Modern Combat 5: Blackout stays faithful to the series' tradition by being a single-player and multiplayer military first-person shooter for mobile platforms. The single-player campaign takes the player through a series of story-based missions with varied objectives, during which different weapons and items can be used. The game requires an internet connection, and the multiplayer mode, which lets players fight against each other on a number of maps, is internet based.
The gameplay stays within the genre's bounds. The player is tasked with completing objectives in different levels while advancing from one checkpoint to the other. Depending on the mission type and point in story, the player may encounter different situations ranging from the usual gunfights to turret shooting sections and infiltration operations. The story is presented through cut-scenes and voice acted dialogue.
A class system accompanied by a loadout system has been added to the game for the first time in the series. The player can choose the soldier class he wishes to use and customize the loadout of said class. There are unlockables (e.g. weapon attachments) which are obtained by the player as he gains experience through the completion of objectives. Items unlocked in single-player can be used in multiplayer matches.
In July 2015 the game was turned from a commercial release into a free-to-play title with in-app purchases for all platforms.