MerlinsMaster Posted April 17, 2018 Share Posted April 17, 2018 (edited) When you first start a new career game in KSP, do you find yourself frustrated that you have to launch several rockets before you have one that's good enough to get into orbit. Do you dread the idea of having to grind through a bunch of boring survey or tourist contracts just to slowly progress to the point in the game in which you can consider going to the Mun or Mimnus? Do you think to yourself as you're testing an SRB on an escape trajectory out of Kerbin, "there has to be a better way"? The early part of a Career playthrough can be frustrating and grindy. It's the part of the game I like to refer to as the "Potato Phase". I don't know why I decided to call it that. I just heard someone else call it that once, and it stuck. Of course, you could bypass this altogether by just awarding yourself a bunch of Science and Funds in the difficulty settings when you first start a new game, but most people would, and rightly so, just consider that to be cheating. But there's good news: there is a better way. You can get through the Potato Phase in just six missions, if you play the right way. This tutorial will teach you how to complete the first five tiers of the tech tree quickly, and without having to grind or game the system in any way. Let's get started. For this tutorial, I am playing in the stock game set at the Normal difficulty level. On higher difficulties, there is a lower percentage in Science rewards and facility upgrades are much more expensive. You can still use this strategy, but you will have to work as many contracts as you can between these missions to save up funds for upgrades. 1 - First Mission First, you need to get some science to start unlocking the basics. Go to Mission Control and grab the following contracts: Gather scientific data from Kerbin Launch our first vessel Then, build this and click that Launch button like a boss. (In my games, this is the one and only time I EVER use an SRB.) Note: For best results, assign Bob to this mission. On the laundpad... Get a Crew Report Get an EVA Report Observe two of the Mystery Goos While you're outside of the craft, right-click on the capsule, select "Take Data" and then "Store Experiments". This will store the Crew Report you just took in the capsule, instead of on Bob's person. This will allow you to take additional Crew Reports in other biomes. Launch vessel. During ascent, observe two more Mystery Goos and another Crew Report After splashdown, do the remaining two Mystery Goos and get another EVA report and Crew Report (remember to store the previous Crew Report you took during ascent by right-clicking on the capsule, and selecting "Take Data" and then "Store Experiments"). Also, climb onto the top of the capsule and jump in the air, and while you're in the air, get an EVA report "flying over Kerbin's water". You'll want to right-click Bob before you jump, of course, so that you have time to click the EVE Report button during the fraction of a second he is in the air. This should net about 34 Science, plus 8 more Science for contract completion and various milestones, for a total of 42. Grab the following contracts: Escape the atmosphere Orbit Kerbin In R&D, research the following tech: Basic Rocketry General Rocketry Engineering 101 2 - First Orbit Build this It includes 11 FL-T200 tanks, a Swivel engine, a decoupler, a parachute, four basic fins, four Mystery Goos, and six 2HOT thermometers. Take the monopropellant out of the capsule to increase the dV just a little bit more. Something to keep in mind about this craft is that you have barely enough dV to make it into orbit, so you need to be very efficient in your ascent. This launch is the most difficult part of the entire tutorial. It's not uncommon for it to require a few attempts before doing it successfully. I recommend the following ascent profile: At 1000m, turn 5 degrees. Stay with the prograde marker and try to be at 45 degrees by the time you reach 10000m. After you reach 16000m, lower the throttle to 1/3. Cut the engines the second your Apoapsis reaches 72km. Wait until you're less than 20 seconds from apoapsis to circularize, taking your time and staying on the prograde marker. You need be as efficient as possible because you have no fuel to spare. If the apoapsis gets away from you, stop and coast until you reach it again before continuing your burn. Stop the moment your Pe goes above 70km. You'll probably need at least 3 units of fuel set aside to deorbit. During ascent, after you reach 18km, observe two Mystery Goos and log temperature. Once officially in orbit, do a Crew Report, observe two more Mystery Goos and get two temperature readings. To deorbit, set your Pe to 50k, for a shallow reentry. You don't want your science instruments to burn up. After you've lowered your Pe, feel free to decouple the launch stage. Or you can keep it on until after reentry to use as a heat shield. Just make sure you get rid of it while you still have plenty of altitude to open your chute. During reentry, get two temperature readings. After the parachute opens, before landing, get a temperature reading. Should get about 59 Science, plus another 30 in completion bonuses. In R&D, research the following tech: Survivability Advanced Rocketry Stability Upgrade... Mission Control to Level 2 Astronaut Complex to Level 2 Launchpad to Level 2 Grab seven contracts at Mission Control to get some advance funds. Make sure Explore Kerbin is one of them. Choose the ones with the largest advance amounts. You don't have to complete them. You can ditch them later on in the game when you can afford the penalties. 