The Drawing Board: A library of tutorials and other useful information

101 posts in this topic

Public Service Announcement (24 Jul 2015): I've managed to coerce recruit my fellow moderator Red Iron Crown to serve as my assistant in maintaining the list for the time being while my Internet situation is getting sorted out. For the time being, it may be more timely to submit recommendations via PM to him rather than me (although I'll still be taking them, and will work on them when I can). And, as always, feel free to continue posting recommendations here in the thread if you prefer.

Public Service Announcement (27 Jun 2015): When it rains, it pours. I've recently relocated temporarily to pursue a summer job opportunity. For assorted reasons that I won't go into detail on, I'm not really guaranteed a stable Internet connection all the time, which is obviously going to interfere somewhat with my efforts to keep this up-to-date. I'm working on fixing that from both ends of the pipeline, but keep in mind that I may be a bit slower than usual in answering any posts and/or PMs until I get something worked out.

Public Service Announcement (12 May 2015): As you might have guessed, the release of 1.0 means that quite a bit of information, particularly anything involving aerodynamics, may be out of date. I'm slowly going through the list to vet and verify what I can, but it'll probably be a long, slow process. In the meantime, any and all help I can get from you all, whether with verifying older information or pointing out new resources, will be greatly appreciated. (For convenience, newer tutorials, and older tutorials that have been vetted, will be listed in bold.)


I've noticed that a lot of the same questions come up over and over again on the forums. We used to have a dedicated Tutorials subforum before the Great Forum Kraken devoured everything from after October 2012, but it seems that most of what's left has been scattered around a bit. My props to the forum staff to restoring the Tutorials section. Still, there are some quite good references scattered all over the internet that some people who only browse the forums might not be aware of. Therefore, I've decided to share a few links to what I consider some of the best Kerbal Space Program tutorials and resources I've been able to find.

Of course, it's still a work in progress, as I'm sure I've missed quite a lot of good information. I'm willing to take suggestions, but keep in mind that I prefer links to full-fledged tutorials or charts with hard data over regular discussion threads (although I'm sure many of those have a wealth of info as well). I'll also consider any suggestions y'all might have about how I can improve the formatting of the overall list to make it easier for people to find what they're looking for as well. I'll try to keep this updated fairly regularly.

That said, here's what I've gathered so far. If the contributor has multiple identities / names / user names / what-have-you, I've listed the one they use on the KSP forums first. Note that I tend to be a little slow on adding video tutorials, as my Internet service provider has a monthly bandwidth cap, and buying "bonus minutes" is expensive.



I. General FAQ

II. Video Tutorial Series

III. Standalone Video Tutorials


  1. The Basics (Basic Design, Launches, Orbital Mechanics, Safe Return to Kerbin)
  2. Design Tricks and Tips
  3. Rendezvous and Docking
  4. Getting to the Mun and Other Planets
  5. Space Planes, Single-Stage-to-Orbit (SSTO) Craft, and Other Advanced Designs
  6. Mod-Related (Creating, Installing, Using)
  7. Resource Management and Career Mode Functions (Science, Tech Tree, Economy, Mining, etc.)
  8. Miscellaneous


IV. User-Created Scenarios


  1. Rendezvous and Docking
  2. Getting to the Mun and Other Planets


V. Written Tutorials


  1. Tutorial Websites
  2. Comprehensive Tutorials (Cover multiple aspects of the game in detail)
  3. The Basics (Basic Design, Launches, Orbital Mechanics, Safe Return to Kerbin)
  4. Design Tips and Tricks
  5. Rendezvous and Docking
  6. Getting to the Mun and Other Planets
  7. Other Maneuvers and In-Flight Tricks
  8. Space Planes, Single-Stage-to-Orbit (SSTO) Craft, and Other Advanced Designs
  9. Resource Management and Career Mode Functions (Science, Tech Tree, Economy, Mining, etc.)
  10. Modifying Your Game and Using Others' Add-Ons (Creating, Installing, Using, Modded Ship Designs)
  11. Technical
  12. Miscellaneous / Uncategorized (includes Handy Formulas and such)


VI. Other Useful Resources


  1. General Reference Materials
  2. General Piloting and Navigation Aids
  3. Atmospheric Piloting and Navigation Aids
  4. Engineering Data
  5. Real World Rocket Science References


