Scalebound is an action role-playing video game played in a third-person perspective, in which players assume control of Drew, as he progresses through the world of Draconis. Players are bonded to and accompanied by a dragon called Thuban, who can breathe out fire and assist players throughout the game. Thuban is controlled by artificial intelligence, but players can give commands to the dragon when performing attacks. The dragon can be ridden, though not in the beginning of the game, and its shape and appearance can be customized. Players can also upgrade its abilities by using the gems dropped by defeated enemies.
In addition, players are equipped with melee weapons such as swords and ranged weapons like explosive arrows and guns These weapons will eventually become degraded and lose their durability during combat. The game does not feature any crafting system, but players can pick up different weapons throughout the game. As a result of the bond between the two, Thuban's death will cause Drew to die as well and vice versa. When encountering large enemies, players can swing to them and climb on them to perform attacks. Drew also has a dragon arm, which allows him to scan enemies for information, unleash pulse energy, and heal his dragon companion. The playable character can also shapeshift into a half-dragon hybrid. When he transforms, his abilities will be significantly strengthened. Players can gain skill points, which can be used to level-up Drew, by defeating enemies and taking care of Thuban like healing and assisting him in battle. Additional skill points will be given if players can defeat multiple enemies consecutively. The game also features a four-player co-operative multiplayer mode.