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Any good tips during early game career mode?


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Getting science you mean? Try to milk the KSC for science (you'll need at least basic airplane or rover parts to move around, though). There are also quite a few biomes by the KSC, but you may find it hard to land on them with rocket parts. But overall, there is little science in Kerbin's surface, so don't rush airplane parts. As for space, once you have enough parts to make it to orbit comfortably, you can farm a few more biomes (the poles and tundra biomes) by launching a rocket in a polar orbit (as in, aim north or south instead of east when launching) and you have "in space low over Kerbin" between 70 and 250km and "in space high over kerbin" above 250km.

Once you unlock solar panels (or if you want to take chances with batteries) you can orbit the Mun and Minmus for science, even if you aren't comfortable enough to attempt a landing yet. You can also try to rush the gravioli experiment, which is biome dependent in both low and high orbits (meaning you can farm a lot of science with it). If you're playing career, you can postpone completing the part contracts to use parts you haven't unlocked yet.

You can train your kerbals up to level 3 by landing in both Mun and Minmus and going slightly outside of Kerbin's sphere and influence and inmediately returning to Kerbin (select Kerbin as your target once you're out of its SOI, burn towards target until you have an intercept, and you can try to use the Mun to lower your orbit). Doing all this in a single mission can be a bit of a challenge in itself.

Farming Mun and Minmus for science can be done with biome hoppers (as in, land your lander, do science, do a small suborbital hop to the next biome, rinse and repeat) or with rovers (which can also double as landers or at least have a bit of fuel and engines so you can use them to hover a bit and get the "in space low" science.

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Upgrade buildings.  It may seem like a no-brainer, but your launch pad at the start can only handle 18 tons, which is nowhere near what you need to get into orbit.  And the astronaut living quarters upgrade allows you to do EVA in space, which gets you more science.

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14 hours ago, juanml82 said:

But overall, there is little science in Kerbin's surface, so don't rush airplane parts.

I disagree. Early tech nodes are cheap. So it makes sense to build a plane early with basic parts, get the science, and spend it when the points still make a difference. I would suggest researching stability and basic aviation right after first orbit. Building a plane and a rover would more than pay for itself.

The strategy for unlocking the tech tree is to prioritize the science and electronic nodes near the bottom. In particular the electricity (okto core,  solar panels),  precision engineering (hecs core, ra-2 antenna), and electronic (seismometer) nodes.

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18 hours ago, I likeOxidizerrfuel said:

Do you have any good tips?

There are tons. Don't abanon kerbals, don't kill them, dont forget Parachutes or heatshields. Moar Boosters, parachutes. 

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16 hours ago, juanml82 said:

Try to milk the KSC for science (you'll need at least basic airplane or rover parts to move around, though). There are also quite a few biomes by the KSC, but you may find it hard to land on them with rocket parts.

Or you can just use Kerbin Environmental Institute.

16 hours ago, juanml82 said:

But overall, there is little science in Kerbin's surface, so don't rush airplane parts.

Depends on what science multiplier you play with. A few days ago I started a new game with 10% and found that if out of the tier 4 techs you pick the Science Jr. first and plane parts second, you can get just enough science from the biomes near the KSC to unlock the Terrier as third whereas if you unlock the Terrier as second, you can't get enough data from low orbit alone to unlock planes for third without going to high orbit too.

14 hours ago, Popestar said:

your launch pad at the start can only handle 18 tons, which is nowhere near what you need to get into orbit.

Au contraire, mon capitan.

odum8S0.png

This craft is built entirely out of parts on the starting and first two unlocked nodes, weighs a little more than 13 tons, has exactly 30 parts, yet it's very much capable of reaching low orbit with enough spare delta-V to compensate for the gravity loss from the underpowered bottom stage. The next two rocketry nodes drop the part count, switching to a Terrier once you unlock it can trim down half a ton of fuel from this and still be able to reach high orbit.

The level 2 launch pad is for going to the Mun.  Level 2 VAB is for building a munar lander. You don't need either for the initial LKO flights.

Edited by Fraktal
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19 hours ago, I likeOxidizerrfuel said:

Do you have any good tips?

Create a base rover with the science instruments you have available, There are many Biomes in KSC itself to discover, As you expand KSC you gain more biomes but some are lost. Like around the VAB there is abiomed that only exist when it is half upgraded.

The superb sattelite/explorer ship is a FLT800 tank with a Tierrier engine boosted by a KickBack SRB with fins. You can just launch a bunch of those into the kerbol system sending back science by radio and not recovering it on kerbin..

Orbinting high over the Mun.

Orbiting low over the mun.

high low over minmus. 

AND you can also land them on mun and minmus.

As you get new science instruments you need to go through all biomes on KSC AGAIN.

But after you exhausted that science you need to launch a science hopper with drills and ISRU that can land in all the biomes on Mun and Minmus and having many "science containers" you use the mod

AutoSCience or whatever it is called

To fill them all up with science. Then you send out a retriever .... Same as the ultimate sattelite config Kickback Terrier FLT800 only this time with parachutes. A Kerbal from the science hopper empties on of the science containers .... by now it should contain like 140 - 180 experiments And fly over to the retriever and store the experiments there. Bring them back and land on Kerbin. And you ALMOST have completed the tech tree.

