Controlling all the fighter craft in TIE Fighter is quite simple once you understand the basics. Your ship's movement is controlled by the joystick or mouse (unless you are playing the version of the game from X-Wing Trilogy or X-Wing Collector's Series, in which case mouse control is disabled).
To control your craft's speed, you can hold down joystick button 2 or and push forward or back. This will speed you up or slow you down, respectively. Alternatively, you can hit to immediately throttle your craft up to full speed.
will bring you to a stop. One of the most useful controls to know is which will match your speed to whatever you currently have targeted.
The default fire mode is single fire (only one shot at a time). You can cycle through dual-fire and linked-fire mode by pressing. Although you are getting more fire-power and more spread out of these modes, you have to wait a little longer between shots. Dual-fire mode is usually the best balance to use (depending on your current situation).
Lasers are the default weapon on all ships. If you have other weapons available (ion cannons, warheads) then you can cycle through them with. Cycling through firing modes is identical to lasers.
Ion cannons are used to disable (not destroy) ships once their shields are down. Warheads pack a lot of punch, but you need to lock on to a target to successfully fire one. Keep a targeted ship in the centre of your targeting reticule - the reticule will turn yellow as it is locking on, then red once it has achieved a full lock.
Basic TIE craft do not come equipped with shields (their power lies in their speed and manoeuvrability), so in the early parts of the game you don't need to worry about them - just make sure you don't get hit! More advanced TIE craft and the Assault Gunboat do come equipped with shield systems.
Your shield display is in the lower left of the screen. There are two layers of shield that surround and protect your craft.