Once shouting "Change, now!" with his arms outstretched, Ginyu fires an energy wave from his mouth into the opponent's mouth. When it is finished, Ginyu is in the opponent's body, while they are in his own body. The individuals are shown to retain their own respective voices in their new bodies, making it harder for a person to impersonate the person they swapped with. In preparation for this technique, Ginyu usually begins by injuring himself in order to give a damaged body to his opponent.
This technique appears to require the spoken component in order to work as shown he became trapped in a Namekian Frog. In the anime, he does not need to use actually speak through vocal cords as Bulma's Universal Translator allowed him to change bodies with her. Later in Dragon Ball Super, it was shown that this technique can alternatively be activated by an opponent by writing "Change" in the ground in the alien language and tricking his opponent into saying it, as Ginyu did on Tagoma.
While the Body Change gives Ginyu an advantage over powerful opponents by effectively swapping power levels from their new bodies, this is shown to have one drawback: any host changing bodies must take time to get used to their new body before they can use its full power. This is already problematic enough if the body in question is vastly different from his own, but in situations where the key to accessing the body's maximum power is not anything he knows, or even anything strictly working within the body itself, it can become crippling to his output in relation to what its usual host is capable of. This is made clear in the case of his swap with Goku, result in Ginyu bearing a relatively dim power level of 23,000.
Ginyu's special ability originated during his childhood: when Ginyu first learned of his Body Change ability, he swapped bodies with the richest kid in his class. Due to this special ability, only a few people have seen Ginyu's true form and Salza, the leader of Cooler's Armored Squadron, is among them.
Ginyu is first seen using this attack against Goku after seeing Goku's great increase in his power level through the Kaio-ken technique. He and Jeice then flew off to find the Namekian Dragon Balls, with an injured Goku trapped in Ginyu's body slowly following behind. Once arriving back at the base, Ginyu is surprised to find the Dragon Balls dug up by Krillin and Gohan, choosing to feign being Goku, Ginyu attempts to get Krillin to tell him how to use the Dragon Balls, once it becomes clear that the earthlings do not know how to use the Namekian Dragon Balls, Ginyu drops the charade and attacks them.
Goku soon arrives, explaining to his son and best friend the situation. Goku then tricks Ginyu into attempting to power-up more, ultimately to instead greatly weaken himself from his lack of familiarity to Goku's different body structure. As Ginyu begins adjusting to Goku's body and regains control of the battle, Vegeta kills Jeice and proceeds to attack Ginyu, by quickly pummeling him and knocking him down into the ground. As Vegeta charges towards Ginyu, the captain attempts to use his Body Change technique against Vegeta. However, before the beam could hit Vegeta, Goku jumps in the way and got his body back while Ginyu got his.
Ginyu soon used his Body Change in a final attempt to switch bodies with Vegeta again. However, before the beam could hit Vegeta, Goku threw a Namekian frog in front of the Body Change beam, trapping Ginyu's mind in the frog's body and vice-versa, to which the frog hopped away in Ginyu's body. Vegeta chose to spare Ginyu, figuring being trapped in the body of a frog was punishment enough).
In the filler, the frog-bodied Ginyu is unable to switch to a different body as the frog is incapable of speech. However he encounters an abandoned Bulma who, lonely and wishing for someone to talk to, builds a device that would allow her to understand him, unaware of who he truly is. With the aid of the device Ginyu takes control of Bulma's body while trapping her in the frog's. Using Bulma's air bike, Ginyu journeys to the battlefield where Frieza is fighting Goku. Using Bulma's body, Ginyu tricks Gohan, Krillin, and Piccolo into thinking he is Bulma. However, he is unable to keep up the ruse for very long as he is prone to rooting for Frieza out loud, and frog-bodied Bulma tries to warn Gohan. Eventually, Gohan realizes Ginyu is in Bulma's body and Ginyu is forced to defend himself. Knowing Bulma's body is too weak, Ginyu tries to steal Piccolo's body, but Gohan quickly throws the frog-bodied Bulma between the two, resulting in Bulma regaining her body and Ginyu returning to the frog's body.
In the Resurrection ‘F’ Saga of Dragon Ball Super, Frog Ginyu writes "Change" in the dirt, tricking one of Frieza's elite soldiers Tagoma into saying it. Ginyu then proceeds to use Body Change in order to switch bodies with the elite soldier Tagoma. Unlike with his previous use on Planet Namek of this technique, Ginyu was able to quickly adjust to Tagoma's body, able to focus the body's true capabilities and power-up to full power, well-beyond what Tagoma showed. Upon which, Ginyu revealed himself to Frieza and reasserted himself within Frieza's ranks.
- Body Change Special - A team attack variation from Supersonic Warriors 2 where Ginyu uses his Body Change on Goku while he is busy charging a Kamehameha. Ginyu then switches bodies with Goku and after adding his power to Goku's Kamehameha he fires it at the opponent. It is used by Ginyu (and Goku albeit unwillingly) to defeat Broly (though Broly manages to survive the blast).
- Ginyu Force Paralysis Body Change - A team attack used by Dark Ginyu and his Ginyu Force teammate Guldo on Goku in Dragon Ball: Xenoverse. After his switch with the Future Warrior is undone and his second attempt to steal Goku's body foiled, an injured Ginyu orders Guldo (who survived due to Dark Ginyu order him to take the Dragon Balls back to Frieza's spaceship instead) to use his Paralysis on Goku so Dark Ginyu can finally steal Goku's body (ironically restoring that part of the original timeline in the process). Ginyu finishes the technique by using Body Change on the paralyzed victim. Appears only once in a story cutscene.
