The gameplay revolves around managing the students who enroll in idol schools via getting high scores in rhythm game segments. In these segments, the markers moves towards a blank circle and the player presses the button of the correct color.
Has since spawned a mobile game adaptation, Aikatsu! Photo on Stage!!, and a reboot, Aikatsu Stars!. In 2018, a brand labelled Aikatsu Friends! was announced shortly before the end of Stars, beginning in the spring of the same year. Following the second season of Friends, a new IP featuring Aikatsu characters from all across the franchise titled Aikatsu On Parade! was announced.
The Video Games Contain examples of:
- A Day in the Limelight: There's one stage which puts the player on the same stage with Johnny while he supposedly teaches about how to pull off special appeals. He even does the voice overs!
- Excited Show Title!
- One-Word Title
- Player Character: Requires the use of a player ID.
- Power Glow: The popularity/expertise/development of an idol can usually be determined by the size of her aura when performing.
- Press X to Not Die: Comes in three ways in determining success of special appeals: hitting a sequence of buttons in a small amount of time, when the shrinking circle marks is exactly on the buttons shown on the screen or coins falls exactly on the designated area.
- Rainbow Pimp Gear: This can happen if attempts to make a good coord (a working combination of clothes of different types) fail or players simply use cards with higher score values without regards of compatibility. Even the good coords themselves are not◊ exempt from this.
- Relationship Values: Maxing it out for a character allows the player to use her in the game unless the player has to compete against her.
- Socialization Bonus: As of 2015 update, having friends in a player ID data allows players to form teams in-game using their characters. Some stages outright requires a team and friends' characters add to the starting score more than the default characters.
- Spear Counterpart: Received one in the form of Dream Festival!, focusing more on a Five-Man Band setup and more emphasis on idol groups rather than a school of idols.