Dragon Ball FighterZ tier list

The best and worst of Goku's frienemies.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is finally here, and if there’s one thing the fighting game community loves to dive right into, it’s tier lists. It doesn’t take long after a game’s release for players the world over to start questioning which characters are performing the best, organizing the full cast into a tier list so they know who to put in their team.

New to Dragon Ball FighterZ? Check out our controls guide.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that tier lists aren’t an official release, and this early in the games lifetime they’re prone to rapid change. Anyone can create their personal rankings, but reliable tier lists take time to develop, and it won’t be until tournament results come pouring in that we can say for certain which characters are truly the most super of Saiyans.

With that in mind, we’re still here to give you an idea of what each character has to offer based on early knowledge of the game. You can expect this list to shift over the course of the year, and we’ll do our best to keep it updated as views change and newer, DLC characters arrive.

Dragon Ball FighterZ tier list

As we’ve mentioned, just coming out of launch week, take this list with a pinch of salt, as we’re basing this largely on the abilities and options characters have open to them. Pro players are still playing around with the game’s cast to develop new and dangerous combos that could rocket characters up and down in the ranking. For now, enjoy this list as an exercise in fun more than anything else.

N.B. — Characters in each tier are organized in alphabetical order rather than strength. Characters in each tier are considered to be of roughly equal strength.

S-Tier

  • Adult Gohan
  • Cell
  • Frieza
  • Goku Black
  • Kid Buu
  • SSB Goku

A-Tier

  • Android 16
  • Android 18
  • Android 21
  • Beerus
  • Ginyu
  • Goku
  • Gotenks
  • Hit
  • Krillin
  • Nappa
  • Piccolo
  • Tien
  • Trunks
  • Yamcha

B-Tier

  • Majin Buu
  • SSB Vegeta
  • Teen Gohan
  • Vegeta

C-Tier

  • Everyone who didn’t make it into the game — sorry Cooler!

Explanations

S-Tier

Adult Gohan - Gohan’s Release Power earns him new attacks, as well as increasing his power and speed. Reach level seven of Release Power and he essentially becomes the best character in the game, gaining the ability to reverse the normal combo flow, going from Heavy to Medium to Light. This grants him insane pressure strings few characters can rival, and that prove very difficult to defend against. Even without level seven Release Power, he has overhead/low mix-ups with his fast fall, his standing Light attack is a low, and his crouching Medium has deceptive range. Adult Gohan shaping up to be the best character in the game in most books. For us, he’s certainly top tier at the very least.

Cell - Perfect Cell was arguably the ultimate fighter, and much of that holds true in his Dragon Ball FighterZ incarnation. Quite simply, he has everything you could want in a character. His normals are some of the best in the game, and can be linked instead of chained in some cases. Better yet, he has a full screen command grab sets up a combo provided you have enough meter or the proper assist. He even has a teleport attack allowing for cross-ups or a rapid escape from the corner. The only place Cell falls down is in super move versatility, but that’s hardly enough of an issue with everything else he has going.

Frieza - The original big bad of Dragon Ball Z, Frieza is a force to be reckoned with in FighterZ. With some of the best projectiles in the game, a teleport, a great assist, he’s well worth a space in any team. Oh and he’s even got Golden Frieza, one of the few installs in the game. His excellent normals will fare you well during the battle, and he becomes nearly unstoppable when combining Golden Frieza and Sparking Blast. The extra moves Golden Frieza grants, plus the boost you get from Sparking Blast all add up to one scary character.

Goku Black - Goku Black has almost everything you would want from a character in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Instant Transmission is perfect for setting up cross-ups with offensive pressure, and his range of super moves make him perfect for dishing out damage alone. Add to that a full screen command grab that combos into his Binding Black Kamehameha projectile and can set off a combo with Vanish or the right Assist.  His Fierce God Kick also grants new options as a dive kick that wall bounces. All together Goku Black is character that isn’t really lacking on any fronts.

