Soulcalibur IV features the Story, Arcade, Training and Museum modes. A new mode called Tower of Lost Souls requires the player to win battles in order to gain rewards.
Character Creation from Soulcalibur III returns in Soulcalibur IV. Instead of including original weapon styles for use with certain classes of fighters, Soulcalibur IV now only allows players to choose which character from the series they would like to have their created character mimic. This differs from Soulcalibur III which had many unique styles such as "Grieve Edge". Algol, the bonus characters and the Star Wars guest characters cannot have their styles used by player created characters.
A wide array of new pieces of equipment are available for use in Soulcalibur IV's Character Creation mode, and new options include a wider range of character voices and the ability to change their pitch. The player may also change a character's general physique and muscularity.