Android 16 bears many qualities unique to his android series, which spans between models 16 through 18. He is the only model of the three to be entirely synthetic, which until the development of androids 17 and 18 was the norm for Gero's projects. This fact is unprecedented to Android 17, who was previously under the impression that "Dr. Gero [did not have] the technology to create an android from nothing," and wonders "[why he] went back to cybernetics" (when in actuality 17 and 18 are the first 'cybernetic-fitted human' androids to be seen in the Dragon Ball franchise). Having not been created from a human base might explain why Android 16 is the strongest of his series, as he has virtually no human attributes to hinder him (even 18 is quick to acknowledge that 16 is "fundamentally different from [she and 17]"). He is also the tallest android of both his series and the production line as a whole, towering at over double the height of Android 18.
Android 16 is the penultimate android designed by Dr. Gero to be created exclusively from synthetic technology (although in each alternate timeline he is the last to be created by this method, as Android 19 only exists in the series' mainstream timeline). 16's programming has yet to be completed, and as such Gero opts not to activate him in fear that "[he might destroy androids 17 and 18]." In "Goku's Assassin", Dr. Gero even goes as far as to dub Android 16 a prototype. 16's most significant malfunction from Gero's perspective was likely his inherently peaceful behavior, often interacting with nature rather than comply with Gero's orders, making him similar to Android 8. In due course there was some truth to Dr. Gero's prediction, as his serene outlook drove him to attempt to destroy Cell, in an effort to eliminate the serious threat Cell posed to peace on Earth. He is also the only character that addresses that 17 and 18 are not very evil. Each timeline alternate to the mainstream one evidences the fact that Android 16 was not meant to be activated, as upon Future Trunks' second visit from the future he fails to recognize 16. This could possibly be due to Android 16's peaceful nature (he could have either been destroyed by both of them or left them because they have hurt the planet or because Goku was killed by the heart virus.) Although, his production might have been stopped because of Goku's death. In the mainstream timeline, Android 18's curiosity in 16 leads her to activate the giant, and the discrepancies with Gero who severely forbids her from doing so lead 17 to kill him. Future Trunks attempts to destroy the androids with a barrage of ki blasts before the activation of 16, however this has no effect on the trio and thus Android 16 is triggered. The trio proceed to travel in search of Goku, whom they have been programmed to kill.
When Super Saiyan Vegeta intercepts the trio, 17 and 18 implore 16 to step in and fight, interested to see him in action (their main purpose for activating him in the first place). Android 16 however refuses to fight him, thus prompting Android 18 to volunteer. When Future Trunks, Krillin, Piccolo and Tien Shinhan arrive as Vegeta's reinforcement, Android 17 hopefully takes the opportunity to ask if 16 will join the fight, though as he initially assumed 16 once again opts not to. At the conclusion of the encounter, which has rendered everyone incapacitated besides Krillin who is spared so that he may see the others healed by Senzu Beans, it is revealed that 16 has been more intent on observing nearby birds, saddened that they flew away because of the noise made by the battle scene, than to take part in the fight.In an early encounter with Imperfect Cell, Android 16 manages to rip his tail off, hoping to prevent him from using it to absorb androids 17 and 18. It is not until Imperfect Cell manages to grow his tail back that Android 16 realizes the desperation of the struggle, and resorts to using arguably his most powerful technique, Hell's Flash. Doing so he immobilizes Cell and removes halves of each of his arms arm, tucking them beneath his armpits and revealing cannons within the remaining limbs of his arms. These cannons take a brief moment to charge before igniting a giant explosion. Imperfect Cell withstands the onslaught however, and is able to sneak upon Android 17, devouring him via his tail and signifying his transformation to Semi-Perfect Cell, granting him extended power and speed. In his Semi-Perfect form, Cell is able to take full headshots from Android 16, and remain completely undaunted. He then blasts Android 16, disfiguring his head and leaving him in critical condition.
During the fight between Ascended Super Saiyan Vegeta and Semi-Perfect Cell, Cell successfully absorbs Android 18, achieving the form of Perfect Cell, and leading him to leave the scene shortly after. Following Cell's departure after defeating both Vegeta and Ultra Super Saiyan Future Trunks, Krillin takes Android 16 to the Capsule Corporation for Bulma to repair. During these repairs, Bulma discovers a bomb implanted within Android 16, possibly intended by Dr. Gero to be used against Goku. Not wanting to take any chances, Bulma removes this bomb from 16's body. Later during the Cell Games, Android 16 sneaks behind Perfect Cell, distracted by his attacks on Gohan, with the intention of detonating upon him, unaware that Bulma removed the bomb while she repaired him. Once 16 realizes that his self-destruct capability has been disabled, Cell escapes his hold and blasts the android into pieces, though his head remains intact, convincing Mr. Satan to throw him to Gohan in an effort to encourage the young warrior to release his anger and defend the Earth. Afterward, Cell steps on 16's head without hesitation, ending the existence of the peaceful android, and enrages Gohan to the extent that he ascends to the Super Saiyan 2 transformation. Though it is debatable that he may have been revived by Shenron because of a wish that restored both the lives of all of Cell's victims and the damage caused during the Cell Games, this is the last appearance of Android 16 in Dragon Ball Z. Android 16 eventually appeared on Dragon Ball GT's final episode in a series of flashbacks.
- Blasters Fire!, a technique where Android 16 lifts his opponent and tosses them to the ground. He then removes halves of each of his arms arm, tucking them beneath his armpits and revealing cannons within the remaining limbs of his arms. These cannons take a brief moment to charge before igniting a giant explosion from which hundreds of small beams are shown sprouting from the crater, possibly to avoid escape. Android 16 uses Hell's Flash against Imperfect Cell, attempting to kill him before he can absorb androids 17 and 18.
- Hell's Beam, is another version of the Hell's Flash and one of 16's ultimates in Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit.
- Built in Scouter, a scouter embedded within the android's eyes (sensors) that can detect energy level and location. Unlike the regular scouters, however, it does not explode upon encountering too high a power level (as far as it is shown in the series). Alternatively, it could be that the power sensors that Gero built simply have a much higher threshold for power sensing, not necessarily that their measurements cannot hit a limit.
- Bionic Punisher, a synthetic form of Eye Laser.
- Energy Attack, the most basic form of energy wave used by androids.
- Flight, the ability to fly without the use of ki.
- Rocket Punch, a technique where Android 16 launches one of his arms at his opponent in the manner of a rocket.
- Originally intended to be used against Goku, a self-destruct device implanted within Android 16 can incite arguably his most powerful technique. In an act of suicide, Android 16 sneaks behind his opponent, grabbing them and then detonating the bomb inside his chest. Android 16 tries using the self destruct device against Perfect Cell, but fails due to the unforeseen removal of the bomb by Bulma and her father, Dr. Briefs, who were dead surprised to find that such a powerful bomb had been embedded inside.
- Machine Impact, a rush attack that Android 16 used against Cell.