Short Answer: Yes. A natural can beat a Coordinator in battle.
Interested to know how a Natural can beat a Coordinator?
Let’s talk about that.
There is a misconception that Coordinators will always be better than Naturals at everything; that Coordinators are just born that way; that Coordinators are a better race than Naturals, but that is not the truth at all. Let’s find out why it is not so, and to be more specific – let’s talk about a little bit about the background of both separately.
Although they posses enhanced mental and physical potentials and capabilities, not to mention that they are immune to deadly diseases, they are still human beings. They did not evolve. They are not a different species. In fact, the Naturals are the ones who created the Coordinators. Coordinators are human beings whose genes have been altered with to bring out the best in an individual.
It was in the hope that these people would bring advancement to humanity, to bring humanity further than what the mind of a natural could ever hope to achieve.
More and more coordinators came into being but more and more of the Naturals also started feeling envious of the Coordinators and their many capabilities and accomplishments. It also should be noted that some Coordinators look down on naturals, seeing them as lesser beings.
“…Coordinators are freaks”
Some of these Naturals even started to see Coordinators as “freaks” or “weirdos” or simply beings that go against the law of nature, even though it was them who created the Coordinators in the first place.
“…birth of Blue Cosmos”
The envy of the Naturals came to a point where it gave birth to a group known as “Blue Cosmos” and that group one goal is to eliminate all Coordinators from existence. This group sees all Coordinators as a threat to Naturals, and with such fear and hatred for Coordinators, they took action.
This started with murders of civilian Coordinators, a mass murder of coordinators on earth done by Blue Cosmos under the banner “For the Preservation of our Blue and Pure World!”
With each murder, Blue Cosmos gained more and more power and eventually made its way into the command of the Earth Alliance military. These murders also forced Coordinators to flee Earth and start life anew in space, and thus the PLANTs were made.
Although they have already pushed the Coordinators into space, Blue Cosmos still wanted all of the them eliminated, and so they decided to launch a nuclear missile at Junuis 7, also known as The Bloody Valentine.
(Fact of interest: Athrun lost his mother due to the destruction of Junius 7) 😔
“…Coordinators also need to practice to sharpen their skills”
It is a fact that due to genetic engineering, Coordinators are born with a potential to develop both greater physical and mental capabilities than what the average natural could ever hope to attain.
However, Coordinators are just like naturals, if they don’t practice to sharpen their skills, they will be just as good as naturals. Kira Yamato states the same thought as he is talking with his sister, Cagali Yula Athha, on the deck of the Archangel.
Coordinators that pilot in mobile suits, majority of which are GINNs, come from the military force of the PLANTS, known as ZAFT. Although it is not shown in the anime or manga, it can be thought of that these pilots also practice to hone their combat skills.
They simply just have a higher peak in their piloting skills which enable them to operate a more complex machine such as a GINN (before the advent of more advanced OS’s that enables Naturals to pilot a mobile suit, they were limited to piloting basic aircraft like mobile armours).
You may argue that perhaps Coordinators do posses an inherent ability to operate or pilot mobile suits without formal military training because Kira Yamato was able to pilot the Strike with ease, while fighting 4 red uniform mobile suit pilots from ZAFT, even though he had no military combat training before hand.
But it should be emphasized that Kira Yamato is not any ordinary coordinator; he is the only viable offspring of doctor Hibiki’s artificial womb. Kira Yamato is the ultimate coordinator. This could be the reason why he was able to change the OS of the mobile suit while fighting the Le Creuset team.
These people are just like you and me. They are normal human beings born into the world without having their genes engineered. Before the construction and capture of the G-weapons, later called Gundams, naturals have fought ZAFT’s GINNs with just mobile armors, a massive amount of mobile armors.
“…inability to pilot the strike”
And during the arc where the G-weapons are being captured, the difference in piloting skills between Naturals and Coordinators become apparent when Murrue Ramius pilots the Strike. In that moment, compared to her opponent Miguel, who is piloting an inferior mobile suit in both strength and mobility, it is Murrue Ramius who is overpowered as she is repeatedly knocked down by the GINN due to her being unable to fully utilize the mobility of the Strike.
