Beatmania 3rd Mix includes 13 new songs and a variety of modes including Expert Mode, Double Play, Hidden Play, Mirror Play and Random Play.
Beatmania features innovative controls that aim to emulate a real life DJ. The machine has 5 rectangular buttons for the keyboard, and a turntable which can be 'turned' and 'scratched'. Beatmania 3rd Mix can be played by two players simultaneously, with a separate keyboard and turntable for each player.
The gameplay involves the player selecting a song, with the player then having to match the notes by pressing the keys and scratching the turntable in time with the music. Each game consists of a set number of songs of various difficulties, and each song must attain a certain degree of satisfaction from the audience in order to progress to the next.