Air Patriots is similar to a tower defense game, but instead of towers the player here has direct access over a number of air planes. Like in a tower defense game the player's task is to prevent the enemy forces from reaching their destination. The enemies all follow a specific path and will not shoot at the player's units. The player controls his planes by drawing their routes on the screen, similar to Flight Control. When the enemies are within range the planes automatically open fire. For each enemy that is destroyed the player gets gold that can be used to acquire more planes. There are several different planes available each with a different attack type and range. Certain planes are more effective against certain enemies. For each level there is a set number of waves that the player has to defend against and the game is over when a certain number of enemies reach their destination.
The game is free-to-play and offers in-app purchases through a shop where the player can acquire new maps, planes and other items. In addition to real money the player can use gears to buy new things. Gears are awarded to the player throughout the game and can be collected from destroyed enemies. It is also possible to acquire gears with real money. When starting out only one map is available but more can be unlocked. The player has a number of slots that he assigns planes to before a mission. At first two slots are available but three additional ones can be bought. Special attacks in the form of big bombs can also be bought. When launched these will wipe out all enemies currently on the map.