3037. FedNet is now in control of the federation, and at an attempt to gain trust of the population following decades of corruption and warfare, the FedNet Space Corps were sent to the outermost planets to crush the small-time warlords still running the show there. After being "convinced" to join them in a tour of duty, he is assigned to an elite flight group with the only purpose of testing the most cutting edge technology.
A remake of the original game of the same title released a few years before for the Acorn Archimedes platform, Starfighter 3000 features more detailed graphics (now all surfaces are texture-mapped and a fogging filter reduces clipping). Featuring 15 levels in 4 worlds, the player controls the Predator Mark-IV, a fighter ship capable of space and atmospheric flight. However, other than the handy boost button, the player has no control over the throttle, (unless he uses a flight stick with thrust controls such as 3DO's CH Pro stick) and must keep moving at all times.
In post 3DO releases, only two points of view are available: behind (better for acrobatics and general flying) and cockpit (accurate aiming and NOE flight). The 3DO release contained several more, like a TV style fly-by-cam, weapon cameras, and enemy cams that could show a nearby enemies' POV.
By picking up crystals the player is able to upgrade his craft and obtain more ammo, and by combining colours, get more powerful weapons, some also obtainable from parachute drops sent by FedNet.
One of the defining features of the game is using the laser (basic weapon) to terraform the map. As the game map is composed by tiles, some with higher or lower vertexes, can be leveled by simply firing repeatedly at the same area. This allows players to strategically avoid heavy defense turrets by simply collapsing a hill, or destroy an heavier turret by simply burrowing the ground beneath it.
The player starts the game with three lives, and earns one every 250k points. Losing all lives means a game over, but as there isn't a profile for each pilot (like in Tie Fighter), the game can be resumed freely from the last savegame.