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What are the most important things you've learned about playing KSP to pass on?



KSP is a great, fun game, but it has a difficulty curve like, well, a rocket. I figure there's some critical "lessons" to get yourself over to achieve competence. Here are the ones I've learned, so far.

1: MechJeb. I find KSP to be just about unplayable without it. I know that there are surely some purists who will disagree, but without an autopilot and MechJeb's VAB calculations, I'd likely still be considering myself lucky to so much as make Kerbin orbit, let alone be gearing up for my second shot at a Munar landing. I'd also likely have no idea of what to do without having seen MechJeb do things, but I've watched MechJeb in action enough to have an idea what on Kerbin it's doing and how to do it myself.

2: When in doubt, radialize! I've experienced nothing but bitter, hilarious disaster trying to build vertically, barely able to get ridiculous expanding stacks into Kerbin orbit. Instead, I figured out that I have to build outward; the same fuel tank+engine design, in a serial decoupler arrangement, is vastly less useful and powerful than two/three/four/six of the same fuel tank + engine design arranged radially around another of that same engine design.

3: SRBs, and how to use them. Specifically, SRBs are good for an initial bump to get your rocket engines up to speed and to let them carry some or all of the lowest-altitude work alone, with MechJeb on the limit to terminal velocity setting to save fuel, but it's not really worth it to use them for more than that. Radial liquid fuel engines are so much more useful, I'm pretty sure I could get a radial SSTO going.

4: The KW RockoMaverick engine, for when you don't yet have the Mainsail. This could work with the LV-T30 stock engine and I think it would still be superior, but KW Rocketry is what really sells it. Get a big old 2.5m Rockomax fuel tank stage going, however much is appropriate to the payload you intend to use, and stick one of those KW LFTA 2-1 conical 1.25-2.5 adapter-fuel tanks on the bottom, inverted. Stick on a tricoupler (or a quadcoupler, if you have it - those will definitely make it better,) and attach three KW Maverick D-1 engines. Gives you massively more thrust than the Rockomax Skipper (350*3 = 1050 thrust > 600 Thrust,) with better ISP at sea level and no worse ISP in vacuum and far more alternator output, not that that will matter on your ascent stage. It is heavier by 2 tons, true, but the far greater TWR means you'll ultimately save a lot in getting into orbit, and the RockoMaverick has been consistently lifting payloads into orbit for me that the Skipper can't. Not to mention it looks boss as heck, especially if you have six or twelve of them radially arranged around a central.. :cool:

5: Less is more when it comes to payload, more is more when it comes to engines. If engines are your payload, you're going to have some tricky balancing work to do, and your ascent stage will probably wind up being approximately the radius of the Death Star.

6: Navigation lights. I'm pretty sure they came from B9 Aerospace since they were manufactured by "Tetragon Projects." Use the red lights on the left side of the craft and the green on the right, and I like to put the white lights strictly down the "top" - that is, with the craft as a whole (that is, the first command part) not rotated, the white lights go straight down the middle when facing out of the VAB. This helps so much when you're in space and looking at your ship trying to work out which side is which. (Not to mention it makes your ship look boss as heck. :cool: )

7: Don't forget batteries and power generation! You don't want to SSTO a 45-ton payload and be about ready to embark on a Mun shot only to realize that your entire power supply is the tiny supply in the lander strapped to the top of your transfer stage!

That's what I've figured out, anyway. Some of it may be wrong, but it's what I've got and it's what's worked for me. If it's stupid, but it works consistantly, was it really stupid?

There is one thing I want to know, though...

Is there any practical point to installing fairings without FAR? I haven't got it installed and don't intend to. Fairings look boss as all heck and watching them pop in orbit is great, but without FAR, are they just adding mass and (paradoxically,) drag? Or do they actually shield the drag of their payload and replace it all with their own drag in stock, because that would probably justify the weight several times over on the ascent stage.

