As you land on the planet Aeos at the beginning of the game, you're able to explore a small area of the jungle environment and get to grips with the controls. You'll spend much of the game exploring richly detailed planets, looking for items to help you on your journey. To aid this, some characters can harvest plants for healing berries while others can extract ore from rock faces and use it to build and upgrade equipment.
As the map opens up, you'll encounter many weird and wonderful creatures to battle and if you manage to sneak up on them, you can execute a pre-emptive strike to give yourself the advantage. Once in battle, you have complete control over one character, so you can dodge, weave, chase and attack and you can switch control to a different character at any time. Your friends will, of course, help you in the fight and you can select the kind of approach you'd like to take, be it attacking or defensive.
As well as your basic attack and ability to use items, you'll learn special moves, combos and magic attacks - known as Symbols - as your characters progress and you add new members to your party. A particularly useful tactic is to press the circle button to dodge enemy attacks and break through their defences.