- For a complete list of Stands, see List of Stands. For stands yet to be named, see List of Unnamed Stands.
Generally, Stands defend and empower those that possess them (referred to simply as Stand Users (スタンド使い Sutando Tsukai)) in a variety of ways, and when revealed may be represented by figures hovering near to them, among a variety of other manifestations.
- A Stand protects its user, like a guardian. The name comes from "standing by" the user, sometimes using their powers without direct orders in order to protect the user, and by extension, themselves.
- A person can have only one Stand (though their Stand may evolve (e.g. Echoes)).
- Stands can be inherited.
- A Stand is part of its user, and damage is usually reflected between the two. Usually, if a Stand's leg is cut off, its user will lose their leg as well. Certain aspects of some Stands, such as the armor of Silver Chariot, are immune to this effect. If the Stand is not exactly humanoid, they may reflect damage to their user's body relative to the area of the Stand that was damaged, or are an exception.
- Stands may only be seen by Stand users; the exception being Stands bound to physical objects (e.g. Strength; attached once to a boat).
- A Stand can only be directly damaged by another Stand.
- A Stand's energy or power is inversely proportional to their operating range. The further a Stand is from its user, the weaker it becomes – Long-range Stands and/or Stands' long-range abilities are simpler in mechanism.
- Stands are usually bound to their user's body, but exceptions abound; Wheel of Fortune being bound to a car, and The Fool being bound to sand.
- When a Stand User dies, their Stand typically disappears with them, either slowly fading during a slow death, or visually crumbling and breaking away during a sudden death; however, exceptions do exist, such as Anubis, who stayed in the sword he was bound to, and Stray Cat and Notorious B.I.G., who both only activated after their User's death.
- When a Stand is defeated, their user is either knocked unconscious or killed, depending on the level of injury.
In Part 7: Steel Ball Run, Stand mechanisms change somewhat. They no longer commonly appear in battle (appearing mainly after they are indirectly invoked, e.g. Tusk): The user does the attacking instead. They also often appear less human or animal; and more of them seem conscious, occasionally even speaking to their users (e.g. Hey Ya!).
The first Stands in the JoJo universe are named after the Major Arcana of the Tarot and Ancient Egyptian deities, and often openly attributed some similarity. Near the end of Part 3 and onwards, Stands are commonly named after western musical artists/aliases, bands, albums, and songs. It is interesting to note that Stands continue to retain an English name format very similar to the tarot Stands.
Stands are defined as personifications of "life energy" whose abilities are given visual form. When first presented, the kana スタンド (Sutando/Stand) in a furigana format is written above the kanji 幽波紋 (Yūhamon), meaning "Ghostly Ripple". A Stand can also represent the manifestation of an individual's innate "fighting spirit" and represents, to an extent, the individual's psyche. However, Stands may also derive through exploration of possibilities and expression of the mind, in which case, only a large amount of mental strength is required.
Stands often hover behind and above the user while usually being invisible to non-Stand users. Most Stand Users can access the "senses" of their Stands, seeing and hearing whatever their Stands can. To people without the power of the Stand, who normally cannot see them, the activities of the Stands are comparable to ghostly and poltergeist activity, and ESP. This behavior is evidently seen when Jotaro Kujo imprisons himself, takes a gun from one of the prison guards, aims it at his head, and pulls the trigger. His Stand's hand caught the bullet before it reached his head. For the normal people around him, it would appear that the bullet was suspended in midair, and as a result, the other prisoners in his cell and even the guards feared Jotaro.
Although Stands manifest themselves from the wielder's psyche, some abilities cannot be controlled and may even restrict the wielder (e.g, Super Fly). Those who gain Stands without these traits are subjected to negative and harmful influences due to the Stand turning on their user. These range from disease-like symptoms (as experienced by Holy Kujo) to the out-of-control Stand actively and knowledgeably trying to harm the unworthy user, even going as far as to attack them (as witnessed by Avdol). There also exist Harmful Stands that may or may not be a reflection of this.
History of Stands
The "Stands" in JoJo can be conceptualized as a reification of hidden talent, with their source being a sort of energy that's been in the Earth since ancient times. The oldest instance of a Stand User dates back to 16th century with the death of Caravan Serai and the emancipation of his Stand, Anubis. The exact cause or date of emergence of this phenomenon is unknown, but it may be related to the origin of the Arrows introduced within the original timeline.
In most cases, Stand Users are either born with their Stands or with the potential to unlock one later in life. Without this potential, a person can not achieve a Stand through natural means. For those born with it, the trigger for unlocking one's Stand varies with the user, but is, as mentioned, usually derived through intense mental strength. As such, Stands abilities are typically unleashed during times of stress or conviction. Notable users who acquired a Stand through natural means include Noriaki Kakyoin, Muhammad Avdol, Tonio Trussardi, and Kenzou.
- Main article: Bow and Arrow
Appropriately 50,000 years ago, a meteorite crash landed on Earth around an underpopulated region of Cape York, Greenland. In 1978, a mineral excavation team uncovered an unknown virus within the rocks of the surrounding area and determined that it has been laying dormant inside the meteorite that hit Earth long ago. Despite extensive research, government doctors were unable to determine the alien virus' purpose outside the total elimination of human life. Akin to the theory of evolution, it was discovered that certain people processed the quality that would allow them to survive when exposed to the virus, instead rewarding them new abilities. 
Several hundred years before the discovery of the virus, a man who wished to acquire the power of gods took the rocks and fashioned them into arrows. These arrows had since been lost until 1986 when an Egyptian ruins investigation team uncovered six of them from underneath the Egypt desert. The arrows were eventually stolen by Diavolo, who sold five of them to Enya the Hag. The arrows allowed the wielder to unlock Stand abilities in those who had the potential to awaken one, essentially acting as the aforementioned trigger. The six arrows were eventually distributed between various people, among them were Keicho Nijimura, Yoshihiro Kira, Jean Pierre Polnareff, and the Speedwagon Foundation.
