Abilities in Warhammer 40k 10th edition

Warhammer 40k's 10th edition brings exciting changes to the game, particularly in the realm of abilities. Core Abilities and Weapon Abilities have been unified and incorporated into the core rules, ensuring consistency across all factions. These abilities define the unique characteristics of weapons and units, differentiating them from one another. While two guns may share similar stats like Range, Strength, and Armour Penetration, their distinct abilities can make one a devastating Blast weapon for obliterating hordes, while the other excels as an Anti-Vehicle weapon capable of demolishing tanks. Similarly, two seemingly similar units can possess vastly different capabilities; for instance, one may have the ability to Deep Strike while the other lacks this feature.

To aid players in understanding and utilizing these abilities, we have compiled a comprehensive guide that covers every single ability and its mechanics within the game. While previous Warhammer 40k Codex rulebooks provided similar rules tailored to specific armies, Games Workshop has taken a step towards simplifying the game without sacrificing depth by incorporating these abilities into the core rules. This standardized list of abilities is now shared across all Warhammer 40k factions.

One significant change in the 10th edition is the revamping of the Weapon Abilities system. In an article published on April 14, Games Workshop introduced a new set of weapon abilities via Warhammer Community. Unlike the previous system where weapons were defined by a single type (e.g., Heavy or Assault) and accompanied by a set of special rules, weapons in the 10th edition draw from a selection of standardized Weapon Abilities. Notably, Weapon Abilities are no longer mutually exclusive. For instance, the article cites the example of Bolt-rifles, which can now function as both Heavy and Assault weapons, granting them two distinct firing modes. This departure from the previous weapon types system, which assigned each weapon a single type, marks a significant shift in the game's mechanics.

We have compiled all the Weapon Abilities mentioned in the Warhammer Community article, as well as those featured in other previews. This compilation will serve as a valuable resource for players looking to familiarize themselves with the diverse range of abilities present in the new edition of Warhammer 40k.

Stay tuned as we delve into the intricacies of these abilities, providing insights and strategies to enhance your gameplay in the ever-evolving world of Warhammer 40k.

Warhammer 40k's 10th edition introduces a new set of abilities called Anti-keyword abilities. These abilities grant models the power to inflict Critical Wounds, which are automatic wounds regardless of the target's Toughness, against vehicles. To achieve this, models with Anti-keyword X+ abilities wound vehicles on to-wound rolls of X or higher. For example, an Anti-vehicle 3+ weapon would successfully wound vehicles on any to-wound roll of 3+.

In addition to the Anti-vehicle ability, there may be other Anti-keyword abilities that are yet to be revealed. These abilities promise further exciting mechanics and strategic possibilities, although the specifics are still unknown.

With these new Anti-keyword abilities, players will have the means to deal devastating blows to vehicles in the game, bypassing their Toughness and potentially turning the tide of battle. 


The Assault ability takes on a new dimension. Now, when a unit chooses to advance, it retains the ability to unleash its firepower using any Assault weapons it possesses.

Previously, advancing would often restrict a unit's ability to shoot, limiting its tactical options. However, with the updated rules, units equipped with Assault weapons can maintain their offensive capabilities even after advancing. This opens up exciting possibilities for players, allowing them to strategically maneuver their units across the battlefield while still maintaining a threatening presence.

This change encourages dynamic gameplay, enabling armies with Assault weapons to maintain a relentless assault, combining rapid movement with potent firepower. Whether it's an assault-focused unit charging headlong into the fray or a mobile force utilizing hit-and-run tactics, the Assault ability offers greater flexibility and enhances the strategic depth of the game.

Prepare to unleash devastating assaults while maintaining a continuous barrage of gunfire as you adapt to the ever-changing battlefield conditions.


The Blast keyword takes on a new significance, adding an exciting dynamic to the game. One example of this keyword in action is the Frag missile profile for the Terminator's cyclone missile launcher.

During a recent demo game, we had the opportunity to witness the workings of the Blast keyword. When targeting a unit, for every five models within that unit, the attack characteristic of the weapon is increased by one. This means that a Blast D6 weapon, for instance, would have D6+2 shots against a unit containing ten to fourteen models.

