Gameplay in Grand Chase is primarily keyboard driven. Movement, including jumping, uses the arrow keys. Attacks, which include combos and special attacks, use the keys A, Z, X and space bar by default, but can be set by the player. Due to the combos and special attacks, the game has a feel that is similar to side-scrolling fighting games, such as Double Dragon. While it is an action game, the designers took care to not make a "button masher".
The game is free-to-play, but there are some items that can only be purchased with real-world currency. Unlike most role-playing games, you do not create a character; instead you play as one of three characters, with more to be added later. You may freely switch among the characters you have unlocked between missions, but their equipment and levels are separate.
For details on a specific character, please see the Table of Contents.
There are seven playable characters to play and players may switch characters between dungeons. Each character is leveled and equipped separately. Most equipment is character specific. Character choice is similar to class choice in most MMORPGs.
After each trip into a dungeon, characters receive experience upon completing it. Experience is partly dependent on how well you did, but every player will get some experience. Completing a mission awards additional experience. Once sufficient experience is obtained, the character will advance to a level. Higher levels don't improve statistics directly, but grant access to better equipment that does.
When entering dungeons it is advisable to form a party. The game's interface makes it easy to create a party or join one created by another player. Friends can lock their party with a password or make it open to newcomers. The items that are found in the dungeons can shared by the party. To encourage group play, there is a slight experience boost when working together.
Player vs Player
Players can also compete against one another in combat. There are two modes of player versus player combat: three-on-three team battles and six-player free-for-all. There is also a tag game for both modes that allow you to choose two of your characters and switch between them in mid battle. Win/loss statistics are tracked for all matches. Team matches encourage players to plan their attack strategies and experiment with various formations. Several varieties of maps, including those with instant-death pitfalls also encourage planning and strategy.