Wing Commander is a flight simulator where your mission is to fly around your island home in your jet plane and protect various important locations especially the Nuclear Power plant from enemy fighters attacking the island. There are three levels of skill to choose from Novice, Pilot and Ace before starting the game on the runway. Give the plane some power and with the joystick you pull back to climb into the sky and when high enough raise the undercarriage. The joystick controls the plane while the fire button fires your weapons. Don't give the plane too much power when flying as the plane then shakes before breaking up. Pressing M on the keyboard brings up a map showing the various locations to protect as well as any enemy fighters flying over the island.
The screen is split into two. The top half shows a 1st person perspective of what you can see ahead while the bottom half is your instrument panel. On the panel you have various instruments which include an Artificial Horizon, Compass, Altitude, Velocity, Power gauge, Damage and weapons status. To aid with navigation there is also a small part of the map, a light to indicate if a refuelling tanker is near and a radar showing the location of the nearest fighters position and height. Don't forget to keep an eye out on your fuel gauge and if it gets low then re-fuelling is required. During the battle and your tanker light is lit then you can re-fuel mid air with the tanker. If a wave off fighters have been destroyed you can find a runway (if any haven't been destroyed) and land the plane to also re-arm your weapons (don't forget to put the under carriage down).