Top Shootout: The Pirate Ship, a quick-draw, singleplayer shooter set aboard 19th-century sailing ships in the Caribbean Sea, pits the player against unruly pirates who have taken a long-haired woman wearing a green dress hostage. The player's primary goals are to successfully shoot each of the men without hitting the hostage, increase their score by acquiring as much gold as possible and try to beat their last highest score each round after they lose a draw.
The game challenges the player in various ways. The pirates, which include living men and skeletons, appear suddenly inside of crow's nests, gunports, lifeboats and windows. They also pop up from behind barrels, crates and deck rails. The game also increases the number of pirates and the speed of their draw over time. The player must participate in a boss shootout with a difficult-to-kill, portly captain as well.
In Top Shootout: The Pirate Ship, the player can reload their cannon every time they use up every ball. They collect additional balls, lives and treasure chests by shooting items that appear floating near the pirates. When they kill pirates and protect the hostage, they receive 2x and 3x multipliers that increase the number of coins they earn. They can also receive rewards for reaching certain milestones, such as when they reach 10,000, 100,000 and 200,000 scores, collect 15 lives, defeat 1,000 pirates, defeat 10 bosses and collect 15 chests.