Stranger Things: Every Main Character, Ranked By Power

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for Stranger Things 4, Vol. 2***

Stranger Things 4, Vol. 2 just dropped, and it was both elating and heartbreaking. Watching Eddie choose bravery, Vecna burn alive, and Brenner finally kick the bucket was everything that Stranger Things fans could have asked for in the penultimate finale of the entire series. And, while not every character survived to see season 5, nearly everyone came into their own strength and truly had their mettle tested. The characters in Stranger Things all have something very significant that they bring to the table when it comes to facing off against government conspiracies and interdimensional demonic entities.

But, when it comes to their individual capabilities, obviously some characters are more capable than others too. So when it comes to power, super or otherwise, where do all of the main characters of Stranger Things rate?

Updated on July 6th, 2022 by Hilary Elizabeth: Now that the fourth season of Stranger Things has come to its hell-on-earth conclusion, some characters have proven their talents and skills more than others. In order to reflect the evolution of all of the show's major players, this article has been updated to include their most recent accomplishments.


15 Eddie Munson

Joe Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things Season 4

Eddie was undoubtedly one of the most fun additions to Stranger Things 4, and it's heartbreaking that he won't be returning for the fifth and final installment of the series. It's a shame that Eddie didn't have the Satanic powers that Hawkins believed he did, because he might have survived the Upside Down otherwise.

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Eddie may have been adorable, but he clearly wasn't cut out for the world of the supernatural, as the first time that he decided to actually stand his ground against the Upside Down's creatures was also his last.

14 Steve Harrington

Steve Harrington In Stranger Things 4

As far as certified badasses in the Stranger Things world go, while Steve does give it his best effort, he's not winning any prizes for it anytime soon.

He's quick to adjust to any situation and also quick to square up to any danger that he encounters, but to put it bluntly, most of the children in the series are better at handling emergency situations than he is. His ability to cope has gotten better over time, but he's still playing babysitter for a reason.

13 Dustin Henderson

All of the kids in the party have a lot to offer when it comes to scary situations, and there isn't one of them that can't hold their own against some seriously powerful people or things.

But Dustin is a force to be reckoned with because he has faced down a Demogorgon, the government squad that was coming after El, and a bunch of Russian operatives that were attempting to reopen the dimensional gate. He's not quite up to snuff in comparison to some others, but when taking into consideration that he's a powerless child, he's exceptional.

12 Lucas Sinclair

Lucas Sinclair waves in basketball uniform

Lucas has never been afraid to face off against people and beings much more powerful than he is, and his devotion to keeping Max and Eddie alive in season 4 really showed what Lucas is capable of on his own.

Whether it was an evil spider-man-demon or a dimwitted jock with a severe case of Satanic panic, Lucas squared up against some of the scariest forces that Hawkins had to offer and came out at least semi-victorious.

11 Max Mayfield

Sadie Sink as Max in Stranger Things season 4

When it came to the supernatural goings-on in Hawkins, Max was usually just along for the ride, and not by her own choice.

She was admirably a ride-or-die friend, but season 4 really enabled her to come into her own and show what she was made of. And while Max might not have any superpowers, her strength of mind allowed her to withstand Vecna's attacks more than any of his three prior victims. As far as regular humans go, Max is an absolute badass.

10 Mike Wheeler

While Mike isn't lucky enough to have literal superpowers like El, that doesn't mean that he isn't extremely strong and capable in his own right.

Everyone in their friendship group helps, but Mike is really the trailblazer when it comes to protecting El and fighting against the evil things and shadowy government organizations that come after her. He generally manages to run circles around some very dangerous adults, whether it's his parents or government agents.

9 Nancy Wheeler

At first sight, Nancy absolutely does not seem like the kind of person who would willingly face off against anyone, whether it's her sexist boss or a bloodthirsty monster. But when the going gets tough, so does she. When facing down a Demogorgon, everyone would want someone like her in their corner.

She not only masterfully investigates what happened to Barb, figures it out, and actually makes her way to the Upside Down, but she also clearly holds her own against this super dangerous creature that has invaded the human dimension. And, her confidence and capability has only grown since.

8 Jim Hopper

David Harbour as Hopper in Stranger Things

Like most of the characters, Jim Hopper doesn't actually have any superpowers. But with that said, he is a force to be reckoned with, and he has a lot of connections, talents, and skills that come in incredibly handy when things start getting dangerous.

