Based on the version for the home consoles and PC, the DS CoD4 follows the story from the point of view of random unnamed soldiers, either S.A.S. soldiers or US marines, performing non-crucial tasks for the story, but parallel to this. Examples of this are missions on escaping an army base, securing a nuclear bomb on a cargo boat, taking positions in the streets of a Middle East city, eliminating enemies from a helicopter, etc.
The gameplay is based on the touchscreen, substituting the PC's mouse for the stylus in order to aim. The upper screen is where the action occurs, while the lower one is used for the map and the interaction (like taking and changing weapons or using gun turrets). In addition, there are a couple of touchscreen minigames to deactivate bombs and hacking circuits.
The multiplayer includes modes like deathmatch and capture the flag, with a variant of the last one called "Iron Man", where the flag carrier has to hold it as long as he/she can. It's designed for up to 4 players and can be played both in multicard or in singlecard modes.