fThroughout the Naruto franchise, the title character only had one real rival in his peer group. Sasuke Uchiha had the skills and the talent to challenge an adolescent with the power of a tailed beast sealed inside of him. Over the course of the series, Sasuke’s talents and weaknesses became more and more apparent and his skillset became very diverse.
Sasuke was a man of few words. He frequently stayed aloof with his classmates and his teammates, preferring to focus on making himself into a more powerful shinobi than figuring out how to work with a team. That idea came back to bite him when he decided to put himself ahead of his village. He defected from Konohagakure as a teen in order to train under the auspicious eye of Orochimaru. That training provided Sasuke with even more skills, ones that no one else in his home village had. The same training also made it apparent to fans of the franchise that, despite all of that power, Sasuke also had some pretty glaring weaknesses.
We’ve combed through the various manga and anime versions of the story to find a variety of both with 20 Powers Sasuke Has That Only True Fans Know About (And 10 Weaknesses).
While training under Orochimaru, fans expected Sasuke to learn to work with snakes. He did, just like Jiraiya taught Naruto about toads and Tsunade taught Sakura about slugs. Surprisingly, Sasuke learned to work with another animal, too.
Though we never see the training for it, Sasuke learned to summon large hawks to help him in a fight. He doesn’t seem to do much with them other than use them for their flight capabilities and we only see him summon a hawk once or twice in the anime. The anime did like to have hawks circling in the sky a lot before the reveal, so maybe fans were meant to infer that he’d been using them for surveillance.
Because Sasuke does have access to so many powers, it’s easy to forget he’s also good with a variety of weapons. He can also use different tools, like wire strings, to augment his jutsu.
Sasuke can use Fire Release or Lightning Release to aid his wire strings, but he can also use them to bind enemies in a fight. Surprisingly, mastering wire strings seems to be a relatively rare skill in Sasuke’s generation (Naruto only used them once in a movie). In the series, Tenten, Shikamaru, Shino, Sai, and Temari are the only other regular users. Of those, Tenten and Shikamaru are the only ones to use them in the manga.
Sasuke spent a lot of time in the franchise as the strong and silent type. A lot of that is because Sasuke spent his formative years thinking about getting revenge for his family. Spending years having poor communication skills with your peer group means new skills don’t magically appear as an adult, though.
In the Boruto series, fans learn that Sasuke is so bad at communication that he doesn’t even send his wife letters while traveling. He leaves shortly after his daughter, Sarada, learned to walk, deciding to travel and attempt to atone for youthful misdeeds. That leaves Sakura alone to raise their daughter for nearly a decade, with no idea where he is.
At first, Bansho Ten'in doesn’t seem like a great skill. It makes the shinobi pull an opponent toward them, but the point should be to stay out of range of your opponent’s jutsu, right? It depends on the shinobi’s skills.
Sasuke has a wide range of skills he can use in close or mid-range combat. With the Bansho Ten-in, he can influence the attractive force between himself and an opponent to move them closer. In theory, he could move more than one opponent at a time, then let the power go, making them collide with one another. It’s useful if a shinobi is up against someone who doesn’t have close combat skills.
If there’s one character known for huge chakra levels in the Naruto franchise, it’s the title character himself. Large chakra reserves are a trait of the Uzumaki family. He’s not the only one with higher than normal levels of chakra.
Though it’s not a known trait of the Uchiha clan, Sasuke clearly has large amounts of chakra. When Kakashi Hatake teaches his student how to do the Chidori, a lightning-based skill, he expects Sasuke to only be able to use it once before his chakra is depleted. Instead, Sasuke is able to perform the Chidori twice in less than 24 hours and he’s able to continue fighting with lower chakra levels.
Sasuke spent all of his formative years with a single goal in mind: avenging the elimination of the Uchiha Clan.
When Sasuke’s big brother, Itachi, wiped out the entire clan, Sasuke was the only family member he spared. Sasuke didn’t know it at the time, but Itachi’s decision was part of a longer game plan. Of course, nothing really worked out the way either of the Uchihas wanted in the end. Sasuke’s obsession with avenging his family led him down a dark path. He defected from Konohagakure and joined up with Orochimaru. Sasuke became more powerful under his training, but it cost him years with his friends, along with much of his compassion.
