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.
- How-to Guide and Commonly Asked Questions (and Answers!): By DMagic: New to Kerbal Space Program, or got an issue that might come up frequently? Start here first!
VIDEO TUTORIAL SERIES
- Scott Manley's Kerbal Space Program Tutorials: 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 what, exactly, that mysterious thing called "delta-v" is. Has another tutorial section for players who have moved past the beginner stage and want to start getting more out of their rocket designs.
- KSP for Beginners: 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.
- Kerbal Space Program Tutorials, Guides, and Walkthroughs. 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.
- Kerbal Space Program Tutorials: 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).
- KSP Quick Guides: 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.
- Understanding the Navball and Maneuver Nodes: 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.
STANDALONE VIDEO TUTORIALS
The Basics (Basic Design, Launches, Orbital Mechanics, Safe Return to Kerbin)
- Your First Fifteen Minutes in Kerbal Space Program: 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
- Assembling Multi-Docking Port Connections in the VAB: By HoY / HoYin1600p. A video demonstrating the proper way to place connections that use multiple docking ports for connecting stages in the VAB.
Rendezvous and Docking
- Docking in Kerbal Space Program, yet another tutorial...: 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 or use this one in conjunction with Vanamonde's Docking Trainer Ship below.)
- Docking Tutorial: Build, Fly, and DOCK!!: 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
- Space Travel 101: Mun Landing Tutorial: 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)
- Kerbal Flag Tutorial: 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.)
Career Mode (Science, Tech Tree, Economy, 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.)
USER-CREATED IN-GAME TUTORIAL SCENARIOS
Rendezvous and Docking
- Rendezvous tutorial: By blizzy78. A downloadable scenario that walks you through the steps for performing an orbital rendezvous with another craft, providing instructions as you pilot the ship yourself. Highly recommended for new players.
- 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.
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.
- MyKSPCareer.com - Getting Started: By "admin." A list of articles covering all the basics and some of the more advanced maneuvers available in KSP, all written as part of a series. Each article covers its topic in a complete, comprehensive manner, but also in a way that any layperson can easily understand. Highly recommended for new players.
- 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 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.
- Basic Probe and Satellite Building: By Nova Storm. Some general advice for designing unmanned probes and satellites.
- 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.
- How to Read the Navball: By Vanamonde. Instructions on how to use one of the most useful navigation instruments in the game.
- 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 reach orbit, and a rocket that can do it; a tutorial for newbies: By Vanamonde. A training exercise for new players to help them learn how orbits work through first-hand experience using a tested and proven rocket design.
Design Tips and Tricks
- How to place tanks radially in 0.18.4+ and the 0.18.3 Demo: By Sal_vager. Workaround for a bug that prevents you from placing fuel tanks radially.
- SAS or ASAS?: By sodopro. Learn the key differences between these two control modules, and how you can make them effectively work for you. (Note: Probably obsolete as of the 0.21 changes to the SAS model, but still kept on the list for the moment as the current demo is still 0.18.3.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fuel Flow Rules (0.23): 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.
- 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.
- Help with Docking: A Trainer Ship for Newbies: By Vanamonde. Provides advice on rendezvous and docking, and provides a trainer ship that allows new players to practice their docking skills without having to perform a rendezvous first.
- 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
- How to land on anything without blowing up: By DigitalUnity. A general list of methods for getting your lander from orbit to the ground of whatever body you want to land on.
- An illustrated moon mission walkthrough for new pilots: By Vanamonde. A comprehensive guide that takes you through a sample mission to the Mun's surface and back, from launch through landing to return and reentry. Also includes additional advice for traveling to Minmus using some additional techniques, as well as a link to a trainer craft that can perform both missions easily.
- Traveling to the Mun.: By craigmt1. Some advice for designing and piloting your first lander to the Mun and back.
- Interplanetary Travel without Angles: The Launch Calendar: By marscht. Rough estimates of the best times to embark from Kerbin to various planets. (Note: Does not include Moho or Eeloo.)
