Kinetic Energy Absorption: Sebastian Shaw is a mutant with the superhuman ability to absorb kinetic energy and to metabolize it to enhance his own physical strength, speed, and stamina. This makes him extremely difficult to defeat in battle, as every blow struck against him only makes him stronger. Unusual tactics are required to defeat him, usually by incapacitating him or by attacking him psionically. Shaw absorbs the energy of any blow he is struck by, not just punches, but also projectiles like bullets, and to a less successful degree, electricity and physically based energy beams. Without absorbing energy, Shaw is merely a strong ordinary human, though normally he works to keep his strength at a superhuman level. For example, in one instance, he was shown to spend time hitting a wall after waking in order to build up his power reserves.
Kinetic Metabolism: Shaw can forgo sleep if he receives enough kinetic energy. Often he will have his mercenaries pummel him to give him enough stored energy that he need not sleep for some time.
Enhanced Durability: Shaw can still be crushed/cut, but cuts are superficial because he saps the blade of all its thrusting/cutting energy. Shaw is adept at not letting enemies realize his power until they have hit him one too many times. Hitting Shaw is often described as "punching a mattress". If properly energized, Shaw can lift and hold approximately one hundred times his weight. If bound, he can be punched by a teammate until he is strong enough to break the bonds. He is also adept at taunting foes into attacking him.
Enhanced Speed: When he has absorbed kinetic energy, Shaw's speed is increased.
Enhanced Stamina: Shaw's stamina in increased beyond normal human levels when he absorbs kinetic energy.
Accelerated Healing:: Shaw has healed from being hit repeatedly in the nose by Colossus in less than a few hours.
Kinetic Energy Contact: After being repeatedly hit by Colossus once, Shaw simply touched Colossus' head and Colossus' nose started to bleed.
Shaw's powers make him a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, even against superhumanly strong people like Colossus. Being leader of the Hellfire Club has given Shaw some level of leadership and strategy skills. Shaw also has a shrewd business mind.
Without having absorbed additional energy, Sebastian Shaw possesses the normal strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. However, Shaw can gain superhuman levels of strength by absorbing kinetic energy, and usually takes care to absorb enough in order to keep his strength at a superhuman level throughout his waking hours: for example, upon waking he will punch walls repeatedly in order to build up his reserves of absorbed energy. There is a limit to the amount of physical strength Shaw can achieve, but it as yet remains unknown.
Shaw's abilities can be overloaded by too great an influx of power, like being hit with too many superhumanly strong punches. Shaw can also be defeated if an opponent focuses on simply immobilizing him without striking him with significant force, or if something heavy falls on him, for though he can sap the kinetic falling energy, the weight of the object could still crush him, unless he is strong enough to lift/stop it. The X-Man known as Rogueonce defeated Shaw simply by picking him up and throwing him straight up into the atmosphere, effectively removing him from the battlefield. There is an upper limit to the amount of energy that Shaw can absorb and convert: once he was "overloaded" by electrical energy discharged from the X-Man named Storm, and fell into a temporary coma. However, the exact extent of this limit remains unknown. He has also shown some telepathic ability.
Shaw has the resources of both his own corporation and the Hellfire Club at his disposal.