Dethkarz is a fast, arcade-like racing game with futuristic cars and tracks. All courses are set high up in the air with slopes sides and gaps, and there is no invisible wall, so missing a corner leads to a deep fall where the car is picked up by an aircraft and placed back on the road. There are four main tracks (Metro City, Grand Keys, The Pole, and Red Planet) with three variations based on length, and three main game modes: Time Trial (with ghosts for the best times), Arcade and Championship. Multiplayer games are also supported.
Races are won by finishing first or by taking out all other cars before the final lap is completed. There are various power-ups such as a regular and an antimatter shield, a stealth mode (no collision with other cars is possible), quick repair, and nitro, as well as offensive pick-ups such as regular, heat-seeking and guided missiles, and a cluster bomb. These are presented as small cubes on the courses and the colour tells the player which kind of power-up it is. Only one power-up can be picked up at all times and when a new one is collected before it is activated, the earlier one is discarded. Cars also have a less powerful weapon by default: a pulse laser or a plasma cannon. Using it drains an energy meter that slowly recharges, and instead of bursts or short attacks it can also be charged to unleash a much more powerful attack. The use of weapons can be disabled in the options to make it a regular racing game. All courses have a pit lane where damage is restored by driving over highlighted areas. Cars are divided over four different teams with three tiers of cars. The statistics include difficulty, speed, handling, acceleration, armour and strength of the weapons. New tiers are unlocked by winning championships.