Sonic Run is an adventure side-scrolling platformer with running elements based on the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The player's goal is to collect as many golden rings, blue diamonds and powerups as possible while helping Sonic, the anthropomorphic blue hedgehog, complete goals in different zones.
The game starts in the Greenhill Zone. The game makes Sonic run automatically. The player can only help him leap and roll away from obstacles and traps, such as spike rails, flying enemies, spiked water creatures and crabs. If Sonic hits any of these threats, he disappears in a puff of smoke. The player must then start over. Sonic also disappears if he runs into the edge of a floating platform. A "hit" is any contact, which means even the slightest touch results in failure.
Sonic Run allows the player to store rings collected from one run to another. As a result, the player retains their rings from a run even if they fail to make it all the way through to the next zone. After they collect enough rings (500, 2,000 and 10,000), they can unlock additional skins. The game also tracks not only their current score but their all-time best score.