In Yandere Simulator, the main character is always portrayed as a girl. However, some fans have expressed a desire to play as a male character, known as “Yandere-kun”. The developer, while not fond of the idea of a male yandere, has considered programming it as a stretch goal for a future crowdfunding campaign. It is worth noting that the gender of Senpai, the character the player pursues, can be either male or female. Despite the game’s premise, there is no option to interact with Senpai romantically, such as asking them out on dates. The game offers different ways to play, including a pacifist approach where the player avoids violence and a more aggressive approach where they can ruin a girl’s reputation or even get her expelled. Occasionally, students may get stuck on each other or on objects in the game. There is also a unique ending for those who manage to kill all the students in a single day.
In Yandere Simulator, a school uniform will appear in the locker room of the girls’ shower room the following day. Players have the option to focus on boosting their popularity among classmates or to simply eliminate everyone in the game within one day. The game references an investigative journalist in 1989 who looked into a murder committed by a yandere at Akademi. The story mode progresses day by day, with the player having one week to eliminate a rival love interest and a new rival appearing each week. Any boy who likes the same girl as Senpai is considered a rival and vice versa. There is a belief at school that if a girl confesses her love to a boy under the cherry tree on a Friday, they will love each other forever. Senpai will not accept Ayano’s love confession if her reputation is poor. This also applies to rivals; if a rival’s reputation is damaged enough, Senpai will reject them. One of the later rivals in the game is the boss of a group of delinquents, returning to school after being suspended. The way players handle their rivals, whether through bullying or matchmaking, can dramatically affect the game. The choices made by the player will shape the dynamics of Ayano and Senpai’s relationship.
The second important aspect of Yandere Simulator is the ability for players to approach objectives in multiple ways, including using stealth. The game provides a grade at the end based on the player’s actions. The developer acknowledges the need to balance the game’s difficulty and ensure it remains enjoyable for players. In terms of references and influences, Yandere Simulator includes nods to various other sources, such as Kinnikuman. Finally, players have a range of options to take out their rivals, from matchmaking to social sabotage to more violent means like stabbing them.