Forgotten Sands is available on all major gaming platforms and features "...many of the fan-favorite elements from the original series as well as new gameplay innovations," according to a press release from Ubisoft. The DS, PSP and Wii versions were developed separately and feature different gameplay than the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows versions. Using Ubisoft's Uplay feature, players can unlock the outfit of Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin's Creed II.
In the home console and PC versions, players unlock new abilities for the Prince as they progress through the game. The biggest new feature is the addition of elemental powers, which function similarly to power-ups, enhancing the Prince's ability in battle and allowing him to access unreachable areas. There are four core powers in the game: Fire, Ice, Wind and Earth. Each of them translates to a different power during combat, such as the ability to "solidify" water fountains and turn them into climbable columns. Besides these core powers, there are also minor powers, that can be purchased to enhance the Prince's abilities from Razia. These minor powers include a shield and the power to summon small tornadoes. The combat in the game is similar to combat mechanics found in The Sands of Time. The Prince will be able to fight multiple enemies in one battle, up to 50 at once. An important part of the combat is "crowd control" and evading enemies, as well as combos. The Prince cannot block attacks during combat and there are no quick time events.