Top 14 Best Goku Transformations [Ranked]

Every Goku Transformation Ranked


Goku is one of the most iconic characters in the history of anime. This man went from a kid who used to fight at a couple of tournaments to literally saving the entire universe!


Now that’s some growth and development. However, that’s not the only way we know that Goku has become a lot stronger. A good metric for our judgement is his access to new forms throughout the runtime of the series.


And today, we will be taking a look at all these forms. In today’s article, we will be taking a closer look at all the forms that Goku has achieved throughout all significant Dragon Ball instalments.


So, without any further ado, let’s dive into this.




1. Mastered Ultra-Instinct


mastered ultra-instinct


Despite the initial limitations of Ultra Instinct Omen in surpassing Jiren during the Tournament of Power, Goku realized he needed to unlock the full potential of this form. In the heat of battle, Goku found himself cornered in his Ultra Instinct Omen state, predominantly focused on defensive manoeuvres against Jiren’s relentless assault.


However, Goku’s determination pushed him to fight back, culminating in the attainment of Perfected Ultra Instinct. During the Moro arc, Goku rediscovered the Ultra Instinct Omen form through training alongside Merus.


It was after Merus’ tragic erasure that Goku, by suppressing his emotions, triggered the completed Ultra Instinct. Since then, Goku has been able to tap into this form at will.


However, the sheer strength and capabilities that this form holds are what make it so special for the audience as well as the characters that are playing their role in the core storyline. Mastered Ultra-Instinct is one-of-a-kind. 




2. Ultra-Instinct Omen


ultra-instinct omen


The Universe Survival arc proved to be a pivotal moment in Dragon Ball Super, fundamentally reshaping the series and expanding the concept of the multiverse. It introduced Goku’s new ambition of mastering Ultra Instinct, a transformative state that altered the course of battles.


During the Tournament of Power, Goku experienced his first activation of Ultra Instinct, with the anime associating it with the energy of his own Genki Dama, while the manga portrayed it as a mental state.


Despite being treated as a technique, Ultra Instinct was visually depicted as a transformation. And that visual representation is in coherence to what was assumed to be Whis’ technique portrayed during the initial episodes of the series. 




3. Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-Ken


super saiyan blue kaio-ken


Following their triumph over Golden Frieza, both Goku and Vegeta sought ways to enhance their Super Saiyan Blue abilities. Vegeta achieved his improvement later in Dragon Ball Super, while Goku discovered a new approach by reintroducing an old technique.


Leveraging his refined ki control in Super Saiyan Blue, Goku combined it with the Kaio-ken technique. Initially planning to reserve this form for a potential rematch with Beerus, Goku decided to utilize it against Hit to overcome the time-skip technique.


However, like the base Kaio-ken, the Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken imposed a strain on Goku’s body and couldn’t be sustained indefinitely. Therefore, Goku voluntarily decides not to use this form unless certain criteria is being met. 




4. Super Saiyan Blue


super saiyan blue


Following the Battle of Gods, Vegeta and Goku undergo intensive training under Whis. The details of how they achieve Super Saiyan Blue remain undisclosed in both the anime and manga, but it is strongly implied that they attain mastery over this form during their rigorous training with Whis, who imparts the knowledge of God Ki.


Super Saiyan Blue has now become the primary form for Goku and Vegeta in Dragon Ball Super, serving as their base transformations. While Goku’s initial Super Saiyan God form showcased its unique qualities, it was the advanced iteration known as Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, or Super Saiyan Blue, that took precedence.


Super Saiyan Blue highlighted the true God-like potential that a Saiyan can experience without being assisted by any other Saiyans. It is a result of every ounce of training that Goku had put in, more specifically, the training he participated in along with Whis. 



5. Super Saiyan God


super saiyan god


Beerus, the God of Destruction, acknowledges Goku’s inherent skill even though it is complemented by an external power. The introduction of Dragon Ball Super brings forth new possibilities, and Super Saiyan God becomes the gateway to a series of formidable transformations.


This unique form, achieved through a ritual involving multiple Saiyans, presents a departure from Goku’s usual transformations. In his Super Saiyan God state, Goku showcases a slender physique with his characteristic hairstyle, emanating a vibrant red aura.


Although Goku falls short of defeating Beerus, their battle exemplifies the significant increase in Goku’s strength following his power-up.


This form started a revolution since it served as a foundation for every other form that Goku would have in the future. While it didn’t particularly serve as the base form, it did make a notable difference for every other transformation henceforth. 



6. Super Saiyan 4


Super Saiyan 4


The introduction of the Super Saiyan 4 transformation in Dragon Ball GT garnered significant popularity despite the series later being declared non-canon. This form continued to make appearances in video games and merchandise.


After his defeat as a Super Saiyan 3 by Baby, Goku sought to attain greater power. With the help of Old Kai, Sugoro, and Shusugoro, Goku regained his Saiyan tail, enabling him to transform into a Golden Oozaru.


Initially lacking control, Goku eventually gained mastery over this form with Pan’s intervention. This marked his full evolution into Super Saiyan 4, accompanied by a matured physique. In Dragon Ball GT, Goku achieved control over his Golden Great Ape form, culminating in the formidable Super Saiyan 4 transformation.



