Ability development

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Ability development
Parkman goes all Eyesaac.jpg
As Matt's telepathy evolves, it allows him to use precognition.

Many evolved humans have shown that, over time and through experience, they can develop their abilities, gain more control over them, and become more powerful.

Examples of Ability Development

Ability absorption

As a baby, Tommy Clark absorbed the powers on any evo he came into contact with with no control over it, taking both Claire Bennet and Hiro Nakamura's powers without intent and as such had to be raised separately from his twin sister. (June 13th, Part One, June 13th, Part Two) By 2008, Tommy had enough control to touch his sister without stealing her powers, something Angela Petrelli attributed to their abilities having "matured" as they grew older. (Project Reborn) Tommy was also later able to teleport both Molly Walker and Phoebe Frady without taking their abilities. (June 13th, Part Two, 11:53 to Odessa)

When he was sixteen, Tommy learned how to use his power to temporarily absorb his sister's power without actually stealing it from her, allowing them to effectively share the power. However, he was unable to control the effects of the combined power and had to learn of their need for a conduit to properly use this aspect of his ability. He retained his previously stolen power after disconnecting from Malina due to the nature of their connection as twins rather than lose space-time manipulation in favor of elemental control permanently as he had with Claire's power when he took Hiro's. (Project Reborn, June 13th, Part Two)

Accelerated probability

Both Edward and Santiago are able to predict probabilities and move at super speeds (Destiny, Part 1), but Edward was able to develop his ability over the years to produce a ball of electricity with it (Destiny, Part 4).


When she first discovered her ability, Bridget Bailey was having trouble controlling it. She would get a memory of any object she touched. After gaining control of her visions, became able to scan the "surface memories" of an object.

Sylar has been shown to be able to "see" experiences and emotions of people (Angels and Monsters) and has implied that he can absorb the memories of a conscious person (An Invisible Thread).


When Molly first exhibited this power, she could only find the living (Powerless) but later sees Claire Bennet's body when trying to locate her after being unaware of her death, meaning that she can now find both those who are living and those who are dead. (June 13th, Part One)

Electric manipulation

Both Elle and a Homeland Security agent could generate electrical arcs (Four Months Ago..., Walls, Part 1). In the explosion future timeline, the DHS agent had developed his ability and could levitate using it (Walls, Part 1). When attacked by Sylar, Elle was able to release a huge blast of electricity which knocked him out and disabled the power grid on Level 5 of Primatech Research (The Butterfly Effect).

Electronic communication

When they were alive, both Richard Drucker (Assignment Tracker 2.0) and Hana Gitelman (Wireless, Part 2) were able to manipulate, generate and interpret electronic/digital communications. After the death of their physical bodies, they then transferred their consciousness' into the digital medium (The Death of Hana Gitelman, Part 2).

Elemental control

While unable to stop the H.E.L.E. by herself with her powers, Malina was able to use her powers to stop it when sharing her powers with her twin brother with her grandfather as a conduit. (Project Reborn)

Empathic mimicry

When Peter Petrelli discovered his original ability, he could only mimic the abilities of those in his presence (Genesis) though he managed to access precognition without realizing it. (Don't Look Back) With the help of Claude Rains, Peter began attempting to access the abilities he absorbed without his "benefactors" being around. When Claude throws him off a roof, Peter is able to regenerate without Claire around, the first time he purposefully managed to call upon an ability he'd absorbed. The experience allowed Peter to figure out how to tap into his absorbed abilities without the person he absorbed them from being around. (Distractions) Under more training from Claude, Peter was able to call upon telekinesis, an ability he was exposed to but never mimicked, the first time he called upon an ability he had been exposed to but never used before. Afterwards, he was able to call upon space-time manipulation, flight and invisibility without help or effort and gained full control over his ability to call upon his currently absorbed powers. (Unexpected) After absorbing induced radioactivity, Peter had troubles controlling the power, resulting in him exploding (The Hard Part, How to Stop an Exploding Man) but had enough control over it four months later to safely destroy the Shanti virus. (Powerless) After having his memory erased, Peter lost his memory of how to access his abilities, but gained enough control over some of them to use telekinesis and electrical manipulation. (Volume Two) Before his father took his abilities (Dying of the Light), Peter had access to fifteen absorbed abilities.

