The game allows players to participate in the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany by taking control of one of 127 national teams. Since the release of the game 2002 FIFA World Cup, the menus have been redesigned and have more options. It even includes a satellite map when choosing countries to play in a Friendly. Online support is provided for ranked and unranked matches on most non-Nintendo platforms. The online service provides lobbies, leaderboards and a global challenge mode where the player can play through over forty historical World Cup scenarios, with the opportunity to explore alternate outcomes for each one.
By playing online and in single-player mode, spending points for the virtual store are earned, where players can purchase uniforms, historical players, various footballs, boots, and gameplay options. As with the previous World Cup video game, matches in World Cup mode are played in the same order as at the World Cup in Germany.