Although Garry's Mod is usually considered to be a full game, it has no game objective and players can use the game's set of tools for any purpose. Garry's Mod allows players to manipulate "props" – various objects that players can place in-game. Props can be selected from any installed Source engine game or from a community created collection. The game features two "guns" – Physics Gun and Tool Gun for manipulating objects. The Physics Gun allows objects to be picked up, adjusted, and frozen in place. As of Garry's Mod 13 the Physics Gun's color can be changed via the context menu, which changes the color of its glow, beam, and halo. The Tool Gun is a multi-purpose tool for performing various tasks, such as combining props, attaching them via ropes, and creating controllable winches and wheels. The Tool Gun is also used to control add-ons created by the community.
Another popular Garry's Mod concept is ragdoll posing. The player can create a ragdoll model from a Source game and pose it using a variety of tools. This is a popular tool for making fan-made videos.
Garry's Mod takes advantage of the Source engine's modified version of the Havok Physics Engine, which allows players to build contraptions that follow the laws of physics.
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