After escaping from Cloudcracker Prison, the villains can be found throughout the game story. They can be encountered in plain sight or hidden in certain areas of the chapters. When a villain is defeated, they release a wave of energy that wipes out other nearby enemies that were summoned by the villain. If the player doesn't have the elemental trap that is needed to trap the villain, the player can simply not trap the villain and they will be taken to the Villain Vault instead where they can be switched in or out later.
At first, the villains are playable for 30 seconds, prompting the switching between villain and Skylander. The timer gradually increases as you complete Villain Quests. Not only do the Villain Quests increase the respective villain's timer, it also changes their color. However, Sheep Creep, Chomp Chest, and Kaos' timers are longer than other villains'
In the 3DS version of Trap Team, the Nightmare Villains take over the role of capturable villains. Unlike the console versions, traps are not needed to capture these villains, and can be summoned to release an special attack than strongly damages enemies, rather than being playable (with the exception of Villain Bootcamps).
Prior to being trapped, most Villains usually say a line in an attempt to persuade the Portal Master to capture them. Despite this, most Villains seem like they do not want to be captured when being sucked into the vortex.
Some of the villains change their elements in Imaginators after becoming senseis. Tae Kwon Crow, Grave Clobber and Hood Sickle were the first to do this.
Tae Kwon Crow is the only non-Doom Raider villain without any enemy counterparts.
Some time in 2017, the villain page was removed from the official Skylanders website.