My strategy here is WITHOUT having to make any complicated flights on Kerbin. Just KSC and visiting the Mun and Minmus.

Then you build a science station around minmus, Send the science hopper there and load all science labs full of data, The science labds will need 3 star scientists so you need to send scientists on an educational trip. Land on mun + FLAG .... orbit sun .... land on Minmus + FLAG dock with science station - level up crew and transfer crew to their science modules and start making science.

Edited by Maj Solo
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  • Install the Kerbin Environmental Institute (KEI) mod to automate science collection around the KSC itself. It's easy to get a good haul of science even before launching a single vessel if you gather all the EVA and crew reports and mystery goo observations, and any time you unlock a new science experiment go back to KEI to get the science out of it. Building upgrades also unlock new 'biomes' meaning more science.
  • Use the Stage Recovery mod to salvage a considerable portion of your launch costs by recovering spent stages and boosters, as long as you attach enough parachutes. It adds to the part count and reduces payload capacity, but drastically reduces launch costs for minimal effort.
  • You can reach orbit with just the first three nodes and all level 1 buildings, just remember to take all the science experiments you can with you- and recover them! Science Jr a.k.a. the materials bay is bulky and has poor heat resistance, so as soon as you unlock the science sample box use that to store the experiment results rather than trying to re-enter with the materials bay stuck to the bottom of your pod- it tends to flip and burn off your parachute.
  • Kerbin has lots of science available, but getting it can be difficult and time-consuming- the best way to do it is to build rovers and use the Bon Voyage mod to drive them in the background, repeat as necessary when you unlock more experiments. The same applies to the Mun and Minmus, although it's better to wait until you have all the science experiments unlocked before doing that. A permanent base on the Mun or Minmus with a science lab on it can rake in science if you remember to collect each experiment twice and bring it back there, and having a scientist on hand means you can reset mystery goos and materials bays to re-use them on other biomes.
  • Once you've gone orbital, don't rush to go to the Mun or Minmus. There's a lot of money to be made by doing tourist contracts to Kerbin orbit, so build a rocket that can carry tourists to orbit and back (if you have Making History, the 'Pomegranate' pod is quite good for this, otherwise the stock 'Slim Shuttle' works pretty well too) and try to land them as close to the KSC as possible each time they return.
  • Spaceplanes are difficult to make without the top technologies, but there are ways to make them using less advanced parts so have a look around on the forums to find some good designs; spaceplanes are more efficient than rockets and can carry more tourists too plus they can fly back to the runway and land instead of just parachuting down wherever they happen to end up.

And most importantly- have fun!

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I never bother with science from Kerbins surface except at the runway and launchpad.  When I unlock a new science instrument I'll visit the pad and the runway with it, and recover for 100% cost.

Solid boosters mean you can go suborbital on your second proper launch, which unlocks a liquid engine to get you orbital.  Upgrade the astronaut complex to get EVA and do your first orbital launch North and in to a polar orbit, where you can get EVA reports for each biome.  If you need more cash to upgrade the astronaut complex, a stack of 3 Mk1 capsules with the  middle one upside down is a nice stable return capsule for a couple of tourists.

Passing in front of the Mun rather than behind can get you a free return to Kerbin, with science High above Kerbin, and High and Low above the Mun, which nets a huge amount of science for the early game.

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5 hours ago, Fraktal said:

Au contraire, mon capitan.

odum8S0.png

This craft is built entirely out of parts on the starting and first two unlocked nodes, weighs a little more than 13 tons, has exactly 30 parts, yet it's very much capable of reaching low orbit with enough spare delta-V to compensate for the gravity loss from the underpowered bottom stage. The next two rocketry nodes drop the part count, switching to a Terrier once you unlock it can trim down half a ton of fuel from this and still be able to reach high orbit.

The level 2 launch pad is for going to the Mun.  Level 2 VAB is for building a munar lander. You don't need either for the initial LKO flights.

I guess I should have been more specific with the information.  I'm not talking about escaping the atmosphere or having an LKO, but rather in achieving a true orbit and circling the planet multiple times.  At least, I haven't been able to do either of those without upgrading to level 2...but that might be my shoddy building.  :)

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On 9/29/2020 at 12:55 AM, Popestar said:

18 tons, which is nowhere near what you need to get into orbit.

err... it absolutely is enough to get to orbit, even for a new player seeing as they're likely using 1.25m parts. Harder to get to the Mun obviously but I fundamentally disagree with telling new players that they need 18t or more just to get to orbit. 

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23 hours ago, Popestar said:

I guess I should have been more specific with the information.  I'm not talking about escaping the atmosphere or having an LKO, but rather in achieving a true orbit and circling the planet multiple times.  At least, I haven't been able to do either of those without upgrading to level 2...but that might be my shoddy building.  :)

LKO is a true orbit, enabling you to circle the planet multiple times, I think you're confusing the term with a suborbital flight.

