Spirit Lords is an action RPG with a fantasy theme. It is set in a world that is said to have been invaded by a mythical spirit realm about 800 years before. The legend says that "Hundred Heroes" were responsible for stopping the invasion, but there is no trace of that. Only a single city remains, Arkos, along with a handful of small colonies constantly threatened by the wilds surrounding them. The game starts when the player's character returns home, returning from exploring the Arkos ruins. A spirit warned to return home quickly and it proves accurate: the character's town was raided by gnolls and they burned down everything. The game starts with this quest for revenge, but quickly moves on to explain more of the world's history and the spirits.
At the start the player designs a hero choosing from different customization options and two classes: barbarian or sorcerer. The first focuses on melee combat and the latter on ranged magic. Battles are done in real-time but with different tactics based on the gear, weapons and abilities. It is based on gestures for movement and attacks. A character is moved around by tapping once. Tapping twice usually performs a blink teleportation, to gain distance or to dodge attacks. By tapping enemies once, they are attacked automatically. There is also an attack, with a cooldown time, based on tapping and holding with dragging to change the direction of the shots. The character also has access to a charged, ultimate ability. Alternatively a virtual stick can be used for movement along with buttons for the attacks and abilities.
The character earns experience and levels up, with access to new equipable items and weapons through loot. However, most of the focus is on spirits. Many different types can be collected, each with different abilities. These can be equipped in five slots that represent the character's main abilities. A spirit also matches one of the five elements in the game world, providing rock-paper-scissors elemental relationships during combat. Spirits can evolve or be upgraded by having them level up and consume other spirits, or crafting two to gain a more powerful one.
There is a hub world, shared with other online players, with a large world map and where quests can be accessed: story quests, side quests and event quests. The game is free-to-play and most of the elements can be found without having to spend a hard currency. However, next to grinding most of the powerful elements to level up spirits to a high level are not found regularly. Next to coins as a soft currency players can spend money on moonstones as the premium one. The store also has featured items and master shards. These shards are tied to the five elements in the game: arcane, fire, nature, void and water.