VII. International section (for languages other than English)


  1. Portuguese (Português)








  • : By illectro / Scott Manley. Highly recommended by the community at large. Includes a set of videos specifically for beginning players.
  • Wernher Von Kerman's Kerbal Space Program channel: By WernherVonKerman. Contains a number of highly-detailed and well-explained tutorials. Beginners are highly encouraged to check out the "Kerbal Rocket School" series. While the series is somewhat old, the creator has released some "update" videos to bring his information up-to-date as of 0.18+. Includes a fantastic explanation of
    . Has another tutorial section for players who have moved past the beginner stage and want to start getting more out of their rocket designs.
  • : By that1guy. An absolute beginner's guide to getting started in Kerbal Space Program that starts simple and builds up to more advanced concepts.
  • Pebble's Video Tutorials: Orbital mechanics, rendezvous, etc.: By pebble_garden. Multiple detailed tutorials, taking you through example missions.
  • Krash Test Kerbals: How to Science!: By purpletarget. Learn how to conquer your fears of "OH NOES IT'S MATH!" and apply real-world rocket science to KSP.
  • . By AddMeGamers. Includes tutorials ranging from the basics of rocket design and piloting to more advanced topics such as Surface Bases, Fuel Efficiency, Aerobraking, and Action Groups.
  • : By HoY / HoYin1600p. Videos on more advanced rocket design methods such as asparagus and onion staging and assembling multiple docking port connections in the VAB, as well as "what not to do" (pancake staging).
  • : By Cruzan / Cruzan AK. A series of tutorials intended to cover everything a new player needs in order to play the game. Provides a lot of information in a series of short, to-the-point videos.
  • : By BuckeyeMonkey. A crash course on learning to read the navball and maneuver nodes, starting with basic concepts and moving on to example missions showing you how to put these concepts together for interplanetary flights and rendezvous and docking.




The Basics (Basic Design, Launches, Orbital Mechanics, Safe Return to Kerbin)


  • : By allmhuran. A comprehensive explanation of the most basic features and functions you need in order to start playing Kerbal Space Program, including basic VAB and flight controls, flight indicators, key mapping, and more. Highly recommended for new players.
  • How to Easily Orbit: By evillittlestew / stuartputt. A brief and simple explanation of how to get your first spacecraft into orbit. Tries to keep technical jargon to a minimum for the benefit of new players.


Design Tricks and Tips



Rendezvous and Docking


  • : By Technical Ben / TechyBen. A very well-explained tutorial on lining up your final approach to your target and docking two craft together. (Note: Does not cover setting up a rendezvous from another orbit, so you may wish to consult another tutorial for that subject.)
  • : By Xiphos / Xiphos572. A comprehensive video tutorial that walks and talks you through a full mission, from designing your spacecraft through launching and rendezvous to the final docking, explained in a way that should be quite easy for new players to digest.
  • Launch, rendezvous, and docking: By blizzy78. This one's actually a "hybrid" tutorial of sorts; rather than narrating over the video itself, the author presents a silent demonstration, then explains what he is doing in detail through a written segment on the forums. You might want to try this one if either purely video or purely written tutorials are not working for you.


Getting to the Mun and Other Planets


  • : By Sebbi Lebga / Learning by Gaming. Demonstrates an effective, efficient way to put your first lander on the Mun.


Space Planes, Single-Stage-to-Orbit (SSTO) Craft, and Other Advanced Designs


  • How to make your first SSTO: By buzz66boy / DerpN3rd. This video takes you through the design and piloting of a simple yet effective Single-Stage-to-Orbit spaceplane. Gives many useful tips in an easy-to-understand format. Highly recommended for first-time SSTO designers.
  • Advanced SSTO Tutorial: By buzz66boy / DerpN3rd. Building on the concepts found in the above video, this tutorial teaches you how to build and pilot a SSTO spaceplane capable of traveling elsewhere in the solar system.


Mod-Related (Creating, Installing, Using)


  • : By Das123 / Das24680. A comprehensive walkthrough taking you through the process of creating your own custom flag pack for your game. (Note: The results of actually designing your own flags from scratch will depend entirely on your own art skills.)


Resource Management and Career Mode Functions (Science, Tech Tree, Economy, Mining, etc.)


  • Career Mode Tutorial - The First Two Missions: By EtherDragon / Korbital Mechanics. A beginner's guide to the basics of effective Career Mode rocket design and project management. Teaches you how to build simple, effective rockets with the starting parts and how to conduct scientific research while in flight. Highly recommended for new players.




  • Flag Tutorial: How to Plant, Edit, and More: By KillerMx1337. Tips for creating, using, and interacting with the new flags introduced in KSP 0.20. (Note: Do not place flags inside GameData/Squad. Instead, place them in another existing folder inside the GameData folder, or create your own.)




Rendezvous and Docking


  • Docking tutorial: By blizzy78. Know how to get close enough to dock, but having trouble with those last few hundred meters to the target? This scenario will teach you how to effectively line yourself up with your target and close the distance. Highly recommended for new players. (Note: No longer being maintained by blizzy78, who is looking for an interested party to update and maintain it for subsequent versions of KSP.)


Getting to the Mun and Other Planets


  • Moon Travel tutorial: By blizzy78. Learn how to plot a course for your vessel from Low Kerbin Orbit to an orbit around the Mun suitable for performing a surface landing. Highly recommended for new players.




