The primary ability of the Byakugan gives the user a near 360º field of vision, except for one blind spot at the back of the neck above the first thoracic vertebra. Upon activation of the dōjutsu, the wielder is granted an automatic 50 metre field of vision around themselves which can then be extended at their discretion.The second ability is being able to see through solid objects, as well as telescopic sight. It can also see through most barriers, and other things such as smokescreens, differentiate between non-corporeal clones and see through techniques that would otherwise hide an opponent from normal sight. The distance and the degree of telescopic sight varies from person to person, and can be improved through training. However, the Byakugan cannot see through certain barriers. The dōjutsu also has the ability to follow high-speed movement.
The third and one of the greatest uses of the Byakugan is the ability to see chakra, chakra flow, the chakra circulation system inside the body with great detail as well as the colour of chakra. It is from this particular ability that the Hyūga Clan are able to employ their ultimate attack style: Gentle Fist Unlike the Strong Fist, which is focused on external injuries, the Gentle Fist style focuses on internal injuries. Each strike, when placed correctly, strikes along the chakra pathway system, which is the network of vessels that carry chakra. This network is closely intertwined with the functioning of the body's organs, and so, when the keirakukei take damage, the organs suffer as well. There is no defence against the Gentle Fist, since one cannot train one's internal organs to become stronger. The only possible defence is to stop the Gentle Fist's hits from connecting. Like the Sharingan and Rinnegan, the Byakugan's ability to see chakra and its flow allows the user to detect chakra sealed barriers as well as determine when genjutsu is being used. It is proved that the Byakugan can also discern a transformation, and a real person using the eye's ability to see chakra.