Asphalt 7: Heat is an entry in the arcade racing series and the gameplay is largely identical to the previous games. The game offers 150 events over fifteen tracks. Some of the locations were previously featured in Asphalt 6: Adrenaline (Havana, Nassau, Moscow, New Orleans, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai and Tokyo) while others are entirely new (Alps, London, Hawaii, Miami and Paris). There are 80 licensed cars available divided over seven tiers. Game modes include a career mode, and the single race mode where any race at any level can be accessed directly.
Similar to the previous game race results are awarded with up to five stars along with the completion of primary and secondary objectives. The game also encourages social sharing after completing a race. Stars are used to open up unlocks but in-app purchases for car packs and power-ups are also available. On mobile devices the game can be controlled by tilting the device for steering along with auto-acceleration. Tapping the left side of the screen activates braking and tapping the right side activates boost. Drifting is done by tapping the brake while turning and another tap stops the drift. Other types of control schemes without tilt are also available. Nitro is collected through drifts, pick-ups and other maneuvers such as avoiding traffic. Nitro is built up in a three-tier system and can be activated in steps. When the meter is entirely full the nitro darkens the environment as the car goes at maximum speed. Successful races usually require mastering drifts, ramming rivals and using short-cuts. Multiplayer is available locally through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and online multiplayer is supported as well, but only after setting up and logging into a Gameloft online account.
This is the first version in the series where the iPhone and iPad version are identical. For Windows Phone it is one of the first games for the platform to offer real-time multiplayer instead of asynchronous.