As Pocket Stations were never released outside of Japan, international PlayStation owners could not play this game, but its connection to the main game was still programmed into every localization of Final Fantasy VIII, so it is possible to play the game by buying a Pocket Station from Japan. Chocobo World was ported and included in the PC version of Final Fantasy VIII, including the 2013 re-release, where Chocobo World is playable directly from the launcher after booting up Final Fantasy VIII.
Chocobo World comprises of black and white pixel graphics. The game can be played exclusively, but is intended as a minigame to Final Fantasy VIII. To play in conjunction with Final Fantasy VIII, the player must find Boko in the world of Final Fantasy VIII. This accomplished, the player is permanently given a user interface for communicating between the two virtual worlds where the player may send Boko into Chocobo World to gain experience and collect items, which are transferred back to Final Fantasy VIII.
The game uses directional keys to move Boko north (up), and south (down) respectively. Another button on the Pocket Station opens the menu screen, while the PC version uses the CTRL button.
In Chocobo World, Boko perpetually wanders around a nondescript landscape in search of "events" to interact with, such as enemy battles, friendly encounters with Moomba and Cactuar, and "special" events. Depending on how the player sets the "Move" option, Boko may break from his path to navigate to the nearest event perpendicular to his direction of travel. Players can turn off the "Event Wait" option, eliminating the need for player input to advance, although choosing this option prevents Boko from encountering special events. At any time, players can intervene and halt Boko's movement in favor of manually controlling him.
Events are shown on the map as black dots, while Boko's location is represented by a flickering black dot. When an event is cleared, it vanishes from the map, only to be replaced by another in a random location. When Boko gains a level of experience through battling enemies, the map resets and randomly redistributes events across the world.
Battles are the most common event the player encounters in Chocobo World. Upon confronting an enemy, the player is thrust into the battle screen. Once engaged in battle, the player's only option is to fight until either the enemy or Boko is defeated. Combatant health is represented by numerical hit points (HP) displayed on the far sides of the playing screen; whoever's count of hit points reaches zero first loses the battle. Combat relies on a variant of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system featured in Final Fantasy VIII.
Boko and his opponent each have a time counter; the first combatant's counter to reach zero is allowed to attack, upon which both time counters reset and the process repeats itself. By alternately pressing the left and right buttons, players can speed up Boko's time counter, reducing the time required for him to attack. Upon winning a battle, Boko receives a magic stone which is randomly placed on a tic-tac-toe-style board. If three stones line up in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row, Boko gains a level of experience, which increases his hit point count in Chocobo World and his strength in Final Fantasy VIII. If Boko is levelled up to level 100 in the Steam version, the player earns the trophy Top Level Boko.
If the player finds MiniMog within Chocobo World, he will assist Boko in battle as a last resort, i.e., if Boko himself is defeated, Mog will attack the enemy with an attack similar to the Limit Break in Final Fantasy games. If Mog's attack fails to defeat the enemy, he leaves his partner and Boko loses the battle. After losing any battle, Boko must rest to restore his hit points, but the player is allowed to continue the game without penalty.
In some events, Boko is approached by Moomba, who gives his friend a weapon. A weapon is a series of four numbers that determines Boko's attacking power. During battle, the computer randomly chooses one of the four digits on the weapon number to determine the damage Boko inflicts, or, the number his attack subtracts from the enemy's hit point count. If, for example, the weapon is 8531, then Boko's damage dealt to the enemy will be randomly chosen from the digits "8", "5", "3", and "1".
The following enemies are fought:
Players can have their chicobos battle each other using the Pocket Station's optical communication function.
Another event in Chocobo World involves Cactuar finding items for Boko. Cactuar appears on the event screen and gives Boko one of four items, labeled A, B, C, and D. Although these items are useless in Chocobo World, they can be imported to the world of Final Fantasy VIII to be accessed in the player's item inventory. Depending on the player's rank, the probability of Cactuar finding D rank items is greatest, but they are among the most common items in Final Fantasy VIII (e.g. basic status recovery items). Conversely, the probability of Cactuar finding A rank items is lowest, but they are very rare items.
It is possible to exploit the game and duplicate items, although this is done much more easily in the PC-version.
On the World Map, accessible in the menu screen, there are black dots strewn around, representing Events.
These events include:
|Battle||Boko faces up against an enemy, which are either a Red Bat, a Blobra, or a Creeps. When Boko wins, a stone will be placed in a 3x3 grid. When there are three stones placed in a row, Boko will level up. If Boko loses - HP depleted to 0 - Boko will automatically sleep to replenish his HP.|
|Meet Moomba||Moomba will bring weapons - which is the digit used when Boko attacks an enemy. The player may either take the weapon Moomba brought and replace the old weapon, or reject Moomba's weapon and keep the old one.|
|Meet Cactuar||Cactuar will bring random items, categorized as A, B, C, or D. A are the best items, while D are common items. These can be transferred to the Final Fantasy VIII as usable items; A rank can include Chocobo World exclusive items, such as Mog's Amulet that teaches the MiniMog command to a Guardian Force, and Friendship that summons Moomba in battle.|
|Meet Koko||A female chicobo may be encountered after Boko reaches Level 20, in which he will power up his attacks when summoned in Final Fantasy VIII using Gysahl Greens. Boko will meet Koko three times, where ChocoFire will be upgraded to ChocoFlare, then to ChocoMeteor and finally into ChocoBocle.|
|Meet MiniMog||MiniMog will be found and after being found will help Boko in battles. He will also appear randomly to give stones for Boko to level up.|
|Meet Demon King||The final event when Boko reaches Level 100 is that the Demon King will kidnap Koko and Boko must rescue her. Saving Koko will grant Boko's strongest attack in Final Fantasy VIII, the ChocoBocle.|
|Other events||If the game is left on standby, Boko will rest to replenish his HP and may do things like watching TV, sleeping, fishing, or playing with Moomba.|
Boko, MiniMog, Moomba, and Cactuar are friends with each other. One day, MiniMog decided to find a treasure in Scary Mountain, and left for it alone. When MiniMog failed to return, the three friends decided to rescue MiniMog. As Boko led the quest, Moomba went out to search for weapons while Cactuar searched for items. During their quest Boko saves MiniMog and meets a female chicobo called Koko, who gives him a kiss. Koko is kidnapped by the evil Demon King whom Boko must defeat to save his girlfriend.
Despite being made for Final Fantasy VIII, Chocobo World uses music from Final Fantasy VII. Its battle theme is taken from the intro of "Hurry Up!" while the victory fanfare is a snippet of the game's "Fanfare".