Stands are primarily defined by the type of power they possess. In a fight, it is crucial for a Stand user to know the type of the Stand's ability as it uncovers their weaknesses.
These Stands are known for being able to inflict powerful and/or swift physical attacks with their bodies. Typically, a close-range Stand's destructive power and speed rank somewhere between A-C. They are also capable of movements requiring a high degree of precision as their user is directly commanding them. As a downside, these Stands have to stay within small proximity of their Users, though their own abilities may have a greater range. These Stands will generally obey their users' will.
The user of a Close-Range Stand generally prefers to confront their opponents directly, allowing their Stand's superior might to shine, while also bypassing their short reach. However, most are nearly powerless against an opponent who is either out of reach or hidden.
A Stand being a Close-Range Stand doesn't necessarily mean that its ability has a short-range. Some Stands may not be able to go far away from their user but have an ability that influences a large zone around them.
Also known as a Remote Control Stand, these Stands are defined by a greater-than average range. Some Long-Distance Stands are able to go kilometers away from their users, thus they are typically ranked A or B in Range. Moreover, the user is able to command their movement with good precision. On the other hand, the remaining link between user and Stand means injuring the Stand will damage the user as well and most of these Stands aren't a physical match for other types of Stands.
Users of Long-Distance Stands will typically exploit their greater range and precision to set up favorable ambushes and kill/injure the enemy before they can retaliate. The user may find themselves vulnerable if caught with their Stand far away from them.
A Stand being a Long-Distance Stand doesn't mean its ability has automatically a great range. Some Stands can fly far from their users but still only affect something close with their powers.
Automatic Stands are all Stands who do not follow their Users' command, but rather, act automatically through preset instructions. Most Automatic Stands are, in a way, separated from their Users, and thus harming the Stand will leave the user unscathed and sometimes unaware of their Stand's status. However, there are several sub-types of automatic Stands.
Far-Distance Autopilot Type (遠隔自動操縦型, Enkaku Jidō Sōjū-gata) Stands can travel long distances from their Users without losing power. In addition to their respective abilities, they will have noteworthy physical abilities, such as great resilience. However, most Far-Distance Autopilot Stands follow simple instructions centered around a single datum, like temperature and cannot adapt to the situation nor make precise moves.
Posthumous Stands (死んでるスタンド, Shinderu Sutando) are capable of existing long after their User's death, enabling them to act on their own free will. Due to their nature, Posthumous Stands are automatic-based and as such, range or damage to their user is irrelevant.
Other Stands may simply demonstrate automatic abilities, the user needing minimal input. A Stand's ability may be linked to a condition unrelated to the User's will, making it semi-automatic. They could be sentient and act on their own without following their User's orders. In this case, the user may be unable to control it and possibly become a victim of their own Stand's power.
Range Irrelevant Stands
There are a few Stands where the range has very little to do with how they function. This is applicable to those who lack standalone forms and are typically assimilated into their User's bodies; these Stands are referred to as Integrated Types ( 一体化型 Ittaika-gata ).
The Range Irrelevant category also encompasses Stands with abilities that can influence time where range doesn't exist.
Materialized Type Stands, commonly referred to in the western fandom as "Bound Stands", are those that attach themselves to material objects, such as vehicles or weapons, and essentially become said objects. As a result, ordinary humans are more likely to see them in effect, as the object they are integrated with will showcase supernatural properties. A Materialized Stand is usually featureless but occasionally possesses its own appearance. Moreover, as a rule of thumb, the greater the object the Stand is linked to, the more powerful the Stand is. Unlike Artificial Non-Humanoid Stands, some Users can modify the shape of the bound object (some users may have the ability to change what object their stand is bound to, most notably Wheel of Fortune).
Materialized Stands can be easily mistaken for ordinary objects, allowing their Users to catch their enemies off guard. However, destroying the object will often disable the Stand and leave the user defenseless, if not wounded.
Psychological Assault Stands
This category encompasses Stands whose abilities specialize in attacking either psychologically or spiritually, meaning their primary focus is assaulting the mind of the User's enemies, be it in their thoughts or dreams. The nature of these Stand abilities can be described as the exact opposite of Close-Range power types as they do not require physically attacking to be effective.
Psychological Assault Type Stand abilities will sometimes require certain conditions to be met, but for the most part they are next to impossible to defend against. Stand Users that are able to apply proper tactics that complement these abilities are said to be invincible. JoJo6251 lists Death Thirteen, Atum and Tenore Sax as examples of this type of Stand.
These Stands have the ability to foresee the future and as such are particularly useful for avoiding incoming danger or directing their user to the best course of action. Stands of this nature tend to be very powerful when utilized with other Stands, however due to the nature of Fate in the JoJo series, a certain amount of strategic planning is required for the user to maximize its benefits. JoJo6251 lists Tohth as an example.
More literally referred to as "Search and Investigate" types, these Stands have abilities that allow the user to gather information on their surroundings. They can be used as scouts or to directly seek out a specific target. They are generally not as powerful as other Stands and have limited utility in the thick of battle. JoJo6251 cites Hermit Purple and Hierophant Green as examples.
