In Chopper Command the player controls a military helicopter in a desert scenario protecting a convoy of trucks. The goal is to destroy all enemy fighter jets and helicopters that attack the player's helicopter and the friendly trucks traveling below, ending the current wave. The game ends when the player loses all of his or her lives or reaches 999,999 points. A radar, called a Long Range Scanner in the instruction manual, shows all enemies, including those not visible on the main screen.
The player's helicopter is destroyed if it collides with an enemy aircraft or a truck (which would destroy the truck as well) or if it is shot by an enemy bullet. The enemy bullet splits in two one going up and one going down. Using the "A" difficulty level results in a slower player shot.
Each enemy helicopter is 100 points and each enemy jet is 200 points. After each wave, bonus points are awarded for remaining trucks.
A player who achieved 10,000 points could send in a photo of the TV screen and receive a "Chopper Commandos" patch.