The game is viewed from a bird's eye-view perspective. Game time may be customised from as short as a minute per half to the full regular 45 minutes. A coin toss is determined by the 'home' team and play will commence. Depending on the options set before the match, the gamer may opt to have less dribble control (resulting in the game ball sliding in the direction of the player movement); manual goalkeeper control which puts the player in control of all goalkeeper saves and kicks; ball-trapping, of which the player will not be able to shield the ball and allows opponents to snatch it away without necessitating a tackle; and no pass-back rule which was implemented during World Cup '94 where a keeper may not pick up the ball whenever an outfield player passes it back to him.
If the gamer opts for manual goalkeeper control, the player would have to make a save by guessing where the opponent will place the ball and jumping into the general direction with any of the console buttons and the directional keys if applicable. Similarly, outfield players have the option to either pass the ball, kick it (when attempting to score a goal) or attempt a lob. Freekicks may also be executed using any of the above. However, a penalty kick is done in a different game screen similar to that of World Cup 98 (video game) and where a hovering indicator swings from side to side to indicate the direction of the shot.
Basic tactics (or preset tactics) can also be customised prior to the game and may be changed in-game. Team rosters, while not based on real-life players, have variable attributes amongst its players and divided into three major skills which are speed, dribble control and shooting accuracy. Goalkeepers do not have a separate skill evaluation method and can be picked from normal players.