Alpha 360

what is the best engine in KSP?

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14 hours ago, DualDesertEagle said:

Just to name an example, I'm guessing that everyone sending a single kerbal to Mun or Minmus with no further science onboard is gonna use more or less the same lander, consisting of an MK1 Pod with a nose parachute, a decoupler, the 3rd-shortest 1.25m fuel tank and a terrier engine, while the landing struts and other accessories may vary. The reason why I think so is that that particular lander can of course land safely and then it still has enough fuel to return to kerbin on its own, no matter if it's Mun or Minmus u landed on.

It's not like there's not a lot of other choices until you unlock 4 or 5 more tech tiers.

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2 minutes ago, Corona688 said:

It's not like there's not a lot of other choices until you unlock 4 or 5 more tech tiers.

Even in Sandbox I use that kind of lander when I wanna go to Mun or Minmus. It just works best for me.

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I build outwards. Nearly all of my landers use radially mounted engines. This also helps with using the toothpick landing legs. 

OT: I like the Thumper SRB best. Forms the core of all my early career orbiters. It's just that cheap!

Edited by DaMachinator

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Spark all the way.

Great for launch stages.

Great for orbital stages.

Great for transfer stages.

Great for landing stages.

 

 

Your argument is already invalid because you've never used it in a launch stage.

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Terrier or Skipper. Both have good ISP and they start glowing after a long burn. I usually have one of those 2 on my rockets.

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The Skipper has caught my attention recently, I've found it to be a very suitable engine for medium sized ships travelling to the Mun or Minmus.

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I dunno, I've always been partial to the Ion engine because of all the sci-fi behind it, but in terms of an engine that I like the most is probably the shuttle engine.

(P.S Crashed into Duna using an Ion engine on my way to the Mun, strange experience.)

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LV-T45 "Swivel." It has pretty good thrust at 1 atm and in vac, same with ISP. All with reasonable cost.

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My favourites are the aerospike, the vector, the rapier, and the nerv. The aerospike because I love modded planets, and the aerospike is perfect for making a multi-moon lander. The vector is incredible for launch vehicles, especially since its small size compared to its large thrust makes it the perfect choice for SSTO rockets. The rapier is a must-have for spaceplanes, which I love (and any mods which add larger variants are generally a must-have for me); I've also been thinking about using rapiers for vertical launchers, though I've had little time to play the game lately. And the nerv is a must-have for all of my reusable or semi-reusable interplanetary transports, because there's nothing more efficient (I'm not counting the ion engine because the size of the needed ion arrays completely ruin the launch via atmospheric drag and so are probably detrimental to the actual efficiency and effectiveness as well as looking awful).

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There is no best engine. However, if I do a bracket...

Twin Boar beats Spider. Rhino beats Twitch. Mammoth beats Thud, Puff beats Juno. Wheesley beats Ant, Spark beats Panther, Terrier beats Whiplash, Reliant beats Goliath (I did another bracket, and Goliath ended up being the worst engine), Swivel beats Flea, Vector beats Hammer, RAPIER beats Thumper. It is close between the Kickback and the dart, but I'm gonna say Kickback. Nerv and Separton? Nerv. Poodle trumps LES (The second worst engine according to my other bracket), The Skipper beats the Dawn (I have no patience), and the Mainsail gets a free pass because there is 31 engines and 32 spots in the bracket.

Round 2: Twin boar barely beats Rhino, Mammoth beats Puff, Spark beats Wheesley, Terrier beats Reliant, Vector beats Swivel, RAPIER beats Kickback, Nerv beats Poodle, and Mainsail beats Skipper (barely).

Round 3. Things start getting tough. Mammoth beats Twin Boar, Terrier beats Spark, even though the spark is amazing for small craft. The Vector and the Rapier. Now there's a tough one. I'm going to say Vector because it is simply unparalleled in lifting capability. Nerv is better than Mainsail.

Round 4: The mammoth and Terrier. Darn. The Mammoth is great for huge ships, and the Terrier is great for small ones. I'll go with the Mammoth on this one because it is useful inside the atmosphere. Even harder, the Nerv and the Vector. The Vector is better at lifting things, but life without the Nerv would be terrifying. They are both amazing engines, if polar opposites. For the sake of progression I'll chose the Vector.

Round 5: The Vector and the Mammoth. Definitely the Vector. You can put 7 of them where one mammoth fits, and they have a 15 degree gimbal. Plus, they sink, so you can make subs with them.

