Androids are one of the greatest and most prevalent threats throughout the Dragon Ball saga. While flesh-and-blood, magically charged, and even divine enemies have reared their ugly heads, it’s the glut of mechanical monstrosities that make up the largest swath of the villainy pool.
Limitless power, nigh-immortality, immense structural integrity and a callous disregard for human life are the hallmarks of this artificial race. They cannot be reasoned with as a single goal consumes their entire being, and they will fight until that goal has been accomplished, no matter how many acts of terror come with it.
It's time to take a look at the cream of the crop of these manufactured nemeses, and rank them accordingly to the potency of their force. We’re taking our picks from the original Dragon Ball, the action-packed Z (with some of its films), and even a few from GT and some obscure ones from the series’ video games.
Our picks were judged not just on their raw power, but their mental acuity as well, not to mention the horrifying consequences of both their physical and mental prowess combined.
So sit back like the humans from Trunk’s desolate future and await your fate at the hands of the 18 Most Powerful Dragon Ball Androids, Ranked!
18 Dr. Kochin
The World’s Strongest is a fantastic Dragon Ball Z movie, taking all the best elements of the series before power levels and transformations jumped the shark. The film is also anchored by the terribly-underrated and utterly terrifying Dr. Wheelo, a cruel scientist with selfish, destructive desires. Of course, he is helped by the eerie Dr. Kochin, his lab assistant.
At first, Kochin appears to be no more than a decrepit old man, but the finale of the film reveals that he’s an android wearing fake skin, who wields a high-powered gatling gun for an arm (much to Krillin’s dismay.)
While certainly nowhere near as physically opposing as other androids or even Dr. Wheelo, Kochin’s explosive energy weapon stored in his cane is nothing to snuff at, nor are his bullet-spewing fingers, especially considering that Resurrection F proved once and for all that even the strongest Z-fighters can succumb to gunshot wounds if they aren’t paying attention.
17 Major Metallitron
One of the earliest androids to threaten peace on planet Earth was Major Metallitron, part of the Red Ribbon Army in the original Dragon Ball.
Clearly taking inspiration from Arnold Schwarzenegger and his infamous portrayal of the Terminator, this bulky, sunglasses-wearing android had some major strength and resilience, even when up against the spritely, freakishly strong kid Goku.
When the two tussled, Metallitron showed off his brute endurance. Even after Goku destroyed the Major’s head, his wrists, impaled him and then head butted right through his body, Metallitron just kept on coming until his batteries finally give out.
It seems Gero hadn’t yet figured out infinite energy just yet, which would be a patented inclusion in future android warriors. At the very least, Metallitron impressed Goku enough for him to think he’d be a great opponent in the World Tournament.
16 Android 8
As another early robotic construct, Android 8 made his debut in Dragon Ball as part of the Red Ribbon Army. Simultaneously designed by Dr. Gero and Dr. Flappe (thanks in part to Gero not being created by Toriyama just yet), Android 8 greatly resembled Frankenstein’s monster, but in a short of cutesy way.
Unlike more menacing androids, 8 is kind-hearted and strikes up a friendship with the young Goku. The Red Ribbon Army, displeased with his lack of desire to kill the youth, attempted to execute Goku.
Seeing this enraged 8 and, despite his gentle, peace-loving nature, revealed that he was incredibly powerful after all. In fact, he may be even more powerful than Goku at this point, according to the little Saiyan himself.
Turning his rage against the villainous General White, he knocked the officer far out of Muscle Tower, and then proceeded to destroy the tower itself, essentially eliminating a large chunk of the Red Ribbon Army’s strength.
15 Android 19
Android 19 may be one of the weaker entrants on this list, but he makes up for it by being inescapably and uncomfortably creepy. That emotionless, doll-like face, the deceptive, rotund exterior, and that horrifying, baby-like voice make for a memorable enemy, even if he’s outclassed by almost every one else in the rankings.
Despite his comparatively weak stature, however, he’s still not to be underestimated. With an already fairly high base combat value, 19 is also armed with energy-draining devices, which allow him to increase his power by lethally siphoning the life force out of others, which he used to great effect to give Goku a sound beating (although our favorite Saiyan was dealing with a radical heart disease at the time).
What makes Android 19 more dangerous than his fighting abilities, though, are his cognitive ones. Created by Dr. Gero, and then ordered to turn his creator into an android as well, we know that 19’s intellect is at least comparable to the mad doctor’s immense knowledge, which is a scary thought.
