"If you’re a soldier in Frieza’s army, you can have [a Scouter] made to order to fit your ear. The different screen colors can be chosen to fit the peculiarities of different aliens’ eyes, or to suit one’s tastes. Also, dual-eye types exist as well."
Akira Toriyama's number-one goal in coming up with the scouters was because it would be easier for the readers to understand if an opponent's strength is seen as a number. However, he foresaw that it would also be an inconvenience for him because if a concrete number is known, then it will be easy for the readers to tell who would win or lose. So, with regards to Goku and the other Z Fighters, he decided that their power would change due to ki and could not be adequately measured. He made scouters break when they pick up a high battle power as showy staging for the manga; saying it is really digital, which makes it impossible, but in terms of something analog, it is like how a counter that is rising at breakneck speed can not keep up and breaks down. Toriyama also said that it would have been even more perfect if the form of location of the enemy picked up by the scouter were displayed in video, but if features up to that point were added, it would have been even more difficult to do as manga story developments go.
The design of the scouters is similar to a device in Mitsuteru Yokoyama's 1956 manga Tetsujin 28-go. An antagonist character named Alberto has lost his right eye and wears a metal patch that somewhat resembles the scouter in appearance, and also acts like a tracking and communication device.
In an interview, the series creator Akira Toriyama himself wonders how scouters are attached around the ear and says he was always doubtful of it when he was drawing it. It would have to be strong enough to withstand sharp movements and he supposes there is no other way but to stick it on tight with something, saying it is "alien technology". He eventually says the headset method, like the toy, is the right answer.
A device similar in design to the scouter also appears in the Blue Dragon series, whose characters were also designed by Toriyama.
In the military realm, the word "scout" refers to "reconnaissance". For example, a reconnaissance vehicle would be called a "scout car". Toriyama tweaked that "scout" and gave it its name. He explains that, in other words, a scouter is a useful tool for the purposes of information-gathering.
Scouters were invented by the Tuffles, the original inhabitants of Planet Vegeta who were exterminated in Age 730 by the Saiyans. From the Saiyans, scouters were introduced to the Galactic Frieza Army. Originally, it was a device for the purpose of guarding against enemies and beasts, but Gichamu, a highly skilled engineer in Frieza's army, laid eyes on it and made modifications for concrete battle power numbers and telecommunications abilities, and soldiers began making use of it to carry out offensives. During the series, almost all of the Galactic Frieza Army soldiers can be seen wearing one.
A scouter appears as a semi-transparent colored monocle that covers the left eye. Though never shown in the series, dual-eye types exist as well. The first scouter to be seen is the one Raditz wears in the first episode of Dragon Ball Z upon his arrival on Earth. The power level is given as a number without any units of measurement (5 for the farmer, 334 for Goku before he took his heavy clothes off, etc.). It is shown that the device explodes if one increases his power level by an enormous amount at a rapid pace; though the range of scouters throughout the series has varied. The most frequently seen color is green, though alternate colors of red and blue also exist. The different screen colors can be chosen to fit the peculiarities of different aliens' eyes, or to suit one's tastes. All the scouters are the same in terms of features but, since a variety of different aliens wear them, there are a bunch of different types of attachment parts depending on the position of the ear. Soldiers in Frieza's army can have one made to order to fit their ear.
In the series, a scouter's primary purpose is to calculate the individual power level or ki concentration of biological characters by converting the readings into numbers. It is never explained what units of measure are used to read ki levels; Akira Toriyama simply stated in an interview that it could not be done by conventional means.
Scouters also serve the purpose of gathering information, and for interstellar communication, as seen when Raditz sent Piccolo's description of the Dragon Balls to Nappa and Vegeta, as well as Frieza learning of the existence of the Namekian Dragon Balls from eavesdropping on Vegeta's conversation with Nappa (as well as Vegeta in turn learning how to get the Namekian Dragon Balls from the Namekian Villages via eavesdropping on Frieza explaining how he himself did so). Vegeta also used his scouter to keep track of the time after he said he and Nappa would give the Z Fighters three hours for Goku to arrive. Scouters can also tell the location of someone, as demonstrated when members of the Galactic Frieza Army use scouters to hunt down enemies.
