The solo campaign of Section 8: Prejudice tells the story of Alex Corde, a member of the special unit "Section 8" who has to stop an unknown force from using mass destruction weapons at human colonies. This campaign features cutscenes and varying mission goals, but is basically a big tutorial for the multiplayer part.
The heart of the game is the Conquest multiplayer mode: here the players (up to 32 players in each team) have to conquer and defend control points. Every second points are awarded for every base and the team who first gets a certain point amount wins. There are also additional points to win by solving regularly assigned side missions, e.g. escorting a unit. It is important to play as a team because kills don't count toward the point counter - they only add money to the player's account. This money can be used to buy equipment like mechs, bikes, mobile artillery or tanks.
The assault mode is somewhat simpler: the goal is to conquer all bases in a short amount of time. Every match consists of two rounds so every team is once in the attacking and defending role. In Swarm, up to four players have to defend a base from enemy waves - this mode also features the missions from the conquest mode. All three modes can be played alone with bots.
Unusual in this game is the map entry: instead of spawning, players jump out of a plane - without a parachute. Just like in most multiplayer shooter of its time, players unlock new weapons and better stats, e.g. more damage or better armor, when earning experience points. There is no predefined class system.