Cloning (分身, Bunshin) is the general ability to split into several identical duplicates to fight as a group.
The cloning technique is encountered quite often in the anime, but the only usage in the original manga is Tien Shinhan's Multi-Form, though it is also used in the official manga adaptation of Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!
Piccolo uses this technique to sprout identical sparring partners, notably in Break Wasteland during the Vegeta Saga, once again during the Garlic Jr. Saga, and in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber during the Cell Games Saga. During the battle against the Saiyans Vegeta and Nappa, Piccolo and Krillin use a specific cloning technique called the Tri-Form, splitting themselves into three identical duplicates to fight as a group. This is similar to the Multi-Form technique used by Tien Shinhan, which divides its user into a total of four separate beings. As he possesses the cells of both Tien Shinhan and Piccolo, Perfect Cell was able to divide into four separate beings, though unlike Tien Shinhan's technique, Cell's cloning technique was superior as it did not divide up his power, allowing him to create four clones as strong as Perfect Cell.
One of Lord Slug's henchmen, Medamatcha, creates "clones" that absorb their opponents' ki. Medamatcha's method of cloning is similar to the one used by Cell to produce Cell Juniors. It is similar to a Surinam Toad's way of giving birth; this can be supported by the fact that Medamatcha looks like a frog/toad.
The South Galaxy fighter, Chapuchai, has the ability to create seven clones of himself. Abo and Kado, the main antagonists of Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, use this technique during their fight against Goten and Trunks.
In Dragon Ball Super, Beerus uses this technique against Goku during their battle. In the Universe 6 Saga, Piccolo uses this technique to create a small army of clones against Frost as a distraction so that he can charge his Special Beam Cannon. Piccolo's clones were as strong as him, however they had the weakness of dissipating if they were hit even once.
In the ''Future'' Trunks Saga, Super Saiyan Rosé Goku Black uses his Aura Slide technique, creating a Scythe variation of it. He uses it to open a rift in space and time which creates clones that are as strong as him against Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta.
Appearances in games
In Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu, Dr. Gero used informations coming from his remote tracking device to create clones of the Saibamen, Banan and Sūi. He releases those clones while on Amenbo Island and while regaining his lab to activate Android 17 and Android 18.
In Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden 2, in the "Resurrection! Galaxy Warrior" story, Bojack and Zangya use evil clones of Gohan, Future Trunks, Vegeta, and Piccolo to trick the Z Fighters into fighting each other and get the Dragon Balls from them. In Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22, Tien clones himself to perform his meteor attack, the Meteo Brute Combo.
In Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road, after scanning Piccolo's mind, Future Babidi creates what he calls his Fighting Puppets: evil clones of the Z Fighters, Frieza, and Cell, in order to kill Future Trunks and the Z Fighters.
Clones of Majin Buu appear as basic enemies in a mission in Dragon Ball Z: Battle Taikan Kamehameha - Omee to Fusion.
In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, Piccolo creates two weaker clones of himself to train Gohan. In the Another Age scenario "Spirit Bomb", after wishing for immortality, Frieza gains the ability to create perfect, albeit not immortal, copies of his forms.
In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, Dark Majin Buu uses the Tri-Form to overwhelm Super Saiyan 3 Goku, though the Future Warrior's intervention saves Goku and together the two warriors manage to defeat several of Buu's clones. When Goku's time on Earth is up, Dark Majin Buu tries to stop him from leaving using smaller clones of himself which the Future Warrior defeats. In Parallel Quest 31: "Majin Chaos", the player must defeat 30 small Majin Buu clones attacking West City. During one of Piccolo's training missions the Future Warrior fights some of Piccolo's clones.
In Dragon Ball Heroes, Abo and Kado use Cloning as their special attack.
- Fission – The user creates a clone completely independent from himself.
- Multi-Form – The user creates three clones of himself, for a total of four bodies.
- Meteo Brute Combo – An attack used by Tien where he creates a clone of himself to perform a meteor attack.
- Doppelganger – The ability to create doppelgangers. Medamatcha has the ability to split four bodies from his back, called Medas.
- Tri-Form – The user creates two clones of himself, for a total of three bodies.
- Division Attack – The user creates four clones of himself, for a total of five bodies.
- Mini Janemba – Janemba creates miniature clones of himself from the human-shaped objects in Hell to act as allies.