Energy Breaker is something of a hybrid of tactical RPGs and standard role-playing video games, in that between battles the player can explore towns and cities freely. Exploration is rewarded by the many items hidden around the island.
Battles take place on the same screen they are initiated, and are played out across a grid. The majority of battles are scripted, but returning to the site of a previous battle may cause it to start again as a random battle.
The distance a character can travel and the actions they can take in battle are determined by Balance (Bal), which recharges every turn. However, if the character has taken damage, their Bal will not recharge fully, limiting what they can do in the following turn. At first characters can only use a basic physical attack, but come to learn new attacks and magic through items scattered throughout the game and by accumulating Energy. On leveling up, the player is prompted to assign a point to one of eight Energy columns, being those for light and dark water, wind, fire, and earth. The moves available to a character at any time are determined by their Energy distribution.
When talking to NPCs, the player can choose which attitude to approach with and which questions to ask. However, the system is very basic and the attitude used rarely makes a difference to the conversation.