Tutorial Websites


  • Fly on Budget!: By Kulebron. A series of tutorials dedicated to teaching how you can use what you know about the game to optimize your rockets so you won't have to build hulking monstrosities to achieve your next goal. (Note: At present, still a work in progress.)


Comprehensive Tutorials (Cover multiple aspects of the game in detail)


  • Exploring the Solar System -A design tutorial campaign: By Pecan. A comprehensive, detailed tutorial divided into a series of "projects" that cover several different aspects of craft design and piloting and mission planning, from your very first trainer craft to long-term manned interplanetary missions.


The Basics (Basic Design, Launches, Orbital Mechanics, Safe Return to Kerbin)


  • Kerbal Space Program Basics: By registole. An infographic display that covers the absolute basics of rocketry, orbital mechanics, and reading the interface.
  • A Complete Beginner's Guide - Induction to Construction: By Pecan. A PDF guide aimed at newer players that explains the most basic controls and preferences available to the player. Highly recommended for new players; in many ways, this is the user's manual the game doesn't yet actually have.
  • A Kerbal Guide to Rocketry: By air805ronin. A beginner's guide to building and flying rockets that includes information on the game's interface and handy keyboard hotkey shortcuts. Companion craft files and a link to a companion video to this guide may be found in this thread. (Note: This guide has not been updated since 0.18, and thus some information may be out of date.)
  • The Complete Idiot's Illustrated Guide to Space Travel: By Aphox. Another excellent guide for beginning players. Takes you from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launchpad to orbit to your first Mun landing. Includes quite useful information about reading your ship's navball.
  • Rocketry for Brigands, Hooligans, Vagrants, and other people who can't math good: By CrashTestKerbal. Another step-by-step tutorial, taking you through construction to launch of a sample space probe. Includes some basic information about using maneuver nodes and reading the navball.
  • Basic Rocket Design: By Senshi. Learn how the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Spaceplane Hangar work, and how to design and launch a simple space rocket.
  • How to reach orbit, and a (sandbox) rocket to do it with: By Vanamonde. Having trouble getting your first space rocket into a good orbit? Use this guide to learn how you can reliably launch and retrieve simple spacecraft quickly and easily! Comes with a craft design specifically designed to be used as a "trainer" for new flyers.
  • Basic Probe and Satellite Building: By Nova Storm. Some general advice for designing unmanned probes and satellites.
  • Why Does My FLIPing Rocket Always Flip Over?: By EtherDragon. Wondering why your rocket always flips over when you try to fly it? Find out why, and how you can fix it, here.
  • Staging Methods Overview: By mhoram. A concise list of different staging strategies you can employ for your rockets, along with the pros and cons of each.
  • Asparagus Staging: By Crush. Learn how to get the most out of your radially-mounted engines and fuel tanks.
  • Asparagus Staging: an Explanation: Another look at asparagus staging, going into more detail about what sorts of benefits it gives to the player and how you can easily set up your rocket to take advantage of it.
  • Basic Orbiting: By Entroper. Learn how to get into the orbit you want, using only your orbital altitude and velocity for reference. (Note: An older tutorial that's less necessary these days, as we can use the Maneuver Nodes system to do the exact same thing without crunching numbers. Still, contains some quite useful information about how to adjust your orbit to get it looking "just right.")
  • Basic Orbiting (Math): By Entroper. A companion to the link immediately above. Learn how to calculate your orbital speed and period in a given orbit with a few simple equations.
  • Advanced Orbiting: By Entroper. A few maneuvers that you can use to get your spacecraft into the orbit you desire.
  • How to Land Off the Runway - Design and Technique: By peachoftree. A guide to designing aircraft for landing on rough surfaces, and how to safely do so.


