When you start the game, your Lunar Lander will be floating above the moon's surface. Immediately, your lander will start to descend. Figure out where you want to land and maneuver your lander to that landing pad. Fuel is a valuable commodity in this game. To get the most ''bang'' for your quarter, try to use as little as possible. Since everything burns fuel (even rotating your lander left and right), do your best to get centered over a landing pad so you don't have to overreact at the last minute.
Use the thrust lever sparingly. It is easy to move it up and down so you can easily put on full thrusters before you realize what's happening. This can be especially dangerous if you are in a canyon and are going sideways. Your lander will become part of the moonscape very quickly. Just use short bursts to correct your downward and left/right movement. This not only gives you better control, but it also saves you on fuel.
After you have decided on the landing pad, start maneuvering your lander toward it. Use minimal thrusters to keep your lander from going too fast toward the moon. Also, only tap on the right and left rotation buttons so that you keep your left/right speed as near to zero as possible.
When you get near enough to the moon's surface, the view will change and you will get the close-up view. This is the time you can start doing all your finishing maneuvers. If you set yourself up right when you were way above the moon's surface, you shouldn't have to do much to ensure that you are over the landing pad. If you find yourself in trouble and there is no way out, press the ABORT button. The effects are that it automatically straightens out your lander, stops all left/right movement, and moves you a little ways off the surface. The penalty for this is approximately 100 units of fuel.
On your final descent onto the landing pad, watch your speed. If you land at anything greater then 10, you run the risk of damaging or destroying your lander. When you have landed, the game will give you an assessment of the landing and the points earned.
Over time, the easy pads will go away and you will have to land on pads located on the sides of mountains or very deep, steep sided ravines. It will be even more critical that you know how to do small maneuvers since some of the landing pads are not wider then your lander.