Some members of Frieza's army, that are too weak to use ki blasts, wear an Arm Cannon that has a wire that connects to their scouter. It is unclear what role the scouter plays in using the Arm Cannon (some soldiers who lack scouters instead have the wire connected to a helmet on their head). One explanation is that the scouter is used for aiming, though this is not expressly stated.
Though it is possible to sense others' ki without advanced machinery, as the Z Fighters do, scouters provide the ability to read power levels to less-trained fighters. Scouters do have some disadvantages, however. Their main drawback is that a trained person is capable of consciously lowering their ki (see Power Up), and can therefore fool scouter users into thinking they have a lower power level than their real level. Vegeta speculates that is how Raditz was killed, and this later proves a key component in the downfalls of several of Frieza's notable soldiers.
Another disadvantage is that scouters may explode on certain conditions. The reason for this is not mentioned explicitly in the manga or the anime, but the recorded cases have happened when the scouter is detecting a high power level or when a power level is rapidly increasing, possibly overloading it. Dodoria suggested that it was a problem with older scouter models. There are two generations of scouters: the first generation ones (such as Raditz's and Zarbon's) explode when reading a power level over 22,000, something that is corrected in the improved second generation scouters (such as Dodoria's and the ones used by the Ginyu Force) which are always in development to go along with battle power inflation, at least up to 180,000. Frieza's description of his 530,000 power level to Nail may imply that scouters can read these high numbered power levels as well. An example of scouters exploding while someone's power level is rising rapidly would be that which occurred to Bulma's (formerly Raditz's) scouter when Goku was fighting Vegeta for the first time. The explosion took place around the time that Goku had used the Kaio-ken times 3, causing his power level to rise at an incredible rate, thus overloading the scouter. Even the second generation scouters can be overloaded and explode, as Frieza's did reading Vegeta's power. In both Frieza's and Ginyu's what-if scenarios in the video game Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, Ginyu has a scouter that is capable of reading a power level of much stronger opponents than the scouter's limitation such as: Super Saiyan Goku, Super Saiyan Gohan, Super Saiyan Vegeta, Future Trunks, Androids 18, 20 and even Perfect Cell.
Due to Frieza's comment about his power level being over 1,000,000 in his second form, it is possible that the scouter's limit of counting is that number, as in many videos games once Frieza transforms the scouter simply shows the number "+999,999" no matter in which transformation stage he is. On Planet Frieza 79, there is a master computer with scouter-like system (used by Malaka and the Control tower soldier) that can read Frieza's full power (120,000,000) but goes haywire once Super Saiyan Goku's power level is checked (150,000,000) before exploding.
In the movie Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, the newly revived Frieza tells Sorbet that by only training for 4 months he can unlock his dormant power and reach a power level of 1,300,000 in his first form, which means Scouters can also gives readings of over a million.
Scouters by class
Different screen colors can be chosen to fit the peculiarities of different aliens' eyes, or to suit one's tastes.
Bardock and his elites
All five members of Bardock's Elite (Bardock, Tora, Shugesh, Borgos and Fasha) wear scouters. Bardock's scouter is used to locate his team on Planet Meat. All of their scouters are destroyed during the assault made on them by Dodoria and his team. After discovering his slain comrades, Bardock's scouter locates the group responsible. After Bardock slays them, his scouter detects Dodoria, who Mouth Blasts Bardock away, damaging the Saiyan and destroying his scouter. In the Xenoverse series it appears under the name Old Model Scouter (Green).
Like his father, Raditz's scouter was constantly used upon his arrival on Earth. Raditz used his scouter to see the power levels of a Farmer, Piccolo and finally Goku. During his fight with Goku and Piccolo, Raditz went by his scouter's power readings, causing him to underestimate them. He also thought it was malfunctioning at first when it caught Gohan's latent power of 710, until it was proven correct by detecting Goku and Piccolo's arrival. After being dealt a fatal blow, Raditz used his scouter to transmit Piccolo's description of the Dragon Balls back to Vegeta and Nappa.
After Raditz's death, Bulma took possession of his scouter from his corpse. Though it had been damaged slightly, it took her a single night to repair it and even switch it over to Earth's numeric system. With her repairs and modifications, she tested it out by reading the power levels of Master Roshi and Krillin (as well as Turtle in the anime), and also used it to locate Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu. The scouter remained in Bulma's possession up to Goku's fight with Vegeta when Bulma used it to read Goku's power level, which was rising too fast due to Goku's using the three-fold Kaio-ken in order to match Vegeta. It was the first scouter to blow up on-screen. This model is called Scouter (Green) in Dragon Ball: Xenoverse.