The introduction of the Blast keyword introduces a strategic element, allowing players to adapt their tactics based on the size of the enemy unit. It provides an incentive for players to employ large units or hordes, making them vulnerable to the devastating effects of weapons with the Blast keyword. On the other hand, it also presents a challenge for players who prefer smaller elite units.


Prepare for a new level of potency with Conversion weapons in the upcoming 10th edition of Warhammer 40k. These specialized weapons possess enhanced capabilities when engaging targets from a distance. When firing at a target located at least 12" away, Conversion weapons have the potential to inflict Critical Hits on hit rolls of 4+.

Critical Hits, while not directly causing any immediate effects, possess the ability to trigger other powerful abilities such as Lethal Hits or Sustained Hits. This mechanism introduces a layer of strategic complexity, allowing players to capitalize on precise long-range attacks and potentially unleash devastating chain reactions.

By equipping units with Conversion weapons, commanders can unleash their true potential and exploit their enhanced capabilities when engaging enemies from afar. The ability to trigger additional abilities through Critical Hits adds an exciting element to the game, encouraging careful positioning and tactical decision-making.

Prepare to harness the power of Conversion weapons as you strive for long-range dominance, securing victory through precise strikes and unleashing cascades of devastation

Devastating Wounds

 Devastating Wounds. Weapons equipped with this ability possess the power to inflict severe and unstoppable damage on their targets.

When a weapon with Devastating Wounds scores a Critical Wound, which typically occurs on a to-wound roll of six, the consequences are dire for the target. The target suffers Mortal Wounds equal to the damage inflicted by the attack, and the attack sequence concludes. This means that the attack bypasses the target's Armor save and invulnerable save, ensuring the devastating blow cannot be mitigated through traditional means of defence.

The introduction of Devastating Wounds adds a new layer of tactical decision-making and strategic considerations to the game. Players wielding weapons with this ability must choose their targets wisely, seeking out opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities and deal catastrophic damage to high-value enemy units. Simultaneously, opponents must be prepared to defend against these devastating attacks, understanding that traditional  defences may prove ineffective.

Embrace the power of Devastating Wounds as you unleash unstoppable destruction, bypassing enemy  defences and leaving a trail of devastation in your wake. 

Extra Attacks

When declaring melee attacks for a model, you typically select a single melee weapon from its arsenal. However, there's a new twist to this system: the inclusion of weapons with Extra Attacks.

Weapons with Extra Attacks provide an additional layer of offensive potential, allowing models to make extra attacks beyond the default number. It's important to note that the number of attacks made with such a weapon cannot be modified. 

For instance, if a weapon has a base value of three Attacks, any enhancements or effects that grant additional attacks are limited to the original three attacks. The additional attacks do not stack or modify the weapon's innate number of attacks.

This refined approach to melee combat encourages players to carefully consider their weapon loadouts and the strategic advantages each weapon offers. It adds depth to the decision-making process, ensuring that each weapon choice has its own unique benefits and limitations.

Prepare to seize the battlefield advantage by strategically employing weapons with Extra Attacks. Maximize your offensive capabilities within the confines of each weapon's inherent attack characteristics, and secure victory through tactical finesse


Prepare for the treacherous nature of Hazardous weapons in the upcoming 10th edition of Warhammer 40k. 

These weapons carry a significant risk, potentially leading to fatal consequences for the shooter. Specifically, when a unit equipped with Hazardous weapons engages in shooting, each such weapon fired requires a roll of a d6. A roll of a 1 results in severe repercussions: the bearer model is either slain outright or suffers three mortal wounds if they are a Character, Vehicle, or Monster.

It's important to note that Games Workshop's Core Rules specify that if a character firing a Hazardous weapon is attached to a unit and a roll of a 1 occurs, the mortals must be applied to the unfortunate leader. There is no option to offload the plasma overspill onto the troopers, emphasizing the individual accountability and potential sacrifice of the character.

The inclusion of Hazardous weapons adds an element of suspense and careful decision-making to gameplay. Players must assess the risks versus the potential rewards before committing to using these volatile armaments. It introduces an additional layer of strategy, requiring players to protect their characters and consider alternative tactics to mitigate the dangers of Hazardous weapons.

Navigate the hazardous terrain of Hazardous weapons with caution, ensuring the survival of your key characters while balancing the potential devastation they can unleash.


