A key theme running through Dragon Ball Super is exploring what it means to be a God. The idea of God Ki was introduced in the Buu Saga in Dragon Ball Z but is explored more fully now in Dragon Ball Super, with Goku learning to utilise God Ki and mastering the Godly technique Ultra Instinct. We even get to meet several new Gods of Destruction, such as Beerus and his brother Champa. But is Goku a God?
No, Goku is not a God. Goku can use God Ki and Ultra Instinct, but you either need to be born a God like King Kai or become a God of Destruction like Beerus. Goku is neither.
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Goku can go Super Saiyan God? Does that make him a God?
No, just because the transformation is called Super Saiyan God does not mean Goku himself is a God.
God Ki is the name of the energy force, similar to Ki, that deities use. It is much more powerful than regular Ki and can not be detected in the same way as traditional Ki.
For example, when we first meet Supreme Kai in the Buu saga, Piccolo is unable to sense his energy but know’s that he is a mighty warrior.
So both Goku and Vegeta have mastered this energy so much so that they created a new transformation combined Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan God, named Super Saiyan Blue.
But just because Goku uses God Ki does not make him a god!
1st way to be a God in Dragon Ball – Be born a Shinjin or other God
The Shinjin/Core People are immortal beings that are often benevolent, apart from Zamasu, and act as guardians over the universe.
The first one we meet is King Kai, one of Goku’s greatest teachers.
We are also counting Angels and Zeno is this bracket, as although they might not technically be Shinjin, they were born with their God powers.
The mighty Dragon Shenron is also a Dragon God and was definitely born into the Dragon God Trade.
As you probably know, Goku is a mortal and was born a Saiyan.
However, in the Dragon Ball Universe, it is possible for a man to change his stars, and there is another way to become a God.
2nd way to be a God in Dragon Ball – Become a God of Destruction
So if you weren’t born a Shinjin, don’t worry because there is another route to Godliness.
Every God of Destruction was born a mortal, but they became extremely powerful, in fact, more powerful than the Shinjin.
They were then giving God of Destruction training and taught how to use destruction energy.
We see Toppo, during the Tournament of Power, reveal that he is a candidate for God of Destruction and already has some of those destruction powers he learns without actually being a God.
Presumably, when they take the job of God of Destruction, they receive new Godly powers, including a big strength/ability boost and immortality.
Can Goku become a God?
Goku certainly has the power to become a God of Destruction.
He has mastered God Ki, has almost mastered Ultra Instinct and has even dealt with Destruction Energy (Not thanks for Frieza!).
I’d say that he is a prime candidate for God of Destruction.
However, there can only be 1 God of Destruction, and it doesn’t seem like Beerus is the type of God to take someone usurping his throne lightly.
So if Goku wants to become God of his universe, he will have to wait for Beerus to be defeated or defeat Beerus himself.
Was Goku a god in Dragon Ball GT
Even though Dragon Ball GT isn’t canon, I still like to talk about it!
Towards the end of Dragon Ball GT, Goku asks if he can travel with Shenron.
Shenron agrees, and then Goku merges with Shenron and the Dragon Balls and flies off into the sunset.
One theory is that this is Goku becoming a God and travelling to the otherworld to do his Godly duties.
We see Goku many years later as a young adult during a future World Martial Arts Tournament, showing he hasn’t really aged.
But as I said, Dragon Ball GT isn’t canon, so even if he was a God in GT, he isn’t a God in the main canon storyline.
Final Thoughts – Is Goku a God?
As of Dragon Ball Super, it seems like Goku isn’t a God yet.
But he certainly potential, and it wouldn’t be the strangest thing in the world for Goku to either kill/avenge Beerus and become a God of Destruction.
But to be honest, Vegeta seems like he would be a much better God of Destruction.
He now has a good heart and sense of fairness but also has the badass streak, which means he wouldn’t be averse to destroying a planet or two for the greater good.
Just look how badass Vegeta looks in this deviant art drawing of Vegeta as a God of Destruction.