Stands can also be grouped into five classifications based on their physical appearance. The first four are categorized using the following descriptors: Natural (生命・自然事物型, Seimei Shizenji Butsu-gata, lit. Living/Natural Things), Artificial (人工・機械型, Jinkō Kikai-gata, lit. Artificial/Mechanism), Humanoid (人型, Hito-gata) and Non-Humanoid (非・人型, Hihito-gata). They can be illustrated through a coordinate plane with the above descriptors representing the x and y axis. A fifth category, referred to as Phenomenon (現象型, Genshō-gata), exists to encompass all Stands that do not fit into any of the previous classifications.
Natural Humanoid Stands
These Stands possess a humanoid form with physical characteristics that take on an organic appearance. Their human-like facial features allow them to express emotions. This category encompasses Human Type (人間型, Ningen-gata) Stands who closely resemble people. Those with a monstrous appearance may also fall into this category if their morphology resembles that of a human.
Natural Humanoid Stands are usually able to perform tasks requiring a degree of dexterity, like grabbing something, and if powerful enough, can wrestle and fight using their fists and feet. These Stands would appear more frequently in early parts.
Artificial Humanoid Stands
While also having humanoid-like bodies, Stands in this category will often feature artificial or mechanical nuances that separate them from natural humanoids. Appearances that resemble robots, cyborgs or androids are applicable here. Common characteristics of Artifical Humanoid Stands include a lack of either mouth or eyes, pipes sprouting from their bodies, or having mechanical joints.
Generally, Artificial Humanoid Stands are functionally similar to Natural Humanoid ones and can perform the same physical tasks. In the series, these Stands have progressively replaced the more natural-looking Stands and are now commonplace.
Natural Non-Humanoid Stands
This category features Stands that are reminiscent of other life forms or objects in nature. This includes basic organisms such as animals and plants, but also more unorthodox concepts. Monstrous-looking Stands that stray from human morphology would also fall under this category.
These Stands are considerably more varied in appearance and do not share any functional characteristics. Some animal-like Stands may fight using fangs or claws and some may take the form of a natural element impervious to physical attacks.
Artificial Non-Humanoid Stands
This category encompasses Stands that have a mechanical or tool-like appearance. This includes vehicles, weapons or machines that resemble non-humanoid creatures. Stands that act as weapons typically require the user to personally wield them.
Phenomenon (現象型, Genshō-gata) or Other (その他, Sonohoka) type encompasses all Stands that do not fall under the previous four.
Stands within this category will typically lack a definitive form, either manifesting as a supernatural phenomenon, or simply giving the user superhuman abilities. Materialized-type Stands will often fall under this category if they lack their own distinct apparitions.
The following are categories that are described by characters within JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but are not officially named or documented.
Colony Stands are comprised of multiple units, each able to function entirely on its own. The entirety of the colony constitutes a single Stand, and as a result, their power is divided. Similarly, damage to the user is proportional to the population size of the Stand; the higher amount of units, the less damage is transferred when a unit is damaged.
Thanks to their number, Colony Stands can be used to overwhelm an enemy by attacking from multiple directions, the user not fearing damage since as long as even one unit remains, they won't die.
Throughout the series, various methods are introduced for altering a Stand's base form.
A select few numbers of Stands have the inherent ability to undergo metamorphosis and evolve naturally, becoming stronger and allowing their user to unlock various forms of the same Stand, referred to as "ACTs". It usually happens to individuals with weak fighting spirit but the strong potential for spiritual growth - though the conditions for and method of growth vary. In all cases of stands having ACTs, the user can call upon previous ACTs, but cannot use different ACTs simultaneously.
The Arrow is also known for its ability to further unlock the potential of a Stand, its effects seemingly determined by whether or not the user or Stand is targeted. In the unique case of Killer Queen, it developed a new ability after its user Yoshikage Kira was struck a second time, as the Arrow moved by itself towards him, 'choosing' him. In Vento Aureo, it is revealed that when pierced by the Arrow, a Stand may evolve into a "Requiem (レクイエム, Rekuiemu) Stand", which possess abilities far above ordinary Stands. However, without the strength to control the Requiem ability, the stand may completely leave the user's control, as with Chariot Requiem - but if the Arrow is removed fast enough, the transformation can be reversed before the ability goes into full effect.
A Stand user may also obtain a new Stand through a process described in DIO's Diary as a way to "achieve Heaven". Although the method isn't detailed, it involves making several souls fuse together with a Stand user, and reaching specific gravity conditions.
In JoJolion, the process of Equivalent Exchange can be used in order to evolve a Stand, through fusion of two Stand Users. When Josefumi Kujo fused his body with Yoshikage Kira, his Soft & Wet adapted some abilities of Kira's Stand - Killer Queen, creating a new form of the Stand which is possessed by Josuke Higashikata.
Although most Stands do not show any personality or only simple hints of it, there are Stands that display a full-fledged consciousness separate from their Users. These Stands are able to think, analyze their environment, and converse with their Users, offering advice or commenting on their actions. Their personalities are diverse, but most sentient Stands follow the command of their Users regardless and act to protect them.
Some Sentient Stands qualify as automatic as they do not have Users and think for themselves.
Shared Stands are rare cases where a Stand can have several users simultaneously or over time, for various reasons. Some Stands naturally have more than one user at the same time (such as Ratt and Tomb of the Boom 1 2 3), while others were passed on, either because of the stand naturally changing its user or by another phenomenon involving the users. This does not include stands that have a similar or identical counterpart in another universe, for example The World and THE WORLD or Killer Queen and its counterpart.