Heavy Weapons showcase their devastating potential. A significant change to their mechanics involves a bonus to hit for units that choose to Remain Stationary when firing Heavy Weapons during their turn.

When a unit Remains Stationary, meaning it does not make any moves during its own turn, a significant advantage comes into play. Units equipped with Heavy Weapons receive a +1 modifier to their hit rolls when firing those weapons. This bonus enhances their accuracy, increasing the likelihood of landing critical hits on their targets.

It's important to note that "Remain Stationary" is now bolded, indicating its status as a game term with specific conditions. This suggests that the bonus to hit with Heavy Weapons may only apply under certain circumstances, potentially excluding situations where the model has not made a move, such as during the opponent's turn.

This change introduces strategic depth, forcing players to make tactical decisions about positioning and movement. It encourages careful consideration of whether to seize a favorable firing position and take advantage of the bonus to hit or prioritize mobility and adaptability on the battlefield.

Harness the power of Heavy Weapons, carefully maneuver your units, and capitalize on the bonus to hit when choosing to Remain Stationary.

Indirect Fire

Indirect Fire weapons offer a unique tactical advantage by negating the need for line of sight to the target. However, this benefit comes with certain trade-offs.

When employing an Indirect Fire weapon, you are not required to have direct line of sight to your intended target. This allows for creative positioning and the ability to strike at enemies hiding behind obstacles or terrain features. However, there is a -1 penalty to hit associated with Indirect Fire, reflecting the difficulty of precisely targeting obscured enemies. 

Additionally, the target gains the Benefit of Cover, as they have the advantage of being protected by their surroundings.

It's worth noting that players who have been using the most recent Grand Tournament balance dataslate may already be familiar with this rule, as it has been implemented to maintain game balance and tactical depth.

Mastering the art of Indirect Fire requires careful planning, understanding the terrain, and weighing the risks and rewards. By utilizing these weapons effectively, you can bypass line of sight restrictions and surprise your opponents with devastating strikes.

Ignores Cover

When a weapon possesses this ability, it disregards any benefits provided by cover saves.

In the world of Warhammer 40k, cover plays a significant role in providing defense and protection for units. It allows them to mitigate incoming damage by granting them a cover save against enemy attacks. 

However, when facing an opponent armed with a weapon that Ignores Cover, this advantage is nullified. The firepower bypasses the protective benefits of cover, leaving the targeted unit vulnerable and unable to utilize their cover save.

This ability introduces a strategic element, forcing players to reconsider their positioning and defensive strategies. It rewards the wielder of the Ignores Cover weapon by rendering cover less effective and increasing the potential damage inflicted upon their adversaries.


When a weapon possesses the Lance ability, it grants a +1 bonus to wound rolls during a turn in which their unit successfully made a charge.

While the full extent of the Lance ability is yet to be revealed outside of the Core Rules, it presents exciting possibilities for units known for their swift and agile cavalry. Examples include the Aeldari Shining Spears, Astra Militarum Rough Riders, and Dark Angels Ravenwing Knights, among others. These fast-moving sci-fi cavalry units appear to be strong candidates for harnessing the benefits of the Lance ability.

This ability enhances the offensive potential of units that rely on charging into combat. By granting a +1 bonus to wound rolls, Lance enables these units to strike with increased accuracy and effectiveness, potentially tipping the scales in their favor during close-quarters engagements.

Lethal Hits

When using a weapon with the Lethal Hits ability, scoring a natural six on the hit roll (or achieving a Critical Hit through other means) bypasses the need to roll for a wound. The attack automatically inflicts a successful wound on the target.

This devastating ability provides a significant advantage to units wielding weapons with Lethal Hits. It rewards precision and grants the potential to strike with lethal force, obliterating foes without the need for additional dice rolls.

By eliminating the requirement to roll to wound on a successful hit, Lethal Hits ensure that attacks find their mark, regardless of the target's defenses. This ability can turn the tide of battle, especially when coupled with high-strength or high-damage weaponry.

Linked Fire

The Eldar Fire Prism boasts a unique ability known as Linked Fire this ability appears to be specific to the Eldar faction, specifically observed on the Fire Prism datasheet.

