Vector Patrol is a faithful clone of Irem's Moon Patrol, recreated entirely in vector graphics.
Just like in the original you have to navigate a moon buggy from one station on the Moon to another, all while avoiding crashing or getting destroyed by alien ships. The vehicle is constantly moving right and the player can speed up or slow down, jump, and shoot (simultaneously firing upwards and forwards). The game contains 25 checkpoints labeled from A - Z, also serving as a respawn point. Every five checkpoints mark a separate "stage" within the entire course; reaching the end of a stage under the par time grants a large score bonus.
Dangers on the Moon include rocks (small and big ones) which can be shot to pieces or jumped over, pits which must be jumped, and UFO's which fire at the player or bombard the ground (creating pits). Later the player also comes upon stationary tanks which fire missiles (that can be destroyed with the player's own shots), landmines, and rocket cars which stalk the buggy from behind before rushing forward in an attempt to ram it down.
After completing the first course (the "Beginner Course") the player can try his skill on the harder "Champion Course".
In contrast to the original game Vector Patrol added a few bonus features like 3D animations after finishing a stage below par or unlockable achievements such as extra backgrounds, additional buggies or new course.