Ball Surfer 3D is an endless-runner ball game similar to Ball Rush and the Slope series. In a city filled with neon-framed skyscrapers shrouded in gray fog, the player must direct a ball or round object along surfaces without stopping for as long as it's possible.
The player receives a black ball accented with yellow-green stripes. During play, they can collect floating purple crystals that allow them to upgrade the ball to other objects, including a basketball, beach ball, soccer ball, baseball, tennis ball, solid pool ball, striped pool ball and the planet Earth.
The game also supplies the player with boosters. They receive two per type to start. The main boosters include a shield that protects the ball from exploding when it hits an object, a magnet that automatically collects crystals, and a multiplier that doubles the player's winnings. The player can also earn crystals by watching advertisements.
Ball Surfer 3D challenges the player with a wide range of obstacles. The game often places gaps between sections of surfaces. Some surfaces have speed-up arrow lanes or tilt rapidly up and down. It also features ball-width-only bridges, ramps that cause the ball to fly toward empty spaces, and black boxes outlined in red.
If the ball hits an obstacle, rolls off an edge, or hits open air because of a ramp, the game starts over. The player must then attempt to beat their last-best distance.