HyperZone plays like a cross between an F-Zero racer and rail-shooter. The object of the game is to navigate each level while shooting enemies and earning points, until finally an encounter with a boss ends each level. After enough points are acquired, the player earns an extend and his/her ship is upgraded in the next stage. The mode 7 "tracks" bear a resemblance to the well-known progenitor of mode 7 racing, F-Zero. As a rail shooter, in the same vein as Star Fox, the player's ship is constantly pushed forward through each level. While it is possible to slow down, doing so eventually causes damage to the player's ship.