14 Android 20
Finally we come to the man himself, Dr. Gero. A truly overlooked villain, Dr. Gero is a text book mad scientist. Consumed by rage by the defeat of the Red Ribbon Army at the hands of Goku, Gero dedicated his android-making skills to exacting revenge on the Saiyan, no matter the cost, or how long it would take for his plans to come to fruition.
In fact, these plans took so long that Gero needed to turn himself into an android so that he wouldn’t die from old age before he could unleash his hellish creations onto the world-- and what a collection of hellish creations they were.
While only marginally more powerful than 19 in terms of combat strength, Dr. Gero was able to concoct and create some of the most powerful beings in the entire Dragon Ball saga.
Ranging from basic droids to entities that could even overwhelm even Frieza, one should take comfort in the fact that he was eliminated by Androids 17 and 18. If he had been allowed to live on indefinitely as an android, who knows what deity-defying creations he would have been able to concoct as technology continued to advance.
13 Android 14
Debuting in the film Super Android 13!, Android 14 stands out when partnered up with the eccentrically dressed Android 15. The fourteenth android is tall, grey-skinned, and well-toned. His face maintains a cool, calculated look, and he looks ready to brawl at any time.
While not mind-blowingly strong, Android 14 proves his looks aren’t just for show, as he is able to take on the combined efforts of both Goku and Trunks who, even without transforming into Super Saiyans, are exceptional warriors.
Android 14 possesses some superb dexterity as well, being able to effectively counter Trunk’s iconic sword, easily overpowering the maneuver without missing a step. Even more impressive, Android 14 was able to still go toe-to-toe with Trunks after he ascended to a Super Saiyan, a form which typically signaled a death sentence.
While the golden-haired warrior from the future was indeed the harbinger of 14’s doom, his diminutive partner in crime posed a far greater threat than this stone-faced giant.
12 Android 15
Where Androids 19 and 20 looked bizarre with their ornate clothing, Android 15 takes things to the next level by easily being the oddest looking Android in the franchise-- even when compared to the typical-teen look of Androids 17 and 18.
A short gentlemen wearing what's best described as a puffy pimp hat and trench coat, along with a nice pair of sunglasses adorning his face, this menace also appears to have a soft spot for alcoholic beverages, as he’s seen sipping from a flask.
Behind the surreal and well-dressed exterior, however, Android 15 is a powerful force. Where 14 was thwarted by Super Saiyan Trunks, 15 is able to combat Goku, Trunk and Vegeta simulataneously without breaking too much of a sweat. He could even rival Vegeta’s Super Saiyan form, going so far as to hurt the Saiyan Prince and knock him out of the golden state before his eventual defeat.
11 Androids 8000 and 19000
In the incredibly obscure and often bizarre Dragon Ball Online, the Earth, centuries after the Buu Saga, has learned the secrets of ki manipulation thanks to a book by Gohan and various martial arts schools from Krillin, Tien and more. Crazier yet, Namekians now live on Earth, as do a race of Majin.
Of course, a threat now looms for Earth in the form of a time-travelling villain named Mira, but the planet's suped-up populace is ready to rumble.
Part of Mira’s forces are the “Red Pants Army,” an off-shoot of Red Ribbon. A member of this group is Android 19000, an advanced version of Android 19, who is allied with Android 8000, a futuristic model of Android 8.
Unfortunately, very little information exists regarding DBO, so it’s incredibly difficult to appropriately gauge both 8000 and 19000’s power levels. The best we can do is assume that, since the earth is populated by super powerful humans, Namekians, Majin and more, these enemies must have greatly enhanced abilities in order to pose a threat to the people.
10 Android 13
While Androids 14 and 15 fought the Z-fighters to the death, Android 13 was being diligently completed by Dr. Gero’s hidden supercomputer. Keeping up with the eccentric looks of his brethren, Android 13 has a penchant for a baseball cap and suspenders, and his personality is that of a redneck. We’re not sure what Dr. Gero’s supercomputer was thinking while it designed 13 and his immediate brethren, but okay then.
The fourteenth and fifteenth android models, while tough, both succumbed to the power of Super Saiyans. Android 13, on the other hand, was not so easily fazed. He and Goku, 13’s main target, brutally grappled despite the Saiyan’s transformation, and 13 even boasted that he’s capable of blowing up half of the Earth if he so chose to.
