Resident Evil – Code: Veronica features survival horror gameplay, similar to previous Resident Evil games. This includes the series signature controls, interface, puzzles, as well as zombies and monsters to battle. Unlike previous games in the series which used pre-rendered backgrounds, Code: Veronica uses real-time 3D environments. Because of this, the camera is more dynamic than in previous games. The camera will follow, pan, and zoom as the player navigates their character through the environment, similar to Capcom's own Dino Crisis (1999). The story is told through cinematic CGI sequences and real-time cutscenes.
One half of Code: Veronica places the player in control of Claire Redfield while the other half is spent with her brother, Chris. Basic character actions include running, attacking, as well as pushing and climbing objects. Items the player collects can be viewed on the status screen. From here, they can be examined to find clues to solve puzzles, and some can also be equipped. Also available in the status screen is a map and file menu. All notes found in the game are saved in game's files and may be essential to solve puzzles. The player can only hold a limited number of items at a given time; other items must be stored in storage boxes located throughout the game.
The player character may receive damage, which can be healed with restore items. Herbs, which restore character health, can be combined with other types of herbs to become more effective. Too much damage will result in a game over. At this point, the game must be continued from the last save point. A partner's death will also result in a game over. Some weapons are better suited for battling certain enemies, some of which have weaknesses to elements like fire or acid. 12–15 Once the main game is cleared once, a "Battle Mode" is unlocked. This is a minigame in which the player character is given infinite ammo and places them in various locations from the main game with different enemies. In addition to the Redfield siblings, this mode allows the player to control supporting character Steve Burnside and antagonist Albert Wesker, as well as a version of Claire in a new wardrobe.