This particular power has a pretty fancy name. It’s actually just one subset of power produced by someone who wields a Mangekyou Sharingan. The Blaze Release Honoikazuchi involves the shinobi using Amaterasu and influencing it further. Amaterasu refers to the black flames created by the Mangekyou Sharingan that can actually follow an enemy once the shinobi can focus on them.
With this subset of the skill, the black flames can be turned into spikes, making them more powerful. Interestingly, Sasuke used this power when he hadn’t yet activated his Mangekyou Sharingan in the anime. Either he found a way to access it early, or it’s a continuity issue that gave him a new power.
This particular ability is another one of Sasuke’s that only occurs in the anime. The powerful jutsu is called Combination Transformation because that’s literally what it involves. Two shinobi join forces to take on the appearance of another form. Usually, one member of the team provides the backbone of chakra while the other performs any necessary hand seals for their actions.
In Sasuke’s case, he and Naruto actually transformed into one giant shuriken to be hurled at an enemy, rather than another being. In the past, Naruto teamed up with the toad Gamabunta to take on the appearance of a giant nine-tailed beast.
Perhaps it’s a result of losing his entire family at such a young age, and witnessing the aftermath, but Sasuke isn't great with interpersonal relationships.
In addition to leaving the one person who considered him a best friend, Naruto, he also never made his feelings for Sakura clear. In fact, their first meaningful interaction had him refer to her as “annoying.” The only way fans knew he had softened toward her was that he repeated the same phrase, but with a smile, when leaving her behind in Konoha. Likewise, he treated Karin coldly when joining up with Orochimaru, but always insisted on saving her first and keeping her out of danger in a fight.
Combining chakra natures to create elements is something powerful shinobi learn as they age. One exception to this is Wood Style, which allows a shinobi to combine Water and Earth chakra types; it’s a rare form that only a few shinobi mastered. Sasuke is able to combine a pair of other chakra types instead.
By the time he’s an adult, Sasuke is able to use Lightning, Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth chakra types. Usually, he uses them on their own, but there are instances of combining them. One combination fans see him perform is combining Water and Wind Release to create his own form of ice, giving him a whole new method of attack.
Less of a power and more of an attacking method, the Peregrine Falcon Drop resembles a wrestling move. With this move, the user actually gets their hands on a falling opponent, grabbing them around the ankles. Once they’ve done that, they wrap their legs around the opponent to immobilize them, and drive them into the ground. It’s a move that some fans equate with the real-life pile driver used in wrestling.
This is one of the earliest hand-to-hand combat moves we see Sasuke use effectively in the anime. Enemies know he’s a dangerous kid when he pulls this one out.
Patience is not Sasuke’s strong suit. He’s forced to wait nearly a decade before he can get revenge on his big brother, and he’s forced to train for three years with Orochimaru before he can strike on his own. These two things don’t make him a patient strategist, though.
Instead, Sasuke has a clear preference for getting into a fight and reacting to his opponent on the fly. He attempts to strategize as he fights, but unfortunately, he’s not in the same league as someone like Shikamaru Nara. Instead, this is one area where he and Naruto are more similar than they’d probably like to admit. It’s lucky that their sheer power outweighs their impulsivity.
Of the members of Team 7, it’s Sakura who is best known for her precise chakra control. Naruto and Sasuke have larger chakra reserves than she does as teens, so they don’t necessarily need to be as precise with it. As Sasuke ages though, his chakra control becomes much more exact.
A lot of Sasuke’s flashier attacks don’t rely on precise chakra control, which is why fans might not notice how great his becomes. When he’s just throwing fireballs at someone, he needs power, not finesse. He is capable of intricate movements using his chakra though, like siphoning power from a tailed beast, which surprised even the nine-tails.
This particular technique isn’t one fans will find in the manga. It’s a move only used in the anime, and it required both Sasuke and Naruto to perform it. Sasuke and Naruto spent part of an episode with their hands bound together with chakra liquid. The experience forced them to learn to work together, and the Pachinko Technique was born from it.
Naruto and Sasuke used the chakra liquid that connected them to launch a statue at their enemy (they essentially became a human slingshot). The technique gets its name from a game similar to pinball that's known in Japan.
When Orochimaru chose Sasuke as his next disciple, he marked him in the middle of a fight. The pain from the seal placed on Sasuke was so intense that his fighting weakened. That pain was the result of Orochimaru’s Cursed Seal of Heaven.