Appule 's scouter is seen in just one scene in Dragon Ball Z, when he is mistreating Namekian villagers. Strangely enough, he is never seen wearing his scouter again. Appule's alternative outfit in the Budokai Tenkaichi video game series is also shown wearing a scouter.
Cui's scouter has always remained on him. After landing on Namek, Cui used his scouter to track and converse with Vegeta. When the unknowing Cui used his scouter to read Vegeta's power level (24,000), it was much more than he had previously believed, causing his scouter to explode.
Dodoria's scouter has always remained on him even since when Frieza contemplated destroying Planet Vegeta. When on Planet Namek, Dodoria's scouter (a newer one) was used to read Vegeta's power level when the latter fought Cui. Dodoria used his scouter to measure the power level of several Namekians (although he did not take into account that they hide their real power levels). Dodoria's scouter was destroyed by Moori's Finger Beam in order to prevent them from finding more Dragon Balls.
Four members of the Ginyu Force wear the same scouters. Only Guldo does not wear one, most likely due to the shape of his head and his extra eyes making him unable to wear one; but also because of his psychic abilities, he possibly is able to sense ki without one.
Recoome's scouter was one of the newer models used by the Ginyu Force. After arriving on Planet Namek, Recoome used his advanced scouter to track Vegeta, Gohan and Krillin. When fighting Vegeta, Recoome's scouter measured Vegeta's power level when was powering up and was knocked off him during Vegeta's attack on the Ginyu Force member.
Burter's scouter was one of the newer models used by the Ginyu Force. After arriving on Planet Namek, Burter used his advanced scouter to track Vegeta, Gohan and Krillin. When Recoome fought Vegeta, Krillin and Gohan, Burter's scouter measured the three fighters' strength. While fighting Goku, Burter used his scouter to contact Jeice's scouter during their fight with Goku (who briefly raised his power level quick enough that even the newer scouters could not detect it), ending with Goku beating Burter while his scouter falls off the elite.
Captain Ginyu's scouter was one of the newer models used by the Ginyu Force. After arriving on Planet Namek, Ginyu used his advanced scouter to track Vegeta, Gohan and Krillin. Ginyu used his scouter to measure Goku's max power (180,000), which surpassed Ginyu's power (120,000). After switching bodies, Ginyu (in Goku's body) wore his scouter. When Ginyu (in Goku's body) fought Gohan, Krillin and even Goku (in Ginyu's body), Ginyu's scouter was knocked off him during the fight.
Jeice's scouter was one of the newer models used by the Ginyu Force. After arriving on Planet Namek, Jeice used his advanced scouter to track Vegeta, Gohan and Krillin. When Recoome fought Vegeta, Krillin and Gohan, Burter's scouter measured three fighters' strength. While fighting Goku, Jeice used his scouter to contact Burter's scouter during their fight with Goku (who briefly raised his power level quick enough that even the newer scouters could not detect it). Later, Jeice used his scouter to measure Ginyu's strength while in Goku's body (23,000) and Vegeta's power level, the latter of which caused Jeice to crush his scouter in disbelief.
In the Xenoverse series, it appears under the name New Model Scouter (Green) and is the default Scouter that the Future Warrior (Xenoverse 2) starts out with in Xenoverse 2.
Ginyu Force tryouts
All three members of Frieza's men, Captain Strong, Oggers, Strock appeared with their scouters just once in Dragon Ball Z. Captain Strong is first seen wearing his scouter while striking a pose, supposedly trying out to get into the Ginyu Force.
Salza wears a green scouter. He uses it to scan for Gohan and Goku's location while searching for them on Earth, eventually locating Gohan while the latter is getting Senzu Beans for Goku. It later detects Goku's rising power level from a zenkai, overloading the scouter and causing it to detonate. Prior to its detonation, Salza wondered whether Oolong (the only other accounted-for individual in the cave) was the source of the rising power level.
