The game includes three modes, being Story Mode, Free Mode and Classic Mode.
In Story Mode, the player plays as Pichu, whose friend Pikachu is missing. After Pokémon from the town say they saw a suspicious Pokémon earlier, Pichu heads out to find him. Along the story, the player frees more Pokémon from this suspicious Pokémon, after which they become playable in the other modes as well.
In Free Mode, the player can play Grand Prix or solo races againt opponents; this mode supports local and online multiplayer as well.
In Classic Mode, the controls are more similar to the controls of the prequel. Whereas in the other modes the player has to use the console's buttons to move, this mode requires the player to use the stylus to push the Pokémon forward. Different tracks are featured.
In all modes, the player can charge for an attack to use during the race. The attacks are the same types as they are in other Pokémon games, meaning that their type will affect their effectiveness on other Pokémon depending on their types.
Many Pokémon have been added since the prequel. The only default playable character is Pichu; the rest is unlocked as the story progresses, or when the player plays a certain amount of matches or makes other achievements.
Thunder Pichu sends a large shock forward. It may paralyze them shortly.
Take Down Eevee charges forward at attacks, pushing away opponents it hits.
Whirlpool Piplup sends three whirlpools around himself, turning away opponents.
Hi Jump Kick Scraggy jumps forward, kicking everyone in his path.
Body Slam Pancham jumps toward enemies, possibly stunning them for a short amount of time.
Fury Swipes Teddiursa slashes around himself with its claws for a random amount of time.
Seed Bomb Chespin throws three seed bombs on the track, that will explode when someone comes close or when a certain amount of time has passed.
Metronome Togepi uses a random attack out of every attack in the game.
Hyper Voice Litleo sends sound waves around himself.
Ice Shard Sneasel shoots ice shards in 5 directions around himself.
Electro Ball Pikachu shoots a ball of electricity that circles around him shortly.
Double Hit Ambipom spreads his tails, hitting neary Pokémon.
Water Gun Politoed shoots a beam of water in front of him.
Hurricane Whimsicott whips up a hard wind, which can blow away Pokémon.
Night Slash Absol slashes in front of himself.
Night Shade Gengar attacks the most nearby Pokémon, if any are on screen.
Flare Blitz Victini launches himself forward at high speed.