Geometry Dash can be played with a touchscreen, keyboard, mouse, or controller (depending on the platform). The player uses the jump function to control the movement of their icon. To jump, the player can press on the screen on touchscreen devices, hit the spacebar or up arrow on a keyboard, left-click with a mouse, or press A on a controller. The player can hold down the jump to constantly interact with certain vehicles.
The objective of the game is to complete a level by reaching its end. Notably, if the player crashes into an obstacle, the level restarts from the beginning except in Practice Mode. Users cannot control the speed at which the icon is moving. The timing and rhythm of the in-game music are key parts of the game, often in relation to each other.
In the game, the player's icon takes the form of one of seven different vehicles, each of which behaves differently with each interaction. In the default cube form, the player taps to jump from the ground and holds to make repeated jumps. In the ship, the player holds to move up and releases to move down. With the ball, the user taps to switch gravity from the ground. In the UFO, the player taps to jump in mid-air. With the wave, the player holds to move up diagonally and releases to move down diagonally. With the robot, the player holds to make a long jump from the ground, and releases to stop the jump. With the spider, the player taps to flip gravity and teleport to the nearest floor or ceiling. The same applies to the mini forms except for the mini-wave, where it moves at an angle of 62.5 degrees.
Player movement is further complicated by portals, which allow the player to change between vehicles, reverse the direction of gravity, change the size of their vehicle, or mirror the direction of their movement. Furthermore, pads and orbs provide the player the ability to jump automatically or mid-air.