As an artificial human, Zetsu is able to survive without food or water and does not need to carry out normal human bodily functions. The technique he has used the most is Mayfly, with which he merges with the ground to quickly travel to a new location, though he isn't as fast as Tobi's own space–time travelling. This technique is ideal for Zetsu's function as a spy, as it erases his presence as well, and is an ability that both halves, as well as White Zetsu's clones, can use. White Zetsu can also telepathically communicate with other clones, as long as they are within a certain range.
While merged together, the two halves are able to communicate through their thoughts and function as a single entity. In addition, they are able to split in two, which allows the two halves to act independently. Due to possession of Hashirama Senju's cells, Zetsu is also capable of using the former's Wood Release, albeit on a much weaker scale. While separated, the two halves can use Wood Release to extend roots underground for near instantaneous communication with each other over long distances.
White Zetsu has mainly been seen using support abilities and Tobi has referred to him as not being a "front line" fighter. With his Spore Technique, White Zetsu is able to plant spores on the bodies of others, which are undetectable even to sensors and Kage-level shinobi. Once activated, these spores grow into a mushy mass around the individuals they formed on by sucking out their chakra, which restricts their movements. The spores can also use this stolen chakra to replenish an ally's chakra supply by attaching themselves to him or her. In addition, White Zetsu is able to create and remotely control near-identical copies of himself, which can be used as a special substitute by taking on the appearance and unique chakra of anyone White Zetsu touches. The clones are much weaker than the original and are therefore mainly used as decoys.
Black Zetsu has demonstrated the ability to "record" the things he sees, as he has stated that he recorded the battles between Sasuke and Itachi, and between Kisame and Killer B. He is also capable of showing these "recordings" to Tobi through unknown means. Black Zetsu is also a very powerful sensor, as he was able to sense Naruto Uzumaki and Killer B as soon as they touched the ground upon leaving the Island Turtle, which was some distance away. He has also demonstrated the ability to use Wood Release for offensive purposes, in addition to communication. In battle, Black Zetsu can transform parts of his body into roots and freely manipulate them.
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