My initial orbiter is under 15 tonnes: a Thumper, TD-12 decoupler, a reliant, a few FLT-100's, Mk1 pod, parachute and some fins.  That has enough dV to launch in to a Polar orbit for some EVA science, meaning I upgrade the Astronaut complex to allow EVA before the launchpad.  As Fraktal says you can bring that weight down a lot once you research the Terrier.  That requires General Rocketry, which you can unlock easily enough from a sub orbital flight.

My early path in to the tech tree tends to be a bit strange though as I use kOS so research Flight Contol as early as possible, and I tend to do several sub-orbital and orbital tourist missions to earn some cash early on.

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7 hours ago, MR L A said:

err... it absolutely is enough to get to orbit, even for a new player seeing as they're likely using 1.25m parts. Harder to get to the Mun obviously but I fundamentally disagree with telling new players that they need 18t or more just to get to orbit. 

Then I am doing something really wrong.

I started over after not playing for a couple years, and I'm relearning everything.  And right now I can't even get out of the atmosphere, nor can I even complete the Flea or Hammer contracts.  So I guess I should just shut up or risk getting shamed in public again.

 

:(

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As other say focus on the lower parts as you want power, science instruments and probe core early. 
First I tend to do just an static pod, then an suborbital jump then orbit, unlock eva and do an second orbit, this time high orbit for bonus science. 
Get into Mun orbit, for landing on the Mun an probe core is nice as you can send an scientist. my first mun rockets tend to use plenty of aspargus staging as I don't have large rocket parts yet and has to use 1.25 meter ones. 
Second rocket have an fairing, now its also time to go to Minmus, here I like to add the option to dock to the transfer stage and have some spare fuel in it, this let you easy do all minus biomes in one go. 

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My typical career mode starts off like this:

Mission 1) atmospheric launch to about 7500m, splashdown in Booster Bay. Should get me 54 science and about 134k funds along with rewards for the first 2 basic contracts.

Mission 2) launch into high kerbin orbit. do EVAs and other science and return to kerbin.

Mission 3) launch a 3 kerbal spacecraft into Mun orbit; do various science and EVAs and return to kerbin.

Mission 4A) launch a "spaceplane" to do a 2 kerbal rescue mission for a scientist and engineer so I have 2 full crews.

Mission 4B) launch a probe/satellite to do at least 3 satellite contracts on a single launch (4 if possible). Preferrably leaving the satellite in orbit around the Mun to act as a comms relay for future missions.

Mission 5) launch a single kerbal lander to the Mun. Land at Armstrong Memorial. Plant flag, do science, and return to kerbin

Mission 6) launch 3 kerbal, Apollo style CSM/LM to Mun using "prime" crew (Jeb, Bill, Bob). Do multiple landings on different Mun biomes using all 3 crew in different configs. return to kerbin

Mission 7) launch 3 kerbal, upgraded Apollo style CSM/LM to Minmus using "prime" crew. Do multiple landings on different Minmus biomes using all 3 crew in different configs. return to kerbin

Mission 8) launch 3 kerbal, even more upgraded Apollo style CSM/LM to Minmus using "backup" crew (Val, 2 rescued kerbals). Do multiple landings using all 3 crew in different configs. Then go to Mun and do multiple landings on Mun using different crew configs. return to kerbin.

Mission 9) launch 3 kerbal, fully upgraded Apollo style CSM/LM to Duna using "prime" crew. Do multiple landings on Duna and Ike. return to kerbin.

 

This is usually where I lose interest in my career and start over. Once you get to Duna, you can pretty much get anywhere in the kerbol system, and at that point I've unlocked pretty much the entire tech tree and I'm sitting on a ton of funds. For me, the fun is in the buildup to get to this point.

 

As far as the original question asking for tips: career mode doesn't have to be super grindy. learn to work with what you have available. As other posters have said, you can do a lot with the basic parts from the first few tech nodes in the tree. A lot of people slam career mode because they think you have to spend a ton of playtime grinding for science on/around kerbin or keep doing contracts over and over for funds/science. As you can see from my mission plans above, I'm orbiting the Mun on my third launch without grinding away on contracts and I'm landing on Duna in less than 10 launches.

I spent a lot of time playing this game using the basic/low level parts and learning how to get the most out of them. It also showed me how to be a better pilot and to be more efficient in my flights and missions and also in my rocket/ship designs. Building up those skills helps you overall become a better player and less reliant on things like MechJeb, which I feel a lot of early players use as a crutch. I personally find myself having a lot more fun when I'm actually playing the game instead of sitting back and watching a mod play it for me, but I'm digressing now.

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 Don't waste cash hiring Kerbals if you can. Rescue them, they will then work for you. 

Tourist missions are for making money.

Check Mission control often for new missions.

Carefully check out part testing missions before taking them because some can be stupidly hard. In fact check out all missions before taking them to see if you can do them in the required time frame.

Don't be afraid to drop a mission.

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