This is very impressive, especially considering that 14 and 15 seemed to lack this ability, but Android 13’s ultimate strength comes from his ability to strategize, think on his feet and, most critically, improvise when necessary.
9 Android 17
Android 17 is the ultimate bad boy of the Dragon Ball series. A rebellious teenager with a bad attitude, don’t let his handkerchief or jeans fool you: 17 is a ruthless killer. Deriving pleasure from massacring as many human lives as possible, Android 17 combines his bloodlust with the reckless thrill-seeking of a deranged teenager, such as driving a stolen car into crowds of people.
Unfortunately for humanity, his inexhaustible energy source and super-strength allow him to carry out his sickest deeds with little thought in regards to repercussions or being stopped.
One half of the duo responsible for the nightmare future that Trunks initially travels from, 17 and his sister, 18, have the world on its knees and have eliminated the world’s toughest fighters.
Even after being warned, the Z-fighters, including the Super Saiyans, are almost no match for 17. He routinely demonstrates fighting skills and power levels that put the predecessors on this list to shame.
His most frightening quality, however, is his utter callousness and pleasure-seeking. He just wants to have fun, and it just so happens his idea of “fun” is wanton genocide.
8 Android 18
Android 18 is Android 17’s twin sister. Another stereotypical teenage menace coupled with practically unrivaled power, she’s just as bad-- if not worse-- than her brother.
Responsible for a dark and distant future where she and her twin laid waste to humanity and the Z-fighters, 18 demonstrates the same hatred for humanity that 17 does, but significantly differs from him in some respects.
Where 17 is almost fully consumed by lust for destruction and mayhem, 18 routinely finds herself bored by her brother’s meticulousness, and can even put her objectives aside to enjoy trying on new clothes, even going as far as to offer mercy to the dresser, and subsequently getting angry that 17 killed the man anyway.
Despite her propensity to think for herself, 18 is still an ultra-powerful killing machine, able to single-handedly outfight Super Saiyans and others with little effort. And while it seems feasible that both she and 17 have identical power levels, series creator Akira Toriyama says that a glitch in 17’s programming caused him to be weaker, while 18 has full access to her potential. So much for sibling rivalry.
7 Androids 1617, 1718, 1920, Perfect 16, Cell 17
Dragon Ball Fusions is a brilliant-if-not-odd 3DS game which, like its title suggests, focuses heavily on the concept of fusion to create all kinds of unique and powerful fighters. Even more intriguing is that it completely deviates from the storyline of the manga or anime, opting instead for an original story.
Because of the focus on fusions, there are countless characters that are blisteringly powerful, and the combined android forces are near the top tier. The likes of Androids 16 and 17 can combine, along with 17 and 18, 19 and 20, Cell and 16, and Cell and 17. As you can imagine, these new characters take the best and most dangerous aspects of both parties, and forge them into an exceptional fighting force.
Knowing how fusions in DBZ work, it’s safe to assume these fused warriors are capable to taking on numerous top-rank fighters, but due to the completely non-canon approach to the gameplay and plot, we just don’t have enough info to put them any higher on the list.
Frieza’s fratricidal and definitely-not-soft brother, Cooler was already more mature and powerful than Frieza at the time of his demise. However, despite the fact that Frieza would eventually surpass him in the absurd Ressurection F, Cooler still managed to have a stint as an all-powerful android god that was infinitely superior to Frieza’s lame cyborg reconstruction.
In The Return of Cooler, it’s revealed that the Big Gete Star and Cooler’s remains fused together, which allowed the villain to be reborn as an army of android versions of himself, while his consciousness commanded the core of Big Gete itself.
After threatening New Namek, the Z-fighters go to investigate, and it’s here that a single Meta-Cooler lays waste to Goku, easily repelling the Super Saiyan warrior and only being defeated because of Vegeta’s interference. The victory was short-lived, however, as the massive army of Meta-Coolers revealed themselves and engaged our heroes.
While likely not as powerful as 17 or 18 alone, the fact that he can instantly repair his body, along with creating an endless, hive-mind army severely tips the scales in Meta-Cooler’s favor, with only a last ditch effort to overload the Gete Star being able to wipe him out entirely.
5 Android 16
Android 16 is somewhat of an oddity on this list, as he is not inherently evil. Modeled after Gero’s dead son, 16 was designed to be non-violent so that he wouldn’t be destroyed fighting.
Of course, he was also considered a mere prototype without full programming, so it’s highly likely that given the time to be completed, 16 would have used his enormous wells of strength against Goku, who appeared to be his intended target.
