In this version we see the biggest change to the series yet. The move from 1 on 1 to 2 on 2 fighting, which completely chances the dynamic of the game. Up to 4 players can now play simultaneously.
While the controls remain as the same with twin sticks and the buttons mounted on both sticks, enabling the players to dash, jump and pull off a variety of attacks. The gameplay makes each player constantly watch their six as their is now 2 opponents to battle. The game makes use of the same technology that Virtua Fighter 4 did, being that of the network card system.
For those unaware of this innovation, it's Sega's way of creating a nationwide network of game players for each game. The cards in this case, called "VO4 Pilot License Cards"(see screenshots section for picture), store players individual data, like players score, level achieved, win/loss record, etc. This information is then published on a network, which can be viewed by anyone seeking good competition, or the most popular arcade for that game, etc. Via the network players can also be made aware of tournament dates & other news concerning the game.
For this game when players purchase their V04 card they'll be asked to select one character("Virtualoid"), which makes the game automatically select that character before the start of each game. The game can also be played without the card enabling free selection of characters for the player.