Set during World War II, R.U.S.E. is a real-time strategy game that emphasizes gaining the upper hand through deception rather than brute force. This is accomplished by playing "ruse cards" earned during the course of battle. Among the available ruses are camouflaged troops, decoy units, radio silence, and spies that can reveal unidentified units. Up to eight players can engage in skirmishes online as one of six factions: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italia, France, and U.S.S.R. Each faction offers a distinct set of units and areas of strength, such as Britain's air superiority or Germany's armored vehicle prowess. A single-player campaign is included, and online games feature such customizable settings as the year of engagement (1939 to 1945), victory conditions, number of available ruses, and more.