In the game, the Chao goes on an "Adventure Walk" where skills are improved, depending upon the selected course. Along the way, the Chao may find fruit in treasure chests, encounter bullies and meet characters such as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Big.
By connecting two VMU units together, two Chao can breed.
Status: See the Chao's status:
Name: The name of the player chao.
Mood: What mood the Chao is currently feeling.
HP: How much health the Chao has.
Item: Looks at what fruits the player has. The player can feed their Chao from here too. If the player takes their Chao out of the VMU and back to the Chao Garden, the items left here will be transferred with them.
Game: Play a 4×3 fruit matching game. The player has three lives to match all the fruit. If the player gets a perfect score they will get one of the special fruit.
Mating: If the player connects to another VMU their Chao can mate with other Chao.
Battle: If the player connects to another VMU their Chao can battle with other Chao.
Owner: The player can write their personal information (name, birthday etc).
Friend: Connects the player's VMS with a friend to mate Chao.
Owner: Views information about the owner:
【Name】: Name and gender of owner.
【D.O.B】: Date of Birth of owner.
【Tel】: Telephone number of owner.
【U like】: Interest of the owner.
【Secret】: Secret message of the owner.
【Time】: Current time set in the VMU.
Friend: Views data about friends that the player has connected their VMU with.
Map: Shows the current stage name, and how far the player's Chao has walked.
Setting: Game options. The player can also edit personal information for the "owner" option.
Sound: Turns the sound on/off.
Data: Either Change or Cancel data.
Rewrite: Set your personal data for 'Owner'.
Gameplay is mostly automatic with the player's Chao walking through different stages. Various encounters may happen which will affect the progress of the player's Chao:
The Chao will stop walking, fall asleep, lie on a beach ball, get frightened, or simply trip up. Pressing the A Button will encourage it to keep going.
A message will appear from the Chao which can be read through with the A Button.
When the screen flashes "!?" a bully Chao is encountered. Combat is done with a roulette of six circles, five black and one clear. Pressing the A Button when the roulette lands on the clear circle is a successful hit. Every 200 points of power the Chao has will add an additional clear circle to the roulette.
A chest will be found. The player can choose three possible discoveries to be found in the chest, such as various fruits.
Chao begin their adventure by walking through the Field stage. At the end of a stage, they will find a signpost pointing them in two optional directions they can travel in. The game is complete once five stages have been passed. Unlike most games where the playable character moves from left to right, the Chao constantly moves leftwards along the following map: