In the Arcade and DS game, there are 3 different signs. They are Rock, Paper and Scissors. If you choose the stronger sign, you win the battle against the opposing dinosaur and attack them, lowering their life gauge. However, your own life gauge will lower if they choose the stronger sign or if there is a tie, in which both players' life gagues are lowered. This continues until one player's life gauge is empty.
RockEditRock beats Scissors, but loses to Paper. When you win with this sign, your dinosaur swings around and knocks over your opponent with its tail (Default move).
PaperEditPaper beats Rock, but loses to Scissors. When you win with this sign, your dinosaur flips your opponent up, and they land a distance away (Default move).
ScissorsEditScissors beats Paper, but loses to Rock. When you win with this sign, your dinosaur rushes forward, smashing into your opponent, sending them skidding a distance away before collapsing (Default move).
This sign corresponds only to six Super Moves from the arcade game, 1 from each element. These Moves are stronger than most others, and can only be used under certain conditions, usually occuring at random moments in a match. They are Crimson Flame, Gaia Mountain, Inazuma Phalanx (Final Thunder), Dino Force, Air Raid Storm, and Neptune Stream. Those Move Cards with the Special sign count as the Move for the Dinosaur's individual Critical Move sign. This sign has no function outside of the arcade game.
All Arcade Dinosaurs and Moves have a corresponding Rock-Paper-Scissors sign.
All dinosaurs have an Attack stat for each of the three signs (not the Power stat, and only visible on certain card versions). Two of them are typically equal, and the third one is the highest—this corresponds to the sign of the dinosaur, and is called that dinosaur's "Critical Move".
Move Card signs correspond to which ones can be used. During an arcade battle, your dinosaur can only have access to a maximum of 3 Moves, and each one has to have a different Rock-Paper-Scissors sign regardless of how many are used. Move Cards are swiped in the machine after swiping the Dinosaur Card. Some Moves only trigger when winning with their Sign, but others are instead based on winning/losing regardless of Sign.
A Secret Dinosaur's three unique Moves, although they don't have separate cards, also have Signs; they are unlocked by swiping a Normal Move Card of the same Sign that specifies a recommended Technique.
Ultimate Moves (any "built-in" Moves that can only be used by a dinosaur in their armored form) have no sign, and do not count towards the 3-Move maximum.
All TCG Dinosaurs have Signs (called "Icons" in TCG terminology). When one attacks another, their Signs are compared. Whichever one is losing has the chance to use a Move Card first (they don't have to, but this is their only chance), then the one that won can use a Move Card (they don't have to, but this is their only chance). The advantage to winning at Rock-Paper-Scissors is that you know whether or not you need to use a Move (if there's no way you can win, you don't have to waste a card). In a tie, the attacker uses one first.
Very few TCG Moves have Signs, and no Normal Moves do. Those Move Cards that do have Signs (only Super Moves) can only be used by a Dinosaur of the same Element and Sign. They are either stronger than Moves with no Signs, or they are just as strong but with abilities to boot.
The Rock-Paper-Scissors framework has no appearance or effect in the anime, except that the Center Stone and the triangular Velociraptor Multiple Move card created by Seth feature the arcade's three-dot triangular arrangement of the Signs on them.
- Real life logic is used to ruin the fun by considering these conditions:
- Whenever an ankylosaurid (Earth Dinosaurs) uses the Rock default move, it would almost certainly break the bones of the opponent with its club tail. If it's a stegosaur, then the opponent's face should be jabbed to death by the thagomizer.
- All dinosaurs are not physically fit to use the Paper default move. The weight of each dinosaur shows that it is clearly not possible to throw an opponent midair. This is most evident with the sauropods (Water Dinosaurs).
- Whenever an opponent faces a ceratopsian (Lightning Dinosaurs) and uses the Scissors default move, it would be dangerous to charge in straight into them (like the animation depicts) since the sharp horns of some ceratopsians may stab into the opponent's head, perhaps killing it. Even if this charge was successful, there would be a slim chance that this action would be successful since the charging dinosaur will have to face the impact and have the energy to counter the ceratopsian's defense and push it back.