Candy Match 3 is tile-matching game that tasks the player with helping a cat collect hard candies and other treats across thousands of levels in a world filled with carnival-style structures that feature dessert themes. Each level contains a board filled with mixed sweets, including drops, lollipop tops, beans and hard candies in various shapes. Special challenges exist as well, such as ice and single- and double-layer crackers and a Tournament mode. The player must match three or more candies to collect them. When they remove the candies, new ones fill the board. They continue the process until they've completed the required task.
The game supplies several tools to make candy collection easier, including a swap booster that allows the player to swap two candies anywhere on the board, a wand that removes a single candy, line blast and rocket boosters that remove entire rows and columns, and a spiral bomb that removes all the same type at one time.
The player can buy, activate and create boosters. For example, they can create a spiral bomb by matching five candies. If they combine boosters, they can create even more powerful tools. They can combine, for example, two spiral bombs to clear the entire board with one move.
Candy Match 3 awards coins, stars and boosters. The player receives gifts and treasure chests now and then as well.