Vegeta's scouter was the one that was transmitted the information about the Dragon Balls from Raditz's scouter. After arriving to Earth, Vegeta used his scouter to locate the Z Fighters. Just when Goku was arriving, Vegeta used his scouter to see Goku's strength. Vegeta also used it during Goku's charging up, to which Vegeta responded by uttering his famous quote, "It's Over 9000!", and crushing his scouter in shock of Goku's power.
After Vegeta recovered on Planet Frieza 79, he reluctantly took possession of another scouter. After landing on Namek, Vegeta used it to converse with Cui and eavesdrop on Frieza. After encountering Dodoria, Vegeta destroyed his scouter, as he could now sense power levels just like the Z Fighters, to keep Dodoria from actually acquiring one during their fight. This Scouter appears under the name Scouter (Red) in the Xenoverse series.
As a child, Vegeta owned a green scouter.
Frieza wears a scouter just before attacking Planet Vegeta. He takes it off in order to fire his Eye Lasers at King Vegeta's brigade. Frieza's scouter on Namek was a newer model of the same color that was personally given to him by the Ginyu Force. Frieza uses this scouter to find Guru's home. When Frieza personally fights Nail, his scouter measures the lone Namekian's power level (42,000), which somewhat impresses the emperor. After having severely beaten up Nail, Frieza uses his scouter to contact the Ginyu Force, only to find out they are all defeated. While fighting against Vegeta, Gohan, Krillin and Dende, Frieza uses his scouter to measure Vegeta's power, ending the conflict when Frieza's scouter blows up due to Vegeta's power now rivaling his own, apparently, much to Frieza's disbelief. Frieza's newer model appears under the name New Model Scouter (Red) in the Xenoverse series.
Fisshi's scouter is seen briefly during Dragon Ball Z. Fisshi is shown wearing it on King Cold's spaceship and later on he is seen again wearing it on Earth. It is assumed that Fisshi has a new model scouter (the same model as Frieza's scouter) as he is shown to be wearing it after the Frieza saga.
Iru's scouter is seen just briefly in Dragon Ball Z. Iru uses his scouter to measure Future Trunks' power level on Frieza's demand. Iru measures Future Trunks with a power level of just 5 because Future Trunks was hiding his true power.
Sūi 's scouter is seen just once in Dragon Ball Z. It is shown while he and his partner Banan are searching for Gohan and Krillin on Zarbon's orders. Upon finding Gohan and Krillin the duo state that they detect Gohan and Krillin's power levels to be non-existent. When Gohan and Krillin decide to power up, suddenly Sūi and Banan realize the power of Gohan and Krillin. Gohan lands punch to Sūi's face and the next scene after, he is shown with out his scouter on his face. It is presumed that his scouter was broken when Gohan landed a punch to his face.
Abo and Kado
Abo and Kado's scouters are seen during Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! Their scouters were used to measure Trunks and Goten's fighting power. After underestimating Goten's and Trunks' ability to hide their power, the two consider them a weaklings because of their low scouter readings. Like some other characters' scouters, Abo's scouter may also seem to differ in color appearance and can sometimes be seen as a more purplish color. It appears under the name Scouter (Purple) in the Xenoverse series.
Zarbon's scouter has always remained on him even since when Frieza contemplated destroying Planet Vegeta. When on Planet Namek, Zarbon's scouter broke after escalating Vegeta's power level during the latter's fight with Cui.
Banan's scouter is shown just once in Dragon Ball Z. It is shown while he and his partner Sūi are searching for Gohan and Krillin. When Banan first checks Gohan and Krillin's power levels he states that they are almost non-existent. When Krillin and Gohan both power up, Banan is shocked at their power. Krillin then lands a kick to Banan's face and is assumed that his scouter was broken then.
Napple's scouter makes just one appearance in Dragon Ball Z. He is first seen wearing his scouter at Moori's village whilst Frieza is trying to uncover the Dragon Ball. Napple's scouter is used to measure three Warrior-type Namekians' power levels. After taunting the three Warrior-type-Namekians by saying they would be better off fighting old grannies, Napple leads the charge against the three Namekians. Napple is kicked in the face by one of the Namekians and his scouter is then broken.