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He's smart, a very capable fighter, and can very easily hold his own against anyone from special agents to foreign operatives to literal interdimensional monsters. Although Joyce had to recently come to his rescue, it's not hard to imagine that Jim would have eventually made his way out of a Russian prison with or without her.

7 Joyce Byers

Joyce Byers mouth agape at her store

Maybe it's just maternal intuition, a desperation to have hope even if it's a logical long shot, or an unusual willingness to believe in the bizarre, but whatever makes Joyce Byers who she is has also made her into an intimidating and ferocious fighter.

She connects with Will from a different dimension and manages to keep El anchored when she goes exploring in the ethereal plane, so whatever mojo Joyce has, it's something powerful. Plus, although she began the story as arguably one of the least knowledgeable or connected people, she has not only risen to the occasion, but she has outshone many of the other characters when it comes to what she's been able to accomplish.

6 Will Byers

Noah Schnapp as Will Byers Looking out the Window in Stranger Things Season 4

Will Byers has experienced things that no little boy should ever have to witness. But on the plus side (if it can actually be considered a plus side), it seems like his experiences in the Upside Down have awakened some latent psychic powers within him, and he can sense many things that others can't.

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He was able to communicate with his mom from the Upside Down, and he seems to have some kind of "true sight" that allows him to see into the other world. And the fact that he managed to even survive the Demogorgon and the Upside Down in the first place despite being a young kid when so many others have been destroyed by it is shocking.

5 Martin Brenner

Stranger Things 4 was home to some genuinely heartbreaking moments, but the final and confirmed death of Dr. Brenner was not one of them.

He was a clever but cruel man, and although his experiments yielded some spectacular results, his complete inability to actually control them really demonstrated how little power that he himself had. He was an expert manipulator and managed to wrest some power away from others, but ultimately it was the children that he attempted to dominate that were the truly powerful ones and he was just the man behind the curtain.

4 The Demogorgon

Dead By Daylight Demogorgon Killer

On many levels, it seems like the Demogorgon is just another animal from a different dimension that found its way into this one (although with the deepening Upside Down lore, it wouldn't be surprising to discover if there was something more to these monsters), and is terrifyingly hard to defeat simply because it's completely unfamiliar to the people who live in this dimension.

However, it is a really strong creature, and the fact that it can actually travel between dimensions and seemingly create portals between dimensions by itself makes it pretty extraordinarily powerful.

3 Henry Creel (Vecna)

Henry Creel looking furious in season 4 of Stranger Things

Vecna's actions offer a rare insight into exactly how powerful he is because the demonic being formerly known as Number One faced off against nearly every known child with superpowers and slaughtered them all except for one, Eleven.

His powers, or at least his command over them, seem to have only gotten better during his time in the Upside Down. Although El managed to beat him back once again, his ability to channel the Upside Down into literal death and destruction makes him a ferociously powerful creature.

2 Eleven

Stranger Things Season 4 Eleven

Eleven really came into her own towards the end of Stranger Things 4, both in terms of her mental fortitude and her superpowers. She not only fully rejected Papa's control, but she demonstrated some exceptional new abilities when she apparently brought Max back from the dead.

There are some terrifying interdimensional beings that can do things that most humans can't even dream of, but El is actually capable of waging war against them. And as evidenced by the fact that she was the lone child who stood victorious against Henry Creel when everyone else at Hawkins lab was killed by him, she's the top dog when it comes to telepathy. She's clearly the most powerful human character in the show, and she's unlikely to be toppled from that throne.

1 The Mind Flayer

Stranger Things season 3 Mind Flayer

Clearly, at least throughout the series thus far, the Mind Flayer is the most powerful Stranger Things character (or being) by a long shot. While it's hard to know where Vecna ends and the Mind Flayer begins, there is one serious advantage that the Flayer has over the artist formerly known as Henry Creel.

Aside from being able to mentally enslave any human being that it comes into contact with, the Flayer can also take its flayed and create one of the scariest and grossest physical forms imaginable. This giant meat spider would be nearly impossible to defeat even without the mind slave powers.

NEXT: 10 Funniest Quotes From Stranger Things Season 4, Vol. I

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