Each Asset is something the Agent can leverage to their advantage in the fiction. A favor owed, a debt of honor, a small but critical scrap of data, and the feelings of a lover are all Assets. Assets are measured in steps. The more steps, the more power that Asset can exert over the fiction via the Contest mechanics. You also earn the ability to purchase a single Asset at the end of a Contest in which your Agent is victorious. If multiple Agents participate in a Contest, only one may purchase one Asset (as they agree). Beyond this, there are a few other rules for Assets as follows.
An Asset with shape has a rough definition which doesn't properly define what it really constitutes. If an Asset was defined as “Help” or “Data” or such, its considered shapeless. Shapeless Assets can be bought, but can't be used without casting them into a shape. At that point they are no longer shapeless, and become normal assets. The Narrator may or may not let you purchase a Shapeless Asset, its up to them.
An Asset may or may not have a realm attached to it. It's good form to give them a realm. This is the social arena to which they connect, and can be any of: Agency, Mainstream, or Underground. The realm of an Asset is defined by the Narrator when it is created, though it can be left blank as they see fit. When an Agent uses an Asset in a Contest that has more steps than the Agent has ranks in the Realm, the Narrator can put a chip onto their track for free.
A player can remove steps from an asset to draw chips into the hand for their Agent in a conflict given they can connect the Asset to the action at hand.
A player purchases an Asset via the Step Cost Chart when allowed by the Narrator at the conclusion of a Contest in which their Agent was victorious. This is an organic process, either the player or narrator can suggest a possible Asset at that time. Then the player ultimately decides if they wish to pay the kcred (always from their card) to buy the Asset.
Assets are subject to the idea of Justification, meaning Assets are paid for and exchangeable with kcred. This isn't meant to be a concrete fictional concept, as your Agent doesn't pay their Lover to buy their “feelings of dedication”. However, the kcred currency is more than just cash in pocket, its a measure of social equity. You simply can't picture your Agent having the listed kcred in their pocket, the content's of their pocket is ill-defined in the game.