Fermentation at elevated hydrostatic pressure is a novel strategy targeting product selectivity. However, the role of inoculum history and cross-resistance, that is, acquired tolerance from incubation under distinctive environmental stress, remains unclear in high-pressure operation. In our here presented work, we studied fermentation and microbial community responses of halotolerant marine sediment inoculum (MSI) and anaerobic digester inoculum (ADI), pre-incubated in serum bottles at different temperatures and subsequently exposed to mild hydrostatic pressure (MHP; < 10 MPa) in stainless steel reactors. Results showed that MHP effects on microbial growth, activity, and community structure were strongly temperature-dependent. At moderate temperature (20°C), biomass yield and fermentation were not limited by MHP; suggesting a cross-resistance effect from incubation temperature and halotolerance. Low temperatures (10°C) and MHP imposed kinetic and bioenergetic limitations, constraining growth and product formation. Fermentation remained favorable in MSI at 28°C and ADI at 37°C, despite reduced biomass yield resulting from maintenance and decay proportionally increasing with temperature. Microbial community structure was modified by temperature during the enrichment, and slight differences observed after MHP-exposure did not compromise functionality. Results showed that the relation incubation temperature-halotolerance proved to be a modifier of microbial responses to MHP and could be potentially exploited in fermentations to modulate product/biomass ratio. © 2022 The Authors. Biotechnology and Bioengineering published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.