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Request: A good tutorial on *orbital* EVA using the jetpack


Espatie
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Hi all,

 

Looking for some help. I cannot not get my head around how Kerbals operate in zero gravity. I always end up with them going in directions they aren't meant to.

 

Is there a good tutorial somewhere? I've read the page on the wiki and it hasn't helped me understand it at all.

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EVA movement is a skill that's naturally becomes a habit over the course of the game. If you want to practice, and don't want to get kerbals thrown into deep space, land on the Mun or Minmus and practice there. Press R for enabling EVA jetpack, as for controls:

shift and ctrl is up and down respectively (y axis)

W and S is forward and backward respectively (z axis)

A and D is strafe left and right respectively (x axis)

For rotating kerbal in place while they're on EVA (aka flying with thruster, not touching ground), just click the screen and drag up/down for changing kerbal's facing on y axis and drag left/right for x axis, or just face your camera to new heading and press forward (W button, your kerbal will automatically reorient their body). Remember each keys and what they do, and be advised NEVER HOLD DOWN THE DIRECTIONAL BUTTON, a lot of newbie mistake when doing EVA is continuously thrusting by holding the directional button, which makes it harder for them to stop or rapidly leaving the vicinity of their craft, which leads to them panicking and frantically push the wrong button which messed things up. Treat EVA like docking, push the directional button gently and with small increments to keep the EVA velocity under control. Last, but not least, keep track on your movement vector, like "I'm currently at 2m/s forward and 2m/s left (diagonal movement to the left), so I need to move 2 m/s backward and 2 m/s right to kill my velocity". This allows you to react appropriately to control your maneuver by thrusting to correct direction

Hope that helps :)

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I think @ARS gave an excellent overview already.  One thing I might also add is that, if you have mastered rendezvous and docking of two ships with RCS, you might consider changing your Kerbal EVA controls to HNJLIK to match the RCS controls.  For me this has always been a lot more intuitive (since WASD,Shift,Ctrl are usually for rotating while HNJLIK are typically for translating) and now I automatically make this change whenever I install a new version of KSP.

Another thing is that you can press spacebar to reorient the kerbal in the direction the camera is facing.  In other words, you will be directly behind the kerbal with him/her looking away from you.  This is usually the first thing I do when going on EVA, well second considering you have to turn the jet pack on first!

There is also something in the settings menu you might look at which is "EVA's AutoRotate to Camera."  I cannot remember right now if I prefer having this on or off, but you might try with both to see which you like more.

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56 minutes ago, Espatie said:

Just moving in a coherent and predictable way. The Kerbals just seem to randomly move in directions that have no relevance to anything.

The default setting is that the Kerbals move according to the camera. They always try to face away from the camera first, and then thrust in the direction you tell them to -- once they are facing away from the camera.

If you turn off the "EVA Autorotate" feature, then they will not automatically turn to face away from the camera. If you want them to face away, then you have to hit the spacebar. If you do not hit the spacebar, then the WASD keys thrust relative to the direction they are currently facing.

However, the direction that the Kerbal's helmet is pointing is basically always fixed to point North (this tends to make things easier because you don't have to worry about that direction). So the Shift/Ctrl buttons always thrust North and South -- unlike the WASD buttons that are either Kerbal or Camera-oriented.

 

 

Edited by bewing
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I personally use WASD, I think you can also use IKJL though. Try turning SAS on, then the Kerbal points in the direction you are facing (with the camera). You can also see if you are point prograde or retrograde or whatever by looking at the navball. 

I remember having trouble with this when I first started - just get the hang of the controls and practice moving precisely in zero-g. Don't want to break off those solar panels! ;) 

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Thanks all. I think what was confusing me was a combination of facing issues and that shift/ctrl is up/down rather than fore/aft. I think I'm definitely going to look at remapping the EVA keybinds.

 

All your advice was instrumental in saving the day when I had a bad incident with Bill stuck on a ship without power yesterday though, which story I relate here: 

 

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