The gameplay takes place in a side-scrolling persespective, with your character running along and hitting enemies in time to the music; attacking enemies is done by pressing buttons corresponding to the ground or the air.
The Steam and smartphone versions use a DLC-based model, with a default pack of songs available with the relatively cheap base game and additional tracks available through paid packs. The Switch version is a more expensive base purchase but has all of the DLC packs available with no further purchase required, although its content updates are delayed.
Muse Dash contains examples of:
- Becoming the Costume: Many characters take on different voiced lines when you put on their alternate outfits. For example, putting Marija in the Maid outfit turns her into a Reluctant Fanservice Girl who asks her "master" to be a little more "gentlemanly" to her, while putting her in the Girl In Black outfit cranks her dominatrix elements Up to Eleven.
- Button Mashing: The "punching bag" enemies give you a set amount of time to mash buttons as many times as possible for bonus points. Some bosses also have finishers that work the same way.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Anything that goes on the bottom lane is pink, anything on the top lane is blue. Or rather, it is the lane whose button you need to press, as exemplified by the barriers that can only be dodged by moving to the other lane.
- Difficult, but Awesome:
- On charts where the LD Marija + Lilith combination is possible, they are easily the highest-scoring combination in the game due to their score multipliers.
- Manual Fever allows the player to score higher than with automatic Fever, but only if they know the optimum spots for activating Fever and if they can juggle pressing the command for Fever with whatever the charts throw at them.
- Do Well, but Not Perfect: Some chart-specific missions require you to get hurt a set number of times (dodging an enemy doesn't count, you have to run into it; running into the enemy while under any form of invincibility doesn't work either, you have to take damage) and still clear the chart.
- Downloadable Content: The Steam and smartphone versions have most of the tracks available in DLC packs. The Switch version does away with this and has all the songs available without having to make additional purchases, at the cost of a more expensive base game.
- Game-Breaking Bug: The Switch version has an issue with hold notes wherein if one hold note ends at the same time as the start of a new hold note, it can happen that you will fail to latch on to the second note, missing it entirely, even if your character is clearly shown reacting to your button input.
- Glass Cannon: Little Devil Marija gains a whopping 25% score bonus when hitting enemies, but she loses 10 HP per second. You can equip Lilith in combination to get 2 HP back per Perfect but she is still by far the riskiest character in the game and literally renders easier charts Unwinnable by Design.
- Hair Decorations: Muses (Rin, Buro, and Marija) themselves have one.
- Harder Than Hard: Master difficulty, above Hard; it is available on most (but not all) tracks. Unlocking it for a particular track requires getting an S rank (90% accuracy or higher) on the track's Hard chart.
- Hot Witch: Marija in her Magical Girl outfit boasts a Boobs-and-Butt Pose that has her flaunting her panties with a grin on her face and gains a number of lines involving seduction and magic.
- Invincibility Power-Up: Schoolgirl Buro becomes invincible whenever she's in Fever mode.
- Last Chance Hit Point: Zombie Girl Buro can activate "Dying Mode" if she takes damage that is supposed to knock her out; she merely drops to 1 HP and becomes invincible for 15 seconds. Once the invincibility ends, she cannot trigger it again without picking up a heart.
- Mercy Invincibility: You're briefly invincible when you take damage from an enemy or an obstacle. The Thanatos Elfin extends the duration of the invincibility.
- No Fair Cheating: Playing as Sleepwalker Girl Rin will cause the chart to be played automatically. Unsurprisingly, this does not change your records, give you EXP, or fulfill any achievements or challenges.
- Pacifist Run: Unlike most music games, missing an enemy doesn't necessarily cause you to take damage; if you miss by simply dodging the enemy, you won't get hurt. Thus, on some charts it's entirely possible to clear the chart with all of the enemies missed, and it's even possible to combine this with a No-Damage Run if the chart is sparse enough.
- Set Bonus: Playing as Little Devil Marija and equipping Lilith as your Elfin grants you a 2 HP recovery each time you get a Perfect. This does not make Marija an Infinity +1 Sword, as she needs that health recovery to survive.
- Super Mode: Fever mode, which is earned by hitting notes to fill the Fever gauge; once the gauge is full, enemies are worth additional points until the gauge runs out. Certain characters and Elfins gain additional effects in Fever mode, such as increasing the Fever point bonus or granting invincibility until Fever ends. A later update to the game allows the player to manually deploy Fever instead.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Marija as The Girl in Black (who's one of the hardest costumes to unlock and who's speciality is the ability to plow through mooks easily, represented as in her having an easier time scoring perfects) is a boss you fight in some tracks, complete with the same car and henchman from her character select screen. Another one of the bosses appears to be a grey-haired Buro piloting a UFO, although maybe this is just an evil look-alike as playable Buro doesn't have a costume confirming it's her, unlike Marija's case.
- Unwinnable by Design: Little Devil Marija makes easier, less dense charts literally impossible to complete simply because there aren't enough hearts to offset her 10 HP per second depletion; at 200 HP, she will fail in 20 seconds and no track in the game is anywhere near that short. Even if she also equips Lilith to restore 2 HP per Perfect and hits every enemy perfectly, she will still lose if the chart isn't dense enough.