Nappa's scouter is the one that transmits the information about the Dragon Balls from Raditz's scouter. After arriving to Earth, Nappa uses his scouter to locate Krillin, Piccolo, Gohan, Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu. Just as they are about to fight, Vegeta suggests to Nappa that they remove the scouters as they do not want to underestimate their opponents like Raditz did. Nappa drops his scouter to the ground, and it is presumably destroyed from all the explosions caused by his fight against the Z Fighters. Although, many times, it can appear to be a light purple. Appears under the name Scouter (Blue) in the Xenoverse series.
Despite not being affiliated with Frieza's army or even the Saiyan army, Tarble possesses a scouter during his encounter with the Z Fighters, while warning them about Abo and Kado. It breaks when he analyzes the power level of Goku steadily increasing his power and turning into a Super Saiyan to demonstrate to Tarble how a person's power level can easily change. Although, just like Nappa's scouter, it seems to have a different appearance at times. Tarble's scouter can also be pictured as aqua in color.
Sorbet wears an updated blue scouter throughout his appearance. His scouter breaks when it reads the newly regenerated Frieza's power level in the film, and he later acquired a new blue scouter which he uses for the rest of his life.
Tagoma wears a double eye version of the blue scouter throughout his appearance. His scouter breaks when it reads the newly regenerated Frieza's power level, moments before his demise by the tyrant, in the film. In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, it appears under the name Tagoma's Scouter and appears as an equipable accessory in the Resurrection ‘F’ Pack DLC.
Planet Frieza 79 scouter system
Although technically not a scouter in the traditional sense, the computer system used on Planet Frieza 79 functions under a similar manner to scouters in regards to reading power levels. Similar to the scouters, they also blow up when reading a power level beyond their processing limit (as it did when it attempted to analyze Goku's power level when he became a Super Saiyan and was fighting Frieza on Namek), although it was significantly more lethal than regular scouters, as they would blow up and destroy a lot of the personnel during the explosion, as what happened to most of the personnel on Planet Frieza 79.
King Cold soldiers'
Although neither King Cold nor Mecha Frieza wear a scouter, their soldiers do. After a mysterious youth arrived, Iru uses his scouter to measure the youth's (suppressed) power level, which registers at just five. The youth quickly raises it to kill the soldier and then uses his sword to kill the rest of the army. One soldier's scouter is cut in half, however his body is still intact, but only moments later, he is killed by Mecha-Frieza himself due to showing signs of fear.
Main article: 3D Scan Mode
Android 20, Android 19, and Android 16 possess a device that locates and analyzes power, much like scouters. These devices are far more durable than other scouters, with 16 being able to sense the power of someone like Perfect Cell. Other Androids, such as Android 15 and Android 14, are equipped with a more advanced device, the 3D Scan Mode.
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 as part of the Masters Pack DLC, the Built-In Scouter device used by Android 16 is referred to as Power Radar by Android 16. In addition to detecting power levels the Power Radar used by Future Android 16 is shown to be able to detect the energy signature produced by Dragon Balls, allowing it to function as a make-shift Dragon Radar (it is unknown if his main timeline counterpart's Power Radar is also able to detect Dragon Balls).
In Dragon Ball Fusions, Bulma creates a robotic device called CCFDR49 "Ziku" who can Power Levels though with a greater range as it can detect ki emanating from other dimensions and timelines connected to the Timespace Rift created by Tekka and Pinich's wish.
The World Martial Arts Tournament had developed a Punching Machine that would measure the strength of the fighters' punches (apparently in units of force) to replace the preliminaries in order to reduce injuries; this machine served the same purpose that a scouter would serve if they were used by the Tournament.
The wizard Babidi and his Majins have devices called Power Meters that calculate kili levels. However, the units of measure are much larger, being that Full-Power Super Saiyan Goku's level was calculated to be around 3,000 kilis (and 300 kilis was enough to destroy a planet). The device was also used to measure the unusual power of Super Saiyan 2 Gohan at the World Martial Arts Tournament when he powered up in front of Kibito, though his power level was never stated. The most powerful of these devices have a limit of 9,000 kilis, so even they may not be able to measure beings like Majin Buu and a Super Saiyan 3.
Video game appearances
Scouters often appear in Dragon Ball Z video game. Raditz and Vegeta both wear Scouters in cutscenes in Dragon Ball Z: Goku Hishōden. It is also wore by members of the Galactic Frieza Army in Dragon Ball Z III: Ressen Jinzōningen, Dragon Ball Z: Goku Gekitōden, Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Kakusei-Hen, Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors, Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu, Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Battlers, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, Dragon Ball Heroes, Dragon Ball Kai: Ultimate Butōden, and Dragon Ball Z For Kinect.
