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.
Rock 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).
Paper 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).
Scissors 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 card versions exceeding those in regions that are not Japan). 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.
Secret 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. They, as a matter of fact, can occur with any sign as long as the Dinosaur's armor's charging bar is at maximum and the dinosaur won.
Some Moves are only given a sign with the sole purpose of giving an after-effect to the battle. This means that these Moves, Attack Boost, for example, takes a Sign (Paper, in this instance) but doesn't mean that it requires the assigned Sign to activate it. Super Moves like Volcano Burst, Shockwave, Electric Charge, Earth Barrier, Nature's Blessing, and Cyclone work similarly.
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).
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 triangular Velociraptor Multiple Move card created by Seth features the arcade's three-dot triangular arrangement of the signs on the back.
- Real life logic is used to consider these conditions:
- Whenever an ankylosaur uses the Rock default move, it would almost certainly break the bones of the opponent. 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 to the ceratopsian (like the animation depicts) since the sharp horns of some ceratopsians may jab into the opponent's head, eventually 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 has the energy to counter the ceratopsian's defense and push it back.