Design Tips and Tricks


  • Rules of Thumb for Building Cheap and Cheerful Rockets: By Norcalplanner. A thorough guide to building rockets with an eye toward simplicity and cost reduction.
  • A Basic Guide for Mission Planning and Rocket Construction: By Gaiiden. An approachable guide to understanding delta-V requirements and building from the payload backwards to meet them.
  • Planning your rockets: What is Delta-V?: By Xannari Ferrows. A concise yet comprehensive answer to one of the most commonly-asked questions about rocket design, along with how you can apply this knowledge to your own design process.
  • Tips to optimize Delta V: Various authors. Forum users share advice on how to get the most coverage out of your rockets by removing non-essential features or replacing them with better options. (Note: Some of the specifics of equipment performance may be out of date, but most of the more general advice of "lightening your load" should still be valid.)
  • Six places you should be using more struts!: By nhnifong. Learn the most effective ways to secure your rockets using struts.
  • Launch Clamp Guide: By Zuni. Some pointers for effectively placing your launch clamps to keep your rockets stable on the launchpad.
  • Adding Aerospikes to Nuclear Engines - and short profile Nuclear Engines: By Octobomb. Augment your LV-N's thrust capabilities using create placement of aerospike engines. Also includes a mission for using radial attachment points and short fuel tanks to create "short-profile" nuclear engines with higher ground clearance.
  • Cooling LV-N "Nervas" - it's not rocket science: By Kobymaru. Having problems with your Nervas overheating? Read this to find out what's going on, and what steps you can take to radiate the excess heat.
  • How to have engine clusters in upper stages: By thox (original idea by allmhuran). Want to put a multicoupler-connected set of engines on more than just the bottom stage of your rocket? Read this tutorial first.
  • Tip for lifting super-massive payloads - thrust plate (with video): By allmhuran. Use structural parts to help counter the tendency for high-TWR engines such as Mainsails to "telescope" your rockets in on themselves as fuel empties from the tanks. Includes a demonstration video.
  • The art of modular base building: By Temstar. An illustrated guide demonstrating a practical method for planning and assembling ground bases out of multiple modular parts that should work on the surface of any planet or moon.
  • Circular station building: By Tex_NL. Design advice for assembling classical toroidal space stations.
  • If it bends, it won't break. Large rover wheel placement: By csanders. Sometimes, struts can cause more problems than they fix. This tutorial shows you how you can use elastic connections to keep the wheels from breaking off of larger rovers.
  • How to Land Your Fat Rocket Safely in the Water: By parameciumkid. If you're planning on landing a large rocket (or other large payload) in a body of water, or just want to ensure your craft will survive if you have to ditch it in an emergency, read this. Includes diagnostic rules for working out any bugs in your parachute setup if your crafts tend to land awkwardly.
  • Fuel Flow Rules (0.24.2): By Kasuha. An in-depth explanation of how the game's fuel flow routing logic works. Should be helpful for builders of more complex rocket designs.
  • Open Source Construction Techniques for Craft Aesthetics: Various authors. Users share their tips and tricks for building craft that not only work well, but look stylish as they fly as well. (Note: Some designs rely on the use of part clipping, which is activated through the debug console.)
  • Hidden Fuel Tutorial - More Fuel in 5 Steps: By TheChizzaberry81. A trick for "hiding" fuel tanks inside your smaller vehicles. (Note: Relies on use of the debug console.)
  • How To Balance RCS On Your Payload: By NeoMorph. A quick and easy way to troubleshoot problems with your spacecraft's RCS thruster placement without going all the way into orbit. (Note: Relies on use of the debug console.)


Rendezvous and Docking


  • How to dock in 3 easy steps: By Maxwell Fern. A simple step-by-step procedure for docking two craft in orbit. Includes a download link to a trainer craft. (Note: Craft file is for an older version of KSP and may not work in the latest version.)
  • Rendezvous Tutorial: By luchelibre. An illustrated tutorial that walks you through performing a rendezvous step-by-step, showing and explaining each step in turn. Highly recommended for beginning pilots.
  • Orbital rendezvous: You can do them!: By hubbazoot. A step-by-step procedure for docking two craft in orbit.
  • Docking for Brigands, Hooligans, Vagrants, and other people who can't aim good: By CrashTestKerbal. A follow-on to "Rocketry for Vagrants..." above. Talks you through how to conduct a successful docking using the information provided by your navball and the game's object targeting system.
  • KSP Docking: By Mr Shifty / MatthiasW. An image gallery of screenshots that takes you through how to conduct rendezvous and docking, with captions explaining what to do at each step.
  • Docking: From Navball to First Station: By Starwhip. A tutorial that not only walks you through the basics of rendezvous and docking, but also demonstrates how you can apply this to building modular space stations in orbit. Take a look at this if you want to learn how to put together space stations and other complex vehicles in orbit, not just how to dock in and of itself.
  • Docking V2: From the Launchpad to the Asteroid Redirect Mission (+ MOAR MANEUVERS!): By Starwhip. An (in-progress) updated version of the above, rewritten to accommodate for updates, expanded tutorial scope, and other changes.
  • Kerbal Practical Guide for Docking: By CippoBox. PDF format. A concise (one page) list of pointers for beginners who are still learning to dock. Not in-depth, but useful as a "cheat sheet" if you want to print out something and keep it handy while you've got the game running.
  • ArmchairGravy's Guide to Docking with Pictures and Fairly Small Words: By ArmchairGravy: A docking guide specifically tailored to those who learn better by watching than by reading.
  • Easy mode docking with MechJeb 2.0: By HoY. Learn a clever trick for the MechJeb autopilot that can take much of the headache out of that last big step in closing the distance. Requires MechJeb 2.0+ to implement.


Getting to the Mun and Other Planets



Other Maneuvers and In-Flight Tricks


  • Estimate the duration of a burn: By Kaleb. Learn how to estimate how long you'll need to burn at your next maneuver node by hand using the rocket equation and your rocket's design specs.
  • Landing a Pod at KSP: By corpsmoderne. A simple guide that shows you how to land a non-aerodynamic pod at Kerbal Space Center from a 100km equatorial starting orbit with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Getting a satellite into Kerbosynchronous orbit over KSC: By beliskner. Demonstrates how you can put an object into an orbit above Kerbin so that it always stays above the location of the launchpad.
  • Flotillas: A Primer in 3 Chapters: By Geschosskopf. This guide offers some handy advice for planning and managing complex missions involving several ships that are sent to a single destination. Recommended for users who are already comfortable with making basic interplanetary missions.


