In Ascension to the Throne the player takes the role of Alexander, king of Airath. After the betrayal of the magician Wolgard he barely saved his life and now his goal is to build an army to regain his kingdom.
The game is a mixture between RPG and turn-based strategy game. When exploring the environment the player sees Alexander from behind. He talks to people in multiple-choice conversations, takes quests, finds treasures, buys equipment with earned money and hires mercenaries.
When walking the player meets especially marked enemies which cause the game to switch to a turn-based combat screen with hex fields. These enemies don't leave their position in the game world and can be avoided unless they stand in a narrow place. In the combat itself the player starts by positioning his army and then he gives order to his troops every turn, e.g to move, to attack or to cast a spell. If Alexander dies the game ends instantly.
The player's army consists of ten slots: Alexander and other plot-related characters take up one each, the other ones can be filled with up to ten troops of the same kind. With a few exceptions the player has to pay troops with so-called authority points which are mostly gained during level-ups, after certain quests and by dividing found treasures between the army. The player also can improve other stats when having enough experience points which influence Alexander's armor, damage and magic abilities.