As the newly hired architect for a team that has just made it into Formula Front's Bottom League, the player has been tasked with assembling and preparing the team's ACs for battle against those fielded by other Bottom League qualified participants. The decision as to how the ACs should be operated in their upcoming matches, manually or AI-controlled, is left for the player to determine. Both methods offer their own unique challenges.
As the Architect (the player) reaches the Regular League, he/she is confronted by another brand-new team, BT Wyvern, and it's architect, Linus. After 2 matches against BT Wyvern, Linus sends a message that he meet the Architect again. Rank after rank, the Architect again confronts a formidable opponent, Team Ogre, and it's architect, Diablo. Though Ogre usually wins through harsh tactics, their battle against BT Wyvern was horrible. Fortunately, the Architect defeated Diablo. As the Architect gets nearer through the top ranks, the Architect is again confronted by BT Wyvern with a new AC model Afterwards, Diablo confronts the Architect again with an AC similar to Linus' AC and has installed with a mysterious data in Diablo's AC. The Architect manages to defeat Diablo and Team Ogre was temporarily banned due to being accused of stealing the 'Master Data'.
After defeating the second rank Team Neonia and it's architect, Raving, the Architect has the right to challenge Team Testarossa Artigiana (Arti) and FFA's top architect, Bren. After the Architect defeats Bren, the credits roll and the Architect becomes the new top architect. The Architect is then given 3 special exhibition battles against Neonia, Ogre and BT Wyvern.
Formula Front is the worldwide phenomenon in which unmanned, AI-controlled ACs [u-ACs] are pitted against one another in fiercely contested arena battles. These events are so popular that they have attracted over one billion spectators since being introduced.
Although only twenty-five years old, Formula Front arena warfare is now the world's most popular form of entertainment. The excitement derived from watching two hulking masses of metal shred each other to pieces has proven irresistibly alluring.
At the heart of Formula Front's success are the architects. These are the individuals responsible for assembling and programming the u-ACs entered into league matches, and it is through their innovative spirit that the "unlimited possibilities" inherent in Formula Front have been showcased to the world. As long as they continue to deliver the thrills fans clamor for, Formula Front's popularity is sure to endure.
The player assumes the role of an "Architect". An Architect is a person who builds, programs and battles with a modified Armored Core known as a "u/AC" or an Unmanned Armored Core. u/ACs are AI controlled Armored Cores which compete exclusively in battling tournaments. u/ACs battle independent of the Architect's control, so the Architect must influence how the u/AC fights by customizing various part combinations and loading various program functions into the u/AC's AI. The North American version of the PSP game has since been modified to allow players the option of actually piloting their u/AC in battle instead of letting the AI fight for you. In the game, this is called a "N-u/AC" ("N" standing for Naked) and is supposedly notoriously hard to control. Formula Front is the first Armored Core game to be released on multiple platforms, originally on the PlayStation Portable and later on the PlayStation 2. In Japan it was released simply as Armored Core: Formula Front. In the United States the game was modified and released as Armored Core: Formula Front Extreme Battle, however the PlayStation 2 version was not released in North America. The American version of the game was then re-released in Japan entitled Armored Core: Formula Front International; this re-released Armored Core: Formula Front International edition is considered to be the ultimate edition as it also contains a large amount of additional battles not found in the American version of the game, and includes both Japanese and English text options (except for the tutorial videos which are only in Japanese).
Armored Core: Formula Front also allows a player to build their own Armored Core using 480 different parts. These part come in several categories. These categories are head, core, arms, legs, generator, fire control system, booster, radiator, extension, inside, right arm weapon, left arm weapon, back left weapon, back right weapon, right hangar unit, left hangar unit, and optional parts. Several different part types can also be available. For instance, there are three types of cores (OB, EO, and Standard). Other types of customization include paint, AI tune, Parts Tune, Repository, Sortie Order, Name Entry, Sample Emblem, and Edit Emblem.
there is also a tuning system known as base character traits which allows the manipulation of the u-AC's behavior. this coupled with a program chip that allows for more advanced operations such as high speed maneuvering or unleashing a full assault. right off the bat as you start the game the player has all of the AC parts that can be equipped in the game but via progress through the arena the player will earn the operation chips and thus be allowed more abundant tactics at their disposal, however which operation chip is equipped will ultimately dictate the behavior of the AC.
There are several teams with which the player must compete with to reach the top of Formula Front. Some of these teams may contact you in your DAC. Many of them will request rematches. A few notable teams in the game are B.T. Wyvern, Ogre, AR tour team, Neonia, V.R. Expert, Peace Security, and Testarossa Artigiana.
- The PS2 version features team battles where one-on-one matches are held between teams of five ACs. The order of these matches is determined by the teams' AC lineups.
- A blue Nine-Ball appears in the cover of Armored Core: Formula Front Extreme Battle. Despite this, it plays no role in the game.
- Upon beating the game, the player can watch the credits where four Armored Core: Nexus ACs are fighting. The four are Bullet Life, Ferrum Slave and two others who have yet to be identified.
- The Crest Assault Type from Silent Line and the Mirage model AC from AC3 intro ACs are featured prominently in the intro video.