Shadow is a black anthropomorpic hedgehog with black fur, red eyes, white fur around his chest, and peach skin on his muzzle. He shares Sonic's appearance, but with dark and crimson skin, his quills pointed upwards, more angled eyes, and a fearsome scowl.
He wears a pair of white Air Shoes with black heels and soles, and a red strip of metal lines on the bottom of each shoe, and a pair of white gloves with black and red-tongued cuffs and Inhibitor Rings around his wrists. He also wears red sports tape around his arms, legs, and air shoes, as well as a long red scarf around his neck.
Shadow is arrogant, aloof, and a loner, to put it bluntly. He is rarely seen with others for an extended period of time, and distances himself from essentially everyone. He is usually soft-spoken, and only says what he needs to. If Shadow makes a threat, he has every intention of carrying it out. Shadow constantly refers to himself as the Ultimate Lifeform and is extremely carefree and self-esteemed. Shadow also has a relenting edge in combat that all other characters in the series lack, and displays a natural "killer instinct". At times, Shadow could be the most mercifull character in the series.
Shadow's famous compassion and enthusiasm leads to mercy and spirit that inhibits characters from his unshakable intent. Numerous characters from the Sonic series have shown absolute mercy from encountering Shadow. Shadow's enemies never treat him lightly; he is one of the very few people Sonic takes seriously and acts hostile towards.
Alongside his heroic demeanor, Shadow can be embarrased and helpful. He treats others in a very careful manner, throwing in his opinion no matter how brave-hearted it is and not caring for whatever the response is, though he treats some people with utter respect (such as his new friends, Toshiro and Gaara, as well as some Shinigami captains and high-ranked shinobi). He is also consistently serious, even on a mission although he has no regard for silliness. He can show some genuine kindness when he cares about them above all else.
Despite Shadow being considered neutral in terms of alignment, he is considered a hero by the most part with his overall motivation, which is dedicating his life to protecting mankind.
Super Speed - Shadow can run at super speeds like other Sonic characters. With his Air Shoes, Shadow can hover-skate at supersonic speeds, even nearing that of hypersonic speeds, and is fast enough to nearly equal the speeds that Sonic can run at, making him one of the fastest fighters in the Sonic series.
Accelerated Healing - Shadow displays a remarkably fast recovery rate, allowing him to quickly re-enter a battle after just a few moments.
Enhanced Endurance - Shadow possesses incredibly amounts of high endurance and stamina, and can even fight opponents at with half of his power, despite him being in a weakened state.
Enhanced Durability - Shadow possesses incredibly high physical durability and is capable of surviving things that would normally be fatal to others, even by the standards of other superhuman creatures, making him nearly indestructible.
Enhanced Jump - Shadow is able to jump several meters high in the air.
Minor Super Strength - Shadow is quite physically strong, though not as strong as Knuckles the Echidna. With effort, he is capable of overturning large objects, such as trucks, buses and large slabs of concrete.
Immortality - Being the end-product of Project Shadow, which was meant to create an immortal life-form, Shadow is immortal and does not physically age.
Extreme Acrobatic Skills and Reflexes - Shadow is highly acrobatic, agile and an experienced athlete, capable of gracefully leaping over many obstacles that comes in his way and performing various forms of nimble movements. He has as well radical reaction time to match his movements, being able to react to danger within a split second.
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant - In combat, Shadow is a fierce, dangerous, and extremely powerful force that few can defeat directly. He also never holds back on his immense strength, making him a powerful, brutal and deadly fighter with a distinct killer instinct. Shadow's fighting style focuses on direct, brutal, unrestrained and powerful hand-to-hand combat. In line with his nature and potent abilities, Shadow has adopted a fighting style where he fights his opponents using powerful blows, such as karate chops, swift punches and roundhouse kicks, to which of his attacks have a significant amount of force behind them. With the speeds Shadow can move at, he can disable the opponent through the force of his blows alone, while leaving them at the mercy at his incoming attacks.
Weaponry and Firearms Combat Skills - Shadow has shown that he can also skillfully use a wide range of firearms, semi-automatics, heavy assault, grenades and payloads, as well as close-combat weapons.
Excellent Driving Skills - Shadow can also improvise with debris, and drive a wide range of vehicles
G.U.N. Military training and experience - As an agent of G.U.N., Shadow has great military experience and has a great knowledge in all forms of military disciplines.
Expert Strategist and Tactician - Shadow has a keen mind in battle and has shown to analyze his opponents' movements and tactics, before coming up with a plan to counterattack and take down his enemy. Shadow can also be a capable leader in various missions.
Expert Swordsman - Shadow is shown to be an expert swordsman in battle, enabling him to handle his own against powerful swordsman opponents.
Chaos Aura Mode - By generating chaos energy from one or two Chaos Emeralds, Shadow can enter a transformation, similar to his super transformation, but has a few changes in his appearance; His skill color is crimson red and scarlet pink, his quills are like his super transformation, gains a verticle scar runing on his left eye, and his eyes become dark red.