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This a question about how he knows how to use each of them and one in particular, the Time Stone.

I say the Time Stone, because this is the only Stone we are really given any information on how hard a Stone it is to use. So it is not just "pick it up and you can bend time". You actually have to train and study to use it and I am guessing if it is not close by, trial and error (as with most training won't cut it).

In Doctor Strange we see a conversation with Mordo on how hard it is to actually use the Time Stone.

The only hint we get that Thanos may already have the knowledge is in this scene:

Stark, you're not the only one cursed with knowledge

So, we know Thanos may have a great knowledge base, but is there anything on how he knows how to use the Infinity Stones?

Is there an in- or out-of-universe explanation on how Thanos was able to use the Stones he only just acquired, considering how hard they were to control?

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    They seem to be intuitive. Hulk and Stark were able to use them immediately, and without any prior training – Valorum Jan 5 at 10:22
  • Thanos' first acquisition was the Mind Stone, granting him great knowledge – Valorum Jan 5 at 10:26
  • Sure, but we don't know for certain if that's the answer. I tend to verge toward "because he's the smartest and toughest of a breed of smart toughies" – Valorum Jan 5 at 10:34
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    Possible duplicate of How did Ronan use the power of the Infinity Stone once it was installed in his hammer? - the answer explains that we don't really know how the individual Stones work, but their use by various characters is fairly consistent; and I think answers this question as well. – Jenayah Jan 5 at 11:40
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    I am linking this question on meta, I believe this should not be a duplicate. If you are interested take a look, scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12870/… – KyloRen Jan 7 at 9:53
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We don't know because we don't know how anyone is able to use the Infinity Stones, it just seems to be either instinctive/intuitive or the Stone's are doing the work for you by guessing at what you want them to do. A good example of this (disregarding Tony and Smart Hulk because they had studied the Mind Stone) is Peter Quill. He was able to hold the Power Stone and control it the first time he used it and he'd never even heard of what it was until a few hours beforehand.

I also think you have a bit of a misunderstanding with how the Time Stone works, it does not appear to be that the Time Stone is hard to use but rather the Eye of Agamotto. Note that when we see Doctor Strange practising and using the Eye, it is the Eye that is reacting to his gestures and movements not the Time Stone. Of course the Time Stone is reacting but that is because of the Eye harnessing its power.

It is also worth noting that we know Thanos had the Mind Stone first and maybe for quite a while. He gave it to Loki in The Avengers to invade Earth with. It's possible he studied it for a bit and used its knowledge to unlock knowledge for the other Stones. However, as we know from Quill one doesn't need to even know what the Stones are to be able to use them.

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  • I dunno, if all it takes to make the Eye of Agamotto easy to use is to take it out of its jewelry setting, why was it in a jewelry setting in the first place? – Martha Jan 13 at 21:07
  • @Martha - It seems to require strong magic to open it. That would prevent casual and accidental use if it got lost or stolen – Valorum Feb 8 at 8:34

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