In Duck Hunt, players shoot ducks that appear on the screen. The ducks appear one or two at a time, and the player is given three shots to shoot them down before they disappear. The player receives points upon shooting each duck. If the player shoots the required number of ducks in a single round, the player will advance to the next round; otherwise, the player will receive a game over.
The difficulty increases as the player advances to higher rounds; targets will move faster and the minimum number of targets to shoot will increase. The player receives points upon shooting a target and will also receive bonus points for shooting all ten targets in a single round. Duck hunt keeps track of the players' highest score for all games played in a single session; it is lost, however, upon shutting the game off.