The gameplay makes heavy use of the Special key, which allows you to dodge, jump off walls, slide up ramps, and other intricate manoeuvres, depending on the context. This adds to the puzzle of getting from point A to point B in as little time as possible, as well as opening up possibilities for trick jumps in combat. Other FPS staples like bunny hopping are in full force as well.
The game also features a novel ammo system; picking up weapons gives you "weak" ammo, while picking up specific ammo drops gives you "strong" ammo. Strong ammo, naturally, is better than weak ammo, although how it's better varies from weapon to weapon. However this feature is removed in later version.
This game provides examples of:
- Bloodless Carnage
- Bottomless Magazines: No reloading is required but the ammo is rather limited compared to some other arena shooters.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Anyone coming to this from Unreal Tournament will find they keep double tapping the direction key to dash.
- Emergency Weapon: The Gun Blade.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Laser Gun.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: The Gun Blade fires bursts of energy, but also has a blade that comes out when enemies get too close.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: The Laser Gun stream is slow; it takes time to reach its target and curves when you try to spin it around. Which would make sense if it weren't a laser. (Strong ammo corrects this.)
- Recursive Acronym: Warsow stands for Warsow is Art of Respect and Sportsmanship Over the Web.
- Rocket Jump: Can be done with a rocket launcher or instagib. Self-damage is low.
- Wall Jump: By pressing Special while against a wall and holding the direction you want to jump in.