Happy Wheels is a browser game that makes use of realistic physics. It features several characters that use various kinds of vehicles in each course or level. The goal of the game depends on the level the user is playing, but most levels task players to collect tokens or reach a designated finish line. The characters include a guy in a wheelchair, Lawnmower Man, Pogostick Man, a couple on a moped, and even Santa Claus.
Players begin the game by first selecting a course. The available courses include the Obstacle Course, Rope Swings, Gut Bus Extreme, TrapTrac, and BMX Park, among others. The levels vary and their names indicate what to expect, adding to the challenge. The game is known for its violent graphics, in which riders may fall into a gruesome, bloody death should players fail to keep them on track. Dismemberment is common, as are blood spatters and other gory graphics. After selecting a course, players then pick their character. Each of the characters in Happy Wheels has his or her own special move that makes them increase in speed. The move would depend on the vehicle or other apparatus the character has.
The game also comes with a level editor that enables players to make their own levels and upload these to a public server to be downloaded by other players.