- Joystick: In the arcade version, you must use the analogue joystick to direct the gunsight of the F16 around the screen; squeeze the trigger to fire a shot and press the button to launch a missile. The PlayStation version replicates the function of an analogue joystick with the four directional buttons to move with the X button to fire a shot and the Circle button to fire a missile - and the Triangle button can also be used to move onto the next target.
- Lever: In the arcade version, you must use the lever to make the F16 ascend and descend in altitude; in the PlayStation version, the functions of the lever are not replicated, but the Select button will change the view, the Start button will pause the game, and the Square button will bring up the map for your current mission. The L1 and R1 buttons will also activate the air brake and afterburner while the L2 and R2 buttons are used for yaw control.
In the arcade version, the player must take up control of an F16 "Falcon" fighter jet (shown left) through three levels of play (Cadet, Captain and Ace); when the plane is destroyed, the pilot will eject from it. In the PlayStation version, however, there are seventeen different airplanes to choose from: the aforementioned F16 "Falcon", the MIG-29 "Fulcrum", the F14 "Tomcat", the F4 "Phantom", the F/A-18E "Hornet", the MIG-31, the F-117(S), the TNDF-2, the F-15 "Eagle", the A-10 "Thunderbolt", the YF-23(S), the SU-27, the R-C01, the EF-2000, the SF-39, and the F-22 "Raptor"(S). Five of these planes will be available from the outset, while the other thirteen will be unlocked as your game progresses - and they all have different strengths and weaknesses so it's up to you to decide which one you should be using in each mission. The game will also apply a themed mercenary paint job to each plane once it is purchased, and you can also optionally select a wingman (see below), to accompany you during a mission.
Wingmen (PlayStation only)
In the PlayStation version, you can select one of fifteen different wingmen to accompany you during a mission, and instruct them to perform one of three actions; Cover Me, Commence (mission objective), and On Your Own (fire at will). As with the aircraft, they will get unlocked as your game progresses.