Enhanced synesthesia

Emma Coolidge could initially only see sound as colors with this ability, but when she channeled her frustration through it, she cracked her apartment wall (Hysterical Blindness). Later, Emma was able to learn to channel her ability to call people to her which she used to draw Ian Michaels to her while in Central Park (Upon This Rock), and Peter Petrelli from an unknown distance away in New York City (Close to You), as well as many people to the carnival. In order to defeat him, Emma was able to channel her anger into a blast that knocked Eric Doyle down. (Brave New World)


Originally, Tracy could only freeze objects through touch (The Butterfly Effect). However, after being held captive for some time she was able to build up a 'cold snap'. This 'cold snap', when unleashed (from her entire body), was able to freeze solid everything in a parking garage, even Tracy herself (although she was covered in water at the time) (Cold Snap). Tracy's frozen, shattered body was also able to blink, foreshadowing her return (Cold Snap). As shown in An Invisible Thread, Tracy's ability has evolved past just freezing things. She can now also mimic water. She has also frozen herself (Brother's Keeper).

Healing touch

When Jeremy Greer was 13 years old, he originally had a very powerful ability to heal others: he healed insects, small animals, and even a cut on Noah Bennet's arm. However, in the following few years, Jeremy's ability developed to the point where he would seemingly kill people and other living things just by touching them: he killed a bird, vegetation at his home, and even his father and mother. (Tabula Rasa)

Noah told Peter that there was a woman in China who had the same ability and the same development. He noted that she could "control the flow of life". (Tabula Rasa)

Induced radioactivity

Ted Sprague was initially only able to "burn hot," heating his environment, explosively at times and passively emit radiation (Nothing to Hide). He was later able to "burn bright" and produce an electro-magnetic pulse with his ability to knock out the security systems in a Primatech holding facility, causing no apparent heat or radiation damage to the facility or the person near him (.07%).

Intuitive aptitude

Sylar was first only able to use his power to quickly diagnose failures in mechanical watches, making him a very successful watch repairman. After a visit from Chandra Suresh and talking about his research, Sylar surmised that he could use his ability to acquire abilities by studying his victim's brain (Six Months Ago). However, with the aid of Arthur Petrelli, Sylar discovered he could also obtain the ability of another evolved human by means of an empathic connection with the person (similar to empathic mimicry but not as passive) (It's Coming).

Luke's ability

At first, this ability was uncontrollable to Luke Collins, (Under the Mask) but he eventually gained enough control over it to purposefully burn a list of evos (The Needs of the Many) and his old home down. (The Lion's Den) After encountering Malina, Luke gained enough control to shoot streams of fire at his enemies. (Sundae, Bloody Sundae, 11:53 to Odessa, Send in the Clones, Company Woman) By channeling the energy of a devastating solar flare, Luke was able to fly though it caused him intense pain to do so. He was also able to detonate himself and the energy he'd gathered in a powerful enough explosion to harmlessly dissipate a solar flare powerful enough to destroy North America at cost of his own life. (Project Reborn)

Poison emission

When she first discovered her ability, Maya needed Alejandro to deactivate her ability for her (Four Months Ago...). Later, with the help of Sylar, she becomes able to deactivate her ability at will (Truth & Consequences).

Precognitive dreaming

Both Angela and Peter have shown that this ability is mainly dreaming the future (Fallout). However, she was able to appear in Sylar's dream to convince him to wake up and escape from Level 5 (Eris Quod Sum) and Peter was able to interact with his dreams - by talking to someone in one (How to Stop an Exploding Man) and obtaining an object from another (Truth & Consequences). Peter was also later able to have the same dream twice with the second dream apparently being a continuation of the first and showing more detail. Also, with the first dream he had the same dream his mother had had. (Close to You, The Art of Deception)

Puppet master

Eric Doyle originally was able to control the movements of others (Angels and Monsters). Since then he has shown he can also control the motor functions of objects (Nowhere Man, Part 4). Doyle was also able to control Michael and made him kill himself with his ability. (Doyle)


Meredith is only able to produce an orange flame (The Fix). Her brother was able to increase the intensity of his pyrokinesis, making it "extra hot". His flames now burn blue (Playing with Fire). When injected with adrenaline by Sylar, Meredith exploded and caused a fire that destroyed a building.

Shape shifting

For inexperienced shape shifters, taking the form of another person was very painful and required a couple of minutes to complete the transformation. Also, the clothes of the person did not change (Into Asylum). As Sylar became more adept at using the ability, he was able to shift appearances quickly and painlessly, as well as shift his clothes (I Am Sylar). Also, he was able to shift the "sweet spot" in his brain so the chances of killing him with brain penetration would be reduced. (I Am Sylar, An Invisible Thread).