Inability to pilot the Strike is also seen from the Natural known as Sai Argyle when he tried to pilot the Strike out of envy from his friend Kira Yamato. His efforts only lead to the Strike falling down to its knees.
In the Orb Union, there are three girls known as Maruya, Juri, and Asagi. These girls are Naturals and they are the test pilots for the first batch of M1-Astrays that Orb was developing. Before Kira Yamato developed the support OS for the M1-Astrays, the three girls can be seen piloting the mobile suits in such a poor manner. “They’ll get killed in their first battle.” Cagalli says to chief engineer Erica Simmons after seeing the girls’ test run.
“…bridging the gap”
This does not mean to say that Naturals do not have a chance to match the fighting skill of coordinators when piloting a mobile suit though. After Kira Yamato developed the support OS for naturals and installed them on the M1-Astrays, we can see that the fighting performance of the girls now seem to match those of Coordinators.
Also, during the invasion of Orb by the Earth Alliance, Orb mobile suit fighters can be seen using M1-Astrays with ease now, managing to hold their front against the massive attack of the Earth Alliance. The Earth Alliance military also developed their own operating system for their mobile suit pilots, to enable them to match up to the pilots of ZAFT’s GINNs.
First seen in the invasion of Orb by the Earth Alliance, Strike Daggers are piloted with ease, as if they are piloted by Coordinators, but in fact they are piloted by Naturals.
These mobile suit pilots of the Earth Alliance forces are able to pilot the Strike Daggers with ease due to the development of the Natural-OS which is similar to Orb’s support OS for the M1-Astrays.
These operating systems bridge the gap of fighting skill between Naturals and Coordinators. It should be mentioned that these pilots, although using operating systems that simplify the use of the mobile suits, are in fact military soldiers, and thus have received proper military combat training.
It is not specified that Naturals, with no military training, can pilot a mobile suit with the help of the Natural-OS or the support OS of Orb.
Although they are not technically listed as human beings, they are still human beings. However it can be said that these people are no longer Naturals but they are not Coordinators either. These human beings started off as Naturals so it only fair that we talk a little bit about them as well.
These biological CPU’s came into being because even though the Earth forces now had a capable mobile suit and an OS that allows Naturals to pilot is with ease, they still required biological CPU’s to pilot their GAT series, which were better but more complex mobile suits in order to gain a fighting edge over ZAFT.
“…the Boosted man and the Extended”
There are two kinds of Biological CPU’s. The Boosted man appearing in Gundam SEED and The Extended appearing in Gundam SEED Destiny.
The Boosted man relied on micro-implants in their bodies and an enhancement drug that allowed the pilot to stand their ground even when faced with a Coordinator who has activated their seed. The only down side to this kind of biological CPU is that they cannot sustain a long fight as they constantly need to intake the enhancement drug.
If the boosted man don’t receive the drug, he will feel pain. Blue Cosmos uses this as a form of positive punishment in hopes to see an increase in his performance.
The second kind of biological CPU is the extended, unlike the Boosted man, the Extended, also known as Phantom Pain, come from Natural children who have been raised up in with a survival mindset. They are brainwashed into thinking that their only purpose of being born is to kill. They are essentially bred assassins.
Unlike the Boosted men, the Extended didn’t need implants and drug enhancements. The reason for the enhanced performance of the Extended is the brutal survival training and memory alteration.
Compared to the Boosted man, The Extended can sustain longer in a fight but is shown to be inferior when it comes to fighting skill as they could not stand their ground in most of their encounters with the Freedom and Justice while the Boosted man has.
In the final arc, there are multiple battles where it can be seen that the Earth Forces Strike Daggers and Orb’s M1-Astrays are seen to match the fighting performance of ZAFT’s GINNs.
With all of these facts, it is safe to say that with a support OS and proper training, a Natural can indeed defeat a Coordinator in battle.
I hope this answers your question! If you have more questions you can leave them in the comments bellow!