Each machine costs ¥100 to operate. The console itself features only two buttons: one on the left, which glows red when in use, and one on the right, which glows blue. Upon starting a player can choose between two game modes, which varied depending on the latest TCG expansion. Each game mode consists of three rounds lasting between 15 and 30 seconds, with the main objective of adding Poké Balls to the gauge at the bottom of the screen. A player can accumulate a maximum of 15 Poké Balls over the three rounds, and he or she may also acquire higher-grade Poké Balls by performing well in a particular round. After all three rounds are complete the machine dispenses three cards, which can be collected from the opening at the bottom of the machine. Amassing more Poké Balls and earning Great Balls or Ultra Balls all increase the chance of obtaining a rare card.
Pokémon Card Game Gacha was first available to play shortly after the release of the Rising Fist expansion, and offered two game modes. The console software was usually updated following the release of an expansion, changing the game modes available to play; however, the cards stocked did not always immediately follow suit. The dual Fever-Burst Fighter and Cruel Traitor expansion, released on June 17, 2016, was the final set to be supported. The table below summarises the game modes present for the duration of each expansion:
Poké Crane (Japanese: ポケクレーン) allows a player to control a crane in attempt to gather Poké Balls, mimicking traditional claw crane games. At the start of each round, the player can use the left button to move the crane further to the right from its starting position, and the right button to confirm their choice. The crane will then drop, and the player will be prompted to repeatedly press the left and right buttons in effort to fill up the gauge that appears. The more the gauge is filled, the more Poké Balls the crane will pick up, as well as increasing the chance of picking up a higher-grade Poké Ball amongst them. Typically, the maximum amount of balls that can be captured per round is five. The captured balls are then deposited and added to the Poké Ball gauge on the bottom of the screen.
Poké Slot (Japanese: ポケスロット) operates in much the same way as a conventional slot machine game, in that the aim in each round is to attempt to match the scrolling images on each of the three reels. Images can be matched horizontally and diagonally, and matching at least one set of images will activate Fever, adding at least four or five balls to the Poké Ball gauge. The four images in Poké Slot comprise Pikachu, Inkay, Victini, and a Poké Ball. Pikachu and Inkay provide no additional Fever bonus, while Fever with Poké Balls will change all images into one Pokémon, with an increased chance of including a higher-grade ball on the Poké Ball gauge. Lining up two Victini will activate Victory Chance, and prompt the player to press the left and right buttons in attempt to fill the presented gauge. Filling up the gauge enough will increase the probability of achieving Fever with Victini, which will include at least one higher-grade ball on those added to the Poké Ball gauge.
At the start of each round in Poké Fishing (Japanese: ポケフィッシング), the player automatically casts a line and a shadow will drift around on the lake before going for the bait. Once this happens, a gauge with a sliding Poké Ball will appear and the game will prompt the player to press one of the two console buttons in effort to keep the Poké Ball as close to the center of the gauge as possible. The left button slides the Poké Ball right and the right button slides it left. The direction and speed at which the Poké Ball slides is random. After 15 seconds have elapsed, the player will be prompted to press the left and right buttons simultaneously to reel in 3 Water-type Pokémon (called Get), thereby adding four or five balls to the Poké Ball gauge. Finishing a round with the Poké Ball slider close to the center of the gauge will increase the chance of achieving a Big Game Get, which includes at least one higher-grade ball on those added to the Poké Ball gauge. Though purely aesthetic, the possible Pokémon available for capture include Poliwag, Magikarp, Gyarados, Milotic, and Clauncher.
In Poké Hydro Pump (Japanese: ポケハイドロポンプ), the player assumes the role of a Blastoise. A rock is placed in front of Blastoise at the start of each round, and the player will be prompted to repeatedly press the left and right buttons in attempt to fill up the presented gauge as Blastoise uses Hydro Pump on the rock. Upon filling the gauge, the player will be prompted to press the left and right buttons simultaneously for the Last Attack, which will break the rock and release a number of Poké Balls. These Poké Balls are then added to the Poké Ball gauge. A rainbow-colored rock sometimes replaces the regular rock at the start of a round, which has an increased chance of including a higher-grade Poké Ball when broken.