The Power Core (パワーコア,Pawākoa?) is an object that appears in Sonic Heroes. It is a form of power-up cores that can be used to upgrade the skills of the playable characters.
Power Cores take the form of solid orbs that have some form of transparent membrane around them. They come in three different colors: blue, yellow and red.
In gameplay, Power Cores are used to upgrade the skills of the player's playable characters by having them "level up". The color of each Power Core indicate which playable character on the player's team that will level up with it. The blue Power Cores level up the team's Speed Type member, the yellow Power Cores level up the team's Fly Type member, and the red Power Cores level up the team's Power Type member. The maximum of Power Cores a playable character can level up with is three. Whenever a playable character obtains a Power Core, they will say "Level up!"
There are a multitude of ways for the player to obtain Power Cores in gameplay. One way is to open Floating Item Boxes and certain Item Boxes whose images depict Power Cores. Those Item Boxes give one each though some Item Boxes can grant three of the same formation at once. Also, for every fifth enemy the player destroys, a random Power Core that is not of the formation leader's type will be dropped by the destroyed enemy. However, enemies like the Egg Hammer, Heavy-Egg Hammer, and the E-2000R will always drop one random Power that does not match the formation leader's type when they are destroyed. Lastly, the player can also obtain Power Cores from Check Points or when completing Bobsled/Trolley sections successfully. In these instances, depending on which character is the leader, the appropriate Power Core will be given to that leader.
Obtaining Power Cores will alter and empower the playable character's attacks. A Speed Type character at level three can create Tornado Jump-like effects when using the Jump Dash or hitting an enemy with the Homing Attack. Fly Type characters on the other hand cannot significantly damage enemies with Thunder Shoot until they have reached at least level two. Upon reaching level three though, the Thunder Shoot can pull in Rings as well. Lastly, each Power Type character's Wide Power Attack will get more powerful with each increase in level.
The Power Cores abilities are not permanent and will reset with each new stage the player plays through. Also, if the player loses a try during a stage, the playable characters' Power Core levels will all be reset to zero, thus forcing the player to start collecting Power Cores again.