Goku’s transformations are iconic, period! No matter what negative thing you have to say about it, no one cares. We have all grown up watching the show and probably shouting our lungs out to see if we could transform into a Super Saiyan. This is why, even today, a new transformation can create a ton of hype among anime fans worldwide. So, here’s a list of all the Goku forms shown throughout the series!
While there were a couple of transformations before the Namek arc, it was during this arc that fans got to see the very first Super Saiyan transformation, which was truly legendary!
But Goku didn’t stop at just that. As newer and stronger foes kept appearing, Goku managed to unlock even stronger Super Saiyan transformations, and in Dragon Ball Super, he managed to break through into the territory of the Gods with his Super Saiyan God transformations.
And that’s what this list is all about!
Today, we will talk about all of Goku’s transformations throughout the Dragon Ball series, starting with the original Dragon Ball and ending with Dragon Ball Super. So buckle up as we reminisce our childhood and relive all those glorious moments!
All The Goku’s Transformations in Dragon Ball Series
12. Oozaru (Great Ape)
The Great Ape transformation is the very first transformation that Goku went through. It’s a pretty dangerous transformation because when Goku transformed into the Great Ape, he lost all sense of self and went on a rampage, destroying anything and everything in his path.
This Oozaru transformation is pretty common among Saiyans who still have their tail. When there’s a full moon, the Saiyans can absorb enough blutz waves from the moon to undergo the transformation. When Goku transformed into the Great Ape, he reverted to his original Saiyan nature, making him violent, feral, and super dangerous.
One might argue that this is just a power-boosting technique and not a transformation, but I would say otherwise. I think that the Kaio-ken form deserves its place on this list because it’s one of Goku’s iconic abilities that he’s relied on several times to take on powerful opponents, making it one of the powerful Goku forms.
Goku acquired this technique after his death during the Saiyan Saga when he went to train with King Kai in the afterlife. This form allows Goku to become faster, stronger, and better by augmenting his overall physical abilities. There’s also a multiplier where he can get even stronger by pushing past his limits, which results in his body getting battered at the end!
10. Super Saiyan
This is the most iconic of Goku forms of all time, period! Watching Goku go Super Saiyan the very first time was one of the best parts of my childhood; I still remember it like I just watched it yesterday. And I am sure that most Dragon Ball fans feel the same way.
Watching Goku getting beaten by Frieza was one thing, but when Frieza killed Krillin right in front of Goku’s eyes, there was no going back. The grief of losing his best friend, the anger towards himself that he couldn’t do anything to stop it, and the rage towards Frieza made Goku transform into the legendary Super Saiyan. And the beatdown that followed next was nothing short of iconic!
9. Super Saiyan 2
While we associate the first Super Saiyan transformation with Goku, the Super Saiyan 2 form is most associated with Gohan because he was the first to undergo this transformation during the Cell Games arc.
After the Frieza Saga came to a conclusion, and during the Cell Saga, almost every Saiyan introduced had acquired the Super Saiyan transformation. Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks even had their augmented forms (called Grade forms), but that was it. Goku acquired his Super Saiyan 2 form following his death while he trained in the afterlife, and we got to see him using this form in full glory during his battle with Majin Vegeta!
There are physical differences between the first Super Saiyan and the Super Saiyan 2 forms. The hair becomes spikier, the muscles are more defined, and the aura surrounding the body generates electricity!
8. Super Saiyan 3
The SSJ3 form is the strongest of Goku’s transformations in the original Dragon Ball Z series. Again, like most of his techniques and transformations, Goku achieved the Super Saiyan 3 form after training intensely in the afterlife in the Other World, where he could put unlimited energy into maintaining this form!
Goku uses this transformation during the Majin Buu Saga, where he fights against Innocent Buu. Still, this form is extremely hard to maintain as the energy is drained faster than his other forms. While Goku didn’t have a handle on this transformation during the Dragon Ball Z series, as he had just learned it and hadn’t really used it that much or trained with it while in the living world, he has gotten better at using it in the Dragon Ball Super series.
7. Golden Great Ape
If you are a fan of Dragon Ball, then you most definitely have watched the Dragon Ball GT series. While it’s not canon, it still was a fantastic watch and gave us some of the most iconic Goku forms of all time!
Goku’s Golden Great Ape transformation happened during his fight with Baby Vegeta. Old Kai helped Kid Goku regrow his tail, allowing him to transform into the Great Ape. And Goku combined his Super Saiyan power with this form to become the Golden Great Ape. While Goku becomes feral and absolutely violent in this form, his power increases so much that Baby Vegeta, who had previously overpowered Goku’s Super Saiyan 3 form, could not keep up with him!
6. Super Saiyan 4
This form right here is one of the best Goku transformations of all time, in my opinion! I am sure you must have felt the same way for a long time and still think so because Super Saiyan 4 looks absolutely stunning.
