This guide is split into two main sections. The first deals with general hints,
and techniques that apply to any situation you'll find yourself in. The second,
the other hand, takes a detailed look at the strengths and weaknesses of each of
the six craft you get to fly and what you'll be flying against.
In The Beginning
Although TIE Fighter enables you to jump straight into a battle and start
the rebellion immediately, it's well worth taking time out to train and qualify
each craft beforehand. Not only do you get a promotion and some nice
and medals, but you also learn a lot that's useful later on.
The Training Simulator
This relatively simple obstacle course is good for sussing out TIE Fighter's
controls, and demonstrates the main differences between the various craft -
speed and weaponry.
To qualify on a ship you must finish level 8. Bear in mind that the course is
essentially passive - nothing shoots at you, and hitting things doesn't damage
ship - so when flying a fighter with shields, turn the recharge rate down to
minimum to gain speed. Likewise, keep the laser recharge rate at normal until
your lasers are running low, and then increase it for a while.
The TIE Advanced and Defender pose a unique problem in the Training
Simulator - they're both too fast! If you turn the shield recharge to minimum
you'll find yourself smacking into things all the time on the later levels, so
laser recharge up to maximum to compensate, and be prepared to lower your
speed even further if necessary.
The Combat Chamber
Whereas the Training Simulator gives you a good idea of how the ships fly, the
Combat Chamber introduces you to the kind of situations you'll find in actual
battles. For each craft there are four progressively more difficult and more
'realistic' (i.e. more like actual events) missions. Even if you skip the
Simulator, you really should fly all these missions because they enable you to
experiment and gain experience without putting your pilot at risk, as well as
introduce most of the objectives you'll face later on - from identifying neutral
craft to taking out minefields or attacking capital ships. Other than the
given on-screen in the earlier missions, there is little that refers
these missions - treat them as battles and use the rest of this guide to help
TIE Fighter's campaign is split into seven battles, each consisting of five or
linked missions. Although you are free to skip between the first four whenever
you want, it's best to complete them in numerical order - not only do they get
more difficult, but it helps maintain the game's storyline. The rest of this
aimed at these missions.
It might sound obvious, but it's important to learn and understand the controls
you're going to do well. Outside of the basic movement, firing and targeting
controls, the majority of TIE Fighter's key commands are designed to make life
easier for you. Read the manual and play around in the Combat Chamber until
you've mastered them. You'll not only be better at playing, you'll have more fun
A flash way of saying 'knowing what's going on,' situational awareness is the
to success in TIE Fighter. You might be the best pilot in the Empire's history
a master of your starfighter's controls, but if you're not in the right place,
attacking the right thing at the right time, you'll fail miserably. Luckily, TIE
Fighter contains a whole range of features designed to help you keep track of
what's going on, estimate what's going to happen in the near future and then do
something about it.
The first is the Mission Briefing itself. As well as telling you your main
objectives, this gives you an idea of the starting positions of craft - and, by
to your briefing officer, what you'll be fighting too. Remember to speak to the
shadowy figure if he's there and get your secondary objectives.
As soon as the mission starts, go to the Goals screen. This gives you the
mission objectives, and often a hint as to what ships may be appearing later on.
Exit the Goals screen and go to the Map, taking a close look at what's about and
where they are. Now decide on your first target - and go for it.
Throughout the mission, keep an eye on the Goals, Map and Log screens. The
best way to do this is to check them immediately after each combat engagement
(i.e. after blowing up or disabling a ship). By doing this, you'll know what's
on, be able to spot dangers and problems early on and have time to deal with
them. This is of great importance in missions which involve defence - spotting
attacking groups before they can do you harm is vital.
However, awareness of your starfighter's condition and current performance is
just as important as an awareness of the overall situation. What this really
down to is ensuring that you use the ELS (Engine, Laser, Shield) settings
effectively and to your advantage.
What makes this more complicated, though, is the fact that each fighter you fly
behaves slightly differently. The TIE Interceptor's maximum laser recharge rate,
for example, is phenomenal -it can actually charge up while firing at maximum
rate. Nevertheless, there are some general points that apply across the board.
Lasers always recharge faster than shields. This means it's more efficient to
transfer energy away from shields than to up the shield recharge rate.
ELS management in unshielded ships is remarkably easy. In normal conditions
just leave the laser recharge at normal. For extra speed drop it down - and when
combat put it up. It's that simple.
Your first priority on starting a mission should be to fully charge the shields
you've got them). Immediately transfer all laser energy to your shields, put
and laser recharge rates up to maximum, and keep transfering energy across from
lasers until they're fully charged. At this point, drop the recharge rates down
normal until combat starts.
To get the most speed - and yet still be able to fight effectively - drop shield
recharge down to minimum and put the laser recharge up to increased or
maximum, then keep transferring energy across to the shields, a little at a
Always keep an eye on your laser and shield levels during a mission, and get
to playing around with the recharge rates and transferring energy around until
becomes second nature. Also get into the habit of spreading your shield evenly
between fore and aft by hitting the shield key (S) three times whenever you've
taken some damage.
