Players control their own tank, competing with other players in various game modes, including Capture the Flag, Control Points, Deathmatch, and Team Deathmatch. The game features crystals as an in-game currency, which players can obtain through various means such as winning matches, through microtransactions, opening containers or collect "Gold Boxes" which are occasionally dropped in battles. Gold boxes and Containers can also be obtained through microtransactions and completing missions. These crystals can be exchanged for various items and upgrades to the player's tank like hulls, turrets, protection modules, paints, alterations for the turret/hull etc. Tanks can also receive minor and major upgrades to the hulls, turrets, etc. The game also implements a rank-system, which offers players access to new equipment for their tank and matches with other high-ranked players and a clan-system, used to create Clan vs. Clan battles. Players can also invite friends to a battle using the friend list, but this can only be done in pro battles now with release of the "Match Making System"
Each user, when registering on Tanki Online, had to pick a nickname — there are millions of users currently registered and each one of them has his / her own personalized nickname!
They may refer to famous people, famous books, films, comics, etc..., they may refer to invented fantasies made by users or even exist only thanks to random pressing keys on a keyboard — what is important to note is that each nickname is part of an user's career in Tanki Online and all his / her friends will address him / her with it!