In Space Cowboy Online, players can pilot their own space fighter ships (Gears) on an imaginary planet and upgrade skills or the Gear itself. There are 4 kinds of Gears available to choose from, with each Gear having it's individual unique characteristics. These characteristics differ in skill and items giving the player the opportunity to choose which items to equip to suit the player's preferences. Gears can be upgraded to change color, performance, weapons, and so on in order to satisfy the gamer's growth of the character. There can be a maximum of 6 players in a formation (triangle formation, reverse triangle formation, X form formation, etc.) dependant on the formation leader at the center of the formation during battle. The performance of the formation depends on the player's ability to work together and different formations require different skills and playing styles.