Let's face facts, way more fans of Dragon Ball consider Vegeta their favorite character over Goku. Even though Goku is the main character of the series, more fans are drawn to the character development of Vegeta and how he's grown in contrast to Goku, who has pretty much stayed the same. While we won't deny that Vegeta is the more interesting and complex of the two, Goku still deserves a lot of love. In fact, there are a lot of things that make Goku better than Vegeta. There are reasons why he is the main character and why we love to cheer him on in the climatic moments of the series.
Goku is much more than he seems, and though his character has gotten rather one-dimensional is Dragon Ball Super, he still has his moments, points where we see what makes him such a great character. Plus, there's always everything before Super to show us just how great Goku is. But, as mentioned, there are a few things that he could improve about himself, things that Vegeta has over him. This is why we decided to compare the two by bringing you 1o ways that Goku is better than Vegeta, and 5 ways he's worse.
15 BETTER: TRAINING MOTIVATION
At the very end of the Buu saga, Vegeta has an inner monologue in which he admits Goku is number one, and while this attitude seems to have gone away by the time of Super, there's still something important that can be taken from the scene. Vegeta says that the reason Goku continues to get stronger and break past his limits is because his motivation for training was greater.
Where Vegeta fought and killed for pleasure and only sought to get stronger to strike down others, Goku trained to get stronger for the sake of bettering himself. Vegeta only wished to push down others, but Goku fought to push himself, something that can be seen clearly in his approach to fighting and a fact Vegeta himself admits.
14 BETTER: HE'S MORE POWERFUL
Let us end the debate over who's powerful between Goku and Vegeta, it's Goku. Now, before you get up in arms about that claim, think of it this way, Goku's power is greater, but that doesn't mean he's necessarily stronger. We'll get to why exactly, but it's not hard to argue why Goku is more powerful, he reaches higher levels faster, he's achieved forms that Vegeta has not and he's survived harsher battles, which means that he's gotten stronger thanks to his Saiyan power.
The entire point of Goku's character is that he breaks past limits, meaning that no matter how hard Vegeta might try, Goku will, just by the fact that he's the main character, always be more powerful. Not to mention Goku constantly seeks out powerful enemies to fight for the purpose of getting stronger himself, which is motivated by the above entry.
13 WORSE: HE'S A WORSE FIGHTER
Here's where we make things up to the Vegeta fans. While Goku might be more powerful than Vegeta, he's a worse fighter. By this we mean that Vegeta doesn't have as much power as Goku, but he knows how to better utilize it. Vegeta's battle skills, both in terms of techniques and strategy, are far greater than Goku's. Think back to their fight during the Majin Buu saga -- Vegeta won because he was the better fighter, not because he was more powerful.
The concept of Ultra Instinct supports this argument. Goku's skill as a fighter was getting stronger and breaking past his limits, and the only way he could actually utilize his power as a good martial artist was by achieving Ultra Instinct. Meaning, where Vegeta actually has good battle strategy, defense and offense, Goku was so bad at it that he had to achieve a form to get better.
12 BETTER: KNOWS THE VALUE OF HARD WORK
Now, this one is a bit of a technicality, but hear us out. In the Saiyan saga, Vegeta was kind of a royal brat. He was gifted with a naturally high power level as a member of the royal family, and as such, he hardly had to train to get stronger, if at all. On the other end of the power spectrum, Goku was born as part of the lower class of Saiyans, and as such had a power level far below that of the Saiyan elite.
However, as time went on, Goku fought and trained and clawed his way to the top, working hard to be the first Super Saiyan in over a hundred years. Vegeta eventually learned to train and work hard as well, but even then, it was just to spite Goku by surpassing the person who wounded his pride.
11 BETTER: NEVER GAVE UP FIGHTING
At the end of the Cell saga, after Gohan achieved Super Saiyan 2, a form that no one had seen before, Vegeta vowed to give up fighting. His pride had been so wounded that Gohan had surpassed him, since he was a half-Saiyan, a child, and the son of a lower-class Saiyan. It was a three-point hit to his pride as a warrior, and it was enough for Vegeta to swear off fighting and focus on his family.
Though Vegeta eventually took up fighting (and definitely didn't stop training), he still gave up. Goku has never done this, there wasn't a single point where he quit fighting or trying to get stronger. In fact, Goku is so dedicated to fighting it is literally his major character flaw. He loves fighting and always looks for an excuse or opportunity to fight, while Vegeta let his pride get the better of him.
10 WORSE: A BAD DAD
Ironically, the previous entry is also what makes Vegeta better than Goku. Though Goku's dedication to fighting is admirable from a certain perspective, it also shows just how little he cares about things that aren't fighting. Meanwhile, after Vegeta gave up fighting, he focused a bit more on his family, and though he might not be winning any "father of the year" awards, he clearly put a lot of effort into trying to be a better person and father.
Goku on the other hand... not so much. Goku isn't the worst father in the world, he clearly loves his sons and wants the best for them, he's just a bit absent minded when it comes to his family. Fighting and getting stronger comes first for Goku, and though this doesn't mean he loves his family any less, it just means that sometimes he's not always thinking of them.
9 BETTER: REACHED SUPER SAIYAN 3
Now we get into the stuff that really pisses off Vegeta and wounds his pride. When Goku fought against Vegeta after he turned into a Majin, he was holding back, and it was revealed that he achieved a level beyond Super Saiyan 2. Goku is still the only full-blooded Saiyan to achieve Super Saiyan 3, as Vegeta has yet to achieve the form, and even Gotenks is only able to do it when he's in a fusion.
