In my story, this one species is able to manipulate magic. (twenty kinds of magic, more specifically) They're only able to manipulate one kind of magic that they inherit from their parents.

On the other hand, another species (humans) has no access to magic and cannot learn it, and focuses more on weapons for their fights. They can use objects that have magical properties (such as staffs, amulets, armor, guns, etc) but can't cast magic from their bare hands like the other species can.

As some background, the story takes place on Earth in the year 2150, where many large cyberpunk cities are scattered around the remaining habitable areas of the planet. Aliens have finally discovered the planet and have landed, hence the other species i mentioned earlier. Technology has advanced a lot, thanks to the magical species coming to the planet and using their magic essence to make futuristic weapons, appliances, machines, robots, etc. That may have been too much or too little information, i'm not sure how much you all need.

As for the question, i guess it's sort of hard to get factual when it comes to magic, but i'd like a scientific, plausible reason behind my question.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you be more specific about the magic system you're using? Is it based on mana? If so, what is mana, a physical force? A tangible substance? A metaphysical force? An idea harnessed by consciousness? In other words, what specifically are some species interacting with? $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Feb 2 at 4:50
  • $\begingroup$ Could use of magic be attributed to an otherwise undiscovered technological source. Old enough to be utterly overlooked and unrecognisable. $\endgroup$ – Darius Arcturus Feb 2 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ "Technology has advanced a lot, thanks to the magical species ... using their magic essence to make futuristic weapons...". So what's the need for magic here ? Any sufficiently advanced technology will seems like magic to a lower technological culture. If they can travel FTL and make "futuristic" weapons (why is it always weapons ?), that's just technology. What does magic do that their already advanced technology does not ? Is "magic" just e.g. biologically embedded technology that lets that seem to do things by "magic" ? $\endgroup$ – StephenG Feb 2 at 16:16

Some species evolved near natural magic sources; others didn't.

Assuming magic is something that exists physically within space - like a fundamental force or a rare substance - it can be distributed unevenly within the galaxy. Creatures that evolved near magic sources would evolve to use them for energy, whereas others wouldn't have that option.

Consider light-based vision to be an analogue. An intelligent race that developed in subterranean caves might rely on echolocation. When it reaches space, it will be able to use technology to sense light, and the physics of electromagnetism still apply - but it can't directly detect or use light with eyes, its organs just detect sound.

Perhaps your magic-using aliens developed on worlds with vast magic reservoirs. They will have evolved to use magic to get energy and complete tasks. The plants and animals of these worlds will also be magical. Eventually, they can learn to filter mana out of the environment, either with tech or through their biology, in order to create magic tools and weapons.

Upon visiting Earth, they will still be able to use the magic stored within their systems or brought onboard their ships, but local reservoirs won't be available. Or perhaps Earth's reservoirs are small but still accessible to them - just too small to prompt beneficial magic evolution.

The result is some magic-using aliens, some non-magic using aliens, and no magic-using humans because magic use is a biological ability that evolved based on mana availability.

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    $\begingroup$ Given that /They're only able to manipulate one kind of magic that they inherit from their parents/ it seems like it is a biological ability. $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 2 at 20:04

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