Everything You Need to Know About the Androids of ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

Lucas DeRuyter
Dragon Ball Anime
Dragon Ball Anime

If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball or excited for the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ game, chances are you’ve heard of some of the most interesting characters in the series: the Androids. These iconic characters first appeared in the original Dragon Ball and are now a staple of the delightfully bizarre series. Whether you’re looking for a quick refresher on the characters or an overview of how they play in FighterZ, here’s everything you need to know about FighterZ’s Androids.

Android Origins

Weapons of mass destruction, or at least they were supposed to be.

Androids first appeared in Dragon Ball during the Red Ribbon story arc, specifically during Goku’s invasion of Muscle Tower. Here Goku meets and befriends the Frankenstein’s Monster-esk Android 8 – later dubbed Eighter by Goku – and destroys the Terminator-inspired Major Metallitron. Later in this saga, Goku would meet Arale – the protagonist of Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump series – an android created by Senbei Norimaki independently of the Red Ribbon androids.

Dr. Frappe created these original androids alongside Dr. Gero – who would later become Android 20. Androids would not appear again in Dragon Ball until the Android Saga in Dragon Ball Z – although Mercenary Tao’s robotic form might count under the series’ loose definition of Android. In this story arc in DBZ, Androids 16 through 20, as well as Cell, appear. And 17, 18, and 20 are considered androids despite actually being closer to cyborgs. Androids 13, 14, and 15 appear in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!, although they are considered non-canonical; as are Super 17 and Hell Fighter 17 from Dragon Ball GT.

Where the Androids are Now

Chilling out, fighting, dead, or off the radar.

Despite mostly falling into the background or off-screen roles once the Majin Buu story arc began, the androids have reappeared in a big way in Dragon Ball Super. 17 and 18 are currently involved in the Tournament of Power to protect their home universe – Universe 7 – from erasure. Androids 19, 20, Cell and Major Metaltron are dead and presumably in Hell – or HFIL – although it’s not clear if fully robotic androids have souls. Eighter’s just chilling out in Jingle Village, but he was shown briefly in Future Trunks’ timeline during the Goku Black arc.

It’s not exactly clear where the gentle giant Android 16 is or even if he’s alive. He has never appeared or is even referenced in Dragon Ball after Cell is defeated, and it’s possible that his entirely artificial existence prevents him from Dragon Ball resurrection. While he is definitely in FighterZ and seems to play a major role in its story mode, it’s unclear right now if he was rebuilt by Android 21, or if he was simply uninvolved in the events of the series until the events of this game.

Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots

How these androids fight.

Right now Cell, Android 16, and Android 18 – with 17 as an assisting character – are confirmed as playable characters. Cell, somewhat unsurprisingly, plays as a villainous version of Goku. He is exceptionally balanced with both short and long range attacks and a move that allows him to teleport behind an opponent, making him a great finisher. While he might not excel in any one regard, he’s usable in nearly any situation.

Android 16 is easily the game’s most close ranged character, as nearly all of his attacks are some kind of grapple or are designed to get him within grappling range. While he is slow and heavy hitting, his most interesting attack involves him self-destructing; which is guaranteed to kill any opponent if it connects, but only leaves him with a sliver of health.

Android 18 has the exact opposite play-style as Android 16. Her techniques revolve around inflicting damage through ranged attacks, many of which utilize 17 as a puppet fighter. Many of her special attacks also involve Android 17. Although, if her husband Krillin is in the party, he will appear in the animation instead of 17 –which is downright adorable.

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Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.