20 Strongest Autobots In The Transformers Movie Franchise (2024)

In The Transformers movies, the Autobots are known as defenders of the Earth to some people but to others, they pose a threat to human civilization. The latter set of people however is proven wrong time and time again whenever the Autobots face down foes that really want to destroy the planet and vanquish those enemies in an all-out battle. Thanks to their vehicular modes as Transformers, Autobots continue to prevail against their enemies.

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During all their fights, certain Autobots in the Transformers movies stand out with the impact their presence has in a fight. The following strongest Autobots possess incredible skills and battle prowess that can quickly turn the tide of battle in favor of the heroes upon their arrival.

Updated on August 5, 2023, by Rhenn Taguiam: With Transformers: Rise of the Beasts giving franchise fans a look into Optimus Primal and the Maximals finally making their way into the big screen, Transformers enthusiasts may be interested in how their appearances will change the overall power hierarchy of the Autobots across the movie series. Although some of the Maximals have limited screen time, what little presence they had did showcase what they could offer as Earth’s newest defenders. Alongside leaders who were more than ready to face the threat of Unicron are Maximals who have a wide arsenal of abilities, including razor-sharp wings coupled with a flamethrower, a hammer-toting juggernaut, and even a spear-wielding speedster who could keep up with the likes of vehicle modes.

20 Cheetor

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Despite having a limited presence in the Transformers film, Cheetor demonstrates the same cheery yet light-hearted vibe he’s been known to have in the original Beast Wars series. Much of his appearances throughout Rise of the Beasts have him accompany Optimus Primal, denoting his loyalty to the Maximals and their mission in guarding the Transwarp Key.

However, Cheetor's limited presence in the film doesn’t make him less of a likable character. Alternate to his slender cheetah Beast Mode is an athletic Transformer Mode, bearing similarities to his Beast Wars counterpart but with the bulkier feel of the new films’ aesthetic.

Combat Performance

Cheetor's little screen time in the film is compensated with his combat prowess. Aside from being the fastest among the Maximals, Cheetor can contend with the speed of other Transformers who typically rely on wheeled alternate modes. Despite his size, he can sneak up on Mirage from behind trees. He’s also no slouch in combat, demonstrating skill in using the spear even against multiple foes and hitting a flying target as he’s being tackled.

19 Rhinox

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A Maximal of few words, Rhinox bests Cheetor as the Maximal with the fewest lines in the Transformers film. That aside, Rhinox boasts quite a hulking body - both as a Transformer and in his Beast Mode - and is the muscle among the Maximals.

Rhinox’s loyalty to Optimus Primal and the Maximals is no question, as he’s always seen following Optimus Primal in even the direst of situations. He’s highly protective of his fellow Maximals and the Transwarp Key, always willing to fight to communicate his point.

Combat Performance

Considered the stereotypical muscle of the Maximals, Rhinox has chosen a rhino for Beast Mode. This juggernaut of a form allows him to plow through enemies with ease and can become a powerful force of nature when tackling opponents with the right momentum. As a Transformer, Rhinox pummels foes with his hammer and quickly spins it to multiple enemies simultaneously. Such is his control over his body that he’s able to balance carrying Arcee as she shoots opponents while he also bulldozes through Terrorcons at the same time.

18 Airazor

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Among the friendliest and most compassionate of the Maximals is Airazor, the one most committed to embodying its mission to protect life throughout the universe. She could bridge alliances between the Maximals, Autobots, and their new human friends. Sadly, the corruption she experienced at the hands of Scourge also led to her ultimate demise.

Throughout her presence in the film, Airazor demonstrated the capabilities of an excellent negotiator and communicator. She can establish trust with the wary Autobots by offering condolences for the loss of Bumblebee, and can even establish rapport with Elena Wallace and Noah Diaz.