Kid Buu - Despite being short, the superior Buu has longer reach than almost any other character, deals big damage and has great combo extensions, making him arguably the most annoying character to fight against. Outranging the rest of the cast, he can deal out so much offensive pressure and easy to confirm normals that he can rush down most opponents without even using assists. Add those into the equation and he’s one of the toughest characters to fight unless you’re really mastered your deflects and blocking.

SSB Goku - SSB Goku loses the handy Dragon Flash Fist overhead that SSJ Goku has, but he more than compensates for it elsewhere. His Light Attack auto combo has a built in overhead/low mix-up, letting you stop it after the second hit and go for a crouching Medium mix-up instead. Instant Transmission can be used to teleport in front of or behind an opponent for a cross-up, and the EX version of the Divine Void Strike is the perfect escape option when trapped in the corner. Throw in a command grab and there’s very little SSB Goku is missing.

A-Tier

Android 16 - He may be a little slow, but Android 16 has armor and unblockable command grabs to get him up close and personal. He’s also a great combo finisher, able to grab an opponent from almost anywhere on screen, slammin them to the ground for some easy follow-up damage. Compared to Nappa (the only other armored character), he’s got better combos, but doesn’t have the Saibamen to back him up. Android 16 being a bit more versatile evens out the two semi-grappler characters in the game. He doesn’t seem set for S-Tier at first glance, but having seen this touch of death combo pro player and EVO champion SonicFox just discovered, we might need to reconsider:

  

 Android 18 - 18 was easily the best character in the closed beta, and while she’s suffered a bit of a nerfing, she’s still a very viable character. Barrier alone can shut down an offense in no time and builds a good chunk of meter while you’re at it, working well as an assist, too. Calling in Android 17 to help can lead to lengthy block strings that apply serious pressure, and she can combo into a Dragon Rush without expending any meter. Her closed beta form was easily top tier, but the nerf to her command grab and a few other areas dropped her to A-tier on release.

Android 21 - When Android 21 has absorbed the right attacks, she could easily be the best character in the game. The problem is that you need to be facing the right characters to secure her command grab or other extremely powerful stolen abilities. Even with the right opponents, you still need to land multiple command grabs to get her to full power. This is no easy feat, and you’ll often find the match is close to over by the time she’s fully equipped, especially since you can’t combo into the ground QCF+S grab without an assist helping you. Still, 21’s reach and other abilities place her squarely in A-tier.

Beerus - The God of Destruction is one of the toughest characters to use well in DBFZ. He has high damage output and his Multi-Cataclysmic Orbs can create fearsome setups after a hard knockdown in the corner. While his crouching medium has extremely good range, many of his other normals do not, and  it’s tough to get his orbs out safely without using an assist. If you do get them out. They’ll vanish again if he so much as blocks an attack, not to mention the fact that an opponent can Super Dash straight through them. He’ll probably be very good in the right hands, but we’re waiting to see what the pros can achieve with him before he stands a chance of jumping up a tier.

Ginyu - Ginyu might be a one-man army, but in practice, he needs good assists to really maintain his pressure game. Once he gets going, though, it’s very difficult to stop him. If you’re adept and keeping track of the Ginyu force, he can be deadly, but you won’t make it far without assists to properly set up his aggression. Unfortunately, even with good assists he only has one super move that’s practical in any given situation. His level three Body Swap can come in handy if you’re down, but it’s highly situational, essentially limiting Ginyu to a single super move most of the match.

Goku - As the main protagonist in all of Dragon Ball, Goku is simply a very solid character in FighterZ. Dragon Flash Fist is a safe overhead that can lead to a guaranteed super if it hits, making it an ever-present threat your opponent will have to worry about. This gives him great pressure at close range, and the EX version can catch people out thanks to the teleport right before it. Couple this with  good damage and a range of super moves and Goku makes for a decent, A-tier character.

Gotenks - The fusion between Goten and Trunks just teeters on the edge of S-tier. The ability to cancel Vengeful Shout and the amazing Galactic Donut assist make Gotenks into a real pain in the rear for any opponent. Add in his unique ability to cancel special moves into one another and there’s nothing holding Gotenks back aside from his short arms.

