The player character assumes the role of a "SMART" agent, whose job is to police crime on the net, using his or her personal spybot as a hacking tool. Most of the game consists of logging onto hacked corporate servers, restoring the company's access by destroying their corrupted security programs or retrieving locked files from the company's archives. In order to fight and move around within the corporate server grids, the player can purchase SMART designed hacking programs, each containing a different set of strategic abilities with which to combat rogue security software.
The player can also accept missions from various contacts on the net. Successfully restoring a corporate computer or completing a mission gains the player credits and sometimes unique or experimental programs.
In order to fight computer crime, both SMART agents and corporations use special programs that can fight against hostile software within a server. When hacking into a hostile node, the player is able to upload a certain number of programs onto the server grid, which will usually contain a number of hostile programs in waiting. Upon uploading his or her programs, the player can then control and use them to fight corrupted software and/or gather important data packages.
Most programs are acquired through Warez nodes. In exchange for credits, Warez nodes will supply agents with what software they have available.
Corporate programs are unobtainable, and can only be encountered as enemies. While most of the hostile programs the player will encounter are rogue corporate programs, there are a few instances in the game where the player will also come across rogue SMART programs.