Combat Performance

Although she dies around the middle part of the film, Airazor has demonstrated some of the most complex arsenal of weapons as a Transformer. Her chosen Beast Mode is the peregrine falcon, with the beast’s prominence as the fastest animal on the planet is evident in her combat speed. On top of sharp beaks and talons are feathers she can sharpen at will, transforming her wings into bladed weapons or even throwing them as projectiles. Lastly, she can unleash a flamethrower that on more than one occasion has staved Terrorcon attacks. She is strong enough to pose a threat to multiple Terrorcons and even Optimus Primal during her final fight.

17 Apelinq

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Although not much of Apelinq is shown in Rise of the Beasts, having survived with his team up to the last moment of Unicron’s full-blown assault in their Jungle World is a testament to his capacity as a leader and strength as a fighter. After all, Apelinq understanding of the importance of guarding the Transwarp Key against the likes of Unicron hints at a capacity to have organized (and succeeded) in obtaining knowledge against this ancient enemy.

Beyond his knowledge of Unicron, the implication that Apelinq and the Maximals have used the Transwarp Key to help usher life to other planets implies a vast understanding of space travel and biology.

Combat Performance

Like his original counterpart in the main Transformers continuity, Apelinq is similar to Optimus Primal in appearance. Also based on the gorilla, Apelinq is a juggernaut with a massive body and uses arm blades in combat. When Unicron sent the Terrorcons in their siege of their Jungle World, Apelinq could contend with the likes of Terrorcon leader Scourge, demonstrating some degree of combat expertise. While Scorge does kill Apelinq, the latter’s strength being only bested by another leader-type Transformer shows a lot about his combat prowess.

16 Optimus Primal

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Ever the vigilant leader of the Maximals in the Transformers film, Optimus Primal found himself the leader of his group when Unicron destroyed their Jungle World and forced them to go into hiding on Earth. He’s tasked the Maximals with protecting the Transwarp Key with their lives, cautiously awaiting the time Unicron sets his sights on Earth.

Optimus Primal protects the Maximals as a leader while remaining steadfast in their mission to save the Transwarp Key. He doesn’t hesitate to fight to accomplish their task, as he’s willing to fight Optimus Prime during their encounter.

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Combat Performance

Optimus Primal has chosen the gorilla as his Beast Mode, similar to his predecessor. He possesses innate strength, durability, and even combat prowess. Optimus Primal shares a knack for dual blades like his original Beast Wars counterpart. Being the equivalent of a Prime, Optimus Primal is implied to possess the same combat characteristics as Optimus of the Autobots, sans the preference for guns.

15 Strafe

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Strafe, also known as Swoop, is one of the newer characters to appear in the Transformers movie franchise. Appearing in Age of Extinction, Strafe becomes one of the Dinobots to serve under the leadership of Optimus Prime. Unlike other Dinobots, Strafe has quite a friendly, gentle, and calm personality. These qualities allowed him to make fast friends, particularly with Bumblebee.

As a robot, Strafe takes the form of one of the Arthurian Knights, wielding a sword and a crossbow. However, his dinosaur mode gives him the form of a mechanized, two-headed pterodactyl. This form may be a callback to his Generation 1 original appearance, which was that of a two-nosed jet.

Combat Performance

Despite his friendly nature, Strafe is no slouch in combat. In his Dinobot form, Strafe is a two-headed pterodactyl capable of dispatching opponents with brutal blows up close. When taking the form of an Arthurian Knight, Strafe equips a sword and crossbow, proving capable of doing battle at any range.

14 Scorn

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Despite his menacing name, Scorn or Spike is one of the Dinobots in the Transformers franchise who became an Autobot. Although larger than other Dinobots, Scorn boasts a tactician’s mind and high intellect. With these qualities and his military knowledge, Scorn also serves as the demolition expert of the team.

As a robot, Scorn has a knightly appearance with a spear-whip attached to his arm as a weapon. When he becomes a dinosaur, Scorn takes the form of a mechanized Spinosaurus with multiple sails. This form allows him to wreak havoc with his sheer size.