Linked Fire empowers the Fire Prism to utilize a remarkable tactical advantage. One Fire Prism has the capability to draw line of sight and measure range to a target by "relaying" the shot through another Fire Prism that it can see. This means that one Fire Prism effectively acts as a conduit, allowing the other Fire Prism to engage targets beyond its own line of sight.

This ability introduces a novel approach to target acquisition and engagement, enabling the Eldar to exploit their strategic mobility and cooperative synergy. By utilizing Linked Fire, the Eldar can effectively extend their reach and strike at targets from unexpected angles, catching their adversaries off guard.


Melta weapons bring forth a powerful and destructive capability. Melta X weapons have the ability to inflict additional wounds against targets located within half their weapon range. For example, a Melta 2 weapon would deliver two extra wounds to its target.

The devastating nature of Melta weapons lies in their ability to harness intense heat and energy, which becomes particularly potent at close range. As the target draws closer to the weapon's effective range, the concentrated heat unleashed by Melta weapons causes even more devastation, resulting in additional wounds inflicted upon the unfortunate recipient.

This unique mechanic adds a strategic dimension to the use of Melta weapons, encouraging players to carefully consider positioning and engagement distances. It rewards aggressive and close-quarters combat, making Melta weapons particularly effective against heavily armored or high-value targets within range.


Pistols offer a unique advantage by allowing their wielders to fire these weapons even while in engagement range with enemy units. However, there is a trade-off associated with using Pistols outside of combat.

In the 10th edition, you can utilize Pistol weapons to target enemy units while remaining in engagement range. This provides tactical flexibility, allowing units to defend themselves even when locked in close combat. However, if you choose to fire your Pistol weapon outside of combat for any reason, you are then restricted from firing any other ranged weapons during that turn.

This mechanic encourages careful decision-making and forces players to consider the trade-offs between firing Pistols to defend against nearby enemies or opting for other ranged weapons to engage targets at a distance. It adds a layer of tactical depth and presents players with strategic choices based on the evolving battlefield situation.


When attacking a unit that includes an attached Character, weapons with the Precision ability provide the option to direct the attacks specifically at the Character rather than its accompanying "bodyguard" unit.

This newfound precision in targeting allows players to single out and focus their attacks on high-value Characters within enemy units. By bypassing the bodyguard unit and directly engaging the Character, players can apply concentrated firepower and potentially neutralize key assets of the opposing force.

This ability introduces a tactical element that demands careful target selection and the identification of priority targets on the battlefield. Precision weapons grant the flexibility to exploit vulnerabilities and disrupt the enemy's command structure by directly engaging and eliminating Characters that may be providing essential buffs or leadership capabilities.


Unlike previous editions, there is no separate Psychic phase in 10th edition. Instead, psykers will have additional abilities on their datasheets, including melee and ranged attacks with the Psychic Weapon Ability.

In this new edition, psychic abilities seamlessly integrate into the shooting phase of the game. Psykers possess unique psychic weapons that grant them potent offensive capabilities. These weapons allow psykers to unleash their psychic powers as devastating ranged or melee attacks, granting them an additional dimension of versatility and power.

By merging psychic abilities into the shooting phase, the gameplay flows more smoothly, reducing the need for a separate phase dedicated solely to psychic actions. This integration enhances the overall pace and cohesion of the game, ensuring a seamless experience for players.

Rapid Fire

The Rapid Fire ability takes Centre stage, offering units equipped with Rapid Fire X weapons a potent advantage. When firing at targets within half range, these weapons grant additional shots, amplifying their efficiency.

The mechanics of Rapid Fire X weapons are simple yet impactful. For example, a Rapid Fire 2 weapon fires two additional shots when targeting units located within half its maximum range. This ability rewards players who can position their units effectively, allowing them to unleash a flurry of firepower on nearby foes.

Rapid Fire weapons epitomize efficiency and firepower, ensuring that units armed with them maintain a devastating presence on the battlefield. This ability emphasizes the importance of range management and strategic positioning, enabling units to optimize their damage output by engaging targets within the ideal range.

Sustained Hits

 A Sustained Hits X weapon inflicts additional hits on Critical Hit rolls, typically achieved by rolling a natural six on the to-hit roll. For example, a Sustained Hits 2 weapon would generate two additional hits for every to-hit roll of six.

