Battlefront IIs gameplay is fundamentally similar to its predecessors, albeit with the addition of new game mechanics, units, and vehicles. The general objective in most missions is to deplete the number of enemies to zero. Killing an enemy unit subtracts from that factions reinforcements, and likewise the death of the players or allies results in a similar decrease. Besides simply killing enemies, players fight for control of Command posts, where units respawn after death and which allows players to change character classes. Most command posts can be captured, by killing all enemies nearby and standing by the command post for a set amount of time. Controlling a majority of the command posts scattered on a map results in the faster depletion of the enemys forces, and allows the player to respawn in more locations. If all command posts are captured, the losing team has only twenty seconds to recapture one before the game ends in their defeat, regardless of the amount of reinforcements they have. There are two eras from which to choose; Galactic Civil War, or Clone Wars. Each era features two opposing factions; in the Galactic Civil War the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire vie for control, while the Clone Wars features the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS) and the Galactic Republic. While most character classes are similar to classes of the other factions, each faction has two unique classes, which are unlocked gradually.
The 501st Legion is debuted during the Battle of Geonosis. Following the battle, the legion is deployed to obtain a crystal for the Death Star superlaser on Mygeeto while preventing their Jedi general from knowing what they are doing. They then assist in the Battle of Coruscant, Felucia, Kashyyyk, and Utapau. Following those battles, Order 66 is activated and the unit swarms the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and wipes out the Jedi there. The team, now under direct control of Darth Vader, is known as "Vaders Fist." After this the 501st is deployed to Naboo to take out freedom fighters, their leader (the new queen of Naboo), and a few Jedi. They are also stationed on the Death Star, however rebels escape. Although they kill most of the escapees, they are removed of their duty aboard the battle station. They also assist in bringing down rebellions on Mustafar and Kamino that attempt to recreate the Clone Wars. After the formation of the Rebel Alliance, the team tracks down a piece of the Death Star plans taken from a prisoner escape, which actually saves them from being stationed on the Death Star during its destruction during the Battle of Yavin. The 501st takes it revenge by swarming a battlestation on Yavin IV and killing some Alliance leaders.
The team comes to its greatest hour during the Battle of Hoth, which broke the back of the Rebel Alliance by killing many rebel soldiers and destroying their last base, forcing the survivors to scatter across the galaxy.