Combat Performance

While brutal as his namesake, demolition expert Scorn is also the smartest among the Dinobots. As a dinosaur, he becomes a Spinosaurus with extremely sharp claws and talons. His spiky tail becomes an asset in his Arthurian Knight form, where it transforms into a thick and spiked whip.

13 Dragonstorm

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Due to the threat of Cybertronian creator Quintessa, the 12 Knights of Iacon not only actively oppose her but can also form the fearsome Dragonstorm. This three-headed Dragonstorm is a massive dragon bot that has the abilities of flight and energy projection in the form of breath attacks. In the movies, Optimus Prime managed to ride Dragonstorm during his assault against the Decepticons.

However, one of the most interesting qualities of Dragonstorm is its various forms. Aside from its base form that comes from the 12 Knights, just the presence of Knight Dragonicus and Knight Stormreign can form Dragonstorm. In other instances, Dragonstorm also appears as its own entity. Whether or not these instances are canon or plot holes are yet to be revealed.

Combat Performance

As an amalgamation of the twelve Knights of Iacon, Dragonstorm doesn’t possess another form except for its three-headed monstrous dragon visage. Its transformed state allows Dragonstorm to unleash extremely hot fire from its mouths. Not only that, the Dragonstorm fusion isn’t dependent on the complete set of Knights, seeing as both Dragonicus and Stormreign were enough to transform into the juggernaut.

12 Slug

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Slug is another Dinobot that allies himself with Optimus Prime in the Transformers movies. In his robot form, Slug boasts a chubby appearance while carrying a lance in each hand. Meanwhile, his dinosaur form is a robotic version of an Apatosaurus.

However, what’s perhaps remarkable about Slug is his possible inspiration: Sludge. While also a Dinobot, Sludge - unlike Slug - is the most slow-witted amongst his brethren. Moreover, Sludge has a dinosaur form based on the “brontosaurus,” which shouldn’t exist due to a skeletal misidentification.

Combat Performance

Hot-headed and stubborn Slug reasonably has a Triceratops Dinobot form, with a spiky tail and a pair of spiky horns being prevalent in its transformation. While his Arthurian Knight form also provides him with weapons, Slug has the more brutal morningstar and lance combo to pair perfectly with his bulky nature. It seems both weapons were chosen to allow him to brutally kill Decepticons, which is the only kind of order he acknowledges.

11 Grimlock

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Serving as the Dinobot’s leader, Grimlock possesses the strength and power of an ancient warrior in the Transformers franchise. Being a talented fighter, Grimlock possesses remarkable skills, particularly with his club and spike-ball weapons. As a robot, Grimlock possesses perhaps the most stylish appearance among the Dinobots. Moreover, his dinosaur form is that of a robotic Tyrannosaurus rex, befitting his fierce nature.

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In the original franchise, Grimlock also serves as the leader of the Dinobots strike squad. Unlike his movie counterpart, Grimlock is rather dimwitted like his other Dinobot brethren. However, this isn’t to say that Grimlock should be taken lightly. His battle prowess and durability allow him to be one of the few to be able to fight Optimus Prime and Megatron if necessary.

Combat Performance

Grimlock possesses an unconventional fighting style that often involves brutal swings from both his spiked staff and spike-ball, seemingly designed to damage opponents to submission or get the job done as soon as possible. Aside from boasting an already-humongous T-Rex form, Grimlock also possesses a powerful flamethrower.

10 Jazz

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Jazz was among the first Autobots Sam Witwicky ever saw. He was the First Lieutenant of the Autobots and a very competent and brave fighter. The fact that he was Optimis' second in command speaks volumes of his strength.

He's very capable and very brave in the face of danger. He fought bravely to save Sam and other humans and also to keep the cube safe. Even upon his death, he fought Megatron to the very end.

Combat Performance

Prior to his death, Jazz is a rather mobile Autobot capable of dispatching opponents as quickly as possible. His preferred vehicle of choice is a sleek Pontiac Solstice, which is a decent alt form for his quick nature. Jazz uses both a Crescent Cannon and Magnetic Claw in combat, allowing him to adjust to any threat despite the range.