- Interplanetary How-To Guide: By Kosmo-not. Learn how to calculate interplanetary phase angles and ejection angles for interplanetary travel.
- Planetary intercepts - or how to orbit in the right direction: By KSK. Learn a couple simple tricks to tell which way you'll be orbiting after you hit your encounter.
- Interplanetary Hohmann transfer guide and tips: By voneiden. An illustrated guide for efficiently and reliably setting up Hohmann transfers between planets.
- Non-Hohmann Interplanetary Transfers: By Mr. Shifty. Learn how to use alexmun's Launch Window Planner (see below) to effectively plot your next interplanetary voyage.
- Performing a Gravity Assist: By Crush. Learn about a nifty trick you can use to travel between two locations using some "free" delta-v from a third body's gravity.
- Landing on Other Worlds - What to Expect and Where: By |SMM| ßlacksmith. Some specific advice for each of the Kerbol system's many planets and moons.
- Duna for Dummies: How to get there without math: By Trebuchet-Launch. Takes you through designing, launching, and piloting a spacecraft that will take you to Duna and back. (Note: An older tutorial, created before the maneuver node system was implemented. Thus, heavily relies on the "burn-and-pray" method for achieving Duna intercept.)
- Gravity Assists: By Stochasty. Explains when and how you can set up and use gravity assists to benefit you in your missions.
- Off-world Refueling: A short explanation: By Northstar1989. A few words on the benefits of fuel depots and how to set them up for the most efficient use. (It's recommended that a player trying to follow these instructions already be fairly proficient at rendezvous and docking.)
- Asteroid Rendezvous Outside of Kerbin's SOI: By Claw. A handy, step-by-step method for intercepting an asteroid on a near-Kerbin course with relatively little hassle.
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
- Learn to fly in KSP with the stock Aeris 3A!: By Scrogdog. A few tips for aspiring spaceplane pilots on learning to fly, using the Aeris 3A as a trainer craft.
- Basic Aircraft Design - Explained Simply, With Pictures: By keptin. An illustrated guide to effective design for your own aircraft, whether space-capable or otherwise. Diagrams provide clear and effective visual references to aid construction.
- Basic Airplane / Space Plane Aero Tutorial: By Claw. An in-depth guide to constructing and troubleshooting aerodynamic craft, explaining the "why" as well as the "what" in detail. Best read after or as a companion piece to keptin's "Basic Aircraft Design" (also listed, above.)
- Sub's Plane / SSTO Design for Beginners: By subhumann. A simple and comprehensive guide to building, flying, and landing your first spaceplanes and SSTO craft, aimed at beginning players. Highly recommended for first-time spaceplane designers.
- How to Make a Perfect Space Plane: By zombie2u. Handy advice for your first foray into building space planes.
- Jod's list of aerodynamics issues: By Jod. A list of issues that you may encounter during various stages of spaceplane flight and their possible causes, as well as general construction and piloting tips.
- Spaceplane SSTO Troubleshooting Guide: By Dragon1260. Some more tips for diagnosing and fixing problems you may encounter with your SSTO spaceplane designs.
Career Mode (Science, Tech Tree, Economy, etc.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Mission Planning and Ship Design for SCIENCE!: By Geschosskopf. Learn how to design and plan optimal missions in Career Mode to gather the most amount of science with the fewest number of repeat missions.
- 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.
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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Beginner's Notes on Remote Tech 2 in Career: By Geschosskopf. Just starting out with RemoteTech 2? Want to get the most out of your satellite arrays as soon as possible? These notes may be of some use.
- 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!
- KSP with an xbox/xinput controller? Yes please!: By INSULINt. Trying to play KSP with an X-Box controller? Want to get the most out of it? Here's one suggested keybinding setup for you to use. Includes in-game demonstration video showcasing what the controls do.
- Performance Fix - KSP Tweak Guide: By Astronomer. Some general tips for getting the best performance out of your computer while playing KSP.
- Default Terrain Quality, Without [most of] the Lag!: By DVGamesInc. Using nothing more than a simple text editor to make a small change to a line of code, you can reduce most of your lag worries with minimal loss in actual graphical quality.
