Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Phantoms is a third-person multiplayer shooter in a slightly futuristic military setting. The backdrop story is about two soldier factions which fight for (Ghosts) or against (Phantoms) US interests. From a gameplay perspective, both sides are identical. Each playing mode involves capturing and holding certain points on the map: conquest (five locations per round; the team with the most captures wins), onslaught (an attacking team tries to take three locations) and holdout (two teams fight for a single location). In onslaught and conquest, there is only one contested location at the time. While the majority of the game is played in third-person - as the previous Future Soldier there is a strong focus on using cover - the game switches to first-person when aiming through the weapon sights.
While the teams may be identical, there are three classes with a special ability: assault (temporarily boost speed and power), recon (stealth) and support (starting a protective energy shield). Alternatively, each class also can counter their class ability if they are used by the enemy or use passive abilities which help the whole team (e.g. faster health regeneration). However, a player has to think before using an ability because of lengthy cool-down timers. Other than abilities, the second important aspect to win a match are weapons and weapon (or armor) modifications which can be purchased with in-game money which is earned during matches (along with experience point which determine what items can be used). Alternatively, they can also be bought with Ghost Coins which are purchased with real money. There also is in-game support for opening clans and setting up matches.