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Since the original got lost, I thought I'd revive the old FAQ thread. I think I found the most up-to-date version, but please let me know if anything is missing. All credit goes to the original authour for the time and effort spent in creating and maintaining the original list, so a big thanks to him for that.

As with the original thread, please don't ask questions here, but feel free to suggest frequently-asked questions that can be added if needed.

 

Frequent Asked Questions

KSP in general.

Q: Why is my game constantly crashing? Especially on scene changes.
A: Most likely you're simply running out of memory. The 32 bits KSP version can't use more than 4GB. (The windows version dies at about 3.3-3.4GB on average, the OSX version at only about 3GB.) Loose some mods or switch to the 64bits version. On PC it's also possible to use -force-opengl. (Success not guaranteed but many people have had great results with it.)

Q: I have 8GB RAM on Win7 64 bit. Why does my game keep running out of memory.
A: As with the answer above. 32bit KSP can't use that extra memory. And even a 64bits game can run out of memory when too many mods are installed.

Q: My computer has X cores, yet KSP runs at a low framerate. / KSP uses only a fraction of my CPU. What's going on?
A:
KSP runs on the unity game engine. As a result KSP physics are still single threaded. The physics calculations will jump from core to core but you can only only use one out of the X cores at any one time.. More cores will end up meaning you are using a smaller fraction of your processing power.  Also, bear in mind that depending on what's slowing you down, the bottleneck might not be your CPU at all-- for example, your graphics card may be having trouble keeping up with visual f/x.

Q: Can I de-orbit a moon?
A: Short answer: No. Long answer: No. All planetary bodies are 'on rails'. Their orbits are fixed and can not be changed by in-game physics.

Q: But what if they were not 'on rails'? Then you can de-orbit a moon, right?
A: Still no. In theory it would be possible but the volume of fuel tanks required would be roughly the same size as the body you're trying to de-orbit. The game engine will not permit craft of that size. Even if the game engine would allow such craft it would take many decades to burn through that amount of fuel even at 4x physics warp. (YouTuber Scott manley 'tries' to de-orbit Gilly.)

Q: I'd love to use mods, but that's not the way Squad intended it to be played, right?
A: Did you notice the weekly showcase of mods by Squad on Modding Monday, and the six subforums devoted entirely to mods? ;) The mods are there to enhance the game as you see fit!

Q: How do I install mods?
A:  See "Running KSP with mods / add-ons" section, below.

Q: Is MechJeb (or any other mod) cheating?
A: The object of the game is to enjoy it. If you enjoy the game more using MechJeb (or any other mod), do so. If you enjoy the game more by not using it, don't use it. Don't let anyone tell you what the 'true' way of playing KSP is!

Q: Is [modname] compatible with KSP version x.x.x
A1:
Search the forum for the relevant [modname] thread. Don't just browse through but actually READ the title, the first post and the last 2 pages. If you're still not sure check the dates of the last few posts and the date the OP was last edited. When the posts are all older than a few months or when a lot of posts just ask for updates you're probably out of luck. A well maintained and up-to-date mod gets at least a few posts per week.
Also check the mod creators forum activity. Hover your mouse over his/her avatar and check the 'last visited' date. If the mod creator has not visited the forum in a long time the mod too is most likely abandoned.
A2: When in doubt the easiest (and often fastest) method of getting an answer is to just go for it. Just download and install [modname] and see what happens. As usual you should make a back-up of your current game or create a separate install to keep your current game safe.
A3: If all else fails, ask in the relevant [modname] forum thread. That's the place the [modname] users hang out. That's where they know the answer.

Q: What is the official name of the Kerbal currency?
A:
It's called Funds (:funds:) as in "The rocket costs 100,000 funds".

Q: I don't understand why the game doesn't include [feature x]. It would be so much better with it!
A:
There is an entire sub forum dedicated to suggestions. However, make sure your request is not included in the 'Already suggested list', or on the 'What not to suggest' list. Keep in mind that being on the 'what not to suggest' list doesn't mean it won't be implemented; female Kerbals were on that list, for instance. It just means that Squad is aware of these requests but can not guarantee such a request would be implemented or even entertained. Also, while stock might not offer your feature, it's very likely that there's a mod for it!

Q: When will the next update be released?
A:
Soon™ SQUAD never gives release dates to avoid disgruntled users when deadlines aren't met.

Q: "The barn" What is it? Where is it? Why isn't it?
A:
The barn as it was shown in the previews was generally not received in a positive way by the community for various reasons, and thus left out in Career mode. Most complaints where about bad quality rendering (especially the textures), out of style with the other buildings and haphazard use of objects that didn't make sense (roads leading nowhere, etc). One of the most recent discussions about it can be found here.

 

Launch, lift-off and orbit.

