|Debut||Manga: "The Mysterious Warrior From Space"|
Anime: "The New Threat"
Planet Trade Organization
Turles Crusher Corps.
Cooler's Armored Squadron
|Similar techniques||3D Scan Mode|
According to the anime, scouters were originally invented by the Tuffles until the Saiyans exterminated them and stole their technology. From the Saiyans, scouters were introduced to the Planet Trade Organization. During the series, almost all of the Planet Trade Organization soldiers can be seen wearing one.
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. 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 Planet Trade Organization use scouters to hunt down enemies.
A scouter appears as a semi-transparent colored monocle that covers the left eye. 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. It is unknown if the color of a scouter has any significance.
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 anime or the manga, 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. An example of scouters exploding while someones 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 and thus overloading the scouter. Even the second generation scouters can be overloaded and explode, as Frieza's did reading Vegeta's power.
It is also possible for scouters to give inaccurate readings, since Raditz believed his to be giving incorrect signals and going haywire when it read Gohan's power level at 710 (in that case, the reading was accurate).
Scouters by classEdit
Bardock and his elitesEdit
Bardock's scouter was used to locate his team (Tora, Shugesh, Borgos and Fasha) on Planet Meat. After discovering his slain comrades, Bardock's scouter locates the group responsible. After Bardock slays the group, his scouter detects Dodoria who Mouth Blasts Bardock away, damaging the Saiyan and destroying his scouter.
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 transmits 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 and Tien Shinhan. 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.
Appule 's scouter is seen in just one scene in Dragon Ball Z. He is shown to be mistreating Namekian villager whilst wearing his scouter. 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.
Recoome's scouter was one of the newer models used by the Ginyu Force. After arriving on Planet Namek, the 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 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 scouter fought Vegeta, Krillin and Gohan, Burter's scouter measured 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 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 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 scouter 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.
Ginyu Force tryoutsEdit
All three members of Frieza's men, Captain Strong, Oggers, Strock had their scouters appeared 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.
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 sense power levels just like the Z Fighters can, to keep Dodoria from actually acquiring one during their fight.
As a kid, Vegeta had 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.
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. On arrival of finding Gohan and Krillin the duo state that they detect Gohan and Krillin's power level to be no 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 broken when Gohan landed a punch to his face.
Abo and KadoEdit
Abo's scouter was seen during Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! Abo's scouter was used to measure Trunks and Goten's fighting power. After underestimating Goten's ability to hide his power, Abo considers him a weakling because that is what his scouter tells him. Yet 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.
Kado's scouter was used to measure Trunks and Goten's fighting power. After underestimating Trunks's ability to hide his power, Kado considers him a weakling, because that is what his scouter tells him.
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 level 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 was the one that was transmitted the information about the Dragon Balls from Raditz's scouter. After arriving to Earth, Nappa used his scouter to locate Krillin, Piccolo, Gohan, Yamcha, Tien and Chiaotzu. Just as they were about to fight, Vegeta suggested to Nappa that they remove the scouters as they did not want underestimate their opponents like Raditz did. Nappa dropped his scouter to the floor and it was 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.
Despite not being affiliated with Frieza's army or even the Saiyan army, Tarble did possess a scouter during his encounter with the Z Fighters while warning them about Abo and Kado. It later broke when he attempted to analyze their power level. Although just like Nappa's scouter, it seems to have a different appearance at times. Tarble's scouter could also be pictured as aqua in color.
Planet Frieza 79 scouter systemEdit
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'Edit
Although neither King Cold nor Mecha Frieza wore a scouter, their soldiers did. After a mysterious youth arrived, Iru used his scouter to measure the youth's (suppressed) power level which registered at just five. The youth quickly raised to kill the soldier and then used his sword to kill the rest of the army. One soldier's scouter was cut in half, however his body was still intact, but only moments later, he was killed by Mecha-Frieza himself.
Main article: 3D Scan Mode
Android 20, Android 19, and Android 16 can be observed to possess a device that calculates and locates power levels like scouters once did. These devices also had the merit of not malfunctioning when an enormous power was detected. However, it is unknown whether or not they calculate power levels with the same units of measure.
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. It is also worth noting that Mr. Satan scored 137 on this machine, further emphasizing the fact that he is a genuinely skilled martial artist when not compared to the Z Fighters, since, if the units were the same used by scouters, he would be only two points below Master Roshi in his prime.
The wizard Babidi can be seen to have a device called Power Meter that calculates 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.
Video game appearancesEdit
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 Planet Trade Organization 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 Batoro 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 henchmen, 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.
Akira Toriyama based the design of Saiyan scouters on Mitsuteru Yokoyama's 1956 manga Tetsujin 28-go. An antagonist character named Alberto had lost his right eye, and was wearing a metal patch that somewhat resembles the scouter in appearance, and also acted like a tracking and communication device.
A device similar in design to the scouter also appears in the Blue Dragon series, whose characters were also designed by Toriyama.
- In the Bridge Entertainment version of Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, Turles refers to his scouter as a "portable computer".
- Bulma is the only good character to use a scouter in the manga. Tarble also wears one, until it explodes from reading Goku's power. Vegeta is also the only Z Fighter to have ever used a scouter.
- The first and last power level read by a scouter in the manga was "5". First from a Farmer by Raditz, and then Future Trunks's suppressed power level by one of King Cold's men. This was the last time a Scouter was seen in the main series.
- Scouters gave rise to one of the most popular internet memes: "It's Over 9000!".
- Star Fox characters Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, and Wolf O'Donnell occasionally wear devices that appear similar to scouters.
- The anime and manga 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, the main protagonist Yuma wears a D-Gazer over one of his eyes, an eyepiece used to display duel monsters that resembles a scouter.
- 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 VForce, the members of Team Psykick wear devices that resemble scouters in order to use their Cyber Bit Beasts.
- 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.