Inspired by the Chess-like game that appears in Star Wars: A New Hope, Beast Wars has two opponents moving Six pieces on a circular playing field.
The six pieces represent different monsters and each have Different strengths, Movement patterns, Energy rating and a Power Rating. Energy is used in movement and combat. Power is a beasts' combat rating, Which varies depending upon the beasts' strength, nearby friendly beasts and its' opponent.
The playing field consists of 41 spaces placed in rings around a center space. Movement to an empty space costs energy. When a beast leaves a space an “ownership” marker is placed in the newly vacant space. Movement into a space with an ownership marker or your own costs less energy, while moving into a space with an opponents marker costs more. The center space will recharge the energy of the beast occupying it. Movement into a space containing an opponents beasts will initiate combat.
Combat takes place on a side-view combat screen. At the top is the energy and power of graphs of both beasts. In the center are the two beasts facing off . The bottom has the name, owners' name and the controls used to control your beast. You can move the beast to the left and right, Flee and attack. Damage to a beast causes its' energy level to be reduced. When a beasts energy level reaches zero it dies (even if the energy loss is due to normal movement). The surviving beasts gets it energy replenished at the end of combat.
When only one player has beasts remaining the round ends. Each player receives 300 points for remaining beasts and 150 for ownership markers. After a predetermined number of rounds have been played, the player with the highest score wins.