A pattern's fate is the result of evolving said pattern until its final behavior is known. This answers such questions such as whether or not the pattern remains finite, what its growth rate is, what period the final state may settle into, and what its final census is. All small Life objects seem to eventually settle down into a mix of oscillators, simple spaceships, and occasionally small puffers.
Most sufficiently large random patterns are expected to grow forever due to the production of switch engines at their boundary. Engineered Life objects -- and therefore also sufficiently large and unlikely random patterns -- can have more interesting behaviour, such as breeders, sawtooths, and prime calculators. Some objects have even been constructed or designed having an unknown fate.