Temple Run 2 features similar play mechanics to the first, with a considerable boost in the quality of the visuals. The game takes place in a new outdoor environment with occasional mine cart rides through caves. The games also features new obstacles such as zip-lines, spike-wheels and raging rivers.
The objective is to score as many points as possible by running and dodging obstacles, while also collecting coins and completing side objectives which include "Run 5,000m without tripping" and "Collect 750 coins." These objectives provide the player with experience which increases their overall level.
Coins can be used to purchase permanent upgrades which include increasing the frequency with which ingame pickups spawn and coin value, as well as new characters and one time use items like a Head-start which boosts players to 1,000m at the cost of 2,500 coins.
The player character is controlled by swiping left or right on the screen to turn, down to slide, or up to jump. Tilting the device causes the player to run on the right or left side of the screen, allowing them to avoid obstacles or collect coins. Double tapping the screen will activate the player's selected powerup.
New to Temple Run 2 are Gems, which are used to increase the potency of Powerups, and to use the Save Me option, which allows the player to pay an amount of gems which increases based on distance to resurrect their character at the same spot they died, continuing to run with their speed reset but distance and coins intact. Gems are found rarely floating in levels, or may be purchased for real money. Also new are the mine cart sections, which task the player with dodging low beams and guiding the cart on the correct track so as not to run into a wall, ending the game. Spike wheels and rivers are added, as a general obstacle encountered in levels.
The player can have one active powerup selected at a time. These are activated by double tapping the screen at any time while running, and are governed by a powerup meter (filled by collecting coins). Gems can be spent to upgrade powerups.
A shield surrounds the character, letting them endure one hit from an obstacle without losing (this does not include running into a wall on minecart sections or falling off the level). Always available.
An instant coin bonus is conferred to the character. Unlocked by purchasing Barry Bones.
The character runs at increased speed for a number of meters, and is invincible at the time. Turning is automatic, and the character runs over any gaps. Unlocked by purchasing Scarlett Fox.
The character attracts coins when they run past them for a duration of seconds. Unlocked by reaching level 5.
An instant score bonus is conferred to the character. Unlocked by purchasing Karma Lee.
An instant gem bonus is conferred to the character. Unlocked by reaching Level 9.
In addition to the active powerup a player has equipped, in-level versions of the Boost, Coin Magnet, and Shield powerups are available. There is also a pickup which confers an instant bonus to the player's powerup meter.
Abilities are purchased with coins via an ingame store. Abilities are permanent modifiers, and each ability has multiple purchase levels which continue to increase it's effect at incrementally larger cost.
Adds Double and Triple coins to the level, and reduces the number of meters they require the player to run before they spawn.
Spawns the in-level powerups more frequently.
Makes the powerup meter fill more quickly.
Reduces the gem cost of "Save Me." Save Me will always cost at least 1 gem.
Reduces the coin cost of Head Start.
Increases the multiplier on the player's score.
All powerups except the "bonus" powerups can be upgraded via the Abilities screen.
Increases the duration of time the Shield powerup is active.
Increases the duration of time the Coin Magnet is active.
Increases the duration of meters the Boost takes players.
There are four characters in the game. Additional characters must be purchased with coins, and each character purchased unlocks a new active Powerup to be equipped to the player's powerup slot.
Guy Dangerous is the default character, and is available at the start of the game for no cost.
Scarlett Fox is purchasable for 5,000 coins. Purchasing her unlocks the powerup Boost for use by any character.
Powerup: Coin Bonus
Barry Bones unlocks the Coin Bonus powerup for use by any character when purchased for 15,000 coins.
Powerup: Score Bonus
Karma Lee is available for 25,000 coins, and unlocks Score Bonus for use by any character.
Coins are available for purchase at a rate of 5,000 ($.99), 50,000 ($4.99), 150,000 ($9.99), and 400,000 ($19.99). Gems are available for the same real money increments, at a rate of 5, 50, 150, and 500. Also available is a Coin Doubler for $4.99, which doubles the value of all collected coins while running, but does not affect the purchasable packs of coins.