Atlasphere pitted the contenders against two Gladiators for 60 seconds, all rolling around the entire arena floor in metal cage-like spheres, dubbed "Atlaspheres." The object of the event was to avoid the Gladiators while trying to roll the sphere into one of four scoring pods spaced out across the arena floor. Originally, the contender had to settle in the scoring pods to score, with a score indicated by nitrogen "smoke" emitting from the center of the pod. This combined with the original shape of the scoring pods resulted in several contenders becoming stuck in a scoring pod, unable to get out. As a result, after its first season, the shape of the pods was changed and a black actuator was placed in the center of the pod surrounded by a ring of lights. All a contender needed to do was score was touch the actuator by rolling over it, which triggered the lights and caused the same smoke to be emitted from the center of the pod. In season four a sound effect was added to the game to indicate scores, triggered when a contender rolled over the actuator.
In season 2, contenders began on the floor at either end of the arena, while the Gladiators began the event inside one of the scoring pods. In seasons 3 and 4, contenders and Gladiators began the event in the four corners of the arena, contenders on one end, Gladiators on the other, on elevated ramps. In season 5, the contenders and Gladiators still started in the corners of the arena, but the ramps were no longer used.
1, 2, or 3 points were awarded for each score, depending on the season and round of play.
When the 2008 revival was moved to the Los Angeles Sports Arena, the game was brought back, as one of the "new" games for the revival's second season. It is currently being referred to as Altrasphere on the NBC website, but the event was referred to as "Atlasphere" on air, proving the NBC website to be in error.