Rayman Origins is a side-scrolling platformer, where up to four players can join in for local co-op. Players can choose to control Rayman, Globox or one of two Teensies, with additional costumes available as the game progresses.
Players travel through each level, fighting enemies, collecting floating creatures called Lums and rescuing imprisoned Electoons. There are also Skull Coins placed in hidden or dangerous areas for those looking for an extra challenge. As the game progresses, players gain new abilities such as running up walls, gliding in midair, swimming and shrinking in size to reach new areas. Certain segments also see players riding a giant mosquito and shooting at enemies similar to a side-scrolling shmup. If a character is hit by an enemy or obstacle, he will inflate into a ballooned state until another player can bring him back into the game by slapping him, similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, although players can collect hearts that will protect them from one hit. However, if all players are inflated simultaneously, or if the character is killed during single-player, play returns to the last checkpoint.
In order to progress through certain parts of the story, players need to free Electoons. The most common way to get Electoons is to free them from cages; there is one at the end of each level, with more to be found in hidden areas. More Electoons can be earned by collecting a certain amount of Lums within a level and clearing Time Trials that are unlocked after clearing certain levels once. Scoring high marks in either of these challenges can also earn medals and trophies. Collecting enough Electoons allows players to unlock special Tricky Treasure levels, in which they must chase a runaway treasure chest across a dangerous course in order to receive a Skull Tooth. Collecting all ten Teeth grants access to the extra-hard Land of the Livid Dead level.