Edited by ShadowDragon8685
Lesson 7...
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1: MechJeb. I find KSP to be just about unplayable without it. I know that there are surely some purists who will disagree, but without an autopilot and MechJeb's VAB calculations, I'd likely still be considering myself lucky to so much as make Kerbin orbit, let alone be gearing up for my second shot at a Munar landing. I'd also likely have no idea of what to do without having seen MechJeb do things, but I've watched MechJeb in action enough to have an idea what on Kerbin it's doing and how to do it myself.

I think most people are going to disagree with you on this one. I certainly do. The feeling you get when you make a perfect touchdown on another planet or dock two giant ships in orbit is incredible. I'd recommend the Kerbal Engineer mod, gives you all the data that MJ does, but without the autopilot.

Anyway, things I've learned:

1. Learn to use the navball. Knowing what every indicator means, what it does, and why is so useful. I think 90% of people's issues with things like docking can be attributed to not fully understanding how to use the navball.

2. When in doubt: Simplify. Every ounce of weight you add at the top of your rocket will force you to make every stage under it bigger, which gets out of control exponentially. Learn what you really need, and what you can do without. Lean, mean rockets are easy to lift off, easy to fly, and easy to land.

3. Learn to dock, and get good at it. It opens up a whole new world... well worlds actually. Why struggle getting a massive ship into orbit when you can split it into two parts and have them docked in less than half an hour?

4. Rovers are fun... for about 30 seconds... then they flip over.

5. Understand why things happen. There's so much information at our disposal, here on the forum, in youtube vids, wikis, ect. It's easy to look up an answer to a specific question, but if you take the time to learn why things work they way they do you'll have learned a skill that you can use to solve future problems without needing to look up the answer. It's rewarding, it's enlightening, and it's fun. "Give a man a fish and he'll be fed for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll feed himself for a lifetime"

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My best lessons to pass on:

1. Test, test, test! Whatever you want your craft to do in space should be tested on Kerbin as much as possible. Make sure Kerbals can easily get back into your lander, make sure your staging is right, make sure the landing legs extend far enough to clear the engine, etc. Test each stage independently. Nothing worse than investing hours in an interplanetary mission to find that one of your later stages is somehow broken.

2. Don't forget electricity. I've been playing since before electricity was implemented, so I often forget to include it, especially on the core stage of my booster that I want to deorbit once it delivers its payload. A couple of solar panels and a battery weigh almost nothing but will save you the frustration of a craft with dV left and no way to use it.

3. The navball. Learn it, love it! No part of the interface is more important. The visuals of your ship are pretty but they tell you almost nothing about your craft's orientation. When doing maneuvers manually your eyes should be glued to it.

4. Generally, less is more. Big craft are cool and all, but they make the game laggy and are more vulnerable to the Kraken. Learn to minimize your part count and mass, especially in the upper stages.

5. Occasionally, more is less. Landing on a high gravity world? It's generally more efficient to leave your transfer stage in orbit and dock with it after ascent than it is to bring all that mass down and have to boost it back up.

6. Have fun and don't worry about other people. Use mods and cheats if they are fun for you. Whatever goals you set for your space program only have to satisfy you.


As for the whole MechJeb thing, here's my take:

I think it's a valuable learning tool. Watch what it does when you give it an order, examine the maneuver nodes it sets up, and think about how it is making things happen. Not everyone learns the same way, so saying that everyone should become a good pilot through trial and error before using MechJeb does some people a disservice.

If craft design and mission planning are more enjoyable for you than piloting, then use MechJeb and don't look back. It is frustrating to have a capable craft fail a mission due to pilot error. It also allows consistent, repeatable flights for testing designs or repetitive chores (I use it for launching/rendezvous/docking of tankers to fill interplanetary craft that I launched empty).

That said, there is sometimes great satisfaction in manual piloting. I don't think I've had a more satisfying moment is KSP than my first successful Mun landing (back when the Mun was the only destination). Docking manually is satisfying, too. Personally, I make landings on each body manually until they become repetitive, than I let MechJeb handle it.

