Though it requires a living host in order to survive, the Venom Symbiote has been shown to be adept at fending for itself independent of a host. The Symbiote is capable of shapeshifting abilities, including the ability to form spikes or expand its size, as well as mimic the appearance of other humanoids after it has obtained a host. The organism can additionally use its shape-shifting abilities to conceal itself by altering its coloration or by becoming completely invisible. It also contains a small "dimensional aperture," allowing its hosts to carry items without adding mass to the costume. The Symbiote also exhibits telepathic abilities, primarily when it needs to communicate with its host.
Because of its contact with Spider-Man, the Symbiote grants all of its subsequent hosts that hero's powers and cannot be detected by his spider-sense. As Spider-Man's fighting style is partly dependent on his spider-sense, his effectiveness was somewhat hampered when he battled Eddie Brock. Retaining its memory from the time it was bonded with Spider-man, Venom is also capable of producing webbing similar to Spider-man's own variety created from itself.
Venom exhibits some immunities to the supernatural powers of others such as the Penance Stare of Ghost Rider or Spider-Man's extrasensory spider-sense. Venom with all his force is able to lift at 13 tons. Some incarnations of the Venom Symbiote have shown it able to replicate itself. This ability is shown in the 2005-2006 miniseries Spider-Man: Reign, when Venom recreates his own Symbiote to combat his loneliness. This ability is also used by Venom in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows when he discovers the ability to copy his Symbiote and uses it to take over Manhattan.
The Venom Symbiote is vulnerable to fire and sonic waves, causing it great pain and exhaustion if it sustains enough exposure. It can sense and track all of its offspring symbiotes except Carnage—which learned how to block this ability shortly after bonding with Cletus Kasady and confronting Venom/Eddie Brock for the first time.