Anyone can play Happy Wheels online as long as they understand the damage system of the game. It is built around injuries, mixing traditional platform gaming with racer and puzzle elements. It uses an animation system that allows characters to hold a limited number of poses. Complex animations like climbing, walking and standing are rather difficult with the Box2D physics engine that the game uses.
Players simply control their characters to pass obstacles in the various levels they get to submit, with as little injuries as possible. The control system is easy, with the up arrow being for forward movement, and the right and left arrows for balance. Precision is paramount as leaning in one direction for too long can result in the player being shattered. This play of the balance is part of the fun in this action game.
The players of the racer are always at greater risk of getting injuries, which adds to the thrill and addictiveness. The injuries happen in a physics world and are rendered with enough detail to make them so realistic that they manage to create a dark humor. For instance, a player can make a poor landing and end up with bust ankles. Likewise, they may bash their head onto something, which results in the helmet splitting and falling off the head.
To play Happy Wheels online, a player drags or is dragged by another across wild obstacles from behind a Segway. Some levels assign the player a character and the context, while others operate on purely imaginative courses. The more injuries the character gets, the trickier it becomes to complete the obstacle level, and the more fun the game becomes.