Hatsuse was 438 feet (133.5 m) long overall and had a beam of 76 feet 9 inches (23.4 m). She had a full-load draught of 27 feet (8.2 m) and normally displaced 14,850 long tons (15,090 t) and had a crew of 849 officers and enlisted men when serving as a flagship. The ship was powered by two Humphrys Tennant vertical triple-expansion steam engines using steam generated by 25 Belleville boilers. The engines were rated at 14,500 indicated horsepower (10,800 kW), using forced draught, and were designed to reach a top speed of around 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). Hatsuse, however, reached a top speed of 19.11 knots (35.39 km/h; 21.99 mph) from 16,117 indicated horsepower (12,018 kW) on her sea trials. She carried a maximum of 1,643 long tons (1,669 t) of coal which allowed her to steam for 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).
The ship's main battery consisted of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns mounted in two twin gun turrets, one forward and one aft. The secondary battery consisted of fourteen 6-inch (152 mm) quick-firing guns, mounted in casemates on the sides of the hull and in the superstructure. A number of smaller guns were carried for defence against torpedo boats. These included 20 QF 12-pounder 12 cwt[Note 1] guns, eight 47-millimetre (1.9 in) 3-pounder guns and ten 37-millimetre (1.5 in) 2.5-pounder Hotchkiss guns. She was also armed with four submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes. Hatsuse's waterline armour belt consisted of Harvey armour and was 4–9 inches (102–229 mm) thick. The armour of her gun turrets had a maximum thickness of 10 in (254 mm) and her deck ranged from 2.5 to 4 inches (64 to 102 mm) in thickness.