Being a martial arts franchise rife with cataclysmic energy blasts, Dragon Ball has no shortage of strong characters. Among the toughest is Vegeta. His rivalry with protagonist Goku has caused this proud fighter to reach ever-increasing levels of power. As the prince of an elite warrior race known as the Saiyans, he's not content being second to anyone.
The Saiyans of Dragon Ball Z introduced scouters to measure one another's power. Unfortunately, these devices quickly became obsolete. The characters simply grew too powerful to quantify by numbers. At this point, fans can only guess at the power levels of Vegeta and his fellow Z-fighters.
When Vegeta first comes onto the scene in the aptly named Saiyan Saga, he boasts about his class as a warrior elite. His power level seems to back that up, sitting at 18,000. Factor in his Oozaru transformation, and that number multiplies tenfold.
It's no wonder that he can fly circles around Goku. Even after King Kai's training, Goku's power level barely cracks 8,000 (9,000 in the anime). The hero has to use the Kaio-ken just to keep up. During this first meeting between the longtime rivals, Vegeta is clearly the superior force.
Thank the gods for those Saiyan genes. Members of this warrior race increase their strength every time they survive an intense battle. Naturally, Vegeta's near-death experience on Earth puts his new power level between 20,000 to 30,000.
He continues riding high throughout this second saga. As he searches for the Namekian Dragon Balls, he systematically wipes out Frieza's entire army. The constant battles against previously insurmountable enemies skyrocket Vegeta's power to 250,000. It's therefore easy for him to believe he'd attained the legendary level of Super Saiyan. Little did he know that he wasn't quite there yet.
This was a major milestone for the Saiyan Prince. At the beginning of the Cell Saga, after three years of intense training, Vegeta finally becomes a Super Saiyan. With this power, he easily dispatches Android 19 and possibly surpasses Goku (according to Piccolo's estimation).
Later, he undergoes an additional year of training inside the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, becoming an Ascended Super Saiyan and dubbing himself "Super Vegeta." This is basically the midpoint between Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan 2. It pumps up his muscles, but it sacrifices speed. Knowing this weakness, Vegeta doesn't push it to the full extent.
Even in seven years of peacetime, Vegeta spends all his time training, albeit not as intensely as before. This helps him achieve Super Saiyan 2, surpassing Gohan's previous use of it against Cell.
The proud warrior receives an additional boost when he lets himself fall under Babidi's spell.
This turns him into Majin Vegeta, putting him on equal footing with Goku at that level. He's in for a rude awakening, however, when he finds out his rival was hiding the Super Saiyan 3 transformation the whole time.
Gods Of Destruction Saga
By the time Dragon Ball Super rolls around, Vegeta doesn't appear to have any new strength up his sleeve. That changes when Beerus the God of Destruction hurts Bulma.
Seeing his wife injured sends the Saiyan into a blind rage. He charges Beerus and puts the feline deity on his back foot. For reference, this was something that Goku couldn't accomplish at Super Saiyan 3 shortly before.
Golden Frieza Saga
The second saga in Dragon Ball Super yields Vegeta's biggest boost in years. Seeing Goku become a Super Saiyan God pushes the Saiyan Prince to train with Whis the Angel. The rigorous routine works wonders for the unsuspecting fighter.
Not only does Vegeta attain the divine energy that Goku previously used, but he also reaches the next level. Enter Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, or Super Saiyan Blue for short. Depending on the anime or manga, this transformation can either save energy or rapidly expend it. Either way, it offers a massive increase in speed and power.
Universe 6 Saga
For the not-so-friendly competition between Universe 6 and 7, the characters don't have any radical transformations up their sleeves. Vegeta and Goku remain on equal footing as their team's mightiest warriors.
This lets the former mop the floor with most of the rival universe's combatants. This is until he fights the legendary assassin, Hit. Although Vegeta's physically stronger, he falls victim to his opponent's time-skipping ability. The manga additionally explains that so much energy escapes from the body during Super Saiyan Blue that it can't be maintained for long.
Future Trunks Saga
Leave it to a Saiyan to overcome a former weakness. After initially losing to Goku Black, Vegeta comes back swinging and thoroughly defeats his possessed rival.
The manga has him stay at Super Saiyan God level and instantaneously switch to Super Saiyan Blue for his strikes, thus conserving energy. Meanwhile, the anime has him stay in Blue form the whole time. Whatever the case, Vegeta's victory lies in strengthening his body and further increasing the potency of his divine transformations.
Universe Survival Saga
With their existence on the line, the fighters of twelve universes push themselves to their limits. This naturally leads to some amazing feats from the Saiyans.
Vegeta initially tries to reach the mysterious Ultra Instinct level like Goku, but he quickly gives up and resolves to get stronger in his own way. His way of accomplishing this is to perfect the Super Saiyan Blue form. Keeping the divine energy stored in his body, he achieves an evolved version of the state. This lets him make short work of Top and even pressure Jiren, the two mightiest fighters from the elite Universe 11. It was about time someone took them down a peg.
Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga
Despite the improvements, Super Saiyan Blue still takes a tremendous toll on the body. Vegeta falls victim to this during the dragged-out battles with Moro. These hopeless struggles against the villain's parlor tricks prompt the disgusted warrior to go to Yardrat, the planet where Goku learned Instant Transmission.
The natives teach him Spirit Control, the art of strengthening his own body and allowing him to manipulate the energy around him. What he intends as a small finger beam turns into a massive wave akin to Final Flash. Of course, this unorthodox training multiples Vegeta's base power, but it also allows him to drain energy from his opponent. Even the most strenuous attacks are more enticing since the enemy loses steam just as quickly. Alternatively, he can keep the energy for himself, effectively making his power limitless as long as his body holds up.
Granolah The Survivor Saga
It's about this time that Beerus and Whis begin teaching Vegeta about the Haki, the unique Destroyer energy only attainable by having the right mindset. Yes, they see nothing wrong with teaching a temperamental guy from a warrior race how to wield this ultimate essence of destruction.
This eventually culminates in a new look for Vegeta: the Destroyer form. Utilizing the Power of Destruction, the Saiyan now acts on deadly instinct, now capable of wiping out entire galaxies at will. He's probably on par with Beerus at this point. It's no wonder the seemingly unbeatable Granolah slinks back in fear. Vegeta could already be merciless before, but this is a whole new level in more ways than one.