Ziriax is a side-scrolling shoot em' up that plays similarly to other side-scrolling shoot 'em ups such as games from the R-Type and Gradius series. The game consists of five stages with a boss fight at the end of each stage, with the final two stages being much lengthier than the first three. Throughout the stages there are many enemy ships and stationary weapons that fire projectiles. Some enemies drop small spherical objects that, when collected, provide power ups such as providing the player with a mini ship that provides an extra stream of fire. These mini ships are placed vertically to the player's ship and one ship can be placed on each side of the player's ship. Other power ups gives the player the ability to not only shoot forwards but backwards as well, and another power up gives the player the ability to fire two missiles diagonally.