Beyond Good and Evil 2 is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective which takes place a few generations prior to the events of Beyond Good & Evil. It has more traditional computer role playing game elements compared to the first game; players will generate a character that starts the game “at the very bottom of the social system”. The character can be male or female. As the player completes various tasks, they will improve in various attributes, and gain spacecraft and crew members which they can also improve over time. Players will visit planets that have their own societies, and by completing tasks on these planets, will gain new technologies or other facets to improve their spacecraft. Ancel said that they do anticipate that there will be a narrative element that includes fixed story events as well as events based on what decisions the player had made in exploring planets.
The game will have single-player and cooperative player support; even as a single-player, the player participates in a shared universe, with some events affecting all players at the same time.