The game is a basic top down shooter, which was a popular genre at the time. The game plays through three levels with a boss at the end of each. Astro Warrior's three levels each have many different kinds of enemies that attack in various patterns. The stages themselves have no obstacles. Like most shooters, learning the enemies' patterns and how best to deal with them is the key to success in Astro Warrior. The player can also collect helpful power-ups by shooting at targets on the ground. These include ship speed increase, a stronger laser weapon, and two Gradius-style options.