In Baldi's Basics, the player must locate all seven notebooks without being caught by their teacher, Baldi. Other students and instructors try to impede the players by forcing them to engage in various activities. Each notebook has three simple arithmetic problems, but the third cannot be solved until the second notebook.As the player continues to fail at impossible questions, Baldi moves faster and is harder to avoid.
Once the player collects all the notebooks, Baldi will seem to congratulate them before shouting at the player to "get out while you still can" (BBC) or "find the exit before he catches you" (BBCR). There are three exits, but only one allows the player to escape, and the player must activate all three before they can use the actual exit.
Players can collect various items around the school, such as a candy bar that helps keep their stamina low for a short time and a soft drink that can be used to shoot characters away. objects, a pair of scissors can temporarily disable some obstacles and other items.