- How I got borderless windowed mode working on my setup: By anarchistdalek (with supplementary information provided by SolarLiner). Learn how to run your install of KSP in windowed mode without window borders.
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.
- Tips, tricks, and important lessons: Various authors. Veteran players share tricks and workarounds for some of the issues they have had when working with more complex designs.
- 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 Δv (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.
- Handy/interesting graphs/charts: Various authors. Includes delta-v and phase angle charts.
- 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.
- Another delta-v map: By Skyrender. An alternative to the above. Note that delta-v totals may not exactly correspond between two different maps.
- Yet another delta-v map: By 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.
- Updated version of WAC's delta-v map: By Kowgan. Includes more precise values from other charts, adapted to WAC's easily-readable subway-style map format.
- Delta-v nomogram: By Nyrath / Winchell Chung. PDF format. 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.
- 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.
- 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
- KSP Parachute Calculator: By check / check85. This calculator allows you to find out how many parachutes you will need to safely land a craft of a given mass on any body that has an atmosphere. It also allows you to customize the parachute loadout you're given to see how different combinations of 'chutes affect its descent.
- KSP Aerobraking Calculator: By alterbaron. Select the body you're orbiting, your craft's current altitude and velocity, the current apoapsis of your orbit, and the final apoapsis of the desired orbit, and it gives you a target periapsis to burn for in order to insert into your new orbit.
- Atmospheric Density Table: By Specialist290. Shows the altitudes for given atmospheric density values on those planets that have atmospheres. Might be useful for planning aerobraking maneuvers.
- Atmospheric Density Charts: By ROFLCopter64bit. A graphic representation of the above info, clearly showing how the atmospheric density scales according to altitude for the planets.
- Equivalent Atmospheric Densities: By Zeroignite. Another graphical representation of atmospheric density data, showing the equivalent altitude on Kerbin for atmospheric densities on other bodies.
- Parachute guidelines: By ThePseudoMonkey. A comparison of the effectiveness of parachutes based on the ratio of parachute mass to total craft mass, calculated for all bodies with an atmosphere (except Jool).
- Atmospheric Landing Charts: Pinpoint Landings!: By alterbaron. Use these charts to figure out when and where to start your descent to land on a body without atmosphere.
- Kerbin Landing Chart: Land at KSC consistently from your stations: By alterbaron. A chart showing you how to position your reentry trajectory from given altitudes in order to land at Kerbal Space Center.
- A handy chart for aerocapture at Jool: By alterbaron. Exactly what it says on the tin. Tells you your target orbital velocity and periapsis for capturing into a given orbit around Jool.
- KSP Physics Documentation: By mhoram. All of the equations that act as the "nuts and bolts" of the game's physics engine collected in one handy .PDF supplement.
- Fuel flow chart: Author unknown. A comparison chart, showing how to set up asparagus staging by comparison to non-crossfeeding and regular crossfeeding designs.
- Engine Comparison Chart: By Dispatcher. A basic comparison spreadsheet, showing thrust, mass, TWR, and ISP values for different engines in the game.
- Graphs 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 data: By ThePseudoMonkey. A set of charts comparing the performance of the game's engines, as well as showing their delta-v capability with different fuel loads.
- Mass-optimal engine type vs. delta-V, payload, and min TWR: By tavert. A series of charts that seeks to answer the question: "For a given delta-V and payload, which engine gives the lowest total craft mass?"
- Delta-v Calculator: By justidutch. A handy utility that allows you to calculate the stage-by-stage delta-v of a given design by plugging in each stage's parts. Use this if you want to quickly calculate how far a given design will take you.
- 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.
- A detailed look at Kerbal's jet engines: By Iffn. A series of charts demonstrating the performance specifications of the various jet engines available in the game, with some analysis and commentary. Also available as an Imgur album here.
Career Mode (Science, Tech Tree, Economy, etc.)
- Technology Tree: By aaqucnaona. Shows the placement of each technology with its prerequisites, attached parts, and approximate cost.
Real World Rocket Science References
- 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.