Continuing the trend of gameplay from previous Lego titles by TT Games, the game puts players in control of various characters from the movie, utilizing Lego pieces to make their way through several levels. For the first time in the series, environments, aside of the bonus area, are completely made out of Lego pieces.
The game introduces two main new character types: Regular Builders (such as Emmet in earlier levels) and Master Builders (such as Batman, Benny, Princess Uni-Kitty, Vitruvius, and Wyldstyle). Regular Builders are unable to normally construct objects out of piles of Lego pieces and instead require instruction pages that are found throughout each level for the construction worker characters to use. Using these, players follow the instructions to build objects with specific pieces like real-life LEGO sets. Master Builders, on the other hand, have the ability to grab Lego pieces from the environment and use them to create something new.
Other abilities include using switches as Lord Business in either his Lord or President Business forms, fixing machinery, hacking into computers, destroying gold bricks with lasers, destroying silver bricks with rockets or dynamite, starting fires, and putting out fires.[