In Clans Royale, players are ranked by their level and trophy count. The highest level is thirteen, with players levelling up by gaining more experience points through donating or upgrading cards. Trophies are won and lost through multiplayer battles: a player wins a battle by destroying more towers than the opponent (each destroyed tower being represented as 'crowns'), or by destroying the opponent's King's Tower, granting an automatic three-crown victory.
There are 7 playing arenas in total (excluding the tutorial Training Camp), with each arena corresponding to a certain trophy count range. The 7 Arenas are Goblin Stadium, Bone Pit, Barbarian Bowl, Giant's Hut, Water Arena, Village Arena and Old Royal Arena.
Playable units and spells are represented as cards. Prior to each game, players construct a deck of eight cards used to attack and defend from their opponent's units, spells and towers. At the start of each game, both players begin with four randomly chosen cards from their deck of eight.
Each card costs a certain amount of elixir to play: one elixir point is replenished every 2.8 seconds (or 1.4 seconds in the final 60 seconds of the game), with a maximum of 10 elixir points at any one moment. Once a card is played, a new card is automatically drawn from the player's eight card deck.
There are currently 49 cards in the game, coming in four rarities: Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary and Hero.
As a free-to-play game, Clans Royale offers players the ability to purchase gems in the card shop using currency. Gems can be used to start tournaments, enter challenges, and purchase chests, cards, and gold from the shop.