Depending on the amount of chakra the user puts into this technique, its strength and area of effect can be greatly increased. By using this technique as a defensive measure, all attacks directed at the user will be deflected, spiritual or physical, no matter the size, nature, power or mass, it can easily shatter wood, bones, metal, or stone walls. It was also seen capable of repelling flames caught on the user's body.
Shinra Tensei can be used on a larger scale for massive destruction. A massive amount of repulsive force is placed above the target, crushing everything beneath in an enormous explosion.
Once this technique is used, there is a short period of time in which it, as well as other Deva Path techniques, are rendered unusable. The minimal time period is about five seconds, but it varies depending on the amount of power put into the attack. Before using the large-scale version of this technique, Nagato needed to break his connection with all but the Deva Path, presumably to channel all available chakra through it. Using Shinra Tensei on this scale shortened Nagato's lifespan and left him unable to use the Deva Path techniques for several minutes. Konan also noted that large-scale use of Shinra Tensei slowed down the recovery rate of the Six Paths of Pain.
This technique can be countered to some degree if faced with an equal and opposing force, as seen when Naruto Uzumaki in his six-tailed form opposed Nagato's usage through the Deva Path, or if the person to whom the attack is directed can barricade themselves as seen when Naruto used the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique to withstand the force somewhat. It may also be possible to withstand the technique by focusing chakra to the feet.
An enhanced, "Full Throttle" version of Shinra Tensei appears in Naruto Shippūden: Shinobi Rumble, called "Shinra Tensei: Seiatsu" (神羅天征・征圧, Literally meaning: Heavenly Subjugation of the Omnipresent God: Subjugating Pressure).
The names of Shinra Tensei and its companion ability, Banshō Ten'in, are derived from Shinra Banshō (神羅万象, Literally meaning: Everything Covered by God), a Japanese four-character idiom and homophone variant of Shinra Banshō (森羅万象, Literally meaning: All-Covering Forests and Ten Thousand Things), a Buddhist idiom which has come to mean "All of Nature" or "All of Creation".
- In the anime, Shinra Tensei sometimes appeared as an orb of varying colours which surrounded the Deva Path.