A scouter card can be used in Dragon Ball Z: Kyōshū! Saiyan and Dragon Ball Z II: Gekishin Freeza. In Dragon Ball Z: Super Saiya Densetsu, the Z Fighters can purchase either green or red scouters to measure their enemies' power levels.
The handheld game Dragon Ball Z: Sukautā Batoru and the Let's! TV Play game Dragon Ball Z: Scouter Battle Taikan Kamehameha - Ora to Omee to Scouter are based on the usage of a replica Scouter for the player.
In fighting games, they often appear on screen representing a health or energy bar. This trend can be seen in both Dragon Ball Z: Budokai and Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors. Also, in Super Sonic Warriors, after the end of fight, a scouter is used to calculate the player's score. In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, in the game's story mode, scouters are used by characters like Prince Vegeta. In the Budokai Tenkaichi series, some characters (like Bardock, Raditz and Nappa) have a special type of lock-on they can use to detect an opponent even if they are hidden behind an object. However, if the user receives too much damage, their scouter is destroyed, and their lock-on suffers as a result (this is similar to what is seen in the manga and anime). In Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2, there are two items that can only be equipped to characters have a scouter (such as Frieza's and Cooler's Armored Squadron, Raditz, Nappa, Tarble, Bardock, and of course Vegeta "Scouter"): Study Scouter (a defense-type item which makes their Scouters indestructible) and Unequip Scouter (an accessory-type item which causes their scouter to disappear, yet its affects are still in-play as the Study Scouter item can be equipped with Unequip Scouter). Scouters appear in cutscenes, and are worn by certain characters in gameplay for Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit.
In Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, the scouter is used to represent the game's menu screens, and interestingly, it shows the power level of all the game's boss characters before they are fought (even characters like Frieza and Cell). In Super Dragon Ball Z, green, red, or blue scouters appear at the start of every battle to show the B.P. of the two fighters.
In Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (which is set after the Garlic Jr. Saga), a scouter an be obtained from Bulma after obtaining the electronic parts she needs to build it (a scouter model created by her, likely based on the scouter she obtained from Raditz's body, although dialogue states she found it on Namek). Once obtained, her scouter can be used for the rest of the game. Bulma's scouter can be used to scan enemies, allies, neutral characters and animals. The scouter will give information about any character scanned by it (hit points, height and weight and character scan-bio). It also has a handy map feature, and at the near the end of the game, it can be upgraded (by Bulma) to work as a Dragon Radar. Also, all of the scouter's scanned information can be transferred and stored on a computer inside the Capsule Corporation. This computer can be used to view information on any character that has been previously scanned. Bulma's scouter reappears in the follow-up game Dragon Ball Z: Buu's Fury, where it is available at the start of the game.
In Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, a scouter is obtained after Raditz is defeated, and Bulma repairs the scouter: it shows the Power Level, the items the opponent can drop, the strengths and weaknesses, and the experience obtained. In Dragon Ball Online, scouters can be equipped to Humans, Namekians, and Majins. In Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team, Scouter is an Ability type D-Item: when equipped on a character, the speed of its enemy search (when lock-on is disrupted) increases. In Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, a scouter can be equipped to custom characters; the eye piece is red and it assists in finding objects in the Hero Mode.
Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission includes a scouter function, which uses the 3DS' camera to take a picture of someone's face in order to check their power; this allows the player to earn Zeni and other items, and scanning someone with a high power level makes Great Ape Vegeta appear as a boss fight. In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, Scouter is an item that increases Special.