The Super Saiyan 4 form is not canon, but the immense popularity it enjoys has made this form appear in several video games, spin-offs, and merchandise over the years.
Goku obtained this form when he gained complete control over his Golden Great Ape form. Once he had full control, Goku could ascend to the Super Saiyan 4 state, which came with a grown-up body and a Saiyan tail.
This transformation is completely different, appearance-wise, as it gave Goku a more feral, monkey-like look as he was covered in red fur and had long, overflowing hair. But Goku retains his state of mind and doesn’t go all out of control while in the SSJ4 state!
5. Super Saiyan God
Super Saiyan 3 was considered Goku’s strongest form canonically. Still, as soon as Lord Beerus showed up in the series and played with SSJ3 Goku, the form practically became non-existent in the series.
Lord Beerus showed up on Earth looking to fight the Saiyan who defeated Frieza because he thought he was the Super Saiyan God. Unfortunately, neither Goku nor Vegeta knew about this form. So, Goku and his friends collected the Dragon Balls to summon Shenron and ask him about the legend of the Super Saiyan God.
According to Shenron, the form can only be achieved after undergoing a ritual where six righteous Saiyans hold hands and transfer the ki into the Saiyan, who will become the God.
Once Goku achieves the Super Saiyan God form, he gains a significant power boost compared to his previous forms. He even fights for a long time with Lord Beerus, the God of Destruction, even managing to land several blows on him, although Lord Beerus was probably holding back a lot during their battle.
4. Super Saiyan Blue
Super Saiyan God form is exciting, powerful, and pretty awesome, but there’s something even better – the Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan form! Or simply, Super Saiyan Blue!
After training with Whis, Goku combines his Super Saiyan transformation with his Super Saiyan God transformation and achieves the Super Saiyan Blue state. When talking about his go-to forms, this is probably the strongest of Goku’s transformations he regularly uses in Dragon Ball Super.
This form’s power far surpasses that of the Super Saiyan God transformation, and it is so powerful that even Golden Frieza had a hard time dealing with it.
And in his fight against Fused Zamasu, Goku mastered the transformation, which gave him an edge over his opponent. Although he could only use the perfected transformation for a short period in the beginning, he has since overcome that flaw and can now use it without any issues.
3. Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-ken
Before we were introduced to the Super Saiyan transformations, we were introduced to Kaio-ken back in Dragon Ball Z. Still, the creators of the manga and the show didn’t forget it and brought it back in Dragon Ball Super, and this time it was even more glorious to watch!
When Goku is in this state, he gains a double aura. He appears as the basic Super Saiyan Blue with the blue aura all over his body while a larger red aura surrounds it. Goku first used this form against Hit in the Universe Tournament arc.
Although this particular of Goku’s transformation had flaws when he first used it, Goku has managed to master this technique as well.
2. Ultra Instinct Sign
The hype was unreal from the moment it was announced that Goku was about to achieve another transformation in the Tournament of Power arc to the moment that we get to see it in the anime. Even now, it’s a moment that’s right up there with the first Super Saiyan transformation!
While Whis was training Goku and Vegeta, he subtly dropped hints about this form but never outright mentioned it.
Goku achieved this form after absorbing the power of his own Spirit Bomb, which managed to break some kind of a mental shell and helped him unlock a much deeper potential. However, this Ultra Instinct transformation was incomplete and came undone after about a minute, leaving Goku depleted of all his energy.
In his Ultra Instinct form, Goku looks the same as he does in his base form, but now he has spikier hair, silver-colored irises, and a silver aura surrounding his body.
1. Perfected Ultra Instinct
If you think that Ultra Instinct Sign was the pinnacle of Goku’s potential, you are wrong because he soon unlocked an even better form, the Perfected Ultra Instinct!
During the final moments in the Tournament of Power, in his fight against Jiren, Goku finally learns to let go of self-doubt and live in the moment, thus subconsciously unlocking the Perfect Ultra Instinct transformation. Unlike Ultra Instinct Sign which isn’t really great in terms of offensive capabilities, Perfected Ultra Instinct gives him both offensive and defensive capabilities.
In this form, Goku’s hair turns white, his irises become silver-colored, and his body is surrounded by a more dense silver aura that resembles rippling, fire-like energy.
This is the strongest of Goku’s transformations, which put him on par with Jiren. Even all the Gods of Destruction from all universes stood up to honor him despite being stunned by a mortal achieving the Ultra Instinct state that’s hard for even them.
I hope that you now have a better understanding of all of Goku’s forms. I tried to cover everything relevant and everything you might like to know.
I am aware that there are some forms and transformations that I haven’t featured here. Like the kid form of Goku from GT, its subsequent SSJ transformations, or the Giant form of Goku that manga readers might be more aware of. But, I will stick to my list and ignore those forms for now.
With that, we come to the end of the article. But before you leave, make sure to share it with your friends to let them know about all the strongest Goku transformations that they might have forgotten about!