Set as a 2D open world, platform game, the player controls Ori, a white guardian spirit. He has the ability to shoot Spirit Flames and wall run. Ori is required to interact with his environment as he jumps from platforms and solves puzzles. Ori is faced with enemies as he makes his way to restoring the forest. The player helps Ori collect health shards, energy shards, new abilities, and upgrades. Beside Ori is Sein who is the light and eyes of the Spirit Tree.
In addition to save points scattered in the game, players can create “soul links” at any time they choose to serve as checkpoints. However, soul links can only be created using special resources collected during gameplay; the needed resources are not in abundant supply, forcing players to create them only when necessary.