While in many ways Might and Magic 2 is an updated version of the original, the improved graphics help greatly with navigation, and the interface added several functions that facilitated gameplay, such as a "delay" selector which allowed for faster or slower response times, and a spinning cursor when input was required- all features lacking in Might and Magic 1.
As with Might and Magic 1, the player used up to six player-generated characters at a time, and a total of twenty-six characters could be created, who thereafter stayed at the various inns across CRON. To continue game continuity it was possible to "import" the characters developed from the first game. Additionally, Might and Magic 2 became the first game in the series to utilize hirelings, predefined characters which could extend the party to eight active characters. Hirelings were controlled like regular characters but required payment each day; pay increased with level.
Perhaps the most peculiar development in this game was the numeric scope. Character levels could reach 255 ((28)-1), at which point they could train without limit, provided they had enough gold. Hit points could be extended as high as 65535 ((216)-1) and magic points up to 9999. To nearly any item, a "+" bonus could be added via an enchantment. This "+" bonus increased the weapon's damage or attribute bonus, as in Dungeons & Dragons, but unlike D&D the ceiling on "+" bonuses was 63.
Might and Magic 2 pitted the player's party against any one of 255 monsters varying from 5 hit points to 64000. Battles could consist of up to 255 opponents.
While Might and Magic 2 remained a battle-focused game, there were many puzzles to be solved, and curiosities to be discovered. There is a cave with a sex-change device, for instance, and scattered about the land are the seemingly nonsensical colored messages (as in the first game). Most of the quests in the game require the player to solve puzzles than look for the next hack and slash battle.
Time travel was added, though its ramifications were practically nil with the exception of being necessary to fight the final boss. The taverns feature humorous culinary selections and there are various absurdities strewn about, such as the ability to get drunk off of too much ale, which would result in reduced abilities of the character. Stats can be increased at the annual circus, which requires a collection of kewpie dolls to play the games.
• Characters would age during gameplay, and when reaching old age (~75) would die randomly due to natural causes. The spell that reversed this process would usually fail, resulting in increasing your age as opposed to decreasing it. Though paying to visit a health spa on a resort isle could reduce the character's age.
• Certain battle situations were unusual, such as the ability to take on an entire goblin village, consisting of over 255 enemies at once, all at the same time. Such mass battles had previously appeared in the Bard's Tale series.
• The ability to travel into the past, specifically 9 different centuries, although only 2 of them seemed relevant to the main story and 2 to a sidequest.
• In a departure from the High Fantasy flavour typical for RPGs, the last dungeon requires the PCs to board a spaceship and solve an encrypted message with a time limit in order to escape the planet.
A character can belong to one of eight classes. Each class has at least one Prime Statistic which a character must equal or exceed to be a member of that class. All classes other than Knights or Barbarians also have special skills or abilities.
All six classes featured in Might and Magic Book One: Secret of the Inner Sanctum are available in the sequel: Knight, Paladin, Archer, Cleric, Sorcerer and Robber. In addition two new classes are introduced:
Ninja are specialized Robbers, having thieving abilities to a lesser degree, plus the ability to assassinate their opponents. Essentially they are "Robber-Fighter" characters, in the same way that Archers are "Sorcerer-Fighters".
Barbarians have high hit points and reasonable fighting abilities, though a limited selection of weapons and armour.