Androids in Dragon Ball tend to be some very heavy hitters, able to stand up to, if not withstand, the blows of Super Saiyans and beyond.
Naturally, since there have been so many, debates continue to rage as to who exactly is the strongest Android. The introduction of Android 21 in Dragon Ball FighterZ game certainly upped the ante for Android power, akin to how 17, 18, and Cell did back in Dragon Ball Z.
After much deliberation, here are eight Androids in Dragon Ball ranked from most powerful to least.
Note: The article represents author's views and spoilers are present for entirety of the Dragon Ball series, including FighterZ. No alternate versions or movie androids are present.
The 8 most powerful androids in Dragon Ball
1) Andriod 17
Android 17 has come a long way from fighting Piccolo to a draw in Dragon Ball Z. In his debut, he was able to kill Doctor Gero, beat down Tien, knock Future Trunks senseless, and bash Piccolo down with one blow. The problem was, at the time, he vastly underestimated Cell and was ambushed and absorbed after the grueling fight he and Piccolo had.
Years later, in Dragon Ball Super, 17 appeared to have settled down as a Ranger on Monster Island, marrying and having a family with the park ranger. The manga even revealed that he had tamed the remaining Cell Juniors and let them live there. More to the point, when Goku was recruiting for the Tournament of Power, he sparred with 17, and 17 proved he could handle Super Saiyan Blue.
17 proved himself to be the strongest Android with his actions during the Tournament of Power. He did the following:
- Eliminated several of Universe 2's champions (who were strong enough to take on Goku in Super Saiyan Blue).
- Helped hold off tthe monstrous Agnilasa and even destroyed it's energy reactor, leading to its elimination.
- Fought Top to a standstill, making Top go Destroyer.
- Discovered Jiren's weakness and was one of the first to inflict serious harm on him.
- Was the last man standing in the Tournament of Power and winner.
To be blunt, anyone that can stand up to a monster like Jiren deserves all the awards it can get. The attempt to aid Moro also helped buy time and aid both Vegeta and Goku, since they were getting trounced.
2) Android 18
She did nothing to Krillin except kiss him on the cheek, which was very fortunate for all involved. The only other thing of note is that she fought hard against Cell with Piccolo, Tien, Krillin, and 16, after 17 was absorbed. Sadly, she too was absorbed despite their best efforts.
Fortunately, after Cell was defeated, 18 was revived and she married Krillin. They had a kid named Marron together and everything, which was surprising but sweet. After proving she still had it by defeating Goten and Trunks (though jobbing to Mr. Satan purely for the prize money), she was unfortunately killed alongside Krillin by Super Buu.
Flash forward sometime in Dragon Ball Super, besides dueling with Beerus, she mainly raised Marron alongside Krillin (helping him out in the process) before the Tournament of Power kicked off.
In the said tournament, she proved that she had lost nothing in terms of her fighting prowess. First, her and Krillin sparred with Goku and proved it was more than a match. Then, in the Tournament proper, she eliminated several top fighters, including Ribrianne, as well as proving herself a team player by helping Goku and the others at key junctures.
She also took the hit that the monster fusion Agnilasa had meant for 17 and ended up throwing him back into the arena. Likewise, she was there to help with Moro. She was also instrumental in Super Android 17's destruction in Dragon Ball GT. 18 has proven that she deserves this spot on the list.
3) Android 21
A relative newcomer from the Dragon Ball FighterZ video game, Android 21 was technically based on Dr. Gero's wife, though it varies from telling to telling. Though she's technically very powerful, enough to rival a Super Saiyan God at least, she's third only because 18 has more moments to prove her worth and in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, 21 states 18 is far stronger than her.
Whatever the case may be, Android 21 left quite a mark. She was made from the cells of all the past Dragon Ball Z villains (Cell and Buu included) and was able to fight off all the Z fighters before needing to be stopped by all of them combined.
She's rather unique in that her Majin cells making her hungry and split personality with her Evil self. They make her want to consume everything in sight, never ruling out world domination.
Point being, she's a worthy addition to the Android roster seeing as she has defeated so many and is able to consume anyone she likes. Pray her good persona keeps it's hold.
