (damages). When being damaged, a T-800 will try to fix damage by itself if possible, as the T-800 fixed its arm after a car accident, while the C890.L salvaged parts from the destroyed Z000.M.

If disabled, the T-800 is able to re-route its systems to a secondary, alternate power source, thus bypassing any severed connections, damaged circuits, or internal impairment. The 800 Series also has redundant backup hydraulic systems. Therefore, it is imperative that Resistance members determine that any T-800’s are totally incapacitated in combat, lest the units are able to revive themselves and continue battle or pursuit of their target.

Combat abilities[]

Combat situations notwithstanding, the T-800 has a functional period of 120 years on one power cell. This small compact nuclear power cell is located in the same approximate position as a human heart, and is shielded in a case-hardened subassembly inside the triple-armored Hyperalloy torso. A powerful shot, such as bullet fired from .50 caliber, directly hitting its power cell or cable would disable the unit. [12]

The T-800 is, however, also capable of a conservation, or economy, mode. It does this by collecting and storing excess energy in compact energy sinks. In this mode, power is cut to 40% of nominal function; optical systems are switched to infrared only; and motivation units lose 40% hydraulic pressure as pumps slow. In this state, the T-800's power cell can last almost indefinitely.[10]

The T-800 is generally issued with a Westinghouse M-25 Phased Plasma Battle Rifle in the 40 watt range or General Dynamics RBS-80 plasma gun. However, it is programmed to be able to use all military documented weaponry. The 800 Series is, for example, extremely efficient in the use of the .45 longslide automatic, the model 1887 Winchester lever-action shotgun, the Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun, the AR-18 rifle, the M79 grenade launcher, the Uzi 9-millimetre, and the M134 minigun.

Because of its ability to learn, it is able to defeat more advanced series such as the T-1000 Terminator in combat on occasion. However, any particular advantage would be countered if Skynet were to set these units to learn as well.


Main article: Living tissue

A T-800 Infiltrator is covered with living tissue that includes human-like flesh, skin, hair, blood, and other bodily fluids.

The T-800 has a circulatory system which is controlled by a tiny pneumatic pump which maintains a constant pressure. This allows the T-800 to convincingly bleed when wounded.[10]

As the living tissue heat-signatures match that of humans, thermal scanners fail to distinguish T-800s from real humans. Additionally, because the tissue is designed to mimic human flesh, it can accurately mimic bleeding, sweating, halitosis, [5] and even aging.[12][14] All those features allows a T-800 to infiltrate any human group.

Furthermore, as long as its flesh is not wholly destroyed, a T-800 can gradually regrow its tissue-covering over an unknown time. In 1984, after the Guardian's right arm was reduced to bare metal, it claimed its flesh would take years to regrow as by the time of 2017, the Guardian's right was once again covered in normal-looking flesh.[12]


Although it was considered a formidable opponent on the battlefield and highly feared by its enemies, the T-800 was far from invulnerable. For one, .50 Browning Machine-Gun caliber rounds or armor piercing bullets made of depleted uranium can penetrate its endoskeleton, disabling and even destroying the unit.[12][15] Extreme forces, such as intense explosions, could permanently dislocate limbs and disrupt the internal frame, possibly even destroying it. A pipe bomb jammed between its joints, for instance, can blow a T-800 in half. Nevertheless, the upper half torso can remain functional albeit with a severed left arm.[5] As noted by John Connor during a radio broadcast, the T-800s have a vulnerability at the base of their necks that a normal human being can exploit to neutralize them. Razor-sharp edges such as metallic pipes, steel rods, or shrapnel can pierce into the endoskeleton armor plate if propelled with sufficient force, disabling the cyborg.[8][12] Marcus Wright, an Augment, was able to decapitate a T-800 with a strip of metal.

Unlike other series' made of non-solid material, such as the liquid-based T-1000 (Mimetic polyalloy), the T-800 could naturally be crushed and destroyed by a tremendous amount of pressure, such as a hydraulic press.[5]

Furthermore, the T-800 was at least partially susceptible against electronic attacks, such as overcurrent, as compared to the more vulnerable T-850 and T-888.[16][12]

Plasma weapons could penetrate the armor and destroy a T-800 unit.[8][12] Though the T-800 endoskeleton is more resistant to molten steel[8] and corrosive reagents[12], such as concentrated hydrochloric acid, as compared to the weaker T-1000, it can ultimately be destroyed if exposure to the aforementioned substances could be achieved for an extended period of time.