Dragon Ball: Xenoverse
In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, scouters are used by the Future Warrior both to read opponents' power and moves as well as to find items. When worn as an accessory or when using an original character equipped with one, they change standard Search view into a Scouter view which takes on the color of the lens of the Scouter being worn. Scouters are also used by various other characters such as Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta (Vegeta Saga), Bardock, Fasha, Appule, Raspberry, the Ginyu Force (sans Guldo), and 1st Form Frieza. The Capsule Corp. Robots used by the Time Patrol are all equipped with a green Scouter presumably to allow them to detect Ki artificially. A Female Time Patroller named Hakusa wears a Scouter and will use it to measure the Future Warrior's Power Level and her responses are based on the Warrior's current level. Female Majin Taino and Frieza Clansman Percel wear the Green Scouter model used by the Ginyu Force, while the Namekian Ukatz wears a Blue Scouter used by Frieza's officers. Scouters also appear as the first accessory item received by the player, given by Future Trunks. Other colors and models can be bought from the accessory shop in Toki Toki City's Industrial Sector. There are three models in-game, each with the same four color choices. Tagoma's Scouter appears as part of the Resurrection ‘F’ Pack DLC.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Scouters return and serve the same purpose they did in Xenoverse. All the Scouter models from Xenoverse appear along with the addition of Dore's Scouter. In promotional material the male Saiyan Future Warrior (Xenoverse 2) wears Tagoma's Scouter which can be unlocked in Parallel Quest 73: "Frieza's Siege Against Earth!" in Xenoverse 2. While investigating the Capsule Corp time rift anomaly, Saiyan Time Patroller Hakusa will mention to the Future Warrior that not even her customized Scouter cannot read Vegeta's power level, indicating that if a persons power level extremely high a Scouter may not be able to read it at all.
While investigating the Frieza's Spaceship time rift anomaly, Guldo reveals to the Future Warrior that he wishes they had a scouter that was designed to fit him. Orlen also states he wishes he they could make a scouter that wouldn't blow up in his face.
List of Scouters in the Xenoverse series
- Old Model Scouter (Green) - 1st generation Scouter used by Bardock's Elite members Bardock and Fasha.
- Old Model Scouter (Red) - 1st generation Scouter.
- Old Model Scouter (Blue) - 1st generation Scouter.
- Old Model Scouter (Purple) - 1st generation Scouter.
- Scouter (Red) - 2nd generation Scouter used by Prince Vegeta when he came to Earth. Time Patroller Tennille wears one when shapeshifting as Turles.
- New Model Scouter (Red) - 3rd generation Scouter used by the Tyrant Frieza. Female Time Patroller Hakusa uses this model as well, though it is revealed to have been customized by Hakusa in Xenoverse 2.
- New Model Scouter (Blue) - 3rd generation Scouter given to all of Frieza's officers. It is also used by the Namekian Time Patroller and Taino Force member Ukatz.
- New Model Scouter (Green) - 3rd generation Scouter used by the Ginyu Force and Time Patrollers Taino, Percel, and Nema when shapeshifting as Salza. This model was also briefly worn by Ginyu while in Goku's body.
- New Model Scouter (Purple) - 3rd generation Scouter.
- Tagoma's Scouter - A blue visor-shaped Scouter worn by Sorbet's Elite member Tagoma in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and Dragon Ball Super. Part of the Resurrection ‘F’ Pack DLC in Xenoverse.
- Dore's Scouter - A helmet with a built-in Scouter worn by Dore of Cooler's Armored Squadron that appears in Xenoverse 2. It is the only equipable scouter in Xenoverse 2 with an yellow lens.
- The first and last power level read by a scouter in the manga is "5". The first time occurs when Raditz lands at Earth and uses his scouter to examine a hostile farmer to see if he is any threat to him. The last time occurs when King Cold's soldier Iru reads Future Trunks' power level as "5" (as Future Trunks was hiding his true level); this is the last time a Scouter appeared on the main series.
- In an interview, the author Akira Toriyama claims there are also dual-eye versions of these devices. Many years later, Tagoma and a member of Appule's race that was one of the 1000 soldiers were the first (and so far, only) characters shown to have this kind of scouter.
- Bulma is one of the few good characters to use a scouter in the series. Tarble also wears one, until it explodes from reading Goku's power. Vegeta is the only Z Fighter to have ever used a scouter. Goku's father Bardock also worn a Scouter. Goku technically wears one as well though it was actually Ginyu in control of Goku's body at the time when the Scouter (which belonged to Ginyu) was worn.
- In Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, the third generation Scouter, New Model Scouter (Blue) is described as the model given to officers in the Galactic Frieza Army. Interestingly, Tagoma's Scouter visor is also blue, which given his rank as one of Sorbet's top henchman, it indicates the possibly that a Scouter's color (as well as model) may be used to identify a soldier's rank within the Galactic Frieza Army.
