- Joystick: Use the joystick to direct Super Joe around the battlefield. Super Joe can move in eight directions. When Super Joe is roughly halfway up the screen, the screen will scroll vertically in the direction the Joe walks. If Joe retreats, the screen will not scroll in the opposite direction, and Joe can only travel as low as the visible screen. Once Joe reaches the end of a stage, he can walk around the entire visible screen until he succeeds in defeating the enemy, at which point he will automatically advance to the next area.
- Machine Gun: The Machine Gun is Joe's primary weapon. Despite its name, it does not produce an automatic rapid fire. Two bullets are fired for every button press, so you must tap the button to produce a continuous stream of bullets. Joe can fire his machine gun in all of the eight directions that he can face, as well as intermediate directions between those angles as he transitions from one to the other. Joe's machine gun ammo is unlimited, so you will never find yourself unable to fire your gun.
- Grenade: Grenades are a secondary weapon for Joe. They are limited in supply, so they must be used with caution. Unlike with Joe's machine gun, Joe can only lob these grenades straight up, and never at any other angle. The grenades are always lobed at a constant distance, and explode upon contact with the ground. Any soldiers standing within range of the grenade blast will be eliminated.
- 1-2 Players: Press either button to begin a one or two player game.
Super Joe is a soldier who has undergone special training in search and rescue missions. He is not there to eliminate the enemy threat. He is only there to rescue what P.O.W.s he can find, and disrupt enemy activity wherever he travels. Super Joe has been chosen for this mission due to his agility and marksmanship, two tools that he'll have to rely upon in order to succeed in his mission.
Super Joe has two weapons at his disposal; his machine gun with unlimited ammunition, and his supply of grenades. Super Joe constantly aims his weapons directly ahead of the direction he is facing. As a result, he can fire it in nearly every direction. On the other hand, Super Joe is only capable of throwing grenades in the direction of the top of the screen. Even if he is facing down, the grenades that he lobs will travel up. While machine gun fire is unlimited, grenades are not. Joe can replenish his supply of grenades by collecting boxes of grenades that he encounters as he advances through each stage.
No soldier on the battlefield is particularly well defended. Every soldier, including Super Joe, will lose their life if they are struck by a bullet or a grenade blast. Fortunately for you, Super Joe can return to the battle a number of times before the game is over. On most machines, the default setting is to award Joe an extra life at 10,000 points, and at every 50,000 points.