Billy the Kid is set in the Wild West and features William H. Bonney, the famous outlaw also known as Billy the Kid, and his adversary Sheriff Pat Garrett. Both are hired by the rancher John Tunstall to protect Lincoln County from outlaws. Unfortunately Tunstall is murdered and the two disagree how to proceed: while Garrett wants to strengthen law and order, Billy the Kid sets out to avenge Tunstall the hard way. The player chooses between the role of Billy the Kid or Garrett which changes their goals, e.g. as Billy the Kid the player needs to build up an outlaw army. During the game, the next destination is chosen through an overhead map, e.g. the city of Santa Fe or a camp of Native Americans. In cities, the player can move, enter different buildings and talk to people in order to receive hints what to do next (sometimes hints are also received when entering one of the other locations on the map). Some people need to be bribed with money which can be earned with certain actions like robbing a bank. Often the character has to engage in action sequences, e.g. a shootout in which crosshairs are moved over the screen to shoot enemies as soon as they leave their cover. When the basic goal is reached, the game culminates in a shootout between Billy the Kid and Garrett.