The game has the player duel certain members of the Yu-Gi-Oh! cartoon series. Defeating them in a duel has them give you a card from the official card game and a "card part" than can be used in the construction of unique cards, a feature that is only supported by this game. The player can duel or trade cards with other players through the Game Boy Link Cable. The player can also use the password feature that lets the player input passwords that appear in the real-life versions of cards. Doing so would give the player the in-game version of the real-life card. One caveat is that each card has a cost: the card cost has to be lower than the player's Duelist Level before being able to be played, while the total cost of the cards in the deck has to be lower than the capacity of the deck. Fortunately, dueling in the game increases the Duelist Level and the capacity of the deck.
Alterations from the real-life card game
The gameplay is simplified overall.
Some cards have effects that are unique to the game. (Mystical Elf can power up Blue Eyes White Dragon.)
One card can defeat a stronger card if the defending card has an Attribute that is weak to the attacking card. (A Light card can defeat a Dark card that can defeat a Dreams card that can defeat a Shadow card that can defeat a Light card.)
Polymerization is not needed for card fusions. Furthermore, the game recognizes an enormous amount of card fusion recipes where two cards can fuse together into a normally non-fusion card. (One example is that fusing a card with Yamatano Dragon scroll tends to result in a dragon card.)