Basically, I think MechJeb is a great enhancement to the game. It is useful for beginners and experts alike, for reducing tedium, frustration and learning time.

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1 ) The game is under active and moderately rapid development. Don't expect everything to work, expect things to break in unexpected ways, expect future updates to break things, keep backups.

2) Mod developers are exceptional humans with who are happy to share their creations without expecting any tangible reward in return. It's in the nature of some of them that their interest may suddenly shift to something new, and their creations may be left to wither and die unless somebody else with the necessary skills decides to take over.

3) Internet forums focussed on computer games have a user base with a very broad spectrum of abilities and attitudes.

4) Computer game physics can deviate from reality in ways that may be unexpected and hilarious.

4) Kerbals can survive falls from a very great height, but not explosions.

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1. You don't need to add 6.000 boosters to make rocket fly. Just make things simple and it will easily take you to the moon

2. If you don't know how to dock you will never make any big space station, or go behind minimus with manned vessel.

3. You dont need to use nay autopilots to go to the orbit, you need to know what does every indicator on the navball do.

4. When building a plane make your center of lift a little behind center of mass.

5. Don't place your front landing gear in middle of you aircraft, because it makes your plane flipping on start.

6. Lift is more important than thrust when building your space plane - without enginesyou can glide for very long time, without wings you fall like a brick instantly.

EDIT: Sheesh, my English wasn't that great back when I wrote it...

Edited by bartekkru99
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I'm a long time KSP player and forum lurker, and love this thread. Here are mine:

I saw this mentioned briefly once earlier and had to post in agreement: KSP is best played for me with a pencil and notepad handy (and frequently used).  Especially in Career mode when trying to get the most cost efficient performance out of my designs, I record my ascent profiles and de-orbit profiles to refer to in the future for adjustments - or to nail that perfect return from orbit to the KSC runway.  I jot down design changes to make for future flights based on performance.  Heck I even map out goals and order of contracts in a launch schedule format.  Like any sandbox game I find the goals i set for myself are what makes it engaging and keeps me coming back for more.

Playing Career with quicksaves turned off is a real adrenalin rush!  I sometimes hate myself for playing this way but it's also given me some of the best gaming moments ever in a lifetime of gaming.

Finally, two mods I never fly without: KerbalEngineer and Chatterer.

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1. You have most fun if you play the game at your own pace.

2. You save yourself a lot of trouble if you learn to play without mods.

3. It's better to build things that work in KSP than to try building things that work in real world.

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1. Learn how to move indicators on the navball. This is one that saves me a lot of frustration.

Lets start with the Prograde and Retrograde vectors. When you burn the prograde indicator will move toward the center of where you burn on the navball. The rate it does this depends on your current velocity. The lower your velocity the faster it moves. The retrograde indicator will move away from your thrust location. The rate it moves also depends on velocity. If you keep the velocity indicator within 50m/s you can move the indicators pretty much at will.

- Making a perfect soft landing with the indicators: while you're landing you'll want to line up your retrograde indicator with the zenith indicator on the navball. Make sure you do this in "surface" mode. Thrust on the opposite side of the retrograde mark to move it towards the zenith. Keep your velocity over 10 m/s as you descend. When the indicator is lined up with the zenith you can thrust towards zenith to keep it there while dropping your velocity to 5 m/s. This gives you a nice straight landing.

When you target something you get new indicators for that. The purple indicators tell the vector to your target.

- fast and easy intercepts: This is after you plotted to intercept the target. Once you're within 50km of your target the navball switches to target mode. You can now intercept the target. Burn retrograde to reduce your velocity to the target to less than 50m/s. Then burn toward the prograde marker of the target to start headin towards it. Burn on the opposite side of the target prograde from your own prograde (remember the green one) to line up your prograde with the target prograde. Keep these markers lined up as you approach the target. When you're within 2km of the target it loads up. If your velocity is over 50m/s burn your retrograde to reduce it to 10 m/s. You can use RCS to dock with the target now.

2. Docking navball indicator mod

Docking entirely with the navball!