Why Vegeta has never tried to achieve this form is beyond us, but it is still one of the things that Goku has above the prince of Saiyans. Vegeta has only ever gone Super Saiyan 3 in non-canon video games, so Goku is better than him in this regard, since he put in the hard work to push past his limits even farther than before.
8 BETTER: ACHIEVED ULTRA INSTINCT
Another form Goku has achieved that Vegeta has not is Ultra Instinct, the trump card that helped save Universe 7 from being erased. This form is one that even the gods have had trouble achieving and gives Goku perfect defense and offense, allowing his body to move and fight without thinking. While using Ultra Instinct, Goku can attack and defend with perfect precision, making him even stronger than he is in his Super Saiyan Blue form.
Vegeta tried to achieve this form by letting himself get attacked and beaten in the hopes that his body would react with Ultra Instinct. But nothing happened, and if the finale of Super is any indication, we probably won't see Goku use the form again any time soon. Still, the fact that he was able to use it when he did makes him better than Vegeta.
7 WORSE: SUPER SAIYAN BLUE 2
For the very first time in Dragon Ball history, Vegeta surpassed Goku by achieving a new, never-before-seen form, Super Saiyan Blue 2 (or whatever name they're gonna give it in the English dub). This form was achieved when Vegeta pushed past his limits and went beyond Super Saiyan with the power of a god. We only saw this form briefly in the Tournament of Power, but it was clearly a huge power up, giving Vegeta the power to survive his own self-destruction.
Super Saiyan Blue 2 is similar to Super Saiyan 2 in that Vegeta's hair is much spikier and more defined than the previous form. It also turns his hair a darker shade of blue and his pupils are now visible. Not much is known about this form, but we hope to learn more eventually, perhaps in the upcoming Dragon Ball Super movie?
6 BETTER: PURE OF HEART
Way back in Dragon Ball, Goku was able to use the flying nimbus cloud because he was pure of heart. In fact, he's so pure-hearted that both his sons were able to use it as well. Though the definition of "pure-hearted" is kind of vague within the context of the show, it is something that Goku has over Vegeta, since we can assume that the prince of Saiyans, who killed entire planets, could not be considered pure of heart.
It's not like Vegeta would need it, but lacking a pure heart means he could never use the flying nimbus. It also means that, no matter how much he has changed and no matter how good of a person he is now, Vegeta is very likely to go to hell when he dies and passes to Otherworld, though we like to hope this isn't true.
5 BETTER: SPARES HIS ENEMIES
Though this has, at times, come back to haunt Goku and the Z-fighters, the fact that Goku has made friends out of nearly all his enemies is a testament to his character. Goku walks a path of righteousness that puts him at a morally higher place than Vegeta at times. Heck, if Goku didn't spare his enemies, Vegeta wouldn't even still be around, and he wouldn't have gotten the chance to change into a better person.
Goku's kindness comes from the fact that he just enjoys a good fight, and while he does make sure that his family and friends are safe by fighting threats to the Earth, he still sees the good in others, and he respects their power by giving them a second chance. Seriously, what's a better trait than that to have?
4 WORSE: HE HASN'T GROWN AS A PERSON
Though Goku deserves a lot of credit for how pure-hearted he is and his respect, honor and morals as a person and fighter, he's definitely not a very dynamic character. As we mentioned earlier, Goku loves fighting and tends to put the thrill of facing a powerful enemy before anything else, and he's been this way since he was a kid. In fact, the only thing that Goku loves more than martial arts is food!
Meanwhile, Vegeta has easily one of the greatest character arcs in all of anime. After Goku spared him, Vegeta found a home on Earth, and after initially ignoring his son, he eventually fell in love with Bulma, married her and became a present father for Trunks. Then, in Super, Vegeta was even willing to give up fighting to stay with Bulma when she was about to give birth. Now that's character development!
3 BETTER:AVENGED THE SAIYAN RACE (SORT OF)
Frieza was responsible for the destruction of planet Vegeta and the genocide of the Saiyans, and when Vegeta learned that Frieza was the cause of his people's death, he hoped that Goku could defeat the tyrant for what he did. Goku eventually did just that, using the ancient and lost Super Saiyan transformation to defeat Frieza and avenge the people and culture that he himself never knew.
Even though he left Frieza alive and let him go, he still gets credit for honoring the Saiyan name by beating Frieza, something that Vegeta was unable to do. In fact, Vegeta not only failed to defeat Frieza, he actually died by his hands, and in his final moments, he let go of his pride and asked Goku to avenge their people.
2 BETTER: INSTANT TRANSMISSION
This is kind of a small one, but the fact that Goku can teleport practically anywhere is an extremely useful skill that makes him better than Vegeta. In fact, it raises the question of why Goku hasn't taught the technique to anyone else. Regardless, Goku has used instant transmission to save the day countless time, and he's even brought Vegeta along for the ride in quite a few instances.
This is why instant transmission makes Goku better than Vegeta, since the latter relies on Goku's use of the ability to get them into and out of situations. Goku can go anywhere in the universe (or Otherworld) if he wants, while Vegeta relies on his ability to fly or holding Goku's hand to teleport alongside him.
1 WORSE: NOT VERY BRIGHT (OR RESOURCEFUL)
Goku is not quite as dumb as people think, but he's still not all that smart either. Perhaps the best way to put it is that he's not very resourceful at times. Where Vegeta uses the resources around him, using his wife's money and advanced technology for training, Goku hasn't used his literal god-like powers to help his family out of their debts and financial struggles.
Goku seems to forget that he's a superhuman who can fly, lift thousands of tons and shoot beams from his hands. There's gotta be a way for him to use that to keep his family fed and sheltered that doesn't involve working out in the radish fields. While Vegeta might have it easier by being part of the Brief family, we can guarantee if Goku was rich, he wouldn't think to use his money to get stronger.