Their civilization had advanced to a technological level comparable to Earth's 1940s. This made them a target for the Wraith, who wiped out the capital city. However, about 300 people managed to make it to the shelters west of the capital and later moved to other planets such as Belkan and Manaria. The planet Sateda has since been abandoned. (SGA: "Runner")
- Main article: Satedan Planetary Forces
The Satedans appear to be descended from a tribal culture. Their figurehead, who spoke via radio broadcast, was known as a 'Chieftan'. (SGA: "Sateda") Along with this, melee weapons, such as swords, were retained for use by the Satedan Planetary Forces. Many Satedans, including Ronon Dex, have a distinctive tattoo on the left side of their neck. They also follow a strict code of honor, as under certain circumstances, Satedans will engage in hand-to-hand combat to resolve a conflict, during which it is dishonorable to use weapons. (SGA: "Reunion")
The Satedans, at the time of their annihilation, were at about the same level of development as the Genii, comparable to the WW2 era. They had not developed nuclear weapons, though the Genii did not either until after being driven underground. Their projectile weaponry was designed to inflict maximum damage; notably, a Satedan Rifle is able to take down a Wraith with greater ease than even a FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon. Along with this, Satedan soldiers were equipped with special armor, designed to dissipate energy blasts (a countermeasure against Wraith stunners). They could even shoot down Wraith Darts. Lacking interstellar spacecraft however, they were ultimately no match for the hive ships, which bombarded the planet from orbit.
In 1998, the Wraith culled Sateda and killed most of the Satedans. Ronon Dex was turned into a Runner and hunted for seven years until his Wraith tracker was removed by Dr. Carson Beckett. Now freed, Ronon soon discovered that his planet was in ruins. Ronon joined the Atlantis Expedition, eventually becoming a permanent member of the Expedition's flagship team, AR-1 or the First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. He later learned that over 300 Satedans survived their world's destruction. (SGA: "Runner", "Trinity")
Ronon was eventually recaptured by the Wraith Leader, the Wraith responsible for the destruction of Sateda and made a Runner once again. Set upon Sateda itself, Ronon was hunted on his home planet by the same enemy that destroyed his world. With the help of his team, Ronon drew the Wraith that nearly wiped the Satedans from existence to the surface of Sateda and engaged him in mortal combat. While Ronon was unable to defeat the Wraith Leader, Doctor Carson Beckett killed the Wraith Leader with a drone weapon from a Puddle Jumper, avenging all the lost Satedans. (SGA: "Sateda")
A number of Satedans were captured by the Wraith and were offered eternal life in exchange for their services. Ronon killed most of that team. It was eventually revealed that the Satedans had been brainwashed through the Wraith enzyme. The last of these Satedans sacrificed himself to save Ronon and destroy a Wraith lab after going through Wraith enzyme withdrawal which broke his brainwashing. (SGA: "Reunion", "Broken Ties")
By 2009, a few Satedans had returned to Sateda, but this was mainly out of the lack of alternatives available to them, with many of the Satedans being those non-warriors whose skills did not translate well to life on less technologically developed worlds. The Genii had also come to Sateda to claim some technology, but the Atlantis expedition became involved in the Genii's actions when Ronon suggested a trip to Sateda to retrieve samples of Ancient technology from the museum. The expedition were able to negotiate for greater authority for the Satedans in exchange for being able to conduct some salvage operations, including retrieving a hyperdrive crystal and a near-depleted ZPM from the museum. (Stargate Atlantis: Allegiance)
Following the peace between the Tau'ri and the Wraith, Sateda was one of the planets ceded by the Wraith to the humans. As a result, the Satedans began to rebuild their world and establish a new government. Ronon was asked to be part of it, but had no interest in being a figurehead, although a colonel from Earth contemplated retiring to Sateda when her tour of duty ended to teach them how to fly their own planes. (Stargate Atlantis: The Third Path)
In an alternate reality visited by SG-1, it would appear that the fate of the Genii and the Satedeans has been reversed, as the Genii are specifically stated as having been destroyed some years before while Ronon Dex came to Athos to discuss an alliance with his people around the time the Atlantis Expedition came to Pegasus. (Stargate SG-1: Ouroboros).