The Ability system in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is very similar to that of Kingdom Hearts II, while also drawing inspiration from the Esper/Materia-based systems of the Final Fantasy series. While the abilities present in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep parallel those of earlier games, only passive abilities are found in the Abilities menu, as active abilities are implemented through the Deck Command system.
Instead of requiring AP to activate abilities, the system in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep has the player attach a set ability to the Deck Commands that they create through the Command Meld process. Each command recipe has a certain set of abilities that can be attached to the finished product, with the result depending on the crystal applied to the ingredients.
Once an ability is attached to a command, it is activated by adding that command to the Command Deck. Once the command is mastered, the ability is permanently added to the list of abilities, even if the command is removed from the deck, and it can be freely turned on or off. It is possible to acquire multiple copies of many abilities by repeating this process.
The Abilities list is divided into Prize abilities, Stats abilities, and Support abilities. Prize abilities, produced by Abounding and Hungry Crystals, increase the amount of prizes dropped by slain enemies, or make it easier to pick them up. Stat abilities, produced by Fleeting, Pulsing, Shimmering, or Soothing Crystals, increase the power or effectiveness of the character's various forms of offense or defense. Finally, support abilities, produced by Abounding, Pulsing, Soothing, or Wellspring Crystals, provide miscellaneous supporting effects.
A number of abilities are not implemented in the Abilities menu; rather, they are activated during Dimension Links. These abilities are not listed below.
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