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This game has a difficult default control scheme. L1 and L2 control the throttle, while the analog stick moves your ship directly up and down. I could never get used to this system. In a last ditch desperation before giving up on the game, I looked in the options and found my answer.
Type C and Type D remap the throttle to the left analog stick. This feels so much better. It moves the rarely used up and down options to the left shoulder buttons where they feel more natural.
If you are having issues with the default controls, I encourage you to try this before giving up.
I just got this game, but I read this post before I started, and thank you for that. I went into the control layouts first thing and took a look at the different options. I played around a bit with the others, but felt type c was the best. After playing a bit, I also turned off auto-roll and switched roll/yaw and found that I'd do much better in dogfights. It feels more like I'm in a 3D space now.