In gameplay, the Balkiry can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes by Eggman. As with most other Items, Metal Sonic can also use the Balkiry if he uses the Steal Item to steal it from the aforementioned user.
Once obtained, the player can utilize the Balkiry by pressing its icon on the bottom of the HUD. When used, this power-up lets the user deploy five Balkiries from their position. Once deployed, these Badniks will fly into the air, from where they will target the opposing rival character(s) either in front or behind the user, before beginning to home in on them. When the Balkiries mark the opponent(s) as a target, a red target reticle will appear above them. If these Balkiries manage to hit the targeted rival character(s), the target(s) will take damage, causing them to lose Rings and slow down for a few moments. To avoid the Balkiry squadron targeting them, the playable character has to step out of the lane they are on when the Balkiry's red target reticle appears, as it will not adjust to any changes in the playable character's position after appearing.
At its weakest, the Balkiry can only target one rival character. However, the Balkiry can be upgraded by leveling the user up to level 6 and 12 respectively. For each upgrade, the Balkiry can target more rival characters during each usage of it.
In the first versions of Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, an earlier version of the Balkiry's icon was found in the files, suggesting it was already planned to be an Item Box power-up very early in development.