- Similar devices appear in other series not related to Dragon Ball:
- Star Fox characters Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, and Wolf O'Donnell occasionally wear devices that appear similar to scouters.
- The manga and anime series Yu Yu Hakusho has devices similar to scouters, but they are handheld. They are used by the demons that serve Yomi and were used to measure the power levels for the 5 demons Jin, Chu, Rinko, Suzuki and Shishiwakamaru when they arrive at Yomi's palace. It is also used to read the power level for Kurama as well as that of Yomi's clone Shura during his growth development.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, duels are viewed using devices called Duel Gazers, which resemble scouters.
- In the anime series Ultimate Muscle, there is a character named Bone Cold wore an eyepatch that can read a person's energy level, similar to the scouter.
- In the online game Lost Saga, a Epic gear looks like a Scouter.
- In the MMORPG game Maplestory, players can purchase an item called a scouter in the special store. It is an eyewear equipment item, but is just for looks. The eyepiece of the scouter is Pink.
- In the game Scribblenauts, if a player were to type in "It's Over 9000", a scouter-like object would appear and could be worn on Maxwell's eye. It has no other purpose.
- In the online game Wonderking, there is an accessory called the scouter, the eyepiece is red, and the description is "It's over 9000".
- In the video game series WWE SmackDown! vs Raw, SvR 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, there is a head wear piece that closely resembles a scouter to be found in the Create-A-Superstar character creation mode.
- In "Go, God Go", an episode from South Park, Otter army members are seen wearing scouters.
- There is a show named The Amazing Spiez, where there are four kids working under Jerry's WOOHP wearing a green device, which is similar to a scouter.
- The website Gaia Online has an item that resembles a scouter, though it is only an item to be equipped on your avatar.
- The Facebook game Ninja Trick has an item which strongly resembles a scouter. It is called Galaxy Scanner and has a green eye component, which resembles the scouter's display.
- In the game Epic Battle Fantasy 3, a character named Lance has a scouter and he notes that he got it from someone with a tail.
- In Sonic X, Sonic and Tails both wear red scouter-like devices with a microphone attached on two separate episodes of the series.
- In Sonic Adventure 2, Rouge the Bat can obtain an item called the Treasure Scope which looks very similar to a scouter.
- In Beyblade V-Force, the members of Team Psykick use devices that resemble scouters in order to control their Cyber Bit Beasts.
- In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, a device called the Aura Reader, which resembles a scouter, is used to identify Shadow Pokémon.
- The Solid Eye in Metal Gear Solid is a device that looks like an eyepatch, but which actually has functions such as Bio Monitor.
- In the game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations, the victim in the third case, Glen Elg, wears a light-green radio on his eye that highly resembles a scouter.
- In the 2013 film Iron Man 3, the device that Tony Stark wears on his head to control his armor remotely resembles a scouter.
- In The Seven Deadly Sins, Merlin, the Boar's Sin of Gluttony has a magic item called Balor's Power Eye that reads the power levels of other characters within sight in numerical values.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, Marines have scouter-like devices attached to their helmets.
- ↑ Turles refers to his scouter as a "portable computer" in the Bridge Entertainment version of Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, 1990
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, 2014
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Saikyō Jump #7, 2014
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, 2015
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, 2016
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Daizenshuu 7, 1996
- ↑ "My number-one goal in coming up with it was because, if an opponent's strength could be seen as a number, it would be very easy for the readers to understand when I put it in the comic. However, I could foresee that it would be an inconvenience for me down the line, because if you knew a concrete number, then you could tell who would win or lose, so with regards to Goku & co., I decided that their power would change due to ki and could not be adequately measured. In addition, it is a very convenient item to create peril, since with enemies equipped with them, their location could become known, and they could be reported." - Akira Toriyama, Saikyō Jump #5, 2014
- ↑ Saikyō Jump #4, 2014
- ↑ "Dragon Ball Q&A 7", Dragon Ball Full Color, Saiyan Saga volume 2, February 4, 2013
- ↑ Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku, 1990
- ↑ Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Masters Pack DLC Android 16: "With your help, my system check procedure is complete. The power radar I am equipped with appears to be functioning correctly."
- ↑ Dragon Ball Fusions, 2016