Metal Drift is a futuristic sports game where players take control of hover tanks that are used to carry a ball to the opposition's goal. The game is team based and is played in arenas. The tanks are equipped with weapons that are used to hinder the opposition from scoring. The tanks also has a rechargeable shield and armor that can only be refilled at repair stations that exist in each arena. By damaging the opposition's bonus, energy is earned. This can then be used for a speed boost or to use extra power weapons. The game is entirely viewed from a first-person cockpit perspective and is controlled through a mouse and keyboard setup.
The tanks can be configured in a number of ways with different weapons and upgrades, and depending on this players can choose different play styles. New weapons and upgrades are unlocked through the game's leveling system. In total there are 56 different combinations. Examples of possible upgades are the stealth upgrade which allows the player to cloak and the sensor upgrade which shows the position of nearby players.
The game features persistent stats and leaderboards as well as achievements through Steam. The game is primarily a multiplayer game but it is also possible to play against bots.