Weapons in TIE Fighter are basically divided into warheads and beams. While all
craft have lasers, the other types of weapon are only available on certain
or in certain missions.
There are six types of warhead in TIE Fighter, each with different
The common link between them is that all require a lock-on if they're to hit the
target with any degree of accuracy - which means flying straight towards the
object for some time. The most important thing to remember is to pull away once
you've fired, otherwise the target will fire once you get in range. However, by
moving away from the warhead you can easily divert the target's attention - and
the weapon is then unlikely to get hit by any stray laser blasts. Also remember
your speed is added to the weapon's when you launch it.
Concussion Missiles: Only effective against enemy fighters and small craft, and
best used while at a distance of about two kilometres. It's a good idea to save
these for A-Wings and similar nasties - most of which need a couple of hits, so
launch in pairs.
Proton Torpedoes: A good multipurpose weapon, effective against the slower
fighters as well as moderate sized ships. Not so good against the real capital
- they lack the required punch - but better than nothing.
Heavy Rockets: The best weapon for dealing with large ships, combining a
significant bang with a good range.
Space Bombs: Unpowered and thus very short ranged, but the most powerful
weapon available. It's best to release these as close as possible to the target
pull away quickly.
Advanced Missiles and Torpedoes: Improved versions of the basic missile and
torpedo - always use them when the opportunity arises.
The most versatile weapon in the game, your trusty lasers will never let you
provided you keep them nicely charged up. For more on the best configurations to
use, see the run-down on the individual fighters over the page.
Ion Cannons: Ion cannons don't damage craft as such but scramble a ship's
controls and electronics, effectively disabling the craft and putting it into a
helpless, immobile state. Only use ion cannons when the situation specifically
The Tractor Beam
This weapon system, only available in the final stage of the game, slows down
enemy craft and makes them easier to hit. To be honest, for the amount of energy
it requires it's not that effective, so you're probably better off reducing its
recharge rate to minimum and making use of the extra speed it provides instead.
Know Your Enemy
During the course of TIE Fighter, you'll come up against a whole host of
ships, some more dangerous than others. While it's worth spending a few minutes
comparing their statistics in the Tech Room, the numbers alone don't tell the
Rebel Craft Z95 Headhunter: This obsolete fighter is dead common, especially in
the earlier battles, with its pathetic shields and unimpressive speed and
manoeuvrability. Dangerous only in large numbers.
Y-Wing: Although its shielding and armour are quite strong, the Y-Wing suffers
from lack of speed. They pose the biggest threat during dogfighting when there's
a risk you'll run into the back of them. Their ion cannons and torpedoes can
threaten large ships.
X-Wing: A good all-rounder, the X-Wing is well armed, fairly well protected and
capable of decent speed. In the hands of a skilled pilot they can be very
in a dogfight, and the torpedoes pose a moderate threat to larger ships.
A-Wing: Not particularly tough and quite lightly armed, the A-Wing is
nevertheless one of the hardest ships to deal with because it's so amazingly
They're best dealt with by concussion missiles from a distance, but beware - the
A-Wing may have the same idea. Once you get up close, your best bet is to
maximise your speed and hope to get in a couple of good shots - A-Wings slow
down noticeably once damaged.
B-Wing: Something of a super-charged Y-Wing, the B-Wing is heavily armed,
incredibly tough, but only moderately agile. The biggest problem is that it can
soak up such a vast amount of damage and still be very dangerous to large ships.
Shuttle: These are slow, unwieldy and make nice big targets. Beware of flying
head-on into them, though, because their lasers can do a lot of damage given the
chance. And be careful when matching speeds - flying along slowly behind an
unmanoeuvrable shuttle makes you an excellent target for enemy fighters.
Transport: Virtually identical to shuttles (see above), except they're a
smaller target and, when armed with torpedoes, can pose a threat to large craft.
Escort Shuttle: Unless you've got a lot of missiles or torpedoes, you'd be
big risk attacking these in an unshielded ship. They've got some serious guns up
front and the rear turret (which can also fire sideways) is a nightmare. In a
shielded craft, divert all energy to forward shields and make repeated attack
equalising shields as you go past - don't match speeds and sit behind an Escort
Shuttle under any circumstances.
This covers all the various freighters, transporters, cargo craft and
a rule, these are big, slow or non-moving targets that pose little or no threat
take a lot of pounding to destroy. However, occasionally some of the larger
are armed with the odd turbolaser turret or two, so don't go blazing in
immediately. Make a fast fly-by and see what happens to prevent any nasty
Capital Ships These are the big ships - Frigates, Calamari Cruisers, Star
Destroyers and so on (including Space Platforms - which don't move). The first
thing to remember is that attacking these ships in a TIE Fighter or Interceptor
suicide. A TIE Bomber's only chance depends on launching a large supply of
torpedoes, rockets or bombs from outside laser range. Capital ships, with their
profusion of turrets and lasers, nearly always do some damage to an attacking
fighter, so shielded craft are a must.