Q: Why does my rocket flip when I turn 45 degrees at 10km? The tutorial says that's what I should do.
Ashort: The tutorial you're looking at is outdated. Since v1.0 aerodynamics have drastically changed, drag has become a serious factor that can no longer be ignored. To avoid flipping start your gravity turn very shortly after lift-off and be gentle. If you get Mach effects in low atmo you're going too fast.
Along: Drag pushes the rocket backward, while inertia keeps it going forward (along with thrust). The different parts of the rocket provide different amounts of drag and inertia: heavy parts provide more inertia while wings, airbrakes, and parachutes provide more drag. Since engines are heavy, their inertia will cause that part of the rocket to continue forward, while the drag on the rest of the rocket will pull it backward. Once the rocket tilts, this causes it to be forced into an orientation where the heavier end points forward - in this case, upside down. This is a real problem rockets have to deal with. The simplest solution is to add parts that provide a lot of drag (wings or airbrakes) at the back end near the engines. If this is not enough, even with careful flying, use the right-click menu to disable fuel in the tanks near the front until the tanks near the back are nearly empty, so as to keep the weight of the fuel near the front of the rocket and due to the above physical effects keep it pointed the right way.

Q: My contract won't complete.
A1: Are you sure you're orbiting in the right direction? Watch how the highlights on the target orbit are moving. You should be going in the same direction. Also check the AN and DN markers, if they are close to 180 you are orbiting in the opposite direction.
A2: The contract system still contains a few bugs. If you are confident you've met all the contract requirements don't despair, Quicksafe [F5] and exit the game. Restart the game and return to the craft that failed to complete. Almost guaranteed now the contract will complete without a problem.

Q: Why is it so hard to make a shuttle?
A: Because shuttles are really, really hard. One of the hardest things to build in KSP. There are all sorts of off-centre thrust issues to cope with, which change quite radically as the SRB's then main tank separate. There are also lots of drag/lift problems with wings on a rocket. Almost any other way to get to orbit can be designed, built and flown more easily and efficiently in KSP.
While you can easily find the parts to make a craft that looks like NASA Spaceshutle, that craft will not behave in the same way given the differences in mass, drag and thrust distribution.

Q: Can you make a rocket as efficient as an SSTO spaceplane?
A
: Yes; build a rocket that uses a Single Stage to get To Orbit. It is exactly as efficient as an SSTO. It IS an SSTO. Spaceplanes aren't efficient because they are spaceplanes, they are efficient because they use air-breathing engines. The second factor that makes SSTO Spaceplanes economically efficient is that they are relatively easy to land back at KSC. The closer to KSC you recover your craft they higher the refund value. Landing back on the runway or launchpad will result in a 100% recovery value. But of course SSTO rockets can also be de-orbited and landed at or near KSC for full recovery.

Q: SAS won't activate. Even though I have a Kerbal in the cockpit KSP says I do not have a pilot.
A:
Your 'pilot' might not be a pilot. Kerbals come in 4 types; pilots, engineers, scientists and tourists. All types have their own use and abilities (except tourists, they're just high-value seat fillers) and only pilots can use SAS. Higher level Kerbals have higher skills. To use more advanced SAS features either use a better trained pilot Kerbal or higher level probe core.

Q: [.] (period) toggles the visibility of the NavBall. How do I permanently keep the NavBall visible in the map screen?
A
: Go to the main menu and open settings. Under the "General" tab uncheck the option to "Autohide Navball in Map View".

Q: What is Delta-V / dV / ΔV?
A1:
dV literally means 'change in velocity'. Basically what you can do depending on the amount of fuel you have, the total weight of your craft and the efficiency of your engines.
A2: Mathematically, delta-V is calculated with the Rocket Equation - it takes the form:

delta-V = ln(M/Mo)* Isp *go

Where delta-V is the change in velocity (a vector that's a dot-product of the scalar component of speed with the vector component of direction), ln is the natural logarithm function (look for it on a scientific calculator, or use =LN() in MS Excel), M is the full mass of the rocket stage, Mo is the dry mass of the rocket stage (i.e. what it weighs when all its fuel tanks are empty), go is standard gravity (9.81 m/s2regardless of what body you're orbiting/launching from) and Isp is the specific impulse of the engine (a way of measuring the engine's efficiency). It's importance, as has been mentioned, is in determining the total magnitude of the changes the rocket may make to its velocity before it runs out of fuel; in the process it determines where a rocket may go given a certain mission profile.

There are three main ways of increasing a rocket's delta-V:

1) improving propellant mass fraction (i.e. moar fuel)

2) increasing specific impulse (by selecting an engine combination that increases this value - the main reason nuclear engines are recommended for interplanetary flight)

3) staging (shedding mass that's no longer needed, which has the effect of improving the propellant mass fraction)

 

Atmospheric flight, rovers and surface activity.

