The Moth Miraculous holder infuses energy into a butterfly, transforming it into an akuma. They release the akuma to find and transform a person they have chosen. Once the akuma reaches the person, it possesses an object that is meaningful to them, and it creates a telepathic link between the person and the Moth Miraculous holder. The person transforms into a new, superpowered form, and they usually follow the desires of the Moth Miraculous holder. To speak with them, the Moth Miraculous holder can telepathically talk with them, and whenever they do, a butterfly-shaped light mask appears over both of their faces. Akumatization does not give its holder the power to use mind control on their victims. However, if necessary and for the sake of having leverage, the Moth Miraculous holder can also briefly cause their bodies pain, like to threaten them for disobeying orders, or remove their powers if the person is using their powers incorrectly. The akumatized beings are meant to be superheroes, but the Moth Miraculous holder can also make them supervillains, Hawk Moth creating the latter for evil intentions.
For the akumatized person to revert back to normal, their akumatized object has to be destroyed, freeing the akuma. Additionally, if the akuma isn't purified, it will duplicate into multiple copies of itself and transform other people into frozen physical copies of the original host. Those in the frozen state do not move again until the original host is akumatized again, and they follow the original host's directions. One way to purify the akuma and turn it back into a regular butterfly is with the Ladybug Miraculous holder's yo-yo. While the Moth Miraculous holder can remove a person's powers, no information has been revealed about if the Moth Miraculous holder can purify the akuma themselves.
Akumatization is a very helpful superpower, but the Moth Miraculous holder can only make one akuma at a time, the only time there are multiple being when the akuma duplicates.
Using Miraculous superpowers results in the holder losing power and having to detransform about five minutes later. What causes the Moth Miraculous holder to lose power when it comes to using Akumatization has yet to be revealed.
It is unknown if Akumatization works on more than just humans, robots, animals, and kwamis, but Season 2 will have the answer.
"Robustus" reveals that akumas can affect machines like Max's robot as long as they have emotions.
Sometimes, animals or objects are indirectly transformed with the akumatized person, including Roger Raincomprix's car in "Rogercop", Jagged Stone's alligator, Fang, in "Guitar Villain", and Santa Claus' horses in "A Christmas Special".
Akumatized villains are chosen by Hawk Moth because of their negative emotions, like sadness or anger, but it's unknown if akumatized heroes have to feel the same type of emotions to be sensed and/or transformed by the Moth Miraculous holder.
Hawk Moth specifically goes after people who are in despair and are not happy because it is easier for him to manipulate people into doing bad things.
If the person isn't despaired enough, they can refuse the akuma.
In "Zombizou," Caline Bustier almost manages to resist her akumatization.
However, Marinette does.
Initially, the ability to cause pain to the akumatized victim and remove their powers was a fail-safe to prevent the akumatized person from using their power for evil.
People can be akumatized more than once, though it's unknown if their second Akumatization has the same or a different appearance.
By second Akumatization, it means a second, different akuma, unlike what happens to Ivan when he is re-akumatized with the same akuma in "Stoneheart".
"Glaciator" reveals that the original body of the akumatized person can, in some cases, still physically remain.
As seen in "Sapotis", more than one person can be akumatizied if they are both holding the same object the akuma affects.
In "Zombizou," it is shown that the person doesn't need to touch the akumatized object to be akumatized, or at the very least not to talk with Hawk Moth.