Unlike modes such as Career Mode and Sandbox Mode, Franchise Mode requires players to play online due to the unique aspect of this mode: player trading. The Animal Market lets players buy animals from other players for their zoo. Players can only trade habitat animals, exhibit animals can't be traded. Deluxe animals can only be traded to players who also have the Deluxe Edition of Planet Zoo.
A 4th game mode called Challenge Mode will be available on launch that plays like Franchise Mode but can be played offline.