3 - EVAs in LKO Next, send a rocket into a polar orbit with Bob and pick up EVA reports from as many different biomes as you can. This ship will do the trick. Be sure to include two Mystery Goos, two Thermometers, and two PresMats. Without a pilot, you have no SAS, so flying straight will be a challenge. Once in orbit, the workflow will be: Get EVA report. Store experiment in capsule. Get another EVA report when in a new biome. Repeat. You want to get an EVA report in space above the following biomes: Water Shores Grasslands Highlands Mountains Deserts Tundra Ice Caps Northern Ice Shelf Southern Ice Shelf Badlands Something that will make this mission a hundred times less tedious is a mod called [X] Science. It will not only let you know which biome you are currently in, but it will let you know all of the experiments you can perform at any given time, and even provide you with a button to perform them easily. And get a crew report, an EVA report, and two readings from high orbit (above 250 km) from each of your science instruments as well. After landing/splash down, get an EVA report. You can easily get about 155 Science from this mission, plus another 7 in completion bonuses. Once you have about 100 Science, go back to R&D and get the following: Basic Science Aviation Flight Control 4 - Tour the KSC Build this rover to get all the Science from the KSC (I got about 265 Science). You need a scientist on this mission. Get Science from the following biomes: Runway KSC Administration Astronaut Complex R&D Complex VAB SPH Tracking Station Mission Control Crawlerway Launch Pad Shores In each biome, do the following: Crew Report Log Temperature Log Pressure Observe two Mystery Goos Observe two Science Jr's EVA Report Take the data out of your science instruments Restore the Mystery Goos and Science Jr's Store your data in the Experiment Storage Unit Store your remaining data in the cockpit take data from cockpit and store it again (this allows you to store the crew report) Get back in the rover and move on to the next biome 5 - First Probe to the Mun Once you have about 300 Science, go back to R&D and get the following: General Construction Fuel Systems Electrics Upgrade the Tracking Station to Level 2 Build the following ship. All you need to do is get into the Mun's sphere of influence, get as much Science as you can, and get back to Kerbin. Keep the experiment from the Materials Bay and one of each of the other instruments. For your second 2Hot, PresMat, and Mystery Goo, transmit the data. When returning, get a Kerbin Pe of about 60km. That Materials Bay is very delicate and can easily overheat during reentry, so circularize and come in as shallow as you possibly can. And make sure you stay dead on that retrograde marker until the heating dies down. You should get about 188 Science for the experiments you brought back, plus another 32 from the data you transmitted. You'll also get about 9 in completion bonuses. It's not much, but it should be enough to unlock another two tech nodes. Go back to R&D and get the following: Miniaturization Heavy Rocketry Upgrade the VAB to Level 2 6 - First Kerbals to the Mun For the first manned Mun mission, build this You need a pilot and a scientist for this mission. You want to try for a polar orbit, so you can pass over all the biomes. In each biome, do the following: Observe the materials bay Bob goes EVA Collect data from materials bay Close doors and restore materials bay Store experiments in his pod Do an EVA report Observe the materials bay Collect data from materials bay Close doors and restore materials bay Right click Jeb's pod, and store experiments Bob gets back in Get all available science from LKO, if there's any left to get. Get all available science from High Orbit on the way to the Mun. Get all available science from Mun high orbit as you approach. Get EVA reports above all of the Mun's biomes. To return to Kerbin, make your Pe about 50km If you have the dV, circularize after aerobraking at just above 70km To land near KSC, place your Pe at 19km just above the large peninsula east of KSC You should get about 550 Science from this mission, depending on how many biomes you can get an EVA report of. At this point, you should have enough Science to close out tier 5 of the tech tree. In order to go any further in the tech tree, you will need to upgrade the R & D Complex, which costs about $450,000. Chances are that you currently only have roughly $150,000. Sadly, you will have to work some contracts to scrounge up some cash to make this needed upgrade. My first recommendation is to take any rescue contracts that are offered. It will hone your rendezvous skills, and not only will you not have to pay large sums of funds to hire additional Kerbals, you'll get paid for it. After a few of these missions, it will start to feel a bit repetitive, but adding roughly six to eight Kerbals to your program is going to be pretty helpful in the long run. My second recommendation is to take any contracts that ask you to do the things you were going to do anyway: space stations, satellites (if you're into that kind of thing), etc. Stay away from anything involving parts testing or high altitude surveys. They're garbage and a waste of your time. At this point, you have what you need to land on the Mun and Mimnus, and the Science you grab from fully exploring all of their biomes will easily net you enough Science to unlock everything up to and including Tier 7 of the tech tree. You will then have everything you need to start exploring other planets in style. KSP is fun again. Huzzah! Stay tuned for an upcoming tutorial on how to close out the rest of the entire stock tech tree in just six two more missions... I got the idea for this approach by watching Mark Thrimm's SSTO Space Program series on Youtube. I highly reccommend you check it out, because it's awesome. Feel free to let me know in the comments if I got anything incorrect, or how this approach can be improved. Example ships for all of the missions in this tutorial can be found here. 1 - The Angry Grasshopper.craft 2 - Orbiter One.craft 3 - Orbiter Two.craft 4 - KSC Research Rover.craft 5 - Mun Probe.craft 6 - Munraker One.craft Edited May 31, 2018 by MerlinsMaster Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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