Wayfarer of Time features an isometric perspective and a “traditional RPG” style exploration in towns, dungeons and world map that are very similar to the original Growlanser. Enemies can be seen on the world map and they can be avoided. Each dungeon has a unique, fixed layout (with the exception of the “bonus dungeon”, which is randomly generated).
The equipment system is markedly different from most RPGs. Characters can equip two pieces of armor, one being a “Ring Weapon”. In the Growlanser series, a Ring Weapon is a new technology where magic rings transform into different weapons depending on the user’s personality. Players find these rings often after the defeat of an enemy and can equip different rings for different stat bonuses and different gem-equip slots. There are over 100 types of gems that cause various beneficial effects such as adding extra attacks, more elemental defenses, or increasing range or adding spells to the character’s repertoire. These gems all have an innate level and that level must match or be lower than the slot available in the Ring weapon to be equipped. Each Ring Weapon only has 3 gem-slots with a level of 0-9 for each slot to equip the respective level gems. Additionally, a gem’s color must match the color of a ring slot. A gem can be equipped into any given slot, however, penalties are incurred if the gem has a skill that can be learned.
There are 11 potential playable characters, but there is a four-member party limit in battles. The fate system allow players to save some characters from death based on their decisions and ultimately unlock some additional endings.
Like other games in the Growlanser series, Wayfarer of Time features some dating sim elements. The player can improve or damage the protagonist’s relationship with others based on the conversation options chosen and what decisions they make in the game. A character’s portrait in the status menu gives how good their relationship is with the player character; the happier they look, the better their relationship. Also, the familiars have the ability to see the party members’ opinions of the protagonist. Wayfarer of Time features a new vacation system where players spend time with their party members to form close friendships or pursue romances. Completing a character’s back-story quest will unlock features such as ultimate armors skills and one of the 40 possible endings