Space Planes, Single-Stage-to-Orbit (SSTO) Craft, and Other Advanced Designs



Resource Management and Career Mode Functions (Science, Tech Tree, Economy, Mining, etc.)


  • KSP Career Mode for Absolute Beginners Part 1, Part 2, Part 3: By Phil deCube. A quick and dirty step-by-step guide to getting started in Career Mode for those who just want to jump right in. Shows you the essential basics you'll need for a successful career as it guides you to completing basic milestones.
  • Understanding Science Points: By Trigger Au. A primer on the basics of the Science system, including an explanation of how science values are calculated for different experiments.
  • Beginner Science: By bigalqld. A walkthrough for beginning players that guides them through a number of example missions to demonstrate how the science system works. Highly recommended for new players.
  • How to (or not to) SCIENCE!: By rottielover. Some general observations about how to get the most out of your scientific endeavors on your missions.
  • (0.22) Comprehensive list of all science objectives"]Comprehensive list of all science objectives: By Grays42. An in-depth examination of the mechanics of the science system, including the different experiments, their benefits and restrictions, and the environments you can perform them in.
  • Ever Wondered how much Science was Available? Look no further!: By MatoroIgnika. If you've ever wanted to know how much Science you can get from doing experiments alone, or how it's broken down by planet / moon and experiment, this spreadsheet has you covered. Also includes data from the Outer Planets Mod, for those inclined to use that.
  • How to import a 0.23.5 Career save into 0.24 Science Mode: By AlexinTokyo. Want to continue an older Career save from a previous version of the game, but don't want to deal with the added hassle of contracts and funding? Follow these instructions so that you can pick up right where you left off.
  • Care and Feeding of your MPL-LG-2 Mobile Processing Lab in 1.0+ - How to be a science farmer: By BluetoothThePirate. Some information on how the Mobile Processing Lab works, as well as how you can get the most out of your Labs to gather science for your space program.
  • Step by Step Mining Guide: By rhadamant. This guide will introduce you to the basics of resource mining, explaining what each piece of equipment does and how you can combine them for a simple ore-mining operation.
  • Paydirt -- Finding Good Ore Deposits: By Geschosskopf. Looking to find that perfect spot to support a long-term base on another world so you don't have to constantly ship fuel up from KSC? Use this guide to hone your ore surveying and mining skills!


Modifying Your Game and Using Others' Add-Ons (Creating, Installing, Using, Modded Ship Designs)

Note: For maximum utility, ensure you're using the same mods the tutorial author is recommending.


  • Compilation of modding information links for 0.19/20/21: By Hoojiwana. Like the Drawing Board, this thread is intended to be a central repository for any and all information related to its topic -- in this case, creating and developing add-on user modifications for KSP. If you need information on creating mods as opposed to installing and using them, check there first.
  • Ferram Aerospace Research (FAR) Wiki: By various contributors. Some essential documentation for getting the most out of Ferram Aerospace Research, a popular add-on that alters aerodynamic behavior for increased realism. Good places to start reading:
    • Definition of Terms and Symbols: Take a look at this if all those unusual words and funny-looking hieroglyphs are Greek to you.
    • Overview of Stability: Some general notes on how aerodynamic stability works, and how you can use this knowledge to help you build a better spaceplane.
    • Static Analysis with FAR: Still trying to decipher what all those numbers mean in the FAR Control & Analysis Systems screen mean? Read this for an explanation of what each one means, and how you can use the information to further refine your designs. (Note: Still under construction as of 27 Feb 2015).
    • An Example SSTO Design Process: A set of basic guidelines you can use to help you design and fly an SSTO spaceplane using the information the mod provides.


    [*]General tutorial for removing WIN64 KSP Denial of access code from mods.: By mcirish3. Some general advice for enabling mods that have been disabled for use with 64-bit distributions of KSP. (WARNING: Several mod-makers have noted that they will not accept bug reports from mods reenabled in such a manner due to outstanding issues with 64-bit KSP itself. Proceed at your own risk.)

    [*]ISA Mapsat Ideal and Non-Ideal Altitudes: By Psawhn, reposted by gracae86. Discusses how to find the optimal orbit to provide full ground coverage for scanners with a single satellite. Intended primarily as a guide for users of the ISA Mapsat plugin, but may also be handy for other circumstances. (Robot256 has since posted updated information for the 0.20 build here as well.)

