Blood Dragon is a stand-alone expansion of Far Cry 3, meaning players do not need the original game to play it. Gameplay, though akin to Far Cry 3, using the same engine and general mechanics, is streamlined to provide a more linear experience. The skill tree, instead of a chosen path down three "ways of the animal", is replaced with a simpler leveling system that automatically unlocks benefits. The crafting is removed completely.
The gameplay is open world, first-person shooter, with the same vehicles from Far Cry 3. Players will find themselves using high powered explosives, heavily modified firearms, and a large knife in order to kill their way through the main missions. Side missions involve liberating garrisons, killing rare animals, and saving hostages. Stealth is rewarded with extra Cyber Points, the equivalent of Experience Points. The game also includes lots of hidden collectibles which, when found, unlock helpful rewards to assist with play.