About Multi-Capability Skills (MCS)

Multi-capability skills (MCS) enable you to create an Alexa Smart Home skill that extends the built-in support for certain utterances with your own custom voice interaction model. For example, have your skill use the built-in support for utterances that turn a device on or off, or have your skill support custom utterances, such as "Alexa, ask invocation name what can this skill do?" in the same skill.


To create a skill that supports native smart home and custom utterances, add multiple models to your skill by using the Alexa Skills Kit developer console, Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface (ASK CLI), or the Skill Management API (SMAPI). If you already have a live skill, you can update it with additional models. For an overview of skill models, see Understand the Different Skill Models.

Before publishing a skill with combined models, the skill must meet the certification requirements for all the models that it contains. For more details about the certification requirements for different models, see Smart Home Skill requirements and custom skill requirements.

Skill schemas

A set of JSON schemas describes the set of functionality for a skill. When you create and manage skills with the developer console, these schemas aren't visible. However, when you use the ASK CLI or SMAPI to manage skills, you modify these schemas directly.

To build a skill that combines the smart home and custom models, you need the following items:

The interaction model schema depends on the work you've done to define a voice interface. For more details, see Design a Voice Interface.

Upgrade to a multi-capability skill (MCS)

You can create a new MCS or upgrade an existing smart home or custom skill to MCS through both the Alexa Skills Kit developer console and the ASK CLI.

Update the custom component for a live MCS

Similarly to updating a live custom skill, you can also update the custom component of a live MCS. For instructions, see Update your live skill instantly to update the custom component for MCS.

Test your skill

Most of the functions provided in the Alexa Skills Kit developer console are available through ASK CLI. For more details about ASK CLI, see Quick Start Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface (ASK CLI).

Test your skill through the ASK developer console

To test your skill through the ASK developer console, follow the instructions in Test Your Skill. Make sure to follow the testing requirements for both the smart home model and custom interaction model.

Test your skill with the ASK CLI

For example, invoke your skill with the invoke-skill subcommand, and then simulate your skill with the simulate-skill subcommand.

To see all available high-level commands for the ASK CLI, type:

ask --help

To see all the available low-level commands through the Skill Management API, type:

ask api --help

For more details about these commands, see ASK CLI Command Reference.