    [*]Ideal SCANsat Altitudes: By technogeeky. Serves much the same purpose as the ISA Mapsat guide above, except directed at users of the newer and more recently-maintained SCANsat plugin, as well as the ORS and EPL scanners from the Karbonite and Extended Planetary Launchpads mods.

    [*]Kethane Usage and Proper Fuel Routing: By DMagic. How to properly set up your kethane drilling and processing equipment on a spacecraft.

    [*]Space Shuttle Tutorials: By acc. This series of tutorials will, once completed, walk you through the design and piloting of your very own Space Shuttle replica using a few of the more popular mod packs out there.

    [*]Space Shuttles Made Easy with Kerbal Engineer!: By GusTurbo. Use Kerbal Engineer's torque display feature to help design and refine your asymmetric craft designs (such as Space Shuttle replicas) in order to make them much easier to fly.

    [*]Bipedal, Cam-Operated Walker Tutorial [stock + Infernal Robotics]: By Fengist. Want to build your very own Humongous Mecha in KSP? This thorough tutorial might help you get started, from the basic physics behind walking to instructions on how to construct the joints and assemble them all in one ambulatory package.

    [*]How to Create Custom Kerbals: By greenbow66. Learn how to alter your game's save file to add your own custom-named kerbonaut to your flight roster.





  • Streaming KSP: By KasperVld. Have you ever wanted to broadcast a livestream of yourself playing the game, just like the people on KSP-TV do? It might be easier than you think.
  • How to fix horribly calibrated joysticks in KSP: By Ulair. Is your joystick not working properly? Check this thread first! (Note:
  • Performance Fix - KSP Tweak Guide: By Astronomer. Some general tips for getting the best performance out of your computer while playing KSP. (Note: Some suggestions may no longer be valid.)


Miscellaneous / Uncategorized (includes Handy Formulas and such)


  • Terminology: Various authors. Wonder what terms like "delta-v," "escape trajectory," and "aerobraking" mean? Demystify some of the jargon with this helpful glossary.
  • A newbie's guide to abbreviations: By Javster. Don't know what things like "SSTO," "Isp," "VTOL," and other assorted TLAs and bits of alphabet soup mean? Check here first. Has been recently updated (as of 16 Apr 2014) for better readability.
  • Key Bindings: Various authors. A list of keyboard controls for the game.
  • What are the most important things you've learned about playing KSP to pass on?: Various authors. Veteran players share assorted nuggets of wisdom they've gathered through their own experiences. (Note: While much information is still valid, some of it may be outdated. Tread carefully among the older posts.)
  • Geostationary Orbit Constellations for Dummies: By phoenix_ca. Want to have a symmetrical constellation of satellites in geostationary orbit? Use this tutorial to do that in a few easy steps! (Note: The author states a preference for MechJeb, but you can substitute any other mod or method that tells you the longitude of your orbit.)
  • Apoapsis plane change manoeuvre ÃŽâ€v (equation): By alexmun (post in discussion thread). A handy set of equations for calculating the delta-v required for an inclination change in a given orbit, as well as when it would be most efficient to perform an "apoapsis kick" before said inclination burn.
  • Different Conic drawing modes: By Rascal Nag. Learn how to change the way your orbital map displays information for planetary and moon encounters, and how you can make each mode work for you. (Note: As of 0.19 onward, mode 3 seems to be the default rather than mode 1.)
  • Kerbal Orbit Parameters: By maltesh. Explains what the values for orbits in the persistence file correspond to, as well as how you can exploit these values for fun and profit if you so choose. (Note: Persistence file editing is considered a "gamey" tactic by some players.)
  • Fix stuck docking ports with a little save file editing, by roscoe_jones.



OTHER RESOURCES (Includes some offsite links)

General Reference Materials


  • Kerbal Space Program Wiki: Various authors; collaborative wiki. Provides a wealth of information about the planets, moons, and stock rocket parts, as well as a number of additional tutorials, some of which are linked to in this article.
  • Kerbal-Proof: By Nick Aldwin. Another repository of knowledge for Kerbal Space Program, including various "cheat sheets" and links to various mods. Some of the resources found there are also listed here, but since it's maintained by a different creator, you might find something that helps you better if the things listed at the Drawing Board aren't working for you. (Note: Some resources may still contain outdated information, especially regarding pre-1.0 atmosphere behavior.)
  • Handy/interesting graphs/charts: Various authors. Includes delta-v and phase angle charts. (Note: Delta-v charts still use old values for atmospheric planets.)
  • KSP Keyboard Map - Old School Gaming: By Trigger Au. A pair of printable keymaps that show which keys perform what functions for building and piloting spacecraft. A link to a downloadable PDF file is included in the thread.


