Karate Fighters: Real Battles is an action fighting game that tasks the player with fighting seemingly non-stop opponents in a variety of locations as a master of karate. The game consists of 40 unique levels broken into four groups of 10 levels per group. The player must master the controls to make their avatar perform the many karate katas needed to win.
The avatar can punch, kick and use weapons. The game displays two buttons marked with fists on the left and right sides of the screen. The player can use these buttons or a keyboard to prompt the avatar to perform karate moves. They must complete a specific number of perfect katas to win a fight. Additionally, they need to prevent their red horizontal life meter from depleting entirely.
Beyond winning each fight, the player must earn enough coins to unlock new weapons, acquire extra lives and upgrade an ability. The game randomly provides the player with different weapons during a battle. The player can also pay for specific weapons with 1,000 coins per weapon before each battle. They can use 1,000 coins to level up a spirit animal power that takes out multiple opponents with one hit as well. Lastly, they can use 100 coins to unlock extra lives.
Karate Fighters: Real Battles rewards the player with a specific number of coins for each downed opponent and a bonus for completing a sequence of maneuvers referred to as "brutality." They also receive up to three achievement stars.