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Tips and tricks you found out yourself

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Everyone who plays a lot of KSP invents certain tricks in the game to achieve more in it. Sometimes these realisations are simple and other times it's absolutly brilliant. Sometimes you found out you've been doing things the wrong way, other times you'd noticed slight changes to enhance your launches.

Lets share them! What have you found out yourself???

I'll start.

I've figured two things out. When burning into a high orbit, I do not do the make an AP above the atmosphere and burn from there to circularize. When I need to get a satellite into lets say a geostationary orbit. I keep burning when my AP is way above the atmosphere, I keep the pitch of the ship at 0. This way I'm burning radially and raising my PE (and lowering my eccentricity). When the PE hits about 20-25 KM. That's when I cut the engines of. This way I utilized my fuel as efficient as possible. (And I do not have to restart my engines, which is no problem in KSP but can be in real life).

A second trick I found out is a cheaper and faster way to get to Minmus. Because Minmus is in an inclined orbit of about 6 degrees you'll have to do an inclination burn to make up for the difference. Off course you could wait for a window when Minmus is on the equator at the time of arrival. But it dawned me that 2 times a day the Kerbal space centre is on the Ascending or Descending node of Minmus orbit.

Now I just timeshift till KSC is directly underneath the path of Minmus and launch in a heading that makes up for the tilt of Minmus (either 96 or 84 degrees). This way I don't have to do an inclination burn and can fly straight to it as if it where the Mun.

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Double check everything, and always 'walk' through a mission and see that you have the right gear for the job. Nothing is worse than returning to Kerbin for splashdown and suddenly finding out that you don't have parachutes.

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On starting an interplanetary voyage from Minmus: Yeah, works great! You could refuel from an orbital space station and drop in toward Kerbin when Minmus is positioned either pro- or retrograde along Kerbin's Kerbolar orbit. If Minmus is retrograde, burn at your Kerbin periapsis and be slingshot toward the outer Kerbolar system. You are stealing some of Kerbin's orbital energy, but that's ok, it can always find more!

Also, if you enter a very low Kerbol orbit and slingshot around it retrograde, you can time warp backwards to save the humpbacks.

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If you want more stable lift-off, you should attach more aerofoil, more, more and more!

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Indeed this can be helpful. Just remember to hit the square brackets after you drop the stage to switch to the upper part of your rocket.

Yeah, it's always awkward when you end up flying the wrong part of your ship.

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Realizing that interplanetary transfers can work the same way as orbital rendezvous' was HUGE for me. So was learning how to tilt a lander to adjust the landing site off a slope.

This, of course, came after I found out you had to burn retrograde to land and not just literally straight up.

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When landing on bodies with no atmosphere, whack a maneuver node at ground level and adjust it fully retrograde until the resultant is zero at ground level. Then you can suicide burn every time, and not have to worry about fuel wastage.

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The modular girder segment has slowly become one of my favorite parts due to its versatility. In addition to providing a convenient place to mount batteries, solar panels and scientific instruments, it can also double as emergency landing gear in a pinch thanks to its high impact tolerance.

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1. With a SSTO on takeoff pulling back (ie up) on your flaps causes your airplane to accelerate much faster (ie 40%) than leaving them level.

2. If you click on your AP or PE nodes correctly they will keep the nodes elevation showing even after you take your mouse away.

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1. Not alone here, but I figured out a transfer that works really well for reaching targets in an inclined orbit, especially since you can meet it at the Ascending or Descending node. I call it a "timed transfer" since you set a location first, then adjust your arrival time to coincide with the target. Basically you set your Ap (or Pe if going down), to intersect with the target. Then adjust the Pe height to set your arrival back at Ap to rendezvous. May need to loop around a few.. it's effective but takes longer (in game time).

2. Worked out a way to always get an intercept directly with Laythe rather than messing about aerobraking around Jool first. Only costs tens of dV to do as well. I don't understand why so few people do this, or even know it is possible.

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1. Pressing shift in the VAB selects the craft

2. Shift in the VAB can also be used to rotate in smaller steps

3. If you use Minmus as the start of your Kerbin escape, you can save around 850Dv

4. People who are saying ION engines are pretty useless, are right. (My latest discovery)

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1. Pressing shift in the VAB selects the craft

2. Shift in the VAB can also be used to rotate in smaller steps

3. If you use Minmus as the start of your Kerbin escape, you can save around 850Dv

4. People who are saying ION engines are pretty useless, are right. (My latest discovery)

Regarding number 3: You had to burn your engines to get to Minmus in the first place, so unless you reached Minmus fully fueled (using Kethane or something) you cannot cheat the delta-v chart like that!

Also, using a pod on the ground, you can use maximum warp without having your craft in an extremely high orbit. Learned this after several months of doing it the hard way.

