In Temple Gate R, the playable characters are stuck running down the level's road and can only move left and right between the road's four lanes (akin to the Quick Step). While running, the player can pick up powerups from Item Boxes and utilize the gimmicks native to this track.
Temple Gate R has many environmental obstacles which the player can either jump over, roll under or move around. Running into one of these obstacles will result in the player taking damage and lose some of their Rings. Falling into bottomless pits on the other hand forces the player to restart from an earlier point on the track.
The track's layout is very similar to that of the normal Temple Gate, with the primary feature being that the players start at the finish line and go through the track to the start. Gimmicks such as Dash Pads have been turned around to face the direction the players are going.