.hack//Versus is a 3D fighting game set in the .hack universe. The game is bundled with the film .hack//Sekai no Mukou ni on a single hybrid Blu-ray disc. Like the movie, the game is presented in steroscopic 3D.
.hack//Versus is a one-on-one 3D fighting game set in an enclosed field. Each of the eight playable characters have a different move set. Gameplay is heavily based around a tension gauge at the bottom of the screen, which fills up as a player takes damage or attacks. Special skills, exceeds, ultimate skills, dashes, and crack bursts deplete the tension bar, so players will need to pay careful attention to how full it is.
Hitting the square button performs a basic attack.
The circle button causes the player to grab and throw the opponent.
The triangle button starts the strike attack. This attack can be charged by holding down the triangle button, and when released will launch the opponent into the air, even if they are guarding. Hitting another button when prompted will launch the player into the air after the opponent, dealing further damage and opening up the possibility of air combos.
Each character has a special attack which is activated by hitting either L1+square, L1+circle, or L1+triangle.
Exceed is triggered by hitting L1+R1, and usually involved the character transforming into a more powerful version of themselves.
Hitting L1+R2 when the tension bar is full will trigger the character's ultimate ability.
Players can dash on land or air by hitting the X button twice. This uses 25% of the tension gauge.
Holding R1 guards, although this can be broken with a Strike Attack.
Hitting R1 precisely before the opponent lands an attack will trigger a Just Escape. The game will switch to a slowed-down cut scene of the player jumping over the opponent, and when it's over, the player will be behind the other character, who is defenseless for a short time.
Crack Burst can be used to disrupt enemy combos or skills by hitting R1+triangle. Doing so costs 50% of the tension bar.
In story mode, the game's plot follows that of the film. The player advances through the ranks of a tournament, increasing their player rank by defeating opponents, as well as shadow versions of their opponents, or even their own character. Story points are revealed through in game messages or posts made on the in-game Yomoyama Records message board. During fights, players can complete missions, such as 'Complete a round with at least 50% health' or 'Perform four knockdowns'. Mission completion ties into the letter score earned for winning a match, as well as trophies. The story mode includes a 'Versus Rankers' section, which allows the player to see their position on the story mode's leader board, as well as challenge NPCs, or watch replays of their own fights. Watching replays unlocks new weapons and support items; additionally, replays will earn 'comments' (presented as Niconico-style overlays) based on how well the player fights. Fighting in matches will also unlock in-game wallpapers, music, character models, and voice clips which may be played through the in-game ALTIMIT OS, as well as user icons and mottos for both the story and versus mode.
After the game's credits finish, a new .hack OVA is unlocked for viewing.
The Versus Mode supports one-on-one online, one-on-on local play, as well as player vs CPU and CPU vs CPU modes.