- "When he touches someone, he can read every thought the person has ever had."
- ―Entry on Aro's gift[src]
Tactile telepathy is a special ability that Aro possesses; it makes him capable of reading people's thoughts by touching them. In Life and Death, Sulpicia is the one with the power, though it belonged to Aro originally.
Aro can see all the thoughts, feelings and memories someone has ever had through physical contact. The longer the contact, the more thoughts Aro is able to obtain. This gift makes him much more powerful than Edward Cullen's telepathy, as his gift can only let him hear the passing thoughts whereas Aro can look deeper into their memories and feelings.
This power is dangerous in a way that Aro can learn everything about his target by memorizing everything that he sees in their mind and use it against them. With it, Aro can also access Edward's power to reach into the minds of those around Edward in order to obtain everyone's thoughts, as well as look into Alice Cullen's visions.
Unlike Edward, he can only read a person's mind once being in physical contact with them. Meaning he can easily become a target of danger if he is exposed to a threat. This explains why he needs bodyguards to protect him when he is facing a certain target.
Another limitation is that he has no penetrating capability with this gift, meaning he can be blocked by a mental shield such as Bella's.
In the past, Aro had used this power on whoever is thought to be a law-breaker and then determine if the proof they presented was enough to prove their innocence. On one occasion, for instance, Aro read the mind of a German vampire named Hilda after the Volturi accused her coven for drawing too much attention by creating several newborns. Aro saw the proof in her mind, but still accused her of being a villain and had most of her coven slaughtered, taking only Heidi into his coven.
- "Aro needs physical contact to hear your thoughts, but he hears much more than I do. You know I can only hear what's passing through your head in the moment. Aro hears every thought your mind has ever had."
- ―Edward's description of Aro's gift.[src]
In New Moon, Edward visits the Volturi to ask them to kill him due to him being led to believe that Bella had killed herself. Aro reads his mind and realizes he has the same power as his, but less powerful and yet more effective than his own. When Bella and Alice arrived in Volterra, the Volturi's city, Aro hears Marcus' thoughts when Marcus briefly touches his hand informing him of his surprise by the intensity of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen's relationship. Aro notices that Edward cannot seem to read Bella's thoughts. He then attempts to test his power on her but fails as well. This realization leads Aro to theorize that Bella has some quite interesting gifts, but because Edward refuses to let her join their kind, she becomes a liability to the secret of vampires.
To be allowed to leave Volterra in one piece, Alice "shows" Aro a vision of Bella's future, where she will surely become one of them… soon.
In Breaking Dawn, Aro reads Edward's mind and so gains access into every vampire's mind at the current moment, allowing him to learn of Renesmee's biological relation to Edward and Bella, as well as the presence of several gifted vampires he had not heard of. He also learns about the relationship Renesmee shares with Jacob Black, and the rest of the shape-shifters.
In the movie, Alice shows him a vision of his own demise and the end of his coven all brought on by his refusal to retreat. The vision of his condemned future prompts him to leave the Cullens in peace for his own protection.
Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
In Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, Aro's wife, Sulpicia witnessed his destruction of Didyme, Aro's own sister, and turned him over to Marcus. The coven was unsure what to do with Aro due to his useful telepathic gift. Sulpicia then had a young vampire named Mele take his power and transfer it to her. With it, Sulpicia found out about Caius's involvement and the two were executed. She then took control of the Volturi, utilizing Aro's power to the coven's advantage.
- The Black and Uley wolf packs can hear each other's thoughts at a distance. This connection allows the packs to communicate and work effectively as teams.
- Edward Cullen can read the thoughts of others at a distance. He can hear everyone's thoughts at the same time, but only those who are actually being thought at the moment. Throughout the series, Edward's power is often compared with Aro's; though one is more powerful than the other, the other has lesser limitations.
- Kate can send an illusory electric jolt into others' minds by touch. This power's similarity is in Aro's need to touch his target for his power to work.
- Maggie and Charles can sense if someone is lying. While completely different, these powers can be depicted as a sort of mind-reading, similar to how Aro can know when someone is lying by reading their thoughts.
- Mele's power transferal allows her to absorb someone else's power into herself. However, she needs to be touching that person for her power to work.