Bomberman Hardball is an action game with four different game modes: Arena, Tennis, Golf and Baseball. The three sports games tend towards the “fun-sport” category (relatively simple controls and physics), but are still grounded in the real rule set: there are no power-ups or special moves. The controls of all three sports follow the genre standards: in Tennis, the player walks towards the ball and hits it, Golf has the standard two-click controls and in Baseball the control switches between pitching (selecting a pitch type and aim) and batting (aiming the hit). All three modes feature either exhibition or tournament play; a few Bomberman characters with different abilities and other playing options, e.g. in Tennis the player can choose between single/double and different courts.
Arena has the standard Bomberman gameplay: multiple characters walk around in overhead maps and lay bombs in order to kill the competition. Bombing away destructible blocks may reveal power-ups which have positive (e.g. laying more bombs at once or higher walking speed) or negative (e.g. negating the positive power-ups) effects when picked up. Besides the classic deathmatch, there are also a few other game modes available: star battle (collecting stars), crown battle (the winner needs to find and pick up the crown) and point battle. Each match can also be customized, e.g. handicap, number of power-ups or time limit.
The Living Mode allows to create a custom character with unlockable outfits and view AI controlled matches. Except Baseball (restricted to two players), up to four players can participate in matches.