Sound manipulation

At first, Echo DeMille was only able to produce sonic screams with his ability. (Going Postal, Part 1) Later he was shown to be able to:

  • Mimic song melodies.
  • Produce infrasounds.
  • Mimic bird calls.
  • Convert other forms of energy (eg. electricity) to sound. (Going Postal)

Space-time manipulation

  • While concentrating on New York City,Hiro accidentally transports himself there. (Genesis)
  • After discovering that he is five weeks in the future and witnessing a nuclear explosion, Hiro is able to teleport himself back to his own time. (Don't Look Back)
  • Hiro is able to time travel at will to save Charlie Andrews, but overshoots and goes back six months by accident. (Homecoming, Six Months Ago)
  • While trying to avoid getting shot by Hope, Hiro inadvertently reverses time for just a bullet for about a second while not affecting the gun itself. However, he remained unaware of this feat. (Unexpected)
  • After getting the Kensei sword, Hiro is able to teleport both himself and Ando out of Linderman's vault without intense concentration and finally being able to take a passenger with him. (Parasite)
  • Hiro is able to return himself and Ando to their own time without the guidance of his future self. (Five Years Gone)
  • After speaking to his father, Hiro is able to transport himself and later Ando without the aid of the Kensei sword which he learns had never helped him focus his powers as he'd believed. (Landslide)
  • After regaining his powers due to Matt Parkman Jr.'s powers, Hiro freezes time around himself and baby Matt without freezing the baby as they were touching. He later replicates this feat by accident with Ando and discovers that when he touches someone, they remain unfrozen with him. (Cold Snap, I Am Sylar)
  • Tommy Clark, believing himself to be a simple teleporter, discovers that when he touches something, it goes wherever he imagines it. (Odessa)
  • After escaping Evernow, Hiro freezes time around Noah Bennet but leaves Noah unfrozen without having to make physical contact with him. He also freezes time before even fully emerging from Evernow. (Game Over)
  • Guided by Hiro, Tommy is able to send Noah back to his own time with just a touch. (June 13th, Part Two)
  • After Emily's life is in danger, Tommy discovers the ability to freeze time. (Sundae, Bloody Sundae)
  • After freezing time, Tommy is able to unfreeze just his mother by touching her and concentrating. (Company Woman)
  • After spending "an eternity" practicing in the Eternal Fortress of Evernow, Tommy is able to split himself into two distinctive Tommy Clark's, both with the same abilities and personality and linked to each other. Erica Kravid tells Tommy that not even Hiro could accomplish such a feat and seemed to believe it impossible to do. (Project Reborn)


When he first used his synthetic ability, Ando could only supercharge another's ability through touch (Dual). Ando has since been able to develop his ability and can now generate a concussive energy burst with his power (first seen in The Second Coming by his future self but was first shown in the present timeline in Cold Snap). Hiro describes Ando's ability as "red lightning" (Baby Power). Ando is also able to use the power to overload electronic door locks without frying them in order to bypass them and shock Hiro like electro-shock therapy to restore his scrambled brains. (Close to You)


Micah used to need physical contact with electronics to use his ability on them (Landslide). He has since developed the ability to reach out to electronics that are not in his immediate vicinity (Rebellion, Part 5).


A weak telekinetic, like Brian Davis, is only able to move small things with their mind (Six Months Ago). Sylar has developed his telekinesis, which grants him:

Sylar was also able to somehow remove a blood clot from Charlie Andrews' brain. (Once Upon a Time in Texas)

Telekinetics can also use their ability like a knife. Sylar is able to gain access to the brains of his victims this way (Homecoming). Samson Gray also used this aspect of telekinesis, in order to kill his wife (Exposed). Peter Petrelli also displayed this aspect, attacking his brother in the future (I Am Become Death) and his mother (Angels and Monsters).

When Peter acquired intuitive aptitude, which improved his telekinetic ability, he was able to weld a broken watch gear together. (I Am Become Death)

Misha showed he can levitate liquids with his ability. (Libertad)


Matt Parkman was initially only able to read minds (Don't Look Back). With practice and coaching, his ability developed and he was able to perform more actions.

Well developed telepaths can perform the following:

Peter Petrelli's use of telepathy evolved over time as well. Initially he could only read minds, but he gained the ability to use it as persuasion as well eventually. (Powerless, Exposed) When he replicated this power from Matt for a second time, he was able to use it to enter the nightmare Matt had trapped Sylar in and eventually free him. (The Art of Deception, The Wall)


Sparrow Redhouse, when a girl, could make the dirt move. She got older and discovered that she could move a lot more than dirt, but only when in contact with the ground. She was able to destroy an apartment. After being sucked out of Flight 195, she was able to control the earth while in the air to save herself (Rebellion, Part 2). She theorized that she could manipulate the ground from the air because of the adrenaline of falling from the plane.