General Piloting and Navigation Aids


  • Interactive Illustrated Interplanetary Guide and Calculator for KSP: By olex. An online calculator that computes the most ideal phase and ejection angles for interplanetary travel for you.
  • KSP Launch Window Planner: By alexmun / alexmoon. Creates porkchop plots for various interplanetary transfers showing the various amounts of delta-v required to complete the transfer within a given time frame.
  • Delta-v map: By JellyCubes. Shows some minimum delta-v requirements for reaching various targets starting at Kerbin. (Note: Values for atmospheric bodies likely inaccurate, as they still account for pre-1.0 atmospheric behavior.)
  • Yet another delta-v map: By Kowgan / WAC. Presents much the same information as the first two maps, except with slightly more information (including altitudes and Hohmann transfer transit times).
  • And another delta-v map: By CuriousMetaphor. Aside from what you might expect from any other delta-v chart, this one also includes information about the maximum possible additional delta-v you might need for orbital plane changes, which can be quite significant indeed if you're traveling to somewhere like Moho.
  • Delta-v nomogram: By Nyrath / Winchell Chung. Shows three separate diagrams for delta-v targets, engine ISP / exhaust velocity, and propellant fractions. To use, take any two known variables and connect them with a straight edge, then extend the line out to the third.
  • A Delta-V map for simple flightpaths: By mhoram. Want to make an interplanetary flight, but don't want to bother with figuring out launch windows, phase and ejection angles, etc.? Use this chart (and the accompanying flight plan) instead!
  • KSP Planetary Transfer Quick Reference Chart: By Landge. A diagram showing how to find the ideal phase and ejection angles for interplanetary transfers from Kerbin. Uses data from olex's Interplanetary Guide and Calculator. Also available in greyscale, for ease of printing.
  • Precomputed Low-TWR Interplanetary Transfer Burns: By Red Iron Crown and regex. Having trouble launching massive, low-TWR rockets and meeting your burn times? Use this simple rubric to get you from a 100km orbit around Kerbin to anywhere you want to go in the solar system. Also includes a pair of spreadsheets you can use to input your own values for a more tailor-made fractional burn profile.
  • Heights for (semi-) synchronous orbits: By Quorthon. A table displaying the altitudes of synchronous and semi-synchronous orbits around the bodies of the Kerbol system, as well as a formula you can use to calculate these altitudes yourself if you so desire.
  • An exhaustive list of synchronous, demi-synchronous, and quarter-synchronous orbits: By SkyRender. Another list for the altitudes of various periodic orbits around the different planets of the Kerbol system.
  • Maximum Elevation by Inclination of Non-Atmospheric Bodies: By saik0. Shows the maximum terrain elevation above the "index altitude" that you can expect to encounter when orbiting the body of your choice in a particular inclination relative to that planet's equator. (In other words, this tells you about how high your periapsis has to be in order to orbit safely.)
  • Landing and Takeoff Delta-V vs. TWR and Specific Impulse: By tavert. Some observations on the most efficient way to perform takeoffs and landings, with charts to provide supporting evidence.
  • Suicide-burn handy equation: By Oan. Allows you to calculate when the most optimal time to burn on your landing approach to another body is, based on your craft's thrust and mass. Also includes SanderB's "back-of-envelope" equation for quicker use while in flight. (Note: Original equation seems to have been deleted from its original host; SanderB's "back-of-envelope" equation may still be valid, however.)
  • KSP Lead Angle Calculator: By Tuupertunut. Allows you to calculate the required phase angle for an efficient transfer to a target in a higher orbit around Kerbin. from a lower orbit.


Atmospheric Piloting and Navigation Aids


  • (Sadly, all the content formerly listed here is outdated; please help contribute to our knowledge base by creating new tutorials!)


Engineering Data


  • KSP Physics Documentation: By mhoram. All Most of the equations that act as the "nuts and bolts" of the game's physics engine collected in one handy .PDF supplement. (Note: Aerodynamic information is outdated as of v1.0; mhoram has informed me that he has no plans to update this in the near future. Also makes no mention of atmospheric shock heating or heat transfer between parts. Nevertheless, this is still an excellent resource in all other aspects.)
  • Fuel flow chart: Author unknown. A comparison chart, showing how to set up asparagus staging by comparison to non-crossfeeding and regular crossfeeding designs.
  • Graph of Engine Comparison Flights: By Dispatcher. Provide data on various forms of engine performance under certain conditions, taken from the same test flights used to compile the above comparison chart.
  • Engine Cluster Calculator for KSP: By blizzy78. Use this calculator to determine how to most efficiently set up engine clusters and radial asparagus stages for your launch vehicles. Includes options to incorporate parts from certain popular mod packs, including KW Rocketry, NovaPunch, and AIES Aerospace. (Note: Currently outdated. I will attempt to contact blizzy in the near future to see if any updates are planned.)


