Tank Battles is a top-down action game with tanks. The tank is controlled with the standard dual-stick style (one stick controls movement and the other aim) and, in addition to the regular shot with unlimited ammo, can also drop mines behind. However, just as ricochet bullets, they can also be harmful to the player's tank. When two bullets meet, they cancel each other out. Picking up spawning power-ups give permanent or temporary upgrades, e.g. invisibility, higher speed, rockets or a flame thrower.
All maps are basically single-screen arena maps. During the single-player campaign, 50 levels have to be solved by killing all opposition. In later levels not only the AI opponents and the time limit of two minutes may cause problems, but also environmental obstacles, e.g. conveyor belts, mud which slows down movement or crushing walls.
In multiplayer, up to four players can engage in deathmatch, team deathmatch or capture the flag matches. Optionally destroyed tanks can be turned into turrets so players can throw a few bombs while they are out. The multiplayer modes can also be played against bots.