In the game, a troubled character will call a cheer squad who'll arrive after the character shouts "Ouendan". The cheer squad's main goal is to make everything better through the power of dance. When the cheer squad arrives, no questions are asked and the dancing starts automatically, which is accompanied by licensed music. The story unfolds on the top screen while the gameplay is reduced to the DS's touch screen.
Being a rhythm game, you are tasked with tapping and performing a variety of other actions at the right moment. Hit markers are the most common feature in the game. They'll appear on screen and a circle will appear on the outsides and start to enclose on the middle. The moment it hits the middle the player is required to tap it. The hit markers go inline with the beat of the music, and as the player progresses through the game the amount of hit markers at once will greatly rise, requiring you to tap one right after the other. Other features include phrase markers, which will have you tracing a line on the set path, and spin markers which will have you drawing a circle on the touch screen.