RiftSpace introduced freeform gameplay by letting the player select contracts, travel to other planets, and customize/upgrade their ship and their squadron's. A non-mandatory story was mixed with the freeform gameplay and gave clues to the player on how to locate a mysterious system known as RiftSpace. Otherwise, gameplay was entirely up to the player on where they wanted to travel and what objectives they wanted to complete. Players could also assign members of their squadron to complete objectives for them. This game also let players load beam weapons in addition the particle weapons onto their ship simultaneously.