Q: My rover rolls over on low gravity planets/moons.
A1: Widen your wheelbase and lower your centre of gravity.
A2: Remap your controls to IJKL or use docking mode in order to steer independently from the reaction wheels.
A3: Right-click all reaction wheels and toggle them off. (Most pods and command modules also contain reaction wheels.)
A4: Toggle soft controls with [Caps Lock]. The orange pitch/roll/yaw markers in the lower left hand corner turn blue.

Q: Why won't my parachutes deploy trying to land on Mun?
A: No atmosphere = no parachutes. Parachutes only work on Kerbin, Eve, Duna and Laythe. (And Jool, but it is unlikely your ship will survive long enough to use them.)

Q: My jet engines won't work on Duna/Eve.
A: Jet engines need oxygen. Only Kerbin and Laythe have and oxygen atmosphere.

Q: Why is my plane uncontrollable in flight?
A: Planes that actually look like an real life aeroplane usually fly best. Although it is slightly outdated this tutorial will show you the basics. A more up-to-date tutorial can be found here.

Q: Even at over 100m/s my plane won't take off before the end of the runway.
A1:
Your rear landing gear serves as a fulcrum. It's placed too far behind the CoM (Check one of the two tutorials). Another method is to design your plane to sit in the runaway with a slight pitch up angle instead of parallel to the surface.
A2: With a Centre of Lift (CoL) too far behind the CoM your control surfaces might not be strong enough to push down the tail and lift the nose. Either move the CoL further forward by relocating the wings, adding canards or increasing the effectiveness of the control surfaces by increasing their size, deflection angle or distance from the CoM. (Or any combination.)

Q: My plane violently veers off the runway. Why?
A1: Your landing gear is misaligned. Make sure you don't have any toe-in or toe-out. Even a tiny, invisible misalignment can cause this problem. It can happen due to the curved shape of the part you're attaching the landing gear to. One way to fix this in the SPH is to select the rotator widget ("3" key), turn on absolute snap ("F" key), then wiggle the landing gear one notch out and back to parallel. This guarantees perfect alignment.
A2: You are wheelbarrowing. Too much lift too far behind the centre of mass (CoM). The tail of your plane is lifted off the ground before the nose and it starts to fall over making it steer either left or right.
A3: Your connections are too weak. Connections between parts are always a bit flexible. Use (auto)struts to shore them up.

Q: Do I have to bring those science experiments back? I left them on the Mun and didn't get credit for reading them.
A:
No, all you need to bring back is the experiment data. If you have Astronaut Complex 2, you can get out of your ship. Once outside, get near the experiment, right-click it and remove the experiment data. Then get back in the ship and the experiment will be stored. You can also run the experiment again. Doing this over and over can get you a lot more science on a mission than you were getting before.
With the release of KSP v1.2 a new part was introduced; the Experiment Storage Unit. In addition of storing science like any other crewed pod it can also be used to 'pull' all science data into storage.
NB. The Goo canister and Materials bay are single use experiments. After data removal (through EVA or transmission) the experiment will be inoperable. To use it again you will need a Scientist or Lab to clean/restore it.

 

Running KSP with mods / add-ons

Q:  How do I install a mod?
A1
: Download your mods from Curse, Spacedock, Kerbaltek or any other source you desire. Most mods come in .zip format. Mods will have to be installed in the GameData folder. Search for the GameData/ folder and open it. At the dame time open the .zip you downloaded. Some mods already contain a GameData/ folder. If yours does, open it. Drag and drop the contents into the GameData/ folder.  Here's a useful discussion about the details.
A2: As an alternative to this manual installation, there's a utility called CKAN that some folks like to use, which is an automated "mod manager" that takes care of downloading, installing, and updating mods for you.  (Not all mods are available on CKAN-- it's up to the mod author-- but many are.)

Q: I'm looking for a mod that <does thing>, how do I find out whether there is one and what it's called?
A:
  Best way is generally to post a question in the Add-on Discussions forum.

Q: I have a question about a particular mod. What's the best way to get help?
A1:  Usually the best place is to find the mod's release thread in Add-on Releases, and then ask there.  That's where the expert users (and author!) of the mod generally hang out, so it's usually the best place to get answers.  If your question happens to be a "tech support" kind of thing (e.g. "it's not working!" or "I keep getting a bug!", etc.), then you might want to review the How to Get Support thread, beforehand, for an idea of what kind of information people are likely to need from you.
A2:  Alternatively, you could just post your question in Add-on Discussions or Technical Support (modded installs) as a new thread.  Usually you get more "bang for the buck" by posting in the mod's thread, though.

Edited by Snark
Added "modded KSP" section
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could be added:

23 hours ago, Deddly said:

Q: Why is it so hard to make a shuttle?

A2:While you can easily find the parts to make a craft that looks like NASA Spaceshutle, that craft will not behave in the same way given the differences in mass, drag and thrust  distribution.

 

23 hours ago, Deddly said:

Q: Even at over 100m/s my plane won't take off before the end of the runway.

A1B:Design you plane to sit in the runaway with a slight pitch up angle instead of parallel to the surface.

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