Can Vegeta Go SSJ3? Why Didn’t He Do It Already?

can vegeta use ssj3
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One of the things that we know about Vegeta is that he has always been Goku’s greatest rival in the sense that he always finds a way to close the gap between their strengths. Vegeta has always been able to enter a new transformation every single time Goku unlocks a new form so that he can get closer to his rival’s power. Of course, we know that Goku’s strongest form during the Dragon Ball Z anime was Super Saiya-jin 3 (SSJ3) or Super Saiyan 3. So, can Vegeta also enter SSJ3?

Vegeta never uses SSJ3 or even attempts to use this form in canon. This is probably due to the fact that SSJ3 is incredibly taxing on the body of a Saiyan, as it drains the user’s stamina tremendously to the point that the user cannot sustain the transformation for a very long time.

While Goku has always been the better fighter, Vegeta has always been known to be the smarter of the two, as he uses tactics and strategies better than his rival. In that regard, Vegeta probably knew how physically taxing the SSJ3 transformation is, and that was the reason why he avoided it on purpose. That was why he focused more on SSJ2 before he unlocked the Super Saiyan God transformations.

Can Vegeta Go SSJ3?

Ever since Vegeta was introduced in the Dragon Ball Z anime, the one thing that we knew about him was that he always found a way to bridge the gap between himself and Goku so that he and his rival could once again fight on equal footing. This has always been the case, as Vegeta almost always played catch-up behind Goku. Every single time Goku unlocks a new transformation, Vegeta catches up right away by unlocking a new one or a similar form.

In that regard, we saw Vegeta doing the same in Dragon Ball Super when he and Goku achieved Super Saiyan Blue together. Vegeta also perfected the Super Saiyan Blue form by evolving it to match Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue Kaioken. And in the manga, Vegeta achieved his Ultra Ego form after Goku mastered his Ultra Instinct state.

However, while it may be true that Vegeta has always found a way to match Goku’s power by achieving a new transformation, that wasn’t always the case. That’s because Goku achieved the Super Saiya-jin 3 (SSJ3) or Super Saiyan 3 transformation in Dragon Ball Z. He first used this in the fight against Majin Buu as he overwhelmed the fat villain.

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It is often said that SSJ3 grants the user four times the power of an SSJ2, and that was the reason why Goku was able to almost defeat Majin Buu, who was an opponent that neither Goku nor Vegeta could defeat in their SSJ2 states. So, if Goku could go SSJ3, does that mean that Vegeta could also use the transformation?

SS3 Mid Transform

If we are talking about the canon events of Dragon Ball, then we can safely say that there was never a time when Vegeta entered SSJ3 or even mentioned being able to access this form. Even after the Majin Buu Saga, Vegeta couldn’t showcase his ability to access this form despite the fact that he still trained harder than almost anyone else to become stronger than Goku.

So, in that regard, it is safe to say that Vegeta was never able to enter SSJ3 in canon despite the fact that this form had incredible powers that far surpassed the limits of SSJ2. However, in the video games, alternate forms of Vegeta as an SSJ3 were shown. But the fact is that he has never achieved this form in canon. And the thing that fans should take note of is that he never even tried to achieve it at all.

In canon, only Goku and Gotenks have been able to achieve SSJ3. Goku did so while training in the Other World when he was dead. Meanwhile, Gotenks achieved it after seeing Goku entering the form as the fusion warrior simply copied Goku so that he could become strong enough to take on the evil version of Buu.

Why Can’t Vegeta Go SSJ3?

As mentioned, there has never been an instance when Vegeta achieved SSJ3. In fact, he never even tried achieving this form in the original Dragon Ball Z anime and even in Dragon Ball Super. He hardly ever mentioned SSJ3 or tried to train hard enough to reach it, as the only time he actually showed jealousy over this form was when he realized that Goku held back in their fight when he became Majin Vegeta. So, why can’t Vegeta go SSJ3?

It has never been mentioned why Vegeta never achieved SSJ3 or even tried to achieve this form. That can be weird due to the fact that Vegeta has always tried to reach Goku’s level so that he could close the gap between them. But the theories actually make sense.

As mentioned, only Goku and Gotenks have been able to achieve this form in canon. Goku did so while he was dead, and Gotenks reached the transformation while training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber after Goten and Trunks fused into him. That means that it is possible that only dead people (due to the near-unlimited stamina) and a fusion warrior could achieve this form due to the massive stamina and power it requires.

When Goku achieved this form while he was dead, he never had any issues with his stamina because he didn’t have a living body then. On the other hand, Gotenks’ stamina was beyond normal due to the fact that he was the fusion of Goten and Trunks. As such, Vegeta probably couldn’t achieve this form even if he tried due to the fact that he didn’t have the same kind of stamina as a dead person or a fusion warrior. And this leads us to the theory that makes the most sense.

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As mentioned, the SSJ3 transformation requires a lot of stamina from its user due to the fact that its power output is four times stronger than the SSJ2 transformation. In most cases, the SSJ2 form is seen as the perfected form of SSJ, whereas the SSJ3 state is seen as the “third grade” of SSJ2 without speed limitations. During the Cell Saga, we saw how powerful SSJ Third Grade was in Trunks’ fight against Cell. Nevertheless, the form was something that both Goku and Vegeta avoided due to the fact that it slowed the user down and drained a lot of stamina.

In a way, it is possible that Vegeta also knew about the limitations of SSJ3 after he found out that it existed. When Goku was brought back to life temporarily to fend off Majin Buu, his time alive was cut short drastically when he transformed to SSJ3 due to how demanding it is on the user’s body and stamina. And while Dragon Ball GT was never canon, Kid Goku could only sustain this form for a few minutes because his body couldn’t handle its power output.

As such, the stamina issues of SSJ3 were clearly established quite early in the Dragon Ball storyline. The only reason why Goku used this form against Majin Buu was that he needed to be strong enough to push the powerful creature back. After that, he hardly used this transformation at all as he understood the drawbacks of using it. 

In fact, in Dragon Ball Super, he explained to Caulifla that it was better to use SSJ2 due to the massive stamina drain that comes with using SSJ3. And when Goku and Vegeta achieved Super Saiyan God and Super Saiyan Blue, SSJ3 became an afterthought that was completely obsolete.

So, going back to our topic, it is possible that Vegeta found out about the drawbacks that came with SSJ3, and that was the reason why he never tried to achieve the form at all. It was the same with how he never tried to use Trunks’ Third Grade transformation as he knew that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits. And in the case of the SSJ3 transformation, there was no real reason for Vegeta to try to achieve this form unless he knew that doing so would allow him to defeat an opponent quickly.

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A drawn-out battle against a powerful opponent would make SSJ3 useless and dangerous to use because it would drain the user’s stamina quickly to the point that he could no longer fight for an extended period of time. Meanwhile, the SSJ2 form, while weaker, was more economical in terms of its stamina usage and was better in a fight that would last for a long time.

Considering that Vegeta was always smarter than Goku, he understood that there was no need for him to achieve SSJ3. Instead, he focused his efforts on perfecting SSJ2 to bridge the gap between the two transformations without the stamina drawbacks. After all, an enraged SSJ2 Vegeta put up a better fight against Beerus than Goku in his SSJ3 form.

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