With immense physical strength and resilience, explosive arm cannons, and a cataclysmically powerful self-destruct device, 16 is an opponent that could wipe floor with nearly any adversary.
Assuredly more powerful than 17 and 18, Android 16 is canonically superior to Android 13, and is apparently near the same power level of Imperfect Cell, who he manages to defeat. Unfortunately, despite his superior strength, Cell would eventually get the upperhand after transforming, decapitating 16. Ironically, this would be a trigger for Cell’s eventual downfall, as 16’s demise would allow Gohan to achieve Super Saiyan 2.
4 Super Android 13
Despite looking and sounding like a redneck, Android 13 had the exceptional ability to improvise in his most dire situation, and improvise he did. Harnessing components from the destroyed bodies of Androids 14 and 15, Android 13 transformed himself into the titular Super Android 13, and with this maneuver, brought forth an overwhelming amount of power and durability.
Where Super Saiyans have been outmatched, even if only slightly, by the likes of Androids 17 and 18, or even the extraterrestrial Meta-Cooler, Super Android 13 is not only able to outmatch a Super Saiyan, but three simultaneously. He remains entirely unharmed after Trunks, Vegeta and Goku, and even the ultra-powerful post-Kami-fusion Piccolo throw a barrage of attacks his way.
After 13 shattered Trunks’ sword and resisted all other aggressive assaults, Goku barely managed to destroy him by creating a Spirit Bomb and then absorbing that power back into himself to obliterate the rampaging super android with a single hit, a maneuver that “last ditch effort” doesn’t even begin to describe.
Dr. Gero’s ultimate creation, the bio-android Cell was a combination of the cells of the Z-fighters and the good doctor’s technical mastery. A truly terrifying artificial lifeform, Cell would absorb his victims’ energy through his tail, and eventually did the same to both Androids 18 and 17, allowing him to complete himself and become “perfect,” undergoing a tremendous transformation.
Where he was incredibly skilled and powerful before becoming “perfect,” his ultimate form was a nightmare for Earth and its defenders. Using the techniques of those who his genetic material was comprised of, he was easily the most powerful tool to fulfill Dr. Gero’s legacy, and also the perfect counter against those that would oppose him.
Able to go head-to-head with even a Super Saiyan 2, Cell used familiar and cherished techniques like the Kamehameha and, most troublingly, Piccolo’s regeneration against Earth’s Special Forces. A manmade creation able to rival a Super Saiyan 2 is troubling enough to consider, but the fact that he knew most of his enemies better than they knew themselves was even worse.
2 Android 21
We’re going to be honest here: we don’t know too much about Android 21 just yet. Playing a pivotal role in upcoming (and awesome-looking) Dragon Ball FighterZ, there is one thing we can say for sure: she is incredibly power.
This is confirmed as much in a Gameinformer interview, where the developers specifically designed her to be able to combat the strongest of the strong from DBZ’s main cast of characters.
With the game featuring a Golden Frieza and the Super Saiyan Blue forms of Goku and Vegeta, it’s safe to say that Android 21 is able to go up against god-like forces of nature and hold her own.
What’s especially disconcerting, specifically for those who defend our planet, is that she seems to not only rival the mental power of Dr. Gero, but greatly surpass him. The man who created beings so powerful they rivaled Super Saiyan 2’s has now been outdone by a creation who can rival gods, and if that isn’t a terrifying thought, we don’t know what is.
1 Super 17
GT has a lot of problems, but it also has some great ideas, the best of which are its villains. Despite the actual story concepts failing to pan out appropriately, GT was still able to deliver us the supreme android in the form of Super 17, who was concocted by Dr. Gero and Dr. Myuu in the pits of Hell.
They managed to create a duplicate of Android 17, and then fused him together with the 17 still on Earth, which resulted in the lanky, incomparably powerful android champion.
Considering GT’s dubious relation to the canon of the franchise, it’s arguable that Android 21’s god-level fighting skills dwarf those of Super 17, but then again, GT was filled with ludicrous, earth-shattering power levels, and we know for sure that Super 17 was able to go up against Super Saiyan 4 Goku, who is essentially a god-like entity.
Crazier yet, Super 17 was almost able to defeat the ultra-powerful SSJ4, and would have succeeded if it weren’t for the good part of 17 subtly revealing the villain’s weakness long enough for Goku to exploit it and save the day.
What do you think? Who is the strongest android in Dragon Ball? Sound off in the comments!