It's rather obvious Cell would be on this list. The game-changing Android from Dragon Ball Z did a number on anyone and everyone he came across. Whether it was beating Piccolo and nearly absorbing him, to absorbing whole cities, to being the scariest monster Dragon Ball produced to that point? Cell was phenomenal.
The fact that he was smart was also a point in his favor. He stalked his victims like the Predator, waited for everyone else to tire themselves out and then pounced! He was able to overpower 17, absorb 18 via trickery, then kill 16 later on in the Cell Games. The fact that even Goku, Vegeta, and Future Trunks stood no chance against him speaks volumes.
Only Gohan was finally able to vanquish this lethal foe, and only after the epic combination of Father/Son Kamehameha. Signs hint that he may return in the Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero movie, but fans will need to wait and see for that.
5) Android 16
The most powerful of the trio of Androids, circa the Android Saga in Dragon Ball Z, the quiet giant Android 16 was a fan favorite for a long time. His quiet, near-Terminator-like demeanor put many a fans on edge as they feared he'd explode at any given moment. It turns out, he was just a gentle soul that loved nature after all, but was no less a tough combantant.
He injured imperfect Cell and went toe-to-toe with Semi-Perfect Cell. The Hell's Flash technique managed to weaken Cell severely, and he even broke off Imperfect Cell's tail. The problem was once Cell went perfect, he was too much for the Android.
16 died giving Gohan the rage and strength he needed to vaporize Cell and his Cell Juniors.
6) Android 19
The first of the two other Androids that Trunks didn't predict, Android 19 gave the Z Fighters a runaround. At least, he gave Goku one. He fought the android to a stalemate until he went Super Saiyan. The battle went in Goku's favor for a while until the heart virus hit him fiercely and 19 began sapping his energy. This was one of the things that tipped the balance in his favor.
Android 19 was brutal, efficient, and more than a bit of a sadist. But the battle with Goku appeared to have done more than a bit of a number on it's brain, because it arrogantly believed it could kill Super Saiyan Vegeta. This didn't work. At all. It ended with the Android getting it's hands torn off, and then blasted to pieces with a Big Bang Attack. This was a fitting end for 19 and a triumphant return for Vegeta.
7) Android 20
Dr. Gero himself makes it as more of a token effort than anything else. He made himself an android following the absolute devastation of the Red Ribbon army by Goku circa Dragon Ball. He made all the Androids above, and based the mainline Androids on Goku's power circa Z. The problem was that he didn't account for Frieza until Cell's creation.
No matter, he figured that himself 16-20 could handle them. 19 got oblierated, so Gero himself ran. Despite having his own power, making him able to handle the Z fighters, he still lost an arm fighting Piccolo, and was severely damaged by everyone else before reaching 17 and 18.
An interesting thing to note: 17 and 18 were based on deliquents he encountered, 16 was based on his son, 19 was based on a doll he found in an enemy base, and he himself would be 20 to reach immortality.
His ultimate revenge came in the form of Cell from an alternate timeline. Gero himself never got to see it as 17 killed him.
8) Android 8
An older and somewhat forgotten Android in Dragon Ball history, Android 8 was more of a softie than even Android 16! When activated and set against Goku, Android 8 refused to fight because Goku was literally a child. So Goku let himself be shot and the friendly Android turned hostile, beat the paste out of General White and punched him out of Muscle Tower.
He destroyed Muscle Tower and wiped the Red Ribbon Army contingent in Jingle Village with his own strength. He was plenty tough for Goku even in Dragon Ball, never mind in the video games were he's brainwashed and the Z Fighters have to help him back to his senses.
Bonus Mention: Arale Norimaki
The question on everyone's mind is, why is Android 8 in the official rankings and not Arale? Arale is more of a gag manga-type character like Saitama. She doesn't operate off the typical Dragon Ball laws of storytelling and can't be included. She's capable of chopping the Earth in half, easily stomping Vegeta and Goku, among other things!
So, sadly, she has to be a bonus mention. If she were officially included in Dragon Ball seriously, she'd be at the top of the food chain or at least a match for Beerus. Though Beerus did already prove he's immune to gag characters.