The second thing to bear in mind is that you can attack and destroy various
of the larger ships separately. By experimenting in the Combat Chamber with
invulnerability turned on or by recording a mission and using the camera
you should easily be able to pinpoint any weakly defended areas - the Calamari
Light Cruiser's underside, for example. Once you've destroyed all the weapons in
that area you'll be able to pummel the ship mercilessly without fear of
So, to take out a large craft...
Destroy any fighters protecting the ship (some will continue to launch fighters
you attack - it's best to deal with these as they're released, rather than let
build up to dangerous numbers).
Make sure your lasers and shields are fully charged.
Get into a position from where you can attack a weakly defended area.
Soften up the target with any heavy weapons you have, while outside laser range
if possible. Remember you can target specific locations with torpedoes and
rockets, so try taking out as many weapons as you can at this point.
Get in close enough to use your lasers and make repeated strafing attacks
any remaining defences, taking time to fully recharge your shields between runs.
Blast away to your heart's content and blow the target to bits (this might take
some time with the real biggies, so be patient).
Although not technically capital ships, Assault Transports and Corvettes should
be treated in much the same way. A skilful pilot should still be able to deal
them in a TIE Interceptor or even a basic Fighter though.
The TIE Fighter is the most basic ship you can fly - and, in many respects, the
weakest. It can only take two laser hits before it's destroyed, and even one is
normally enough to blow its sensors and make it virtually useless. This means
vital you keep a careful eye on the three threat indicators above the laser
and pull away sharply if one lights up.
On the plus side, the TIE Fighter is moderately fast and very manoeuvrable. In
addition, you only fly this ship at the start of your career, where you normally
only encounter the older and less dangerous enemy ships and have a strong
numerical superiority. Make sure you use you wingmen well - strength in numbers
is the TIE Fighter's main advantage.
As its lasers are right next to each other, always use dual fire - if one beam
the other will too.
A souped-up TIE Fighter, the Interceptor is faster, better armed and can take
or four hits. Despite this, it's still a fragile craft and you should be just as
with it. The craft's main feature is the speed of its laser recharge - at
rate you can fire continuously and still build up charge! This means you'll
normally only have to put it up to increased rate to maintain a full charge,
frees up more energy for your engines. Although not quite as critical as for the
TIE Fighter, wingmen are still important and you should take care to assign them
Due to the distance between its four lasers, configuring your weapons is more
difficult. Dual fire is a good compromise for most situations, combining a good
rate of fire with a higher chance of hitting, but single fire is best against
defenceless targets such as containers.
The Bomber is the slowest of the unshielded craft, but also the toughest and
heavily armed. You can afford to soak up a good two or three hits before you're
in any danger, and it can take up to six to destroy. It's just as well, though,
because the sluggish responses combined with the need to fly straight at enemies
acquiring locks makes the Bomber a prime target.
Luckily, Bomber missions are normally supported by Fighter and/or Interceptor
squadrons and a significant number of wingmen who you should use to make
group attacks on your objectives.
In a couple of missions you'll be required to dogfight in this craft. You should
selectively use missiles against the fastest enemies- but beyond that it's just
matter of keeping your laser recharge rate down to normal for as long as
in order to maintain speed while fighting. Dual fire is normally best in these
situations, with single fire against non-threatening targets.
The slowest and most unwieldy of the shielded craft, the Gunboat is also the one
you'll be flying most of the time. Because of its hyperdive, the Gunboat is
for surprise raids, and with its ion cannons it's perfect for when something
To get the most out of the Gunboat, make maximum use of its shields and play
around with the ELS settings as necessary. For dogfighting, it's best to drop
shield recharge to minimum and put the laser recharge up to maximum, then
transfer energy across when the shields start to disperse. Luckily, the Gunboat
carry a very heavy warhead load - 12 missiles in total - which you should use to
take out A-Wings and the like while you finish off Y-Wings and so on with your
lasers. Like the TIE Fighter, these are right next to each other in the nose, so
them to dual fire at all times.
The TIE Advanced is a joy to fly and suitable for almost any type of mission.
Even A-Wings pose little problem for its high speed and agility, strong shields
and four laser cannons. It really is very impressive indeed. Unfortunately, you
only gain access to it later on in the game, and it's only used in the toughest
missions (in some you're flying against Imperial traitors). It's when you have
fight enemy TIE Advanceds that you really begin to appreciate what a tough ship
it is. As well as being a great fighter, the TIE Advanced is also ideal for
large ships. Its high speed means you can put shield and laser recharge rates up
maximum and still be going more than fast enough to attack other craft. It's
normally best to use dual fire against fighters and single fire against large
The TIE Defender is, quite simply, the most ridiculously powerful ship of them
all. It's insanely fast, loaded down with guns and has shields that are twice
strength of any other fighter. Even TIE Advanceds pale into insignificance next
this baby. As such, it's actually quite hard to give any useful advice about
- if you're good enough to have reached the last few missions (where this ship
appears), then you shouldn't have many problems. To be honest, there's very
you can do wrong with a ship like this.
It's best to keep the lasers set to dual fire when dogfighting, and turn the
beam down to minimum recharge, unless you find it more useful than we did.
For a real challenge, try completing the first Combat Chamber mission after
you've shot every container (thus triggering all the enemy ships to arrive at