By mastering Ultra Instinct, Goku has leaped ahead of his rival in Dragon Ball Super. Here’s how Vegeta might be able to level up.
With a little luck (and one of the following methods), Vegeta could catch up to Goku’s Ultra Instinct form in Dragon Ball. When Vegeta first arrived on Earth, a big bald sidekick in tow, he expected to find the planet’s legendary wish-making Dragon Balls. Instead, the Saiyan prince gained something far more valuable – the glowing warmth of true friendship. Since his defeat at the hands of Goku and the Z-Warriors, Vegeta has gradually mellowed – starting a family with Bulma, saving the Earth from alien threats, and even taking his kids to the theme park on rare days off from training. But throughout Vegeta’s evolution, he hasn’t ever lost sight of his overarching goal to surpass Goku.
Vegeta has managed to overtake his rival at several points in the Dragon Ball story, but his advantage never seems to last, with Goku’s protagonist status keeping him one step ahead. The gulf in power looks bigger than ever now that Goku has added Ultra Instinct to his arsenal. A technique usually reserved for Gods, Goku taps into Ultra Instinct while fighting Jiren during the Tournament of Power. Both Ultra Instinct Sign and the full-fat, silver-haired Ultra Instinct afford Goku a massive power-up, elevating his strength exponentially and allowing him to dodge attacks on instinct alone.
Vegeta has been left firmly in the dust, especially after Goku trained with Merus and learned to pull out Ultra Instinct at will. But while the antihero grinds his teeth at the thought of lagging so far behind, Dragon Ball has hinted at several possible ways he can catch up.
Swallow His Pride (& Just Learn Ultra Instinct)
It’ll never happen, but Vegeta could finally overtake Goku if he just tones down his ego. Despite seeing Goku’s newfound power, Vegeta is staunchly refusing to learn Ultra Instinct, even though he’s perfectly capable of doing so. As far as the Saiyan prince is concerned, the technique doesn’t suit his style, and he wouldn’t be caught dead using the same moves as Kakarot. If Vegeta simply swallowed his pride and mastered Ultra Instinct, however, he’d immediately narrow the gap between himself and Goku. Vegeta’s spirit control and Evolved Super Saiyan Blue form might even give him an edge in a battle between Ultra Instinct Saiyans.
If Vegeta wasn’t so determined to avoid copying his rival, he could also take full advantage of Instant Transmission. Vegeta has already teleported successfully in Dragon Ball, but he refuses to hone the technique properly because of its long-standing association with Goku. Such iron-clad stubbornness is unfortunate because combined with his other Yardrat techniques and superior intellect, Vegeta could use Instant Transmission even more effectively than Goku.
Mastering The Super Saiyan Transformations
Despite the considerable mountain Vegeta has to climb, he does hold one significant advantage over Goku – an evolved form of Super Saiyan Blue. Heading into the Tournament of Power, both Goku and Vegeta were using Super Saiyan Blue as their go-to transformation, but while the thrill of combat elevated Goku into the Ultra Instinct realm, Vegeta made improvements of his own, breaking through to a more powerful version of the blue-haired form. Vegeta’s Super Saiyan Blue Evolved transformation is roughly equivalent to Goku in Ultra Instinct Sign and allows Vegeta to compete with God-level opponents such as Toppo.
Vegeta’s latest Super Saiyan breakthrough isn’t a patch on Goku’s mastered Ultra Instinct, but the permanently-peeved prince could build upon his Super Saiyan head-start and kick through to the new SSJ levels while Goku is busy with Ultra Instinct. If Super Saiyan Blue Evolved is as strong as Ultra Instinct Sign, Vegeta might find that his next transformation comes close to matching true Ultra Instinct. And since Vegeta would be relying solely on his Saiyan heritage instead of copying the techniques of the Gods, this method would also suit his raging ego.
Training On Yardrat
Another area where Vegeta has excelled over Goku is in advanced spirit control. Vegeta didn’t remain idle while his rival was off mastering Ultra Instinct. In preparation for a showdown with Moro, Vegeta traveled to Yardrat – the planet where Goku famously learned his trademark Instant Transmission. Befriending the locals, Vegeta not only learned their teleportation technique (begrudgingly), he also trained in Forced Spirit Fission, allowing him to cleave foreign ki from his enemies. This trick would prove particularly useful against opponents who fuse or steal energy.
But Forced Spirit Fission only scratches the surface of what Vegeta could achieve should he explore the unconventional teachings of Yardrat further. The planet’s elder is capable of growing his body at will, and can create doppelganger clones. If Vegeta returned to Yardrat, continued his training, and mastered those techniques, he’d receive a formidable power upgrade. Even using Ultra Instinct, Goku might struggle against a giant Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta spawning copies of himself in the midst of battle. Between Dragon Ball’s two main Saiyans, Vegeta has always been the more cerebral fighter, so overtaking Goku using superior ki control fits his character perfectly.
Learning Beerus’ God Technique
Currently, in Dragon Ball Super, Goku is continuing to train with Whis, honing Ultra Instinct ahead of a seemingly inevitable clash against Granolah. As Vegeta looks on, green with envy, he reiterates his determination to overtake Kakarot, and Beerus hears this. Apparently sick of Goku disturbing his naps with sparring sessions, Beerus stirs the proverbial pot by hinting at an alternative to Ultra Instinct. According to Universe 7’s God of Destruction, Beerus’ ilk have little interest in reaching the state of tranquility required for Goku’s new form. Instead, the Gods of Destruction have their own way of hitting immense power levels without letting go of their anger and emotion. Naturally, Vegeta is thrilled by this prospect.
Dragon Ball Super appears to be priming Vegeta to master the antithesis of Ultra Instinct – a transformation that harnesses rage and passion instead of calling for a completely clear mind. And since this mystery form is another power of the Gods, it could allow Vegeta to surpass Goku in the not-too-distant future. Learning a technique that requires anger instead of peace suits Vegeta’s personality, and maintains his duality with Goku. Where the Dragon Ball protagonist can draw power from calmness, Vegeta can fuel his strength with the pent-up frustration that comes from 30 years in Goku’s shadow.
Regardless of whether Vegeta can learn a new transformation from Beerus, anger could be his ticket to overtaking Goku in Dragon Ball. When Beerus first arrived in Battle of Gods, none of the Z-Warriors were a match for Universe 7’s God of Destruction, and even Vegeta quaked in fear at the uninvited guest. When Beerus gave Bulma a slap, however, Vegeta launched into action and fought competitively against the gluttonous God, despite being a mere Super Saiyan 2. Considering how easily Super Saiyan 3 Goku was swatted by Beerus, Vegeta’s brief flurry is an amazing feat and speaks to the importance of pure anger over who has more hair changes in their locker.
Vegeta received a similarly impressive boost after watching Cell defeat Trunks in the original Dragon Ball series. These incidents suggest that even if Vegeta remains at his current level, he could match the power of Ultra Instinct if provoked in the right way. Perhaps Dragon Ball’s next villain captures Bulma, or insults Bulla, or brutally batters Trunks. Sheer unadulterated rage could send Vegeta into a frenzy that not even Goku’s Ultra Instinct can keep up with.