Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades features a path through time, offering five songs for each decade. The game includes many differences from Guitar Hero On Tour, such as new venues, songs, and returning characters, Midori and Clive Winston. Venues change the way you play the game. For example, for the '00s stage, players play on New Year's Eve in NYC, playing songs by bands like Linkin Park and Jimmy Eat World. All songs in this game are, like Guitar Hero World Tour, Master Tracks, no covers. The game will also automatically unlock the career difficulty below the one that you're working on -- in other words, if you start with Hard and complete a song, you'll also be credited with the Easy and Medium difficulty levels of that song as well. Before heading into venues, you have to choose the three different storylines in your career path: lead guitar, bass/rhythm, and guitar duels. The two-player Duel mode returns, and you can play against any DS version of Guitar Hero, and, using wireless communications, you can transfer songs and play multiplayer on that song - but as far as Vicarious Visions is concerned, you can't keep that song for Quickplay.
The gameplay in Decades remains primarily unchanged from On Tour. The core game is a score attack music game, in which the player must attempt the notes of a guitar track of various rock songs. The game uses a "Guitar Grip", either as bundled with the game or from On Tour, that is inserted into the Game Boy Advance slot of a Nintendo DS or DS Lite; the peripheral is incompatible with the Nintendo DSi. The Grip provides four buttons, and the player "strums" by using a guitar pick-shaped stylus on the touch screen. The strumming detection has been improved in response to complaints from the first game.
Decades provides an improved career mode that a player can follow for either lead guitar or bass/rhythm guitar, as well as a "Guitar Duel" career mode. Both careers will present songs in reverse chronological order, starting with Modern hits and ending with classic rock songs.
Decades can be played with another player over the DS's local wireless capabilities. Additionally, a Decades player can play with another player using On Tour, allowing any song from either setlist to be selected.
see: List of Guitar Hero characters
There are five venues in Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades. Modern, 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, and 1970's. There are five songs at each venue