The Sustained Hits ability amplifies the damage potential of these weapons, rewarding players who achieve precise and critical strikes. Each successful to-hit roll of six unleashes a cascade of additional hits, multiplying the destructive power of the weapon and overwhelming the target with a relentless onslaught.

This ability adds an exciting layer of strategy and anticipation to the game. Players wielding weapons with Sustained Hits must carefully plan their attacks, seeking opportunities to capitalize on critical hits and maximize their damage output.


Weapons with the Torrent ability possess the incredible advantage of automatically hitting their targets.

When utilizing a weapon with the Torrent ability, precision becomes a non-factor. The torrential flames or firepower unleashed by these weapons guarantee hits without the need for any dice rolls to determine accuracy. This devastating feature ensures that the target is engulfed or overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of the weapon's onslaught.

The Torrent ability offers an exceptional advantage, enabling players to bypass traditional hit roll mechanics and deliver maximum damage to their enemies. It provides a sense of reliability and the potential for overwhelming firepower when engaging the opposing forces.


Twin-Linked weapons grant the ability to re-roll To Wound rolls.

With the Twin-Linked ability, the wielder of these weapons gains the advantage of a second chance at successfully wounding their targets. If the initial To Wound roll is unsuccessful, the player has the opportunity to re-roll the roll, increasing the chances of inflicting wounds and maximizing the weapon's potential impact.

This ability rewards players who field units armed with Twin-Linked weapons, providing them with increased reliability and the opportunity to overcome unfavorable dice rolls. It adds an element of tactical decision-making, allowing players to assess the risk of proceeding with the initial result or taking a chance at a more favorable outcome through a re-roll.

Warhammer 40k Core Abilities

Deep Strike


Players can still set up units in Reserves and drop them into the game at the end of their Movement Phase, positioning them more than nine inches away from enemy units. However, a significant change is underway.

In the 9th Edition, players were unable to bring any Reserves units, whether it be Deep Strike, Teleport Strike, or otherwise, until Battle Round 2. However, the Core Rules for Deep Strike and Reinforcements in the 10th Edition remove this restriction entirely.

As things currently stand, unless the rules for the specific mission being played stipulate otherwise or are amended in a later rules update by Games Workshop, turn one Deep Strikes are once again possible. This reintroduces the potential for terrifying "alpha strike" strategies, catching opponents off guard and delivering devastating blows right from the beginning of the battle.

Deadly Demise

When a unit with Deadly Demise X loses its final wound, the battlefield trembles as the unit's demise triggers a cataclysmic event.

Upon the unit's last wound being lost, a D6 dice roll is conducted. If the result is a six, a devastating explosion engulfs the surrounding area. The unit, in its final act, inflicts X mortal wounds on all units within range of the explosion. This last-ditch burst of destructive energy can leave enemies in a state of chaos and destruction.

Deadly Demise introduces an element of unpredictability and dramatic intensity to the game. It forces players to consider the risks and rewards of engaging units with this ability, as the potential backlash upon their destruction can have far-reaching consequences.

Prepare to witness the explosive finale of units with Deadly Demise, as their final act unleashes a wave of destructive energy, potentially turning the tide of battle and leaving a trail of devastation in Warhammer 40k's 10th edition.

Fights First

This division introduces a crucial tactical element that can give certain units the upper hand in melee engagements.

Units with the Fights First ability have the advantage of making their attacks in the initial 'Fights First' step of the Fight Phase. This provides them with the opportunity to strike before slower opponents, who have to wait for the 'Remaining Combats' step to unleash their attacks.

This distinction becomes vital when combined with a key tweak from the transition from the 9th to the 10th edition. While units still take turns to perform their melee attacks during the Fight Phase, it is now the defender, rather than the charging attacker, who strikes first.

To ensure maximum impact and weaken the enemy before they have a chance to retaliate, units with Fights First become a valuable asset. Without this ability, opponents will always have the first swing, potentially diminishing the potency of a powerful charge.

Firing Deck

The Firing Deck X allows these vehicles to unleash additional ranged attacks in the shooting phase by utilizing up to X weapons held by models embarked on the vehicle.

