Players play as a Star Ranger, the equivalent of law enforcement in the 23rd century, a pilot of a high-tech spaceship which you use to repel Tuareg bandits along shared borders.
The game starts in a practice mode in which you continually face waves of enemies until death. This is merely an 'arcade' option of the game, which doesn't explore the minor storyline. The game offers a campaign mode which comprises a group of missions in which these encounters escalate. These missions evolve from incursion defense, to escort duty, even outright assaults.
Players are provided only the Star Ranger spaceship throughout the campaign, but are offered a fair amount of customization of loadout and tuning. You can divert energy to defenses (shield recharge) and offense (plasma gun recharge, autocannon reload). These levels can be adjusted for maximum performance or efficiency, energy being consumed faster in the former than the latter. You acquire a wider variety of missiles for your arsenal as you progress, from 'sharpsticks' to torpedoes.
Enemies vary only slightly, and range from scout craft, to fighters, bombers, transports, cruisers, carriers, and even hostile bases.
Strategy evolves from the mapping system built-in, where the player (and/or his/her wingman) and enemies can travel across a certain area of space. Enemies can attack multiple targets including friendly bases and sensor buoys. Buoys contain map information and so when destroyed or not present act as a rudimentary fog of war. The player has the option, at expense of energy, to warp and near-instantaneously travel across the map to attack, defend, or even refuel at a friendly base.
Source: Wikipedia, "Star Rangers (video game)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.