Psyvariar is a fast and manic bullet hell shooter. The series's signature mechanic is its "buzz" system. Grazing the edge of a bullet with a player's ship rewards them with extra points and experience for their rank meter; a buzz combo keeps building up over the course of a stage as long as the player avoids being hit. The other central mechanic, rolling, allows the player to perform barrel rolls by rapidly tapping the joystick left and right. While rolling, the regular shot is concentrated, allowing for focused fire.
After each round, the player is offered a choice of several alternate stages of varying difficulties. Harder, but more rewarding, levels are gated based on the player's rank, so skilled buzzing is the key to progressing. The player's ship is also upgraded as players reach higher ranks.