Evolve is an action video game with a focus on both co-operative, and competitive, multiplayer gameplay. The game adapts a 4v1 asymmetrical structure where four players take control of the Hunters, while the fifth player controls the Monster. The Hunters' main objective is to track and hunt the Monster in a limited amount of time, while the Monster's goal is to evolve and make themselves more powerful.
In the beginning of a match, a 30-second headstart is given to the Monster so that they can have enough time to escape before the Hunters parachute from a plane to where the Monster started. Each map features an open world environment for players to explore and play within. To help the Hunters navigate the environments quickly, they are equipped with jetpacks, allowing them to jump over obstacles and cliffs. The jetpack can also be used to dodge attacks performed by the monster, though it consumes a Hunter's energy. The team can track the monster, as well as place waypoints on an interactive map. The color of these waypoints are different based on what players have marked. The waypoint mark turns yellow for environment, orange for wildlife or red for the Monster.
The Monster needs to grow stronger in order to fight the Hunters by hunting and killing other local wildlife in order to gain experience points. When it gains enough experience, the Monster can evolve. Through evolution, the Monster's health bar is extended and refilled, and more abilities are available to the Monster, which makes it easier to kill the Hunters. However, the Monster is vulnerable during its evolution, and if caught by the hunters, the process is disrupted. The Monster can also enter a "stealth mode", allowing it to avoid detection by wildlife and Hunters.