7. Golden Great Ape


Golden Great Ape


Among GT Goku’s recent transformations is the Golden Great Ape. Those familiar with the power boost provided by the Great Ape form will understand the significant increase in strength when Goku combines it with Super Saiyan.


It is even implied in the show that this form surpasses the power of Super Saiyan 3, elevating its position on the scale of strength. Although Goku struggles to control this formidable form, it grants him enough power to aid in his battle against Baby, highlighting its effectiveness.


This showcases how capable and strong this character is.



8. Super Saiyan 3


Super Saiyan 3


Toriyama introduces Super Saiyan 2 for Goku but quickly moves on from it. Goku briefly fights in this form against Majin Vegeta but never uses it again in the original manga.


However, he achieves an even higher transformation known as Super Saiyan 3 while battling Buu. The immense power of Super Saiyan 3 takes a toll on the body, and Goku, being dead at the time, struggles to master it.


Although Goku eventually gains control of Super Saiyan 3 in Dragon Ball Super, its portrayal in the Buu arc proves too challenging for him. While Gohan initially brought attention to Super Saiyan 2, it is the Buu arc that puts the spotlight back on Goku as he transforms into Super Saiyan 3.



9. Super Saiyan 2


Super Saiyan 2


The Cell arc heavily explores the Super Saiyan state and its further enhancements. Vegeta, Trunks, and Goku all achieve their own variations known as Grade forms, which are essentially amplified versions of the regular Super Saiyan.


However, it is Gohan who introduces a true new form called Super Saiyan 2 during the Cell Games. After Goku’s death, he unlocks Super Saiyan 2 while training in the afterlife, demonstrating improved control and stamina.


Goku briefly showcases the form against Yakon, but it is primarily associated with Gohan. Super Saiyan 2 is characterized by constant sparks of electricity, a 100-fold power increase, and no drawbacks to speed or stamina.



10. Super Kaio-Ken


Super Kaio-Ken


In an unprecedented attempt, Goku introduced a fusion of the Kaio-Ken technique with his Super Saiyan form, resulting in a momentary manifestation known as Super Kaio-Ken. During his intense battle against Pikkon, Goku surprised fans by utilizing the Kaio-Ken while in his Super Saiyan state.


This unexpected combination allowed him to launch a powerful offensive against Pikkon. However, Goku struggled to sustain the form for an extended period, even in his deceased state. Clearly, this form surpasses the power of his base Super Saiyan transformation, as it effectively multiplies the already heightened abilities of Super Saiyan.



11. Super Saiyan 1


Super Saiyan 1


Unlike his battle with Vegeta, where Goku allowed Kaioken to harm his body, he refrains from using the technique against Frieza. Instead, he channels all his energy into a Genki Dama, which only infuriates Frieza.


In retaliation, Frieza kills Krillin, triggering Goku’s transformation into the legendary Super Saiyan. This pivotal moment showcases Goku’s intense anger and fulfils the prophecy of the Super Saiyan. The Super Saiyan form, introduced during the fight against Frieza, grants Goku a tremendous power boost and enables him to overpower his formidable opponent.



12. Kaio-Ken




After Goku’s death in the Saiyan arc, he undergoes training with Kaio in the afterlife. Kaio teaches Goku both, the Genki Dama and the Kaioken. While the Genki Dama is showcased earlier, the Kaioken is revealed during the fight against the Saiyans.


Initially a technique, Goku eventually utilizes the Kaioken as a transformation by the Namek arc. In Dragon Ball Super, Goku takes it further by combining the Kaioken with his other transformations, resulting in a new transformation.


The Kaioken gives Goku a red aura, intensifying his demeanour. It helps bridge the power gap between Goku and Vegeta in their initial battle and allows Goku to defeat Nappa effortlessly.



13. False Super Saiyan


False Super Saiyan


Although the Lord Slug movie is not considered part of the official storyline, it provided fans with a preview of what the Super Saiyan transformation would eventually look like in Dragon Ball Z during the battle with Frieza.


In the movie, Goku confronts Lord Slug and endures severe punishment from the villain’s overwhelming power. However, Goku taps into an extraordinary power that significantly boosts his power level. While his hair remains unchanged, he exhibits a golden aura and his eyes radiate with intense power.


This form has been unofficially referred to by fans as False Super Saiyan, as Goku didn’t fully complete the transformation into the iconic golden warrior but displayed clear indications of reaching that stage.



14. Great Ape


Great Ape


Imprisoned in Pilaf’s palace, the original Dragon Team faces a life-threatening situation as they are left to die with the rising sun. However, Goku’s fortuitous possession of a tail allows him to transform into a powerful great ape under the full moon that appears that night.


While Oozaru Goku manages to break everyone out of the prison, his lack of self-control leads to a destructive rampage that endangers his friends. With the help of Puar, Yamcha intervenes and cuts off Goku’s tail, bringing an end to the chaos.


Although Goku’s transformation into the great ape form was unintentional, it showcases his immense power and unruly nature.



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