Rage for Order was more progressive than the band's previous releases, with a layered and complex musical structure that employs a two-guitar approach, but also brought keyboards forward in the mix. Lyrically, the album explored social/personal, political and technological themes, among others highlighting the dangers of artificial intelligence and government intrusion. The concept of robotics would also be emphasized through the use of staccato rhythms and vocal effects such as a reverse echo.
The tour supporting Rage for Order spanned approximately seven months and included being the opening act for Bon Jovi and Ozzy Osbourne, although their music wasn't quite compatible.
Some tracks recorded during the sessions for Rage for Order were not used on the album. "Prophecy" was later included on the 1989 re-issue of the QueensrÿcheEP. Other songs such as "From the Darkside" and "The Dream" remained demos. The band had also written "Rage for Order" as a title track. Although it was not included on the album, the main riff from this song was worked into an instrumental piece played during some shows on the tour in support of this album, and eventually morphed into the track "Anarchy-X" on the Operation: Mindcrime album, released in 1988.
Rage for Order was the first album cover of Queensrÿche to prominently feature the band's Tri-Ryche logo, as nearly all later album covers would, each time with subtle changes made to the logo. Although not credited, the front cover was designed by the late English-born metal and rock journalist Garry Sharpe-Young, who later also founded MusicMight. It had originally been proposed for a 12" picture disc, which never materialized, but was used by EMI-America without permission for the album cover. A few thousand initial copies bear a bluish-silver banner that was later changed to black, in order to make the artist and title easier to read. The original cassette edition also had all the gold accents on the cover changed to white.CDs bearing the blue ring cover are even more rare. Only a few hundred copies were printed before the ring was switched to black.
Despite the bands emphasis on keyboards and digital technology tricks such as the "reverse echo" this album was recorded and mixed in analog. On a short television documentary which aired in 1986, Scott Rockenfield stated that the drums were recorded in a stone warehouse using Le Mobile recording studios. Michael Wilton said that to get a guitar sound that they were happy with they "Used two old Marshall's that were on the verge of exploding."