Prey is an action-adventure game with role-playing elements and strong narrative played from a first-person perspective. The player takes the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard a space station with numerous species of hostile aliens known collectively as the Typhon. The player is able to select certain attributes of Morgan, including gender, and decisions made by the player that affects elements of the game's story. To survive, the player must collect and use weapons and resources aboard the station to fend off and defeat the aliens. According to creative director Raphael Colantonio, the station is completely continuous rather than having separate levels or missions, at times requiring the player to return to areas they previously explored. The player is also able to move around the outside of the station in zero gravity and find shortcuts connecting parts of the station. Colantonio also stated that the aliens have an array of different powers that the player-character can gain over time; one such alien has the ability to mimic everyday items such as a chair.