Autoduel was based on the Steve Jackson Games series Car Wars.
The main feature of the game was combat involving customized vehicles. The vehicle construction portion of the game allowed a variety of power plants, guns, ammunition, mine-layers, smokescreens, oil slicks and rockets to be arranged onto an even larger selection of body and chassis types.
Autoduel is based on events in an hypothetical future in the Northeast U.S. In this future, cars are a primary means of protection and defense and the highways are dangerous stretches of land ruled by gangs and vigilantes with armed vehicles.