The Cursed Seal of Heaven, over time, became an advantage for Sasuke. He could use it to make his own abilities stronger, just like many of the shinobi who worked directly under Orochimaru. In its initial application and use, however, the seal was a definite detriment to a young genin still learning to use some basic jutsu.
Speed in the world of Naruto isn’t like the speedsters of the comics, unless the shinobi is someone like Minato, who was able to teleport. Instead, when a shinobi has the power of speed, it means they’re moving even faster than other ninjas in their strength class.
For Sasuke, he doesn’t initially seem much faster than his peers. With the help of the Uchiha clan, Sharingan, though, he’s able to increase his speed and reaction time as he learns. The Sharingan allows him to see movements faster than the normal human eye. With that skill, he’s also able to react even faster than the average shinobi.
Orochimaru developed his own method of living forever. As his body breaks down, he can inhabit a new body. That’s not the only way he can get a new body, though.
Because Orochimaru has many skills inspired by snakes, he can essentially shed his skin to reveal a new body underneath when he’s injured in a fight. It’s that particular skill that Sasuke also uses. It’s clearly something learned from Orochimaru as only those closest to him are able to do it. In addition to Orochimaru and Sasuke, the only other person to use this skill is Kabuto.
The phrase “pride cometh before the fall” couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to the likes of Sasuke. Ranked at the top of his Ninja Academy class, Sasuke believed himself to be more skilled than his peers. While that might have been true, it didn’t always mean he was better in a fight.
The first time he doubted his own abilities occurred during the Chunin Exams. His teammates came face-to-face with a woman that Sasuke believed was the embodiment of Death, but in reality, she was Orochimaru in disguise. It wasn’t until others joined the fray that Sasuke was able to pull through and get over his fear.
Of the characters in the Naruto franchise, the one character who always seemed to get back on his feet faster than possible was Naruto. At one point in the franchise, Sasuke also accelerated healing.
Now, Naruto’s healing rate was a result of his already huge chakra levels from being an Uzumaki combined with the nine-tailed beast’s chakra inside of him. Sasuke didn’t have either of those things going for him. Instead, when Sasuke absorbed Orochimaru into his system, rather than allowing the latter to take over his body, he gained many of Orochimaru’s abilities. One of those was his ability to heal faster than normal.
Members of the Hidden Leaf Village were lucky when Lady Tsunade accepted the invitation to become Hokage. Her knowledge of poisons and antidotes was invaluable and she taught what she knew to Sakura, who could actually use her chakra to physically extract poison from someone. Sasuke wasn’t in the village at the time and didn’t have access to any of that.
Luckily for Sasuke, he did have access to the teachings and experimentations of Orochimaru. While it’s not clear what Orochimaru did to Sasuke when the former trained him, Orochimaru had to do more than just teach him jutsu. After living with Orochimaru for three years, Sasuke became immune to most poisons.
While the Mangekyou Sharingan comes with some extra power and abilities, it comes at a higher price. Despite the power, the price is the weakness here.
In order to activate the Mangekyou Sharingan to begin with, the shinobi in question has to experience great grief. For many, that means causing the person they care the most for to lose their life. In Sasuke’s case, he witnessed his big brother Itachi succumb to his fate. In addition to that grief, the Mangekyou Sharingan also causes the user to lose their vision over time. Either they go blind or they require new eyes.
A sensory shinobi is someone who can sense chakra in other beings. With that ability, they can tell where their targets are located even if they can’t physically see them. Some of the sensor types in the franchise include members of the Yamanaka and Hyuga clans.
A particularly powerful sensor is Karin, whom Sasuke becomes close to. Throughout his time with her, Sasuke doesn’t appear to be a sensor, but he can sense one big change in chakra. For some reason, Sasuke is able to sense when Naruto builds up his chakra from the nine-tailed beast in their final battle against one another. Perhaps it’s because of how often Sasuke had already been in Naruto’s head.
While we don’t know exactly how he does it, in Boruto, Sasuke revealed he can travel between dimensions with a limited number of people. What we do know is that he’s able to achieve this feat somehow using the Rinnegan, another special power in his eyes. He was able to open up a portal between the characters’ dimension and that of the Otsutsuki to help Boruto save Naruto.