Real World Rocket Science References (for enlightenment and inspiration)


  • Atomic Rocketships of the Space Patrol: By Nyrath / Winchell Chung. An entertaining and informative website written to debunk many common misconceptions about space travel and give the "man on the street" knowledge of the basics in layman's terms. It's mostly geared towards real-world rocketry, but much of the information on basic orbital mechanics and rocket design can easily be applied to KSP.
  • Rockets and Space Technology: By Robert A. Braeunig. An informative site containing a wealth of information about real-world space travel, including a tutorial on the basic principles of orbital mechanics and interplanetary flight (warning: math) and data on spacecraft.
  • Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design: By Dave Akin. Some practical words of wisdom from real-world rocket science, presented through tongue-in-cheek humor.
  • Encyclopedia Astronautica: By Mark Wade. An exhaustive reference about real-world space travel, including vehicles, personalities, manufacturers, and other topics. Includes a large number of designs that never quite made it to the launchpad. You may find it useful for getting inspiration for your next big project.




  • Roleplay tips for the realism inclined: Various authors. Want to challenge yourself by playing more "realistically," or just want to try out an interesting handicap because the game's gotten too easy otherwise? Check out some of these ideas. (Note: While many of these tips are still valid, some relate to the absence of features that have since been incorporated into the stock game, and are thus no longer strictly "essential.")




Resources catering to those for whom English may not be their native language.

Portuguese (Português)



19 people like this

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This is great for new players and veterans alike! :cool:

could very well become a sticky :D

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Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Added a few new tutorials to the list. I won't post every time I do this, since I might get in trouble for doing things like double-posting, but since it's a new thread I want to keep it close to the top.

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Great stuff... Have added it to my sig as it needs to be spread around so newbies find it easier.

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Sweet liquid Hydrogen! This is uber. (Switching to forum grammar mode) stiky plz!\\ !!11

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I made these charts while learning about spaceplanes. http://imgur.com/a/okuO4 They give a basic breakdown of the performance of the different liquid engines and how much dV one can produce with a certain amount of fuel. It's not really worth its own thread, so I'll just leave 'em here. :)

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Thanks a lot, I have been able to do quite a few things without mechjeb(just got it today) and hopefully these can help me do even more(like not crash into the Mun every time I try to land).

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I made these charts while learning about spaceplanes. http://imgur.com/a/okuO4 They give a basic breakdown of the performance of the different liquid engines and how much dV one can produce with a certain amount of fuel. It's not really worth its own thread, so I'll just leave 'em here. :)

Nice! Added to the list.

Thanks a lot, I have been able to do quite a few things without mechjeb(just got it today) and hopefully these can help me do even more(like not crash into the Mun every time I try to land).
Sweet liquid Hydrogen! This is uber. (Switching to forum grammar mode) stiky plz!\\ !!11

Glad to hear it!

I'll keep an eye out for other quality tutorials I can scrounge up. Maybe this thread will even spur some of the more knowledgeable users who hang out around here to write a few.

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Hey! You got a sticky! Just so you know, you were already on my markers... You replaced a bunch of them actually. Good idea! :D

Rune. Now let's get the rocket builders subforum back... right? :P

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As you're taking suggestions might I reccomend http://www.youtube.com/user/WernherVonKerman

I found his channel during the IYSS construction, and has a kerbal rocket school series that seems to cover stuff quite well.

Thanks for the link! I'll take a better look at it later tonight, when my unlimited bandwidth kicks in, but it looks like it might be quite useful.

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Updated the list with some description tweaks and new additions.

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Thank you for putting this thread together! It has been VERY helpful for a n00b like me!

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I've been doing a lot of docking in space, so thought I'd post a video of how I do it. Feedback welcome. I know it's not massively amazing like the rest of the videos. :P


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I've been doing a lot of docking in space, so thought I'd post a video of how I do it. Feedback welcome. I know it's not massively amazing like the rest of the videos. :P


Thanks! :) I'll probably take a look at it later tonight.

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Sorry for the unannounced hiatus, all. Both burnout on KSP and real life-related issues left me with little motivation to really pay much attention to this for a while. However, with 0.21 recently released, I've gotten back into the groove a little, and I should start reviewing a few of the more recently-written tutorials to add to the list over the next few days.

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I just wanted to give a shout out to the guy that posted this article. Very, very helpful indeed!! I can honestly say that this game has totally blown me away with every single aspect of it. It is unbelievable how realistic it is. I have been in the RC Plane hobby for years and also have had my Private Pilot License for 5 years now. This is a wonderful simulator and this article has really let me enjoy the game much more than I ever could without it. I am only about halfway through the entire tutorial and each day at work I keep looking at the clock and can't wait to get home and learn more and more about playing this great game. Cheers and Kudos to everyone that has contributed to this article. Keep up the superb work. I hope one day I can return the favor to a newb like me!


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Glad to hear it! Helping new players find the information they need quickly has always been the main goal of the list.

That said, without the knowledge, dedication, and eagerness of many more experienced players, there would be nothing to list here, so I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone who has taken the time to create their own tutorials and make them available to others.

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One could stay in here for days, kind of like in KSP! Also, great work ThePseudoMonkey on your charts!

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This topic is now closed to further replies.