ArcheAge is described as a “sandpark” MMORPG, which the developers say is a hybrid of the open content style of a “sandbox” game, and the more structured play experience of a “themepark” game.
Archeage features a zoneless world with third person view. It has a housing system with buildings erected in the world and not in instanced zones, not only the doors but windows of player houses can usually be opened as well. Furniture and other decorative items are available to be placed inside player houses or in their vicinity with some of them being functional (strawmen allow planting in a radius protecting the plants from stealing or such by other players for example). Trees and crops can be planted, watered and harvested/chopped down. Animal husbandry allows cattle, sheep etc. to be tended to and used as resources. Buildings can be destroyed by other players including castles being attacked with siege weapons like cannons etc. City founding is possible by erecting floating city stones which can in turn be attempted to be captured by enemy forces.
There are many options for travel in ArcheAge, besides travel on foot like walking or climbing (ladders, vines, trees ), swimming and personal mounts, personal boats (from rowboats to catamarans to galleons) as well as personal gliders or car like machines like tractors etc. for transport of larger amounts of goods there are predetermined travel routes by airships, taxi-like vehicles and portals too. Travel is fully 3-dimensional in ArcheAge, thus swimming and diving is possible too. The later one can be improved with diving equipment for air, fins etc. and there is underwater planting and harvesting/gathering of resources or underwater treasure hunting.
Some mounts allow to backpack another player upon invitation as can boats be used to transport other players with one player acting as driver. Ships need one captain who steers the ship while other player can just be transported or – if the ship is equipped accordingly – man cannons for naval or sea-land battles or fights against sea monsters like a giant kraken. Sea creatures or other ships can be harpooned from accordingly equipped boats too. ArcheAge has a pet system with pets being bought as babys and trained to grow into mounts or battle companions for example. Pets/mounts level with experience gained, acquiring new abilities. They can be killed in battle, resurrected and suffer resurrection disease which can be healed at a stable. Pets/mounts have equipment slots like player characters.
The skill system of ArcheAge is very flexible as one chooses 3 basic skill types from a selection of ten and can thus create ones own “class” which is then level based in improvement. As ArcheAge allows PvP there can be large scale battles with several hundred players having occurred in the Korean Closed Beta. To keep griefing at bay a player run court system with a jail concept is integrated. Criminal players are imprisoned and can pay off their debt by working in the prison or trying to escape through digging their way out etc.
The crafting system in ArcheAge is very extensive with everything from equipment, food, vehicles of all kinds including ships (and their shipyards), buildings, furniture etc. possible to be created by players.
ArcheAge makes use of modern graphics effects like tesselation, ambient occlusion etc. and contains a physics engine. Interaction with the game world from mobile devices is possible too.