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1. Skipping into Timewarp and out again will halt rotation of a vessel - thats a little bit of a cheat

2. a Couple of EVA goodiies for when you are trying to for a good screenshot - ALT when walking on EVA toggles between rotate and translate, and when you are under RCS on EVA you can drag the kerbals around by dragging with the left mouse button

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Regarding number 3: You had to burn your engines to get to Minmus in the first place, so unless you reached Minmus fully fueled (using Kethane or something) you cannot cheat the delta-v chart like that!

Also, using a pod on the ground, you can use maximum warp without having your craft in an extremely high orbit. Learned this after several months of doing it the hard way.

Yes you can... refuel in Minmus orbit. No Kethane needed.

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When landing on a planet or moon using a powered descent, shut down your engines a split-second before hitting the ground, rather than throttling down (set a hotkey in the VAB). I've found that this greatly reduces the risk of having your lander topple over since you have no residual thrust from your engines which could cause the craft to "bounce" back.

Also, when launching large rockets it can help to start the engines before releasing the clamps. This stabilizes the rocket after the initial shock of engine ignition and results in a smoother liftoff. You can also place fuel tanks on the ground to fuel the engines so you don't waste any fuel.

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When landing on a planet or moon using a powered descent, shut down your engines a split-second before hitting the ground, rather than throttling down (set a hotkey in the VAB). I've found that this greatly reduces the risk of having your lander topple over since you have no residual thrust from your engines which could cause the craft to "bounce" back.

Also, when launching large rockets it can help to start the engines before releasing the clamps. This stabilizes the rocket after the initial shock of engine ignition and results in a smoother liftoff. You can also place fuel tanks on the ground to fuel the engines so you don't waste any fuel.

Isn't X (instant cut of throttle) same as shutting down engine?

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Turn your SAS off once your docking magnets kick in, and let the magnets pull it into the right orientation, guided by a little manual compensation. This allows the docking ports to allign nicely and give a straight, parralel/normal dock rather than SAS keeping it stuck in a slightly-off orientation and putting the axis of whatever you're docking at an angle to the normal of your docking port.

Also - when you arrive in orbit with fuel left in your launchstage, you decide to keep it attached, and you find that your craft turns very slowly because of the heavy launch stage attached, move all the fuel you have as close to the centre of your craft as possible - usually this means pumping fuel from the bottom of your launchstage to the top. This reduces the lever arm of your fuel and thus reduces your rotational inertia, making it easier to turn your craft without having to integrate reaction wheels into your launchstage.

Also.... science tier 0 has a decoupler... and stability controls! xD

XT3GWYJ.png

I replaced it with four engines later, but the four (three in this picture) small engines at the bottom are bound to control groups 1 through 4, which i can fire seperately. Since i rely mostly on solid boosters early-on, i can fire these at a reasonably low thrust and use them to correct my crafts. pitch.

The three engines pointing towards the centre of the rocket burn the bottom stage off xD. The LV-30 refused to burn it off, because the solid booster was obstructing it.

Edited by Spyritdragon

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I learned in map view (looking down towards the North Pole) that when the KSP launch center is at the 6 o'clock position and the Mun is at 2 O'clock, you can launch and do your gravity turn as normal.

Instead of going into a parking orbit, you keep burning until your Ap gets high enough to get an intercept of the Mun. You save a lot of Delta V this way.

You can do this for interplanetary mission too, just be sure the Moons are not in the way.

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When landing on a planet or moon using a powered descent, shut down your engines a split-second before hitting the ground, rather than throttling down (set a hotkey in the VAB). I've found that this greatly reduces the risk of having your lander topple over since you have no residual thrust from your engines which could cause the craft to "bounce" back.

Or you could just press x.

Also, when launching large rockets it can help to start the engines before releasing the clamps. This stabilizes the rocket after the initial shock of engine ignition and results in a smoother liftoff. You can also place fuel tanks on the ground to fuel the engines so you don't waste any fuel.

I've done something similar, but in a different way. If your launch TWR is around 2, start with your throttle between 50 and 75% and throttle up immediately after you launch. Smooths out the jerk pretty well.

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You can drag manuver nodes in time along your orbit, great for timing transfers, adjust the node until your new apogee hits the target orbit, and then drag the node along your orbit until the apogee hits your target.

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When landing on bodies with no atmosphere, whack a maneuver node at ground level and adjust it fully retrograde until the resultant is zero at ground level. Then you can suicide burn every time, and not have to worry about fuel wastage.

This is epic, I'm going to try this immediately. Well, as soon as I get home from work.

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When holding on to a ladder, you can press shift+W/A/S/D and the kerbal will look in that direction.

For example, if you're on a ladder and hold shift+D, the kerbal will look to the right, and if you press space while doing so, he'll jump in that direction!

It took me more than you would think to discover it.

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Yes you can... refuel in Minmus orbit. No Kethane needed.

you aren't saving anything then... you in fact expended more Dv than you otherwise would have spent just to get into minmus orbit.

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