This unique ability expands the firepower of the vehicle, leveraging the armaments of the models within. By coordinating their attacks, the embarked models contribute to the vehicle's offensive capabilities, increasing its effectiveness on the battlefield.

The Firing Deck ability opens up exciting tactical possibilities, providing players with more options for utilizing the firepower of their units. It encourages strategic decisions regarding the positioning and loadout of embarked models, optimizing their collective firepower to engage and neutralize threats.


If every model in a unit has the Infiltrators ability, the unit gains the ability to deploy anywhere on the board, as long as they are positioned more than nine inches away from any enemy unit.

The Infiltrators ability unlocks the strategic potential of units, allowing them to effectively infiltrate enemy lines and disrupt the opponent's deployment. By choosing their deployment location, these units can exploit advantageous positions, strike key targets, or create diversions to sow chaos within the enemy's ranks.

This ability adds a layer of depth to the game, as players must carefully plan their infiltration strategies, considering the terrain, objectives, and potential threats on the battlefield. Infiltrating units can turn the tide of battle by exerting early pressure and seizing key positions before the enemy can react.


Leaders play a crucial role as character models that have the ability to join other squads during deployment. 

When a Leader joins a squad, that squad becomes their dedicated bodyguard, taking on the responsibility of protecting the Leader from the majority of attacks until the bodyguard unit has been eliminated.

The concept of Leaders and their bodyguards adds depth and strategy to army composition and battlefield tactics. Leaders are typically restricted to joining specific types of units, creating a unique synergy between the Leader's command abilities and the capabilities of the unit they join. This pairing amplifies the overall effectiveness and resilience of the combined force.

While most squads can accommodate only one Leader, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, the Primaris Lieutenant can join the same squad as a Captain, forming a formidable leadership duo within a single unit. These exceptions provide additional flexibility and options for commanders to optimize their army's composition and capabilities.

Lone Operative

Lone Operatives possess a unique advantage that grants them enhanced protection on the battlefield. 

These skilled individuals excel at remaining undetected and elusive, making it challenging for enemies to target them from a distance.

The Lone Operative rule specifies that enemies cannot target them if they are more than 12 inches away. This heightened level of stealth and evasiveness allows these operatives to avoid direct enemy fire and remain relatively safe from long-range attacks.

This mechanic adds a strategic layer to the gameplay, requiring players to carefully position and utilize their Lone Operatives effectively. By capitalizing on their inherent stealth and evasive abilities, players can keep these operatives out of harm's way and maximize their impact on the battlefield.


The Scouts ability grants these units a significant bonus in the form of a free X" move after their initial deployment.

This strategic advantage allows Scouts to swiftly maneuver and gain early battlefield positioning, granting them a tactical edge over their opponents. By making use of their innate speed and reconnaissance skills, Scouts can seize key objectives, secure advantageous positions, or prepare for coordinated strikes.

The Scouts ability introduces a dynamic element to the game, encouraging players to consider their initial deployment strategy and capitalize on the Scouts' ability to swiftly react to changing battlefield conditions. This additional move grants flexibility and adaptability to Scouts, enabling them to quickly adjust their positioning based on the evolving needs of the battle.


Units equipped with the Stealth ability gain a significant defensive advantage. When every model within a unit possesses the Stealth ability, ranged attacks targeting that unit suffer a minus one penalty to the hit roll.

The Stealth ability allows these units to utilize evasive tactics and employ cover effectively, making it more challenging for enemy shooters to accurately hit their intended targets. By blending into the shadows and taking advantage of their surroundings, units with Stealth can evade enemy fire and increase their chances of survival.

This defensive advantage introduces a strategic layer to the game, as players must carefully position their units and leverage the Stealth ability to shield them from incoming ranged attacks. It emphasizes the importance of utilizing terrain and cover, as well as implementing tactical movement to maximize the benefits of the Stealth ability.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post! We hope you found the information about the new Warhammer 40k abilities in the 10th edition intriguing and exciting. Our aim is to provide you with valuable insights into the game and keep you updated on the latest developments.

Make sure to visit our blog again in the future as we continue to explore the fascinating world of Warhammer 40k. We will be sharing more insights, strategies, and updates to keep you informed and engaged.

Stay tuned for more exciting content and come back to see what we have in store for you next. Happy gaming and may your battles in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium be filled with epic victories!