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Kochbiel resembled a 14‑foot-tall (4.3‑meter) pit fiend with grey skin and red, bull-like horns. His shoulders were bone-plated and spiked, and he had two pairs of arms set opposite each other: one pair faced forward, the normal way, and one pair faced backwards. Kochbiel had bright yellow eyes and a purple mouth and tongue.
Kochbiel was once a general of Hell whose cold, calculating leadership and brilliant strategies won him many battles. He was very cunning and little escaped his notice. Unlike other devils, he never seemed to take pleasure in defeating others, but rather enjoyed in the strategy involved in such endeavors. Nonetheless, he still made many enemies in the Nine Hells.
Kochbiel was a mighty fighter when in close combat, as he could use his four arms to strike at opponents both in front of and behind him. He could also use his tail to hold and constrict enemies. Additionally, Kochbiel was both prodigiously strong and known to heal quickly.
As an archdevil, Kochbiel possessed a number of innate magical powers. He could use, at will, the spells pyrotechnics, produce flame, wall of fire, detect magic, see invisibility, polymorph self, hold person, invisibility, fireball, push, ice storm, and wall of force. He could also radiate a 30‑foot-wide (9.1‑meter) aura of fear. Thrice per day, he could cast dispel magic, and once each day repulsion. Unlike other devils, he could not summon devils to aid him in combat.
Kochbiel spent his time roaming Avernus, avoiding large groups and any other devil or archdevil. He was said to spend much of his time exploring and possibly expanding subterranean areas, and also to have hidden large quantities of treasure within the most remote of his makeshift lairs.