Patapon 3 on PSP builds on the first two games by tasking you with controlling a Hero Patapon and a squad of three other Patapon soldiers, rather than an entire army of characters. The goal in the game is simple: guide your parties through each of the treacherous levels by using various combinations of four beat rhythms.
Each of the four drum beats (PATA, PON, DON and CHAKA) are represented by the Square, Circle, X and Triangle buttons respectively. For example, if you want to bang the PON drum, just press the Circle button in time with the rhythm of the Earth, which is represented by the flashing border around the screen of your PSP.
To help you along as you play through the game, all four drum beats are laid out at the bottom of the screen. Once you have memorised each button press, you're ready to start combining them to perform attacks, blocks and advances in order to reach the end of the level.