9 Ratchet

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Ratchet is the medical officer of the Autobots but that doesn't mean he doesn't get his fair share of fights. He's been seen protecting Sam on many occasions and even fighting alongside US soldiers to save the world from Megatron's evil schemes.

He's skilled with guns as well as treatment. He fell victim to the paranoia of humans and was slain but mostly because he probably refused to fight.

Combat Performance

Medical officer Ratchet is more of a support unit than a skilled combatant in encounters, making his choice of the Hummer Rescue Vehicle as an alt form perfect for his specialization. While equipped with a standard set of missiles, Energon guns, and machine guns for offense, Ratchet’s most unique asset is his healing laser, cementing his role as the go-to doctor of the Autobots.

8 Hot Rod

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Hot Rod was introduced as an Autobot with a French accent and while he seemed goofy at first, his battle prowess was shown later on. He assisted the soldiers in their assault on Cybertron and even managed to inflict damage on the imposing Decepticon known as Infernocus.

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He also led the way into the ignition chamber on Cybertron as they battled Megatron and Quintessa. His weapon has the ability to slow down time to a crawl and on different occasions, it proved vital to the Autobots.

Combat Performance

It makes sense for arrogant and brash Hotrod not to be content with just a “single” alt form, having had many of them throughout the films. After spending time as a Lamborghini Centenario, Hotrod has also chosen a Citroen DS and Steyr-Daimler-Puch 2000 truck as his alt forms - all showcasing his preference for getting up close and personal. His personal weapons of choice are his shotgun blasters and WW2-routed machine guns, all capable of dishing out heavy damage. His combat prowess is so good that he becomes Rodimus Prime, Optimus Prime’s successor, in the latter’s death at the hands of Megatron in an alternate timeline.

7 Drift

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Viewers were introduced to Drift in the 4th installment of the franchise and since then, he's proven his worth in many battles. His preferred weapons are swords and he seems to be influenced by the samurai's way of life.

This is reflected greatly in his fighting as he employs his two swords in battle along with his martial arts to dominate his opponents. Even Bumblebee found himself in a sticky situation when the two had a little scuffle.

Combat Performance

The samurai Drift prefers a straightforward combat style, evidenced in his choice of alt forms that are both functional and sleek: the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, a Sikorsky S-97 Raider chopper, and even a 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT R. When in his robot form, his appearance as a samurai isn’t just for show. Compared to other Autobots, Drift is much more disciplined. He’s both an expert hand-to-hand combatant and a skilled swordsman when handling his personal katana. His status as a formidable tactician also impressed Optimus Prime quickly.

6 Crosshairs

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Crosshairs was introduced along with drift when they went to welcome Optimus Prime who had reunited with his Autobot brothers. He employs submachine guns in combat and poses a threat to any Decepticon with the way he uses them.

The first time viewers saw him in action, they were left speechless because of the ease with which he took down two enemy aircraft. He once served as a reinforcement to the Autobots fighting in a city and he along with Optimus and Drift quickly turned the tide of battle and gave the Autobots the upper hand.

Combat Performance

Crosshairs is most notable for choosing a Corvette Stingray C7 as his alt form, with its loud green aesthetic intentionally declaring his position on the battlefield. When in his robot form, Crosshairs is unique in that he possesses a mechanical “cape” that flows like cloth, again for the fashion statement. In combat, he uses a pair of turbo guns with unique efficiency, with his brand of combat involving using parachutes to ambush enemies from any vertical position.

5 Hound

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Hound was yet another strong Autobot to be introduced in the 4th installment of The Transformers franchise. He's a plumpy-looking Autobot with a huge bullet for a cigarette stick. He may be on the bulky side, but he's an expert gunslinger.

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He's brave and he doesn't know when to give up. He uses gun after gun as he decimates his enemies with relative ease. He also has a tough hide that makes him impervious to attacks with small bullets. He has an intimidating presence and is ruthless in battle.