Additionally, if any part suffers from damage during battles, after operational for long periods of time without proper repairs, the endoskeleton would begin to break down with the joints locking when exposed to stress or repetitive movement. Pops' hand was damaged when fighting the T-800 (the latter being in perfect condition) in 1984 and it was later shown to suffer from malfunction during a battle against the T-3000 in 2017.[12]

Lastly, the endoskeleton can be affected by age. After operating over 40 years since 1973, the Guardian had trouble with his servomotors degrading, causing lockups on his knee and in his hand. He stated specifically that it was due to age.[12] Given the fact that T-800s have power cells that can sustain them for hundreds of years, this may have to do with the lack of proper maintenance over that period of time.

Additionally, it is worth noting that apart from superhuman strength and durability, the other physical abilities of a T-800 do not seem to surpass those of an average human, such as speed, agility, dexterity. Notably, its balance is not particularly good, as it several times loses equilibrium or falls during chases, much like a real human would do.[References needed]

Differences between Versions[]

Living tissue on earlier versions of the T-800 unit may necrotize if damaged, as after being shot multiple times during the shootout in the police station, the original T-800's skin had a noticeably pale color and flies were sitting on its face. At this point, the janitor of the building, which the T-800 was using as a safehouse, commented on the smell of decay coming from the T-800's room: "Hey, buddy, got a dead cat in there, or what?" Hence, the early version of living tissue apparently may "die" or at least undergo extensive necrosis.

On later versions, such as Version 2.4, the wounds will heal over time without suffering from decay or necrosis, even when having taken severe damage.[8][12] However, wounds may leave a unit with scars.[17]

For power source, the power cell of early models of the T-800 Terminator could allow a T-800 unit to operate at full power for twenty-four hours per day for 1,095 days[10], while the T-800 Version 2.4 has a functional period of 120 years on one power cell.[8]


Skynet, if needed, could add new equipment and programs not standard in the T-800s, including:[9]

In addition, the T-800, while not composed of mimetic polyalloy itself, has displayed that it is capable of interfacing with and controlling liquid metal to an extent provided that it has not been previously programmed. The mimetic polyalloy can be used to repair damaged and incapacitated units in order to restore them to operational capability. The T-800 could also develop and utilize replacement parts made from the mimetic polyalloy. The unit is also able to develop stabbing weapons through the metal. [12]


Main article: Series 8xx

Serial Number[]

Each Terminator does also have a unique alphanumeric serial number. It contains four or more letters, which the first and last position is usually an alphabetic letter and the middle positions are numbers. The last letter is separated from the other letters with a dot. These serial numbers are revealed in some comic series.[18]

The T-800 combat chassis when not intended for infiltrator work and fielded without an organic infiltration coating is more properly identified as a Humanoid Hunter Killer and are designated with a shorter four character alpha numeric code.[citation needed]

Variation in different timelines[]

In the original timeline, Skynet itself designed and began production of the T-800 in 2026, due to the ease with which the Resistance could identify the Skynet designed T-600 with its rubber skin.

In an alternate timeline, the US Military (or Cyber Research Systems as shown in the film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) use the reverse engineered technology from Cyberdyne Systems to develop the T-800 prior to Judgment Day.[19][20] Hence, the T-800 is fully operational in 2010s in both T2 Saga and Terminator Salvation timeline.

Behind the Scene[]

  • In the 2015 film Terminator Genisys, the T-800's physical design has been slightly modified as various parts have been redesigned, such as the chest plate, legs and arms. The eye sockets are wider and narrower, though this may be a trick of the light given that previous T-800 always had shadows darkening the eye sockets, therefore masking any details. The jawline is more angular and there seems to more wiring in the waist area as well as the hips being more pointed and angular as well. The feet no longer have a rounded heel but a wide flat one. This character model is later reused in the 2019 film Terminator: Dark Fate.


