The game features a conquest campaign mode where three factions vie for control of a solar system. Victory points are earned by completing random objectives, and fleets can be ordered around to engage the enemy or invade planet surfaces in real-time skirmish battles. Technology points are used to unlock new battlefield units, while political cards can be played to enable special actions. Skirmish games can be played individually or online, where the objective is to destroy the enemy base. The interface grants easy access to units, build menus, air transport, and special abilities. Sectors are captured with specialized infantry units and used to harvest resources and spawn a single outpost. Extensions can be placed on bases to allow for a number of abilities, from increasing the population cap to bringing in units and improving the technology level. Infantry, armored, air, and super units gain experience during battle and join defensive turrets on the battlefield. Neutral secondary factions can be recruited by building a specific extension. Units automatically attack nearby enemies, and the AI is aggressive. Offering a couple of unique features, Etherium is a better-than-average real-time strategy game.