In several episodes of DB:Z and DB:GT, using SSJ3 form is shown to be very tiring for the user and burns up energy very quickly, compared to SSJ1/2/enhanced/mystic/etc.

However, when DB:GT rolls around, SSJ4 form, while as tiring as all other enhanced forms, doesn't seem to put as much strain on the user, nor does it have a time limit, as with SSJ3.

Is there a distinct reason for this in terms of power drain, or how the body handles the transformation, or is this perhaps something overlooked when GT was created?

  • Hmm... maybe because its a way higher and advanced form it just doesn't use as much energy? Kinda like an "enlightened" form
    – TheLQ
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 20:52
  • maybe the tail help...
    – osdamv
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 23:17

6 Answers 6


Don't forget that GT is a filler, it wasn't created by the original creator, Akira Toriyama.

There is a very high probability that is was overlooked. Also if I remember correctly, SSJ3 wasn't shown as tiresome in Dragon Ball GT.

  • This is true. Though I could've sworn I remembered Goku going to SSJ3 and being really tired out from it. Or them at least addressing that it wasn't as tiresome cause of his small body...research, I fear, is in order.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 20:58
  • @TylerShads: Yes, in DBZ, vs Buu, indeed it was. But not on GT. Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 20:58
  • I should clarify my comment, I meant in GT, I thought he mentioned it was tiresome. I remember distinctly in DBZ he said it was very tiresome.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:00

In SSJ3 form, the energy output is huge, in contrast to the SSJ4 form. The proof is written in this article from the Dragon Ball Wiki. The reason behind that is not known, as far as I know.

In Dragon Ball GT, Goku's child form caused him to have trouble using Super Saiyan 3. His small body could not handle the energy output of the transformation, and he could only hold it for one minute. [...] It was after this fight that Goku discontinued the usage of Super Saiyan 3, as it was heavily outclassed by the raw power and minimal setbacks of Super Saiyan 4.


This is how I remember it:

Goku leveled up to SSJ3 on the other dimension and never really planned to reveal it because he didn't want to show it on front of Vegeta. At this point he would have made up his mind if it comes to fighting Vegeta on the tournament he would resort to Mystic saiyan mode to deal with him.

Turns out Vegeta ends up dead and Goku in desperation to buy time for Trunks decides to show case SSJ3 to Buu and I believe it's the difference between the dimensions; I mean, the time it takes to generate the same power in this dimension could be entirely different I presume and also on the aspect that Goku didn't spend time on that mode, because he could have been practicing extensively on the Mystic mode for the tournament and so it took quite a toll on his energy levels when he uses it first time.

When he uses it on the second time with Kid Buu. He seems to have a grasp on the energy levels and fights for a longer time until the point he uses a Kamehameha way in desperation to finish off Kid Buu and also holding out so Vegeta can fight him causes him to suffer towards the end as well. Also the fight happens on the Kai's planet which becomes another different dimension compared to earth also I think that might have aided him a lot because thats where Gohan reaches ascension trained by Supreme Kai.

I believe it's the changes in the environment primarily taking a toll on Goku's body. As for SSJ4 I haven't seen Dragonball GT (primarily for the lack of Bruce Faulconer's theme :P) but as from the images I think the tail helps the body to handle the power levels differently because I somehow synonymize that to a controlled transformed Mode.


The reason for this is because Super Saiyan 3 form was to fully maximize the ki of the user.

The Dragonball Wikia states :

Where the third stage of Super Saiyan's purpose was 100% utilization of physical stamina, the purpose of the Super Saiyan 3 transformation is to increase the utilization of ki, and as a result, the transformation rapidly consumes the energy of the user. This notably leads to extended levels of fatigue, even long after powering down.

However, with the enormous power, there are some very serious setbacks stemming from the rapid use of ki energy. When the then-deceased Goku showed Babidi and Majin Buu the form, he cut his remaining temporal revival energy in half, and in the anime when he shows his power to the excited Trunks and Goten, his energy was completely dissipated, forcing him to return to Other World.

As far as Super Saiyan 4 the wikia states :

Unlike the Super Saiyan 3's strain due to the utilization in ki, this form does not require as much energy consumption as Super Saiyan 3's, allowing the user to stay in the state at a much longer duration. It also appears that the form makes the individual larger in height and muscularity.

Essentially Super Saiyan 3 maximizes the ki output while Super Saiyan 4 is a more powerful transformation which does not drain the user as much as the 3rd form does.

Also Super Saiyan 4 is not actually a canon form because it was not developed by Akira Toriyama.


Well, the Oozaru (Great Ape) form is portrayed to require no particular threshold of energy, as even the low class warrior infants are capable. Heck, even Gohan did it when Vegeta made the fake moon.
And SSJ4 is definitely something that draws power from that hidden ability: from the tail and the hair draws in the power of the great ape Oozaru.


It's because in gt goku was a kid & his body couldn't take the strain like his grown body did... So whenever he turned to ssj4 & & went back to his grown body form he was now accustomed and didn't burn energy as fast

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .