cliffdover

How to start?

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Hey,

 

I just bough KSP on steam and completed the tutorials (some minor bugs about the continue button), but I don't feel ready to start playing the game, as I'd want to understand the physics used on the game to build spaceships and space travel to make the game more enjoyable (I tried to build a couple of space ships with catastrophic consequences heh). Is there a tutorial or guide including the physics concepts or something more detailed than the game tutorials?

Thanks.

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As far as I know, no. What I would say to do is to open up a sandbox game and play with the parts there and come back with questions on the gameplay questions sub forum. You can also try finding tutorials on youtube, but check to make sure they are fairly recent.

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Welcome to the forums.

I would say career mode is also a good place to start, because you will have very few parts available to you at the beginning of the game. You will be building very small, simple rockets. You already have knowledge of the basics from the training missions. You just need to get a feel for actually building your own rockets. I think fewer parts is actually beneficial for a newer player, so that you're not overwhelmed by the sheer number of parts available and the complexity of more advanced rockets. I think learning to fly will be a bit easier that way as well.

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@cliffdover If you're really just looking to go direct to the meat without the fun of vaporizing a lot of little green Kerbals, check out Scott Manley's kerbal tutorials on YouTube.

But really, sometimes its more fun just to break stuff until you learn how not to break stuff.  You can't win KSP, the fun is in the doing.

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There are quite a few tutorials on YouTube. Some of them are quite old now and were made with earlieR versions of KSP so some of the parts used may be a bit different, and some of them the techniques made have changed slightly due to changes in how the game now works, but you can still learn a lot from watching them. 

As with steps that were made in real life, you will probably make better progress by taking small steps at a time - successful launch, sub-orbital flight, orbital flight and safe return, getting to Mun, orbiting Mun, landing on Mun, returning from Mun and so on. As you master each step you will be learning more about the physics in the game, and about the game itself as you go. 

 

Edited by Scarecrow

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Hi cliffdover

I've been playing KSP for nearly 18 months now and still consider myself a noob but here is my advice:

 

Go ahead and experiment. Either in Sandbox mode or in a Career game (remember that any flight with a unfavorable ending can be magically forgotten by 'Reverting' back to the VAB).

 

Watching your rockets explode is almost as much fun as figuring out WHY they exploded. 

 

Start with the simple stuff first: 

one Mk1 Command Pod with one Mk16 parachute

one TR-18A stack decoupler 

one RT-5 "Flea" Solid Fuel booster.

 

Fit Mystery Goo Containment Pods to the Mk1 Command Pod for science. Use them on the launch pad, while in flight and once the Command Pod has landed.

 

Send that to the launch pad and fly it. Learn how different piloting the craft is when you have SAS engaged as to not engaged. Try to land the capsule in different places around the KSC, so that your Kerbal pilot can hop out afterwards and collect a little Science from an EVA in a new biome. 

 

Then go back to the drawing board and replace the Flea with a Hammer and note the difference in acceleration and burn time, and how that affects your flight. 

 

Remember to spend your Science in the R&D to unlock more rocket parts and science gathering tools. 

 

Learn about staging by putting a stack coupler and a Hammer under your original Flea powered ship. This should get you enough altitude to get the Science points available in the 'Upper Atmosphere'.

 

From this point you will start running into problems aerodynamics, heating and stability. 

For 'Stability' (i.e.: keeping the right end pointed toward space) there is a thread somewhere on the forums about 'why do my FLIPPING rockets keep flipping'.

 

Aerodynamics and heating are part of the same problem. Your vehicle is going too fast through the atmosphere, which can't get out of the way fast enough. A rocket can tolerate a moderate amount of aerodynamic stress but excessive heat can lead to parts exploding (just as spectacularly as during re-entry). The only solution I can offer for this is to slow down a little or get out of the atmosphere sooner.

 

Anyway, all of the above is the opinion of a noob.

 

Take care,

Regards

Orc

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Hi cliffdover,

Welcome to the Forums.

As mentiond by others, carrer mode is a good start, but I think science mode is even better to lern the basics. it is essentially the same as carrer, but you don't have to worry about :funds: or Reputation. And there is stillt the goal to unlock the tech tree.

Edit:

By the way: this sort of topic/question is best suited for the "Gameplay Questions and Tutorials" subforum

Edited by jonny

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Open up sandbox mode, try to get over 70km and safely land back with a parachute, and you succesfully did a serious mission!

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Sandbox mode for me felt too overwhelming to start... 

I liked starting in career mode.  Make sure you visit Mission Control first and pick-up some missions!  That's how you get the credits to build your next cool thing.

Then what happens is...  you play for awhile, visit the Mun maybe, and start looking at that tech tree and wondering,  "Hmmm, which of these tech boxes do I want next?"  It lures you into sandbox mode to review/compare the parts.  You start tinkering in sandbox with some design improvements for your next craft in career mode...   and 3 weeks later you can't remember what your ships looked like in your career game.

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I'd say career mode is worse at teaching the game than the tutorials are.  Go watch Scott Manley's tutorial videos.  That's my suggestion.

Contracts are a great foundation for a built-in set of tutorials that would gradually teach the player the mechanics of the game.  Unfortunately, Squad decided having tutorials separate from how most new players would actually start the game was a good idea.

Edited by klgraham1013

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4 hours ago, klgraham1013 said:

I'd say career mode is worse at teaching the game than the tutorials are.  Go watch Scott Manley's tutorial videos.  That's my suggestion.

Contracts are a great foundation for a built-in set of tutorials that would gradually teach the player the mechanics of the game.  Unfortunately, Squad decided having tutorials separate from how most new players would actually start the game was a good idea.

Yeah, it was Scott's tutorial video (that explains how to start in career mode) that got me started...  guess I forgot that little detail.

He does beat a dead horse a little bit on the science gathering, but otherwise an excellent place to start!

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Whilst Sandbox may seem overwhelming due to the number of parts, at least you don't fail because you haven't unlocked a part you really need.  I found Career to be repetitive which rapidly became boring, which almost made me quit playing the game.

Personally I don't think there is a best way to learn this game as far as the different game modes go, as they appeal to different people in different ways.

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Open sandbox mode, keep pointy end up, fail to reach orbit, learn, rebuild, fail again, learn, rebuild, make progress.

That's the usual Kerbal scientific method.

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Blow stuff up alot.  Revert to VAB and rebuilt so it doesn't explode next time.  Its okay to be terrible at it at first.  Observation will get you more questions, and we've got your answers.

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This is how I got into the game even before I had it installed for the 1st time:

Youtube, youtube, youtube

When I finally had it I immediatly went to building my first rocket in sandbox mode and almost made it to 70 000 meters on the first try. But after getting my first expierience I started a career game and quickly realized that would be the best thing to start with as it kinda forced me to start with the basics and work my way up to more complex craft as I unlocked the tech tree. And whenever I found something I didn't know how to do I went back to watching youtube videos until I got the next "a-ha!-moment" and could go on playing the game utilizing what I had just learned. It wasn't long until I had completed my first landing on minmus in a rather chaotic way, but I had done it and more or less safely returned Jeb to Kerbin and was damn proud of my first big success.

 

Looking back at that I have to cringe at watching my own video:

And I know most of ur reactions are gonna be pretty much this:

 

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I'd recommend by doing simple missions and then taking the most simple next step possible, using the most simple rocket components you can (obviously you have enough power by putting a mark1 capsule on a twinboar booster, but getting it stable might be harder).  Try something like:

Launch a vessel! (hint: you need a manned capsule or remote core, then hit the spacebar).
Get into space! (parachutes can be tricky if you go too high.  I'd also recommend sticking with the mark1 capsule for manned missions this far up.
Go into orbit! This is a big step up.  Seasoned kerbanauts have been known to make plenty of adjustments to new rockets to get them into orbit.
Minmus/Mun: I still recommend landing on Minmus first (note that in career mode this might not be an option due to radio links) for landing, but if you want to simply orbit (Apollo 8) or simply go there and return (upcoming SLS and/or Falcon missions) Mun should be easier.  The trick to getting to Minmus is adjusting your inclination to match Minmus.
Duna: Wait, what?  The above missions will take awhile and you will know what you want out of this game before you are ready to blast off for Duna.