The idea of moving between dimensions isn’t unprecedented in the Naruto franchise. There are other characters with eye-related powers, like Kakashi, who can open up portals as well. In the case of Kakashi, he usually sent weapons or enemies to other dimensions, not making the trip himself.
As a kid, Sasuke doesn’t waste time feeling guilty. He makes decisions and he moves on. The only hint we get of his propensity for guilt is how angry he is about the Uchiha clan elimination. He carries that with him like an actual weapon for most of his childhood.
As an adult though, it seems there isn’t much Sasuke doesn't feel guilty about. He’s so stuck on the things he did in the past that he leaves Konohagakure (and his wife) altogether. Sasuke spends nearly a decade wandering the countryside, doing good deeds, but also spying for Konoha. His guilt causes him to leave everyone behind, leaving him vulnerable to attacks and rumors.
One of Sasuke’s greatest powers, and one the most powerful of the Uchiha clan have access to, is the Susanoo. The Susanoo is an avatar that surrounds the shinobi, protecting him from harm and launching attacks with his jutsu.
There are times in the anime that Sasuke’s Susanoo uses attacks not seen in the manga. One of those is the Great Fireball Technique, similar to the one an Uchiha can perform alone. With this technique, Sasuke’s Susanoo is able to, as the name suggests, launch a giant fireball at an enemy. These fireballs continue to burn instead of exploding on impact, making them pretty effective.
Pattern recognition is a useful skill, but one that typically requires a lot of studying to turn into codebreaking. Sasuke has a bit of a short cut.
One of the powers at Sasuke’s disposal is that of the Rinnegan. The Rinnegan gives a lot of his existing powers a boost. Not only does he get a stronger Susanoo because of it, but he gets that dimension hopping ability. It also increases his ability to recognize patterns. That means the Rinnegan actually allows him to recognize patterns in writing and quickly decipher codes. It’s an ability that gives him an edge while he’s spying for Konoha on his own.
Sound-based attacks are rare in the franchise as we only see a handful of shinobi use them. The first time fans were introduced to them was way back during Naruto’s chunin exams when one of the members of the Sound Village had body modifications that allowed them to fight with sound waves.
You would think with all of Sasuke’s power-ups as an adult that he would have developed some sort of protection against that style of fighting. Unfortunately for Sasuke, he didn’t. Even his Susanoo, which can protect him from just about anything else, has no counter for sound-based attacks. It’s lucky, then, that sound as a weapon is so rare.
To perform certain jutsu, a shinobi has to perform a sequence of hand motions, called seals. Most shinobi require two hands to perform them, but not Sasuke.
Following his final confrontation with Naruto, both young men experienced arm injuries. It was another sign that they were too evenly matched. While Naruto eventually got a prosthetic, Sasuke chose not to. That made learning how to perform one-handed seals a necessity. Only a handful of shinobi learn to do it. Of Konoha, only Sasuke, Naruto, Itachi Uchiha, and Minato Namikaze could do it. That’s some powerful, but also unfortunate, company.
The tailed beasts are some of the most powerful creatures in the franchise. With the nine-tails locked inside of Naruto, many villagers he knew kept their distance from him, even as a child. As Sasuke aged and mastered his Sharingan, he learned he could suppress the tailed beasts’ abilities.
Sasuke’s Sharingan allows him to force people into genjutsu-induced hallucinations. It also allows him to get inside people’s heads, kind of like the Yamanaka clan’s abilities. Because of that, he’s able to see Kurama, the nine-tailed fox, the way Naruto sees him: locked in a cage in his mind. He’s also able to push back against Kurama, though it takes a lot of effort on his part.
Naruto and Sasuke might consider themselves best friends, but they are most definitely each another’s greatest weakness. Naruto spends years trying to bring Sasuke home and it’s always Naruto that makes Sasuke pause in the middle of a fight.
Other than Sakura and Sarada, Naruto might be the person Sasuke cares for most in the world. How did he show that as their friendship developed? By constantly competing, making him think he was inferior and wanting to fight him. The need to always be better than Naruto is part of what drove Sasuke to seek power outside of Konoha. If they hadn’t been so fixated on one another, much of the messy battles during their early years could have been avoided.
Did you learn something knew about Sasuke’s power set and his weaknesses? Or did we get the Naruto character all wrong? If some of his weaknesses are actually strengths, let us know in the comments.