This jutsu uses strings of chakra to control puppets like marionettes. Any number of chakra strings can be used to control a puppet, but users with more skill can use fewer strings per puppet. Both Chiyo and Sasori demonstrated the ability to control entire puppets perfectly using just one string. While most puppeteers would normally be able to control ten puppets at most (one per finger), Sasori's self-modification allowed him to control up to one hundred puppets at a time.
Apart from being used to control marionettes, the chakra strings can be attached to other objects, allowing the user to control, or at the very least disrupt, other things. In one instance, Kankuro uses chakra strings to trip Naruto Uzumaki when they first meet. In another, Chiyo uses chakra strings to control a person like a puppet.
This technique has few weaknesses: since the puppeteer uses his or her hands to manipulate the puppets, if the hands are disabled, then the technique could be neutralized. Also, while controlling the doll, the user is wide open if the opponent bypasses the puppet. For this reason, puppeteers avoid battle, relying almost exclusively on their puppets instead.