In Waveform, the player controls a particle of light on a mission from the outer reaches of the solar system to the sun. Instead of controlling the particle directly, the amplitude and frequency of its wave pattern can be changed with the mouse. Stretching and shrinking its path is necessary to collect photons, avoid dark matter, and go through light gates, which increase the point multiplier and score. As the player progresses through the solar system, they encounter mirrors, wormholes, asteroids, gas clouds, fireworks, and particle accelerators that can change the particle's path, clear away obstacles, or destroy the particle outright. The photon path also becomes trickier, forcing the player to change their wavelength mid-arc to collect them and avoid damage.