Stands can be divided into 5 categories based on their appearance.
|Natural Humanoid||Stands in this category have physical characteristics similar to human beings, most often their users. Obvious identifiable features include arms and legs, but the category distinctly specifies appendages that are reminiscent of the human muscular system as well as having working eyes and mouth. Stands that apply to this category include Star Platinum, Magician's Red, The World, Crazy Diamond, Heaven's Door, Killer Queen, Gold Experience, Sticky Fingers, Purple Haze, Baby Face, Spice Girl, and Chariot Requiem.|
|Artificial Humanoid||While also having humanoid-like bodies, Stands in this category will often feature artificial or mechanical nuances that separate them from natural humanoids. This includes having completely non-humanoid facial features and mechanical joints. Appearances that resemble robots, cyborgs or androids are applicable here. Examples of Artificial Humanoids include Hierophant Green, Silver Chariot, Ebony Devil, Hanged Man, Lovers, Death Thirteen, Osiris, Cream, The Hand, Bad Company, Cinderella, Echoes, Black Sabbath, Moody Blues, White Album, and Green Day.|
|Natural Non-Humanoid||This category features Stands that, while not human-like, are reminiscent of other lifeforms or objects in nature. This includes basic organisms such as animals and plants, but also more unorthodox concepts such as fog. Stands that may be described as "monsters-like" are often applicable here. Stands in this category include: Hermit Purple, Tower of Gray, Yellow Temperance, Justice, Sun, Horus, Stray Cat, Sex Pistols, The Grateful Dead, Notorious B.I.G., Metallica, and Rolling Stones.|
|Artificial Non-Humanoid||Stands comparable to instruments or mechanical objects are placed in this category. This includes vehicles, weapons, and machines. Stands in this category include Strength, Emperor, Wheel of Fortune, The Fool, Ratt, Aerosmith, and Beach Boy.|
|Other||Stands in this category typically either don't have clear appearances or are integrated into their user's appearance. This includes Stands such as Tohth, Khnum, Tenore Sax, Love Deluxe, Achtung Baby, and Atom Heart Father.|
Stands in principle can only be used within a predetermined range centering around the Stand's owner. As such, for the sake of convenience, the range that a Stand can perform abilities is referred to as "Firing Range." A Stand's range and accuracy are inversely proportional; the further the Stand moves away from its firing range, the less power it has. This principle is applied to almost all Stands. Furthermore, this can be construed more specifically as "effective" firing range, as a Stand will only gradually lose power the further it deviates from its firing range, rather than just relinquish immediately. The Stand range is effectively just the range where it can effectively perform.
From a general point of view, all Stands can be roughly divided into two types: "Short distance", and "long distance". As a trend, short-range types display great power, many of which excel at direct blows or destruction (Silver Chariot, Crazy Diamond, Sticky Fingers, etc), and are often referred to a "Power Types". Long-range types typically have a special ability that can let them indirectly attack. (Hierophant Green, Echoes ACT1, Beach Boy, etc.)
Some long-distance types are referred to as "Automatic Pilot", in which the "power vs distance from user" principle does not apply. This is exactly what is touched upon in the third Stand theorem, in that autopilot types are typically an extension of an "effect" that results in a Stand triggering. As such, these Stands are independent of the Stand User's will and mental strength, and their power does not drop as a result. As a related note, certain Stand abilities do not have specified ranges (Earth, Wind and Fire), an example being time-based powers, such as The World or King Crimson.
- Main article: Stand Types
Each Stand is unique, but many share enough characteristics that they may be grouped under specific Stand Types. Very uncommon Stands are called Special Stands.
- Main article: Stand Parameter
- Hirohiko Araki came up with the idea of Stands when visiting Egypt, when he became overly suspicious thinking everyone there was a bad guy waiting to attack him; likewise his editor at the time believed that an Egyptian theme would be a nice concept.
- Coincidentally, the well-known French pastor Antoine Court de Gébelin believed tarot cards and their divining aspects originated in ancient Egypt. This coincides with several of the original naming aspects of Stands in Part 3.
- When creating Stands, Araki wanted to represent psychic powers in a visual form instead of just drawing objects affected by said powers (like walls being blown off or spoons bending).
- Araki remembers many people being upset when Stands suddenly replaced Ripple within the story and was initially worried that no one would be able to understand them. He thinks the stats sheets helped fans accept the idea better.
- Their basis is very similar to the concepts of thoughtforms, being a manifestation of mental and spiritual energy of an individual into a semi-sentient and existent being.
- The Stands predate and codify the concepts of the TV Trope "Fighting Spirit". The Shin Megami Tensei franchise in terms of the Persona series shares this coincidental concept with JJBA's Stands with their titular Personas, to the point where recent fighting games between them (JoJo's two fighters as well as the recent Persona 4: Arena and its sequel) have similarities in their battle systems.
- What's more, both All-Star Battle and Persona 4: Arena make use of current mechanics in fighting games as of Under Night In-Birth, such as auto-combos into a Super via light attack, and as per Arc System Works tradition, P4U as developed by said company makes use of the "Anywhere Cancel" concept in the form of the 1 More Cancel like with All-Star Battle's Puttsun Cancel.
- The Persona are a concept similar to most of the Part 3 Stands, in that they represent something like the person's ego; in Persona's case, the Persona given to many of the playable characters are represented by their arcana via tarot cards, and most Persona are all named after famous gods and other similar mythological figures.