The 4-keys mode, where the three black keys were played automatically, was removed for Beatmania IIDX 3rd Style and was replaced with a Light7 difficulty. Beatmania IIDX 3rd Style also introduced Free Mode and Extra Stage
Different software versions of the game are referred to as 'styles', with the different IIDX styles varying mainly in their songlists and graphical interfaces.
The controls across all of the different styles remain the same, with the Beatmania IIDX cabinet controls consisting of two turntables, and two keyboards each with seven keys. This is a main difference between the original Beatmania and the Beatmania II series, with the Beatmania keyboard only consisting of 5 buttons per player. Other notable features of the Beatmania IIDX cabinet are the widescreen 16:9 display; and the powerful speakers and bass platform that vibrates beneath the player's feet.
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.