Like most games based on the Ranma 1/2 manga and anime series, Datō, Ganso Musabetsu Kakutō-Ryū! is a fighting game. Unlike the earlierRanma 1/2 iteration by the same company, this game does not follow the main manga/anime story, and does not include any other gameplay elements beside one-on-one fighting. However, the game is still rich on story-telling; fully voiced anime-style cut scenes appear after each battle and serve to put Ranma in various situations and set the stage for battles against familiar character from the manga and anime, such as the old pervert Happousai, Mousse, Ryuga, etc.
The Vs. mode allows two-player gameplay; the players can choose any combinations of the characters who appear in the game to test their skills. As Ranma, the player can revert to his female form (this time at will, simply by pressing a button); the female Ranma is more agile but less powerful. The combat system includes characteristic fighting game mechanics, with punches, kicks, jumps, combinations of buttons to execute specific moves, and powerful special attacks, which can be executed after charging the power.