Tall.io is a multiplayer battle-arena game in which a player defeats other players represented by stickmen on large islands. The player's primary goals during each battle are to increase points, which increases their stickman's physical size, and defeat enemies. They increase their points by running through specific colored squares and objects on an island, such as palm and pine trees. They can also increase points by running through floating green balloons and green gates that feature multipliers and boosters.
The player earns money for their efforts, which they then use to upgrade their stickman's face, accessories and color and power and size boosters. They use the points they earn to unlock areas of their own personal upgrade island where they receive additional rewards, such as a money multiplier or an enemy kill bonus. They earn a small amount of coins even if they fail to win in the arena. They can also earn additional coins or a revive after a battle by watching an advertisement.
Unlike many similar games, Tall.io doesn't kill the stickman if the player runs him to the edge of the battle-arena. He also won't die if he runs through obstacles, such as serrated saw blades, unless he doesn't have enough points. The game displays his running total of points above his head during a battle.