Playing as Rainbow Six team member Ding Chavez, players travel to Norway to eliminate a terrorist group planning to destabilize Eastern Europe with illegally smuggled US weapons. In keeping with the "Lone Wolf" mode of Rainbow Six assignments, missions are conducted without the help or hindrance of teammates. Planning phases include briefing, intelligence, kit select, and map screens, while actual gameplay takes place from a first-person perspective.
Weapons can be set to fully automatic (continuous), burst (three shots), or semi-automatic (one shot). Crosshair and auto-locking features provide concise control when aiming, though grenades can be used in situations requiring less precise targeting. The mission objectives, a health meter, mini-map, the currently selected weapon, and ammo status are displayed on-screen at all times. Other features in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lone Wolf include a choice of insertion points for each mission (with different advantages), night vision goggles, and an option to save after successfully completing each mission.