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Does anyone know how I can teleport my submarine into the ocean? 

 

This is what i would like to do- 

 

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16 minutes ago, Avevs said:

Does anyone know how I can teleport my submarine into the ocean? 

 

This is what i would like to do- 

 

Welcome to the forums!  I'd suggest getting a mod called HyperEdit.  It can do a lot of cheaty type things, but one of them is landing your ship at a specified latitude and longitude.  (you'll have a 50% chance of hitting water with some random numbers).

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On 26/6/2017 at 3:58 AM, cliffdover said:

 Is there a tutorial or guide including the physics concepts or something more detailed than the game tutorials?

http://www.braeunig.us/space/index.htm by @OhioBob (who needs more rep) is the best online resource I know of. Apart from that, I can strongly recommend late high school or entry level college textbooks on orbital mechanics and rocket physics.

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NASA have a few things to say about rockets.  Quite a few of their employees (and ex-employees) have got fairly good at KSP so you can probably trust them on some things.  From the look of their ships they aren't using just stock parts though.

Seriously - their 'guided tours' are pretty useful => https://spaceflightsystems.grc.nasa.gov/education/rocket/guided.htm,  Especially have a look at Forces On A Rocket, Rocket Systems and Rocket Flight.

After that find a KSP dV map (how much veloicty-change is required to go to different places).

Then you're ready for six impossible things to do in KSP:

  1. Get into stable orbit
  2. Fly-by Mun
  3. Land on Minmus
  4. Get back from those without killing any Kerbals
  5. Dock
  6. Interplanetary

At the moment you don't think they're impossible because you haven't tried them.  We don't think they're impossible because we've got used to them.  There's a big gap between those states.  It's the same for everyone and you will start thinking they are impossible ... until they aren't any more.  Have fun.
(My own particular bete noire was rendezvous but it's different for everyone).

Edited by Pecan

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Loving the answers in this thread....and all of them point the way to getting "somewhere" in this most complex to understand of games ive ever known.

For me when I started playing about 3ish years ago I had no idea what it was, never mind what to do!

YouTube (Scott Manley) was where I learnt the very basics however the buck didnt stop there....other tubers were very helpful and then I joined this community which is the best source of knowledge on the internet about KSP......period.

All I will say is if you can get off the ground and land safely your half way to somewhere....height when your starting doesn't matter.....control is everything......

.....remember that and Tylo eventually will be a breeze :) Happy flying pilot...

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I remember that the first thing I did was after I finished the tutorials, I went into sandbox mode and just experimented. I recommend starting off by attempting to get into a suborbital flight with a rocket of your own design or try to recreate some things that the tutorial section showed you, simple missions. If it fails, try to figure out what went wrong and improve it. If you are having trouble doing something on your own then go check out some up to date tutorials. I would recommend Scott Manley, he not only explains game mechanics but he also relates in-game events to real science but sometimes he gets really sciencey in some of his tutorials which might confuse you.

As some other people already said, career mode might also be a good way to start off because you begin with very few parts and eventually unlock more and this way you learn to not make crazy rockets since you have to be mindful of your resources. Career mode also provides you with contracts which give you different missions so you have a goal, something to work towards instead of just wondering what to do and blowing rockets up.
Good luck!

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it's totally worth learning about 2 concepts early. Read up on delta-v and thrust to weight ratio. There are relatively straightforward equations for both and lots of info either on KSP wiki or just Wikipedia on how to calculate and use those numbers. 

Once I learned those two things designing rockets made a heck of a lot more sense 

good luck!!

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Hi cliffdover, strap on some boosters and enjoy then fun! Welcome to the forums!:D

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