Drakengard 3 features hack-and-slash gameplay and aerial combat on a dragon, as with previous entries in the series. The player controls the main protagonist Zero during the entire campaign and for most levels is accompanied by up to two AI-controlled companions. In ground-based combat, Zero performs multiple attacks on various enemies. These can be combined into combos, which fill up Zero’s Tension Gauge. When the gauge is filled to any degree, Zero can temporarily enter Intoner Mode, a hyperactive state which enables her to move quickly and deal high damage to enemies while also making her immune to attack. As Zero levels up, weapons grow more powerful and Zero gains access to multiple weapon types as the game progresses. Each weapon type produces a different set of attacking moves. Unlike previous titles in the series, the player does not have to pause the games to switch weapons, instead being able to do it at any time without pausing.