In PixelJunk Shooter, players pilot a subterranean exploration vehicle to explore the interior of diverse cave-like complexes. The player must affect the surrounding and dynamic terrain to progress. The goal is to safely navigate through each vivid stage and rescue survivors scattered about the cavernous environment. Each stage is in-effect a flow simulation whereby the player attempts to control various types of liquid (water, magma, etc) and solid matter (rock, earth) either by destroying it, manipulating it or moving it. These dynamic fluid effects are at the heart of the game's visuals.