Use the controller's d-pad to move your chosen character around. The options menu allows you to change what each button does, if you don't like the default layout. By pressing and holding the L or R buttons, you can hold the direction you are currently moving in -if you try going in the opposite direction, you will not turn around, but instead walk backwards.
This game is a scrolling beat 'em up. The objective is simple: enemies will come onto the screen and you need to defeat them. Clearing one wave of enemies lets you move on through a level where you'll encounter more thugs. At the end of each level there is a boss who must be beaten to move on. Use every move at your disposal (see the characters page for how to do them) and every weapon you can find to win. You can tell how much health an enemy has as when you start attacking them their life bar appears beneath yours.
There are four different weapons in Final Fight 3: nunchaku, clubs, pipes and hammers. To pick up a weapon, move over it and press the attack button. Any character can use any weapon, but each of the four characters has a preferred weapon. Guy is best with the nunchaku, Haggar excels with the pipe, Lucia is good with the club and the weapon of choice for Dean is the hammer. If you take a hit whilst holding a weapon, you'll drop it. Sometimes you can pick the weapon back up, but other times it will vanish.
The hammer is unique among all of the weapons, as it can only be used for one attack -your character will throw it at enemies.
If you are surrounded by enemies, either press the A button or press the Y and B buttons together to perform a special attack. Special attacks will hit enemies either side of you, but at a price: you will lose a little bit of health whenever you use one.
New to Final Fight 3 are super attacks. To use a super attack you must full up the super attack gauge, located at the bottom left (player one) or bottom right (player two) of the screen. You can fill this gauge up by attacking enemies, and it will say "SUPER" once full. You then have a short amount of time to use your character's super attack, before the gauge resets. Super attacks do large amounts of damage to enemies and you can find how to do them on the characters page. When you use a super attack, the gauge will reset.
To run, double tap left or right and then hold it. To stop running, let go of the held direction. Whilst running you can perform a short back dash by double tapping the opposite direction you are running in.
When holding an enemy, press down and the Y button to get behind them. This puts you in position to use different throws on the opponent.
If you are knocked down, your character will eventually get up. However, if you mash the attack and jump buttons, your character will get up much faster. You will sometimes need to do this, as the Andores have an attack they can use on you when you are knocked down.
Throughout the game you'll come across objects to break open, such as barrels. Doing this will reveal items, such as food (which will refill your health gauge when collected) and points items. Move over an item and press the attack button to collect it.
If you run out of lives, the continue screen will be shown and you have a few seconds to continue. If you do continue you'll be given a short amount of time to select a character. The game gives you 5 credits, with each credit giving your 5 lives. Continuing will start you at the beginning of the current round you were on.