There are three basic modes in Takeda, each providing a different style of play while making use of a common "Battle Engine," interface, and environment.

Historical Battle Mode allows the player to choose and play out a specific battle from history. These battles focus on a single confrontation, and enable the player to have quick games without having to worry about diplomatic complications, long term concerns, or other factors external to combat. Battle notes present the historical setting and resolution of each encounter, providing strategic insights and points of interest from which the player can learn.

Head to Head Mode is a two player version of Historical Battle Mode, in which two players engage each other via modem, network, or the Internet. Each player's performance is recorded in Head-to-Head mode, allowing for tournament style play and on going clan versus clan confrontations.

Campaign Mode is the primary single player mode of the game. It consists of a series of battles that take place according to a complex non-linear plot based on the real events of Takeda Shingen's life. The player's path through the plot tree will depend on the outcome of each battle, and on the diplomatic and strategic decisions he or she makes in response to game events. The player must choose allies carefully to survive the volatile political climate of feudal Japan.

Through successive campaigns, the player's Military, Political, and Economic status will change, affecting the strength and reputation of the Takeda family. It will be possible, if the player is careful and lucky, for the Takeda family to conquer and unite all of Japan. It will also be possible for the player to follow Takeda Shingen's actual life and the events leading up to (and following) his death. Of course, a variety of distinct endings are possible. This means that the player can enjoy campaign mode repeatedly, without following the same plot path.

In all three modes, the focus of game-play is realistic battle strategy. There is no resource development in Takeda, freeing the player to concentrate completely on the challenges of warfare instead of on building communities or out-competing the opponent. Likewise, the player does not control individual units, but rather divisions of the army that act as single cooperative entities that work intelligently toward defeating the enemy. The player must use formations, the chain of command, and creative problem solving in order to succeed.