  • The T-800 Terminator also made a spoof/crossover appearance in the cartoon Spaceballs, The Animated Saga episode "The Scroobinator".
  • In 2011, the battle damaged T-800 prop from the Future War scenes of Terminator 2: Judgment Day was sold on the SyFy program Hollywood Treasure for $180,000 USD.
  • In the 2007 film Universal Soldiers, the cyborg in the final confrontation looks like a gigantic T-800 endoskeleton.
  • Out of all the Skynet-produced Terminators, the T-800 has had the most appearances, appearing in every movie except Rise of the Machines.
  • Psycho in Max Steel resembles T-800.


T-800 Anatomy[]



Original Timeline[]

Genisys and Dark Fate films[]


Kyle Reese: The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy, but these are new. They look human - sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait till he moved on you before I could zero him.
The Terminator
"Where a man's heart would be, shielded in a case-hardened subassembly inside the hyperalloy torso, was the nuclear-energy cell. it supplied power to run the most sophisticated system of hydraulic actuators and servo-motors ever constructed, enough power to run the lights of a small city for a day. it was designed to last (the) Terminator considerably longer, especially if intense activity was varied with conservation procedures. When (the) Terminator dropped off-line into economy mode, compact energy sinks collected and stored the excess. If the torso was breached and these vital power supplies disturbed, (the) Terminator could be stopped. But the torso was triple armored with the densest alloy ever smelted. (the) Terminator could keep operating at full power for twenty-four hours a day for 1,095 days. During that time it would certainly have opportunities, like now, for economy mode, where power was cut to 40 percent of nominal function. The optical system switched to infra-red only. The motivation units lost 40 percent of hydraulic pressure as the pumps slowed. Power was shunted into sinks and stored." -Frakes, The Terminator (novel)


  1. The HUD of the T-800 identifies it more specifically as a "Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Model 101 Version 2.4" in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  2. The script of Terminator 2: Judgment Day uses "the endoskeleton of a Series 800 Terminator".
  3. James Cameron's line "The 800 Series ... the 1000 Series" in commentary of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  4. Terminator - 7" Action Figure - T-800 Endoskeleton (Retro Packaging) by NECA
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 The Terminator
  6. Terminator 2: Judgment Day teaser trailer
  7. James Cameron's line "The 800 Series ... the 1000 Series" in commentary of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Terminator Collectible Card Game
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 The Terminator (Frakes novel)
  11. Terminator Salvation
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 Terminator Genisys
  13. Hour of the Wolf
  14. James Cameron talks about his involvement with Terminator: Genisys
  15. Terminator Genisys: Revolution
  16. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  17. Terminator: Dark Fate
  18. The Terminator: Tempest,The Terminator: Secondary Objectives,The Terminator: The Enemy Within, The Terminator: Death Valley
  19. In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, it is revealed that the US Military has already begun on developing a Humanoid Terminator, which is a blurred T-800 as shown on a digital blueprint in the film while clearly seen in deleted contents, notably the "William Candy" segment.
  20. Hope Of The Future - Terminator 3 deleted scenes - CRS - Endoskeletons

External links[]

<< Series 8xx Terminator >>
800 - 801 - 803 - 804 - 806 - 808 - 810 - 820 - 825 - 831 - 833 - 835 - 850 - 860 - 882 - 883 - 888 - 897
Terminator Series
Standard 000 - 1 (1-5 - 1-7) - 4 - 7 - H (U-5000) - 20 - 47 - 70 - 72 - 300 - 400 - 500 - 600 (650 - 660) - 700 (720 - 750 - 770 - 790 - 799) - 800 (8xx) - 900 (950) - X -
1000 (1001 - 1002 - XA - Meg) - Infinity - 2018 - 3000 - 4800 - 5000 - 8000
Human Infiltrator I825.M - I-950 - T-H (Ultra-5000) - T-3000
Other types Sky-1 - T-90 / T-101 - I-950 - TS-300 - T-900 (TOK715) - New Terminator - Rev-7 - Rev-9 -
T-K90 - Dire Wolf - Moto-Terminator (Snowminator)
Outer sheath Rubber skin - Living tissue - Duroplast - Mimetic polyalloy - Machine phase matter
Related topics Terminator (Series) - Model - Replacement - Impersonation - Hunter-Killer - Technology