Hit - The Legendary Assassin is a difficult character to deal with both for the player and opponent. Relying almost entirely on cross-ups and converting combos from stray hits, he’s tough to get started with, but can punish from nearly full screen and has a counter that can lead to a full combo with an assist or a Vanish. As DBFZ’s current roster goes, he’s a little on the slow side, especially when responding to pressure at close range, and if you miss a counter you could be eating a big punishment. On paper, Hit could well be top tier in future, but will need players to put in some work to bring out his talents.

Krillin - Senzu beans and cross-up shenanigans with his After Image sadly aren’t enough to put Krillin in the same league as DBFZ’s higher tier characters. Krillin’s short limbs make playing footsies and controlling the neutral game a real challenge, but if you can get in then he’s a decent choice. With an assist or two to help out, Krillin can still land some nice damage, but it’s not enough to place him above A-tier.

Nappa - The biggest thing Nappa has going for him is armor attacks. With proper timing you can shut down your opponents offence and dish damage back out in return. You can also get extended combos using the Saibamen in the corner, but that’s about the limit to their effectiveness as it stands right now. Nappa feels a bit like a poor man’s Ginyu with armor, but offering fewer tools to work with.

Piccolo - Piccolo is all about cross-up mix-ups. He’s got decent his command grab options and makes for a pretty solid character, but unfortunately he’s very meter hungry. You’ll need to spend at least two bars to start dealing good damage, which can prove costly over time. Pair Piccolo with a good battery and he can be deadly, but meter management holds him back from being a top tier character.

Tien - Tien’s Volleyball Fist mix-ups can be difficult to deal with, especially when you consider the counter on the Medium version. He’s also got a decent overhead/low mix-up game and can punish from nearly full screen thanks to Telekinesis. While he might have a lot going in his moveset, Tien stumbles when it comes to damage, needing to sacrifice his own health to really cause some hurt, a price that the top characters don’t have to suffer.

Trunks - The son of Vegeta has near full screen overhead attacks that can be difficult to react to when you mix it up with his other aerial techniques. He’s also able to output good damage numbers, has a solid assist, and pressures well in the corner and mid-screen. His aerial combo ability is a little limited, however, and he has difficulty opening up good defensive players, keeping him back from the best of the best.

Yamcha - The Wolf Fang Fist alone is enough to put Yamcha in A-tier. Nearly every version is safe, and it’s easy to hit confirm with decent damage. Unfortunately, that’s really all Yamcha has going for him, making for a bit of a spammy character. His divekick can be used to apply pressure, but it can only be canceled into special moves or super moves, limiting its uses. Overall Yamcha fairly solid, but not the best the game has to offer.

B-Tier

Majin Buu - Majin Buu has some interesting tools at his disposal, but when compared to Kid Buu he is severely lacking. His one advantage is that he can attack from a distance fairly well. He’s not quite what you would consider a zoning character, but he doesn’t have to put himself in as much direct danger as Kid Buu, and he has a standing overhead, which can be used to open up opponents. He might be funny, but this is one fighter that doesn’t seem destined for greatness right now.

SSB Vegeta - The SSB version of one of Dragon Balls Z’ oldest characters seems to have even fewer options than his regular counterpart. A decent enough character, but sorely lacking in versatility. He can cross-up more easily with the Super Dash Kick, but his command grab can be dodged by crouching, he doesn’t have an aerial level one super move, and his assist is far, far less useful. The extra damage he can squeeze out of Final Flash isn’t enough to make up for his other shortcomings.

Teen Gohan - One of Teen Gohan’s main attributes is his high damage output, but beyond that fact, he doesn’t have much else going for him. There aren’t any “bad” characters in the game, but Teen Gohan simply doesn’t have as many tools as most of the other characters.

Vegeta - While Vegeta is a respectable character, he doesn’t have nearly as many tools to set up combos as the vast majority of the cast. Super Dash Kick and an assist call will set up some nice cross-up tricks, but it’s a struggle to find much beyond that. Vegeta does have one of the best assists in the game however, so if top players can figure out a way to utilize him well, he could get bumped up for that alone.

That's it for the current roster of characters, but you can be sure we'll update this list as more characters make their way into the game and tier lists stabilize.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

Back To Top