The player harvests spice for «solaris,» the in-game currency, and uses the solaris to make units to supply his forces.The game uses a similar engine as Command and Conquer: Red Alert; however, unlike Dune II, the player can control more than one unit at a time.
As the units explore the map, the darkness is removed for the duration of the game. Like Dune II, the player may construct concrete before placing buildings.
Although each house has many common units, such as infantry, Wind Traps, and Mobile Construction Vehicles, each House also has its own set of units, such as the Atreides Sonic Tank, the Ordos Deviator and the Harkonnen Devastator.
Houses Harkonnen and Atreides share the Trike, while House Ordos has an upgraded version, the Raider.
Meanwhile, Lady Elara of the Bene Gesserit and bound concubine to the Emperor, secretly takes the commander — the player — into one of the Heighliners, a person whose bloodline and future the Sisterhood had checked.
According to Elara, they saw many visions of the commander dying many times—and only in one vision does the commander live and even rise to control massive armies and bring peace to Arrakis.
The Duke's famous Mentat, Noree Moneo, advises and resides over the Duke's forces on Arrakis.