- Z-Assist Body Change - A variation of the Body Change used by the Future Warrior in Dragon Ball: Xenoverse when performing the technique while Captain Ginyu is their current Master. The Z-Assist causes Ginyu's soul (which appears as an astral projection of Ginyu performing the technique) to go into the Future Warrior's body while they're performing it increasing the power of the Warrior's Body Change.
Appearances in games
The Body Change appears in Dragon Ball Z II: Gekishin Freeza, Legend of the Super Saiyan, Dragon Ball Z: The Legend, and Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors. If Ginyu uses this technique in Legend of the Super Saiyan, Goku can be stuck in Ginyu's body for the rest of the game. It can be countered with a Namekian Frog card. If the player chooses to stay in Ginyu's body, Goku is able to use the Body Change in all enemies, making the bosses much easier.
The Body Change is Ginyu's ultimate technique in the Butōden series, the Budokai and Budokai Tenkaichi series. The Budokai series, Budokai Tenkaichi, Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team, and Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butōden are the only fighting games where Captain Ginyu's Body Change is a real body change with the opponent (in Burst Limit, the body keeps its original voice). In Ultimate Butōden, Ginyu can also change back to his body (which can be very useful for defeating an opponent by allowing the opponent to hurt Ginyu so then Ginyu could return to his body).
In the Butōden series, when Ginyu uses the Body Change, no energy attacks of any kind are possible, and the effect drains the ki bar slowly and Ginyu will swap back when the bar is empty (the ki can be charged up to keep the exchange going longer). In Budokai Tenkaichi 2, when Ginyu uses the Body Change, instead of switching bodies with his opponent he picks a random character and he cannot use their transformations, Blast 1, 2 or Ultimate Blast. In Budokai Tenkaichi 3, he switches bodies with a random character (either Goku (Mid), Piccolo, Gohan, Krillin, Vegeta, Jeice, or Nail), however as that character, he will be unable to use any of their transformations, Blast 1, Blast 2, or Ultimate Blast techniques (nor will he be able to return to his own body). In the Raging Blast series, Ginyu's Body Change has been reduced to simply changing with Goku and having all but his Ultimate Attack available. In Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, Ginyu in Goku's body is counted as a transformation for Ginyu, making him a separate character from his regular form. The Body Change technique can also be used by Ginyu in Dragon Ball: Zenkai Battle Royale.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, the Body Change technique makes a successful return and is portrayed for the first time since Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi as a technique that swaps the user with their target. Also, for the first time, it is portrayed as a technique that can be learned; the Future Warrior can learn the technique if they select Ginyu as their Master and successfully completes his training. If Body Change is used while Ginyu is the Warrior's current master the technique will receive a Z-Assist. The Body Change switches health, bodies, and, as in the anime series, voices as well. When the Body Change is used by one character in a match, it cannot be used again by any individual, even if they switch with another Body Change user. It is also possible to play as Goku in Ginyu's body as an alternate costume skin for Goku and Ginyu in Goku's body as an alternate costume skin for Ginyu. There is even an Z-Soul called "Your Body is Mine" that activates when the Body Change is used by the user.
- In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, in a what-if Parallel Quest scenario Ginyu steals Goku's body and transforms into a Super Saiyan, indicating that Ginyu has access to any transformations his current body possesses.
- Ginyu's bodyswap with Bulma in the anime classifies as a genderswap bodyswap, a male/female bodyswap. This is one of the few instances of genderswap or gender bending in the Dragon Ball series.
- In video games, he can use any transformations and techniques possessed by the opponent's body, probably because, in terms of gameplay, it's a character swap and not a series-accurate Body Change.
- It is never revealed why Ginyu doesn't use Body Change to switch with Frieza, which would thereby grant him Frieza's power. However it is likely due to Ginyu's loyalty to Frieza. Alternatively, it could be because Frieza is aware of the technique would kill him before completing the technique or simply because he is immune to the technique.
- In Xenoverse, Ginyu briefly swaps bodies with the Future Warrior as part of the story. While in the Future Warrior's body, Ginyu will have access to any of the custom skills the player has equipped and wear whatever outfit or accessory the Future Warrior is wearing. While in Ginyu's body Warrior's chosen voice will still be present, though the Warrior will have Ginyu's skills instead of their custom skills.
- If the Future Warrior is Saiyan, after the switch, Ginyu will tell Jeice that even though both the Future Warrior and Goku are Saiyans the difference in potential power between them is not the same and believes Goku's potential power to be greater thus explaining his desire to obtain Goku's body.
- If the Future Warrior is Namekian, Ginyu will be insulted to look like the trash that lives on Namek, indicating his disdain for Namekians, which is ironic considering he tried to steal Piccolo's body in the anime. However, of the three warriors watching the battle, Piccolo was the strongest.
- If the Future Warrior is Human, Ginyu will find the Warrior's human body is ugly, stating it has not one speck of beauty on it.
- If the Future Warrior is Majin, he will be put off by the Warrior's flabby body (though he is likely referring to the elastic nature of a Majin's body structure) as it would making his Fighting Poses not look good.
- If the Future Warrior is Frieza's race, Ginyu thinks Lord Frieza would take copying his looks as an insult.