Super Hexagon is a minimal action game. The player controls a small triangle shape in a fixed position in the middle of the screen. The only possible interaction is quickly rotating the shape in a clockwise or counterclockwise circle with a fixed radius to avoid oncoming shapes (mostly hexagons, all lacking one side or more) and walls whose progression matches the music's rhythm. Shapes often only have a little open space the player has to steer towards to pass through. Shapes can rotate as well and there are some tricks and difficulties where speed and movement is suddenly reversed.
There is only one try: when dead, the level has to be restarted. There are six difficulty levels and the last three, each the "Hyper" version of the former three, are unlocked one by one as the corresponding standard level is completed. Completing a level means making the triangle avoid collisions for 60 seconds; however, play continues indefinitely until a collision occurs. Optionally, the game can be played in an arcade mode: the only difference is a high score screen. Graphics and background music are psychedelic: sets of colours and tracks are specific to levels, while their order is determined anew at each play; a similar mechanic applies to the geometrical shapes running towards the centre.