She most notably created the video tape using images and memories she had experienced. As a zombie, she could use nensha on those who watched the tape to experience flashbacks into her life and even see her in dreams. She can also physically harm people by leaving burn marks on their bodies, but they can vanish over time. The curse of the video tape makes supernatural experiences happen to the victims based on Samara's own experiences.
As a zombie she wanted to kill everyone, Samara gains more abilities. Her spiritual presence seems to terrify animals like horses or deer, causing them to panic or attack the victims of the tape or people related to Samara, although it may be an extention of her nensha ability. How she killed Katie Embry and her friends remains unknown, but she kills victims by scaring them to death by revealing her face. After the seven day deadline, Samara can invade a television set and emerge from the well in the tape's inner world and displays the ability to defy the laws of physics to crawl her way out of the television into the real world, but remains as a flickering, distorted figure like the video tape's quality. In Rings, victim Jake attempts to escape Samara by breaking his television screen but she manages to escape and attempts to attack him by emerging through the screen on his video camera, hinting that she can emerge from other electrical sources.
It has been questioned by fans how did Samara kill Katie's other friends when two of them were driving in a car and the other was on a rooftop and supposedly jumped off, although it is possible she can appear via water or maybe caused some sort of event that caused the group to die. Numerous questions have been asked how she appears if the victim is not anywhere near a television.
Despite displaying a fear of water, Samara has control over it, capable of manipulating it to her desires. She can cause a bathtub of water to empty its supply up onto the ceiling, and displays a tendency to use water to scare a person, usually in the form of growing puddles of water that creep after victims. Samara can turn on televisions and electrical appliances, usually to escape out of them or use them to display her images. She can also use telephones to contact a person after they've watched a video. She even leaves an answer message on Rachel's telephone, directed at Noah.
In The Ring Two, Samara possesses Aidan Keller's body to a degree, capable of subjugating his conscience and taking over, although Aidan appears still in control in dreams. However, Samara has little idea of how to pretend to be Aidan and easily makes it clear that she is in control. She is exorcised from Aidan's body by Rachel when she submerges Aidan in water, causing Samara to flee into a television. When trapped in the well by Rachel, Samara displays inhuman movements and "spider-walks" her way up the well walls.