Results: In fourth place, I have the Terrier. It will always be useful throughout the game. In third place, the Mammoth, IMO. Great low part lifting engine. Four part Vectors vs. One part Mammoths. Or for when you don't need Vectors. In second place, the Nerv. It is the second most efficient vacuum engine in the game, the only one where the burn times don't take forever (I'm looking at you. Dawn). In first place, well, the Vector. Great for Lifting, great control, great TWR, okay efficiency, and it is small!

Aaaaand, I self nerd sniped for the second time in 30 minutes :D

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If I had to pick a favorite. It would have to be the one that I could least do without. The one that if eliminated from the game I could not find a replacement for. This would obviously have to be the Nerv rocket. a lot of the others can basically be swapped for others if you use tweakscale. However the Nerv is pretty unique in it's high ISP for inter-planetary travel and can save loads of valuable time.

I recently started a new career to use the community tech tree and kolonization+lifesupport, but my previous career revolved around building almost no permanent bases and building most structures with a series of Nerv nacells around them anchored to the structure by beams.

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I love the nerv, but for overall favorite? I gotta go with the KR-2L Rhino. It's the core of every cargo lifter I use once it's unlocked. Surprisingly functional heavy transfer stage engine too.

Edited by Jarin

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The engine I use the most is the Nerva.

Once your craft is lofted into space, you want the best available range.  Dawn can give you a long range, but Nerva coupled with ISRU gives unlimited total range with the longest possible hops between refueling. 

While large ships can have part-count problems due to the relatively small thrust, Tweakscale addresses this meta-issue by letting you combine X nerva into one part, where X is between ~0.25(0.625m) and ~16(3.5m). 

 

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Gotta love the NERV, it's not exactly a pretty engine, but it's a proper workhorse it is.

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I have developed a new appreciation for the ant engine.  It's the poor man's ion drive.  You can get crazy delta V with it for tiny probes because it's so LIGHT.

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On 7/6/2016 at 2:52 AM, evileye.x said:

I like Kickback :blush:

I wouldn't call it the "best engine" (although for non-recoverable launches it should provide nearly all the thrust in first stages of Kerbin, it is *clearly* the best at that role).  I honestly think I would be more upset if somehow kickback bugged out (and I couldn't revert for some reason) and had to be replaced than the Nerv.  But the NERV is likely the "best engine": I'd hate to have to haul enough fuel to do any space work with poodles.  I put a nerv-based rocket up early in career mode and was so happy with it never came down (just kept hitching to it and refueling).

But you better believe all those rockets to the NERV-based shuttle got most of their delta-v (nearly 2000 in the first stage) from kickers.

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On 2016-07-03 at 0:33 AM, Bloojay said:

Spark all the way.

Great for launch stages.

Great for orbital stages.

Great for transfer stages.

Great for landing stages.

 

 

Your argument is already invalid because you've never used it in a launch stage.

 

Yes I have. :P

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On 6/29/2016 at 4:09 AM, Dafni said:

There is no such thing as best engine, at least not best overall. There might be a best engines for a particular job/scenario.

If you are talking about favorite engine, that is a different matter altogether. I myself like the Aerospike and the Vector a lot, both a nice mix for atmo and vacuum. I'm also a big fan of the Puff engine on smaller craft.

I don't see why the Aerospike has a model like the shock cone intakes. It's kind of confusing and one of these days I might mistake it for an air intake and put it on the front of a plane. 

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@DaElite101 its not modeled like a shock cone, its modeled like an aerospike. Basically the spike bit is the inverse of a bell, its designed to work well in atmosphere.

The drawback being its lack of gimballing, due to the complexity required to get 2 degrees of motion out of that design, you'd have to turn the entire engine instead of just the bell :P

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I really like the Skipper for an all-rounder.

As far as non-stock engines go,

I have a "double poodle" that I like to use, 2.5m, 400 thrust, double the weight. ---- the difference between this and the stock poodle is night and day.

I made a 2.5 m SRB a while back while trying to make a more realistic shuttle, ~2500 thrust, 15000 solid fuel, It let me cut the Vector back to about 400 Thrust, which is about right. And really pointed out the need for a stock 2.5M SRB

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Vector loses points for being an end-game, and OP engine.

Terrier, NERV, and Whiplash are my best.  Whippy loses out due to the limited habitation range, despite the bonus from SSTO space planes.

Which brings me down to two.  And I think I'll have to give it to Terrier, since interplanetary isn't big in my games.

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Terrier, cheap, good Isp, early tech, good ground clearance, and good thrust. Q: What is wrong with this thing. A: Nothing

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