Make sure you have enabled the joystick in the "Joystick" tab of the Orbiter Launchpad dialog.
The joystick is usually mapped to the reaction control system (RCS) or aerodynamic control surfaces of your spacecraft, so remember:
- In vacuum, aerodynamic control surfaces obviously have no effect - the spacecraft orientation can only be controlled with the RCS.
- Conversely, in a dense atmosphere, the RCS may be too weak for attitude control. Control surfaces will be more effective.
- When both RCS and control surfaces are disabled, the joystick has no effect.
- In linear RCS mode, the joystick will not rotate the spacecraft, but add to the linear velocity vector.
If your joystick has a throttle control, you can use it to manipulate the main engines. If your throttle control is not responding, try selecting a different throttle axis from the Launchpad dialog.