Samuel Sullivan can also use his ability to control a special type of mineral-based ink. He can use it to form moving tattoos (as well as remove them), which can choke their possessors. (Orientation) He can also absorb it into his own body and later expel it, altering photo images. (Ink) Samuel's powers are also increased depending on how many evolved humans are nearby allowing him to create landslides and sinkholes. When Peter replicated this ability, he showed the same level of power as Samuel until all but three evolved humans in the area left which significantly weakened them. (Brave New World)


At first, Phoebe Frady was only able to move her shadow independently of herself (Dark Matters, Part 1) and steal light (Dark Matters, Part 2). She later developed the ability to form balls of shadow with her hands, and negate the use of others' abilities (Dark Matters, Part 3). Over a year after being captured by Renautas, Phoebe used her power to create solid tendrils made of shadow, which she used to negate Malina's power (The Lion's Den) and kill her brother (Game Over). When pushed to create as much darkness as possible, Phoebe created a massive cloud of darkness that blotted out the sky of Odessa, Texas, caused an eclipse and drained the powers of every evo in the city. (June 13th, Part One)

Water mimicry

Other water mimics can only turn themselves and whatever they are holding into water. Donald Essex has shown that he is also able to create torrents of water using his ability. (Under the Bridge, Part 2)

Ability Modification

Some abilities seem to become modified or altered in certain ways. This occurs when an ability's effects are limited or expanded from the evolved human's original capacity. This change can happen as a result of previous ability loss and reintroduction through various methods, or as a result of special manifestations brought on by spirit walks.


Fan Theories

Please refer to Theory:Ability development for fan-created theories and other speculation.

Evolved Human Abilities edit

Ability absorptionAbility replicationActivation and deactivationAdoptive muscle memoryAlchemyAlejandro's abilityAquatic breathingClairsentienceClairvoyanceCloakingCloningCyberpathyDisintegrationDream manipulationElectric manipulationElemental controlEmpathic mimicryEmpathyEnhanced hearingEnhanced memoryEnhanced strengthEnhanced strength and sensesEnhanced synesthesiaFire breathingFlightFreezingGravitational manipulationHachiro's abilityHealingHealing touchHeat generationIllusionImage projectionImpenetrable skinInduced radioactivityIntuitive aptitudeInvisibilityLie detectionLuke's abilityMagnetismMeltingMemory manipulationMemory storageMental manipulationMetal mimicryMicrowave emissionMiko's abilityMist mimicryPersuasionPhasingPlant growthPoison emissionPossessionPrecognitionPrecognitive dreamingPuppet masterPyrokinesisRapid cell regenerationSedationSeismic burstShape shiftingShatteringSound manipulationSpace-time manipulationSpontaneous combustionSuper speedSuperchargingTechnopathyTelekinesisTelepathyTerrakinesisUmbrakinesisWeather control

Evolutions Abilities

Accelerated probabilityAcidic bloodAge transferalAnimal controlBelief inductionCarbon isolation and formationConstrictionDanger sensingDavid's abilityDimension hoppingDimensional storageEmpathic manipulationEnhanced breathEnhanced teleportingExtraskeletal manipulationFireworks creationHealth optimizingInflammationLight absorptionLight manipulationNerve manipulationNon-biological duplicationPhoenix mimicryPlasmakinesisPrimal rageProbability computationRock formationShiftingTeleportationTemporal rewindWater generationWater mimicry

Graphic Novel Abilities

Ability augmentationAcid secretionAge shiftingAppearance alterationAura absorptionBliss and horrorBone spike protrusionChlorine gas exudationCrumplingDehydrationDisintegration touchElasticityElectrical absorptionEnergy absorption, transference, and redirectionFire castingForcefieldsFuture terrorist's abilityGold mimicryGranulationGreen energy blastImprintingLaser emissionLevitationLuminescenceLung adaptationMass manipulationMediumshipNerve gas emissionNeurocognitive deficitOil secretionOmnilingualismPlant manipulationSound absorptionSpider mimicryTelescopic visionWall crawling

See Also: Ability extensionAbility heredityAbility immunityAbility lossAbility theftBrain examinationBrain penetrationUnnamed abilitiesExamples of simultaneous ability useEye alterationList of abilitiesList of abilities with multiple usersParadoxProphecyRiftPower