Shadow is extremely arrogant, aggressive, brooding, and very loyal to whoever he is serving and determined to whatever cause he is fighting for. He is anti-social and will smirk when Sonic or someone messes up something. But, deep down, he does have a heart. He cares for those who cared for him such as Maria, Molly, and the female Saiyans and often follows their goals in his own fashion no matter what the cost is. He can be caring to Sonic by showing up and saving Sonic when he needs it the most. He also shows over-average intelligence. Because of Shadow's past, he does not trust anyone besides his allies. Shadow is easily the most self-sufficient of all the characters. However, his lonesome and arrogant attitude also puts him apart from the other characters. Shadow only talks when it's absolutely necessary and dislikes being in groups, much preferring solitude.
Shadow's speed is equal to that of Sonic, but his ability to manipulate the Chaos Emeralds is also very profound. This is probably due to the Black Arms DNA he received on his creation fifty years ago. He can use Chaos Control without an Emerald and can sense Chaos Energy from far off distances. He can create Chaos Spears at will and use the Emeralds' power to turn into Super Shadow, as can Sonic and Silver. His destructive power is also severely increased when he takes off his inhibitor rings as seen in one episode where he takes them off and destroys miles worth of distance. His body is also able to take incredible punishment, such as being slammed into solid surfaces and even being struck by powerful laser cannons. He has also shown incredible signs of superhuman strength, as do the others.