Nickelodeon characters are pitted against each other, fighting until there is only one combatant left standing.
All characters share the same basic control mechanisms:
- Up arrow key — Jump
- Up arrow key + "X" — Jump attack
- Down arrow key — Block enemy attack
- Left arrow key — Walk leftward
- Right arrow key — Walk rightward
- "Z" — Punch
- "X" — Kick
On the other hand, every character has a distinct "special attack". For the most part, special attacks have controls different from one another. These controls are as follows:
- Aang — Left arrow key + right arrow key + "X"
- Bessie Higgenbottom — Left arrow key + left arrow key + "Z"
- Danny Phantom — Left arrow key + left arrow key + "Z"
- Dr. Blowhole — Down arrow key + down arrow key + "X"
- Fanboy — Left arrow key + left arrow key + "Z"
- King Julien — Left arrow key + left arrow key + "X"
- Otis — Down arrow key + down arrow key + "X"
- Patrick Star — Down arrow key + down arrow key + "X"
- Rico — Down arrow key + down arrow key + "Z"
- SpongeBob — Down arrow key + right arrow key + "X"
- Timmy — Left arrow key + left arrow key + "Z"
Training mode offers players a chance to familiarize themselves with Jingle Brawl's arguably complex character controls. Unlike the other modes of the game, training mode allows only for the player to test his or her character's moves against a punching bag. The punching bag cannot be defeated and may be hit as many times as the player sees fit, never taking any damage.
Arcade mode consists of three rounds between two characters: one controlled by the player and the other by the computer. Both characters are chosen before the first round begins and cannot be changed until all three rounds (or two if the situation permits) have been completed.
The three rounds are each timed; ninety-nine seconds take up one round. Each character has a health meter, and the meter shows how much more damage can be taken before a character is defeated. Upon defeat, the round will end in favor of the opposite character. However, if no character has been felled by his or her opponent by the completion of the ninety-nine seconds, the round's winner is determined by whom had the most health at the end of the round.
The winner of the brawl is him who wins the most individual rounds. If a character wins the first two-out-of-three rounds, then that character has already won, bypassing the third round. If this is not the case, then the third round acts as a tiebreaker.
Tournament mode follows the same rules as arcade mode, except for the fact that if the player's character wins his or her battle against his or her opponent, a new battle begins against another randomly chosen character immediately afterward. Battles ensue until either the player character wins five battles and therefore the tournament, or until the player character loses two or more rounds in any battle.
- Any character overview page (the page which displays a character's controls) is susceptible to having its respective character freeze suddenly mid-motion.
- The image of Aang used on the Jingle Brawl title card is the same one that was originally seen on another Avatar game's title card, Quest Creator's.
- When Aang wins a tournament or defeats his opponent in arcade mode, he performs a victory dance similar to one which he demonstrated in "The Headband".