Combat Performance

Despite his burly appearance, Hound’s hidden history with humanity made him one of the most experienced Autobots out there. His alt forms of choice were all trucks, such as the Oshkosh Defense Medium Tactical Vehicle, and the Medical 2016 Mercedes Benz Unimog. These fit his specialization as the Autobots’ new medical officer, and especially more so as an armaments supplier. Compared to other Autobots, Hound has one of the most expansive arsenals out there, boasting weapons such as machine guns, large cannons, ion guns and quad guns, various barreled guns, and even multiple pistols.

4 Iron Hide

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Iron Hide was introduced as Optimus' weapon specialist and he does justice to this title as he is just what his designation says he is. He's a walking ammo store and he's an expert with his cannons.

He's surprisingly acrobatic for his size and always knows how to make his presence felt in a fight. He fought in many battles alongside the Autobots and humans until his untimely death at the hands of Sentinel.

Combat Performance

Trigger-happy Ironhide is content with his alt form of choice—the GMC Topkick C4500. This is primarily because Ironhide prefers to have more weapons than anything else. Similar to Hound, Ironhide has boasted quite an expansive armory at his disposal. These include energy cannons, rocket cannons, missile launchers, arm guns, and shotguns, and replacements for these that may very well be enough for a small platoon.

3 Bumblebee

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Ever since the first movie, viewers were always eager to see Bumblebee in action as he was obviously one of the most capable Autobot. He's accomplished many impressive feats throughout The Transformers movies.

He took down many intimidating Decepticons, fought one on one with Lockdown, and even went toe to toe with Optimus when the latter was turned evil for a bit. Not many would have done all these and lived to tell the tale of any. His fight against Optimus cemented his place as one of the most powerful Autobots

Combat Performance

Being one of the most prominent members of the Autobots in the films, Bumblebee has amassed quite a number of alt forms. However, much of those forms were almost always a variant of the Chevrolet Camaro, giving him that signature bubbly look. However, his arsenal of weapons makes him suited for the reconnaissance role, with his ever-reliable plasma cannons and machine guns paired constantly with missile launchers and laser cannons. When in a pinch, Bumblebee also uses a crab claw and a battle hammer.

2 Sentinel Prime

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Sentinel Prime was once the leader of the Autobots before his shocking betrayal. Besides his dastardly acts, he was more than a match for Optimus as their battle made it evident why he was once the Autobot leader.

He was able to fight Optimus on superior grounds until Megatron came along and complicated things. Ultimately Sentinel was killed but not before he proved his devastating might against his former comrades.

Combat Performance

Prior to his defection to the Decepticon ranks, Sentinel Prime remains one of the strongest Autobots out there. Possessing the name of Prime, Sentinel Prime possesses incredible strength, speed, durability, and reflexes. Moreover, having mentored Optimus, Sentinel Prime possesses all the leader’s skills. His staunch belief that Cybertronians are the most superior race in the universe gives him a brutal edge that Optimus lacks, something Sentinel demonstrates efficiently with his double-edged Primax Blade.

1 Optimus Prime

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It shouldn't come as a surprise when one names Optimus the strongest Autobot. His battles are too numerous to count. He's defeated Megatron on multiple occasions and has taken down foes even Sentinel would have no chance against.

After all, he managed to kill both Megatron and Sentinel- with one good arm! He also fought Starscream, Grindor, and Megatron on superior ground, killing Grindor and maiming Starscream. Thanks to his fighting strength and his motivating speeches, he's the undisputed leader of the Autobots.

Combat Performance

Possessing the Matrix of Leadership provides Optimus Prime with an incredible range of abilities, including superhuman physiology and even the powers of flight, holographic projection, and limited clairvoyance. However, Optimus is also extremely skilled in actual combat, trained by Sentinel Prime to use almost any weapon and adapt to circ*mstances. His arsenal in the film series includes his signature ion blaster, Energon swords, and even an assortment of energy-based armaments. When using the Sword of Judgment, Optimus can pierce through even the toughest of armors.

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20 Strongest Autobots In The Transformers Movie Franchise (2024)
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