The gameplay features 3 main phases.
This involves doing deals with the various corporations to acquire parts and upgrades for your OKE's (OverKill Engine). You can also ally yourself with one company who will then spy for you and report back on what purchcases the enemy has made with the other players in the market.
This is the nuts and bolts of the game. To build a functional OKE you must design its hardware and its software. The first choice a player must make in the hardware creation process is that of a body type and style. There are four styles of OKE bodies and three designs in each style to choose from. These styles include a two-legged type, a tank type, a multi-legged type, and a flying type. After a body has been selected the player then must choose a main weapon, sub-weapon, engine, CPU, fuel tank size, armor thickness, and any optional equipment. A paint scheme may also be applied here as well. The engine determines how much power the robot has, the body type determines how much of that power can be used to haul mass, and all other options are limited by this. Thick armor is very heavy and usually only found on the tank types, since they are very efficient at using engine power to haul mass, while the flying type OKE will require powerful engines just to fly with the thinnest armor in the game. Each component in the hardware profile adds a certain amount of complexity to the OKE; more complex OKEs will take longer to build and require more advanced factories to produce.
The next step is to design the software for the OKE, and in essence this involves creating the AI for the unit from scratch. The player need not have any skill in programming, however, as the game requires no programming in the traditional sense. Instead the player is given a board, which varies in size depending on the CPU selected during the hardware design phase, on which to place chips to act as a set of instructions. These chips must be placed so as to form a flow chart, with control starting from the top-left of the board, following a path through the chips, and looping back to the top left upon leaving the board. Each chip that is available to the player performs a specific task, and many can be edited to allow more precise control over actions.
Small section of a sample OKE "software"
Most of the player's time in the game is spent creating a program and testing it through virtual battle. This is really the heart of the game as using the various presets supplied does not yield the best results in battle. It's only when you dive into the program creation yourself that you can truly appreciate the game as tinkering with various designs and trying different things can yield hours of enjoyment.
Once a player has created OKEs and formed them into units (with a maximum of three OKEs per unit), they may then assign a task to each unit; these include defending or capturing a base, patrolling, or moving to a specific location. When an enemy unit moves into the same space as one of the player's units, combat begins. The combat phase can be a turn off for some players as it requires no player interaction. When your OKE unit encounters another the software you designed takes over and they fight autonomously.
You are allowed to change views and switch between different units but otherwise its strictly hands off. What you should be using this phase for is watching your units for any holes in their defense ,
or to see how they perform against different unit types e.g. a 2-legged OKE you built may eat tanks for breakfast but may struggle against flying types, so you have to adapt its program to deal with those things.