To dock with only the navball you'll need a docking navball indicator. This also tells you how to move your target's vectors.

The target prograde vector will try to move away from your prograde (green) vector. To perform a dock with the navball:

- Set yourself up 100 meters from the target port in the general direction of this port.

- Target the port. This activates the navball indicator for the port

- RCS to thrust toward the port (target prograde indicator) up to 1 m/s.

- Angle toward the docking indicator (mine is red).

- Use strafe RCS to move your prograde vector to the opposite side of the target prograde from the location of the docking indicator. The target prograde will start drifting towards the docking indicator. Keep your prograde vector out until the target vector lines up to the docking vector, then strafe to align your prograde to the docking indicator. Let your ship drift, keeping all 3 vectors aligned by strafing your prograde vector to any side.

3. Kerbal engineer

I can't design a rocket without this anymore. It lets me configure the engines I need for a payload efficently. So far my space program has an unlimited budget. The efficency is for game performance. If i can make a more efficient rocket to complete a mission I should. It makes the game run better.

4. Asparagus staging

I never got why this is used until I started using it and setting it up. An asparagus staged rocket is more efficient than a standard staged rocket at least for the purpose of this game. It seems that rockets downstream from the fuel line will not actually increase the burn rate on rockets upstream. That is if you tied 2 tanks together and have a rocket on each the upstream tank drains as if it has only one rocket on it instead of 2. Yes it's counter intuitive to how you would think it happens. You get the thrust of the engines in the center without actually using the fuel tanks above them until the outer stages are completed.

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- Maneuver nodes are followed by burning towards the blue mark. That shows where you've set the destination orbit to.

- Kerbal Engineer is invaluable. Saves a lot of trial and error.

- Less is more. Especially when it comes to fuel and staging.

- Unless you're looking at liftoff thrust. Then, more is more.

- Alt-right click. Invaluable for when you mucked up the fuel lines, or forgot them completely.

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I've learnt a lot of things from KSP, and i usually end up being called 'the smart guy' everytime in physics class.But anyways: here are a few of many things i learned:

- To calculate delta-v, multiply the ISP of your engine with the natural logorithm of the qoutient of the dry and wet mass of your craft. 

- Don't use MechJeb too often.While the autopilot is really handy, it will take a toll on your piloting skills.You will eventually rely too much on the autopilot, and be dependent on it in a later stage.

- Learn to take advantage of the Oberth Effect.Whilst orbiting a moon that orbits really far away from it's parent planet, burn out of it's SOI, and set the initial periapsis around the parent planet the lowest you can get it without entering it's atmosphere, if it has an atmosphere.Once outside the SOI of the moon, warp to your periapsis and burn.By doing this, you consume the least amount of fuel when leaving it's gravitational influence.

- If you want to make your orbit's more perfect, set your thrust limiter on your engine really low, go to a point approximately inbetween the apoapsis and periapsis, then burn radially or anti-radially, depending on which side you are on.

- When building planes, put your wings a bit farther back to prevent constant stalling.Side fact: Don't overuse the Advanced Canards, as your plane will have to strong lift and will flip your plane upside down on takeoff.

- When departing for other planets, know your phase and ejection angles.This prevents you from wasting a crazy amount of delta-v on getting to a place that's basically right next door to Kerbin.



- Opt for a minimalistic design.Build rockets that have just enough fuel and safety countermeasures to get you somewhere and back safely.

- Always have an extra battery or two onboard.


I mostly learned these things during my rookie years, back in 0.19, all the way up to 0.24 (no kidding).Here's one thing i said when i first joined this forum around 2 years ago.Back at the time, i knew very little about how KSP works.I literally asked why my game wasn't budging, because i was on the dark side of the Mun with zero eletricity.YUP.THAT HAPPEND.Anyways this a really lenghty post, and i'm sorry for taking up precious thread space :blush:.Thanks for reading my learned lessons, and some mistakes and sins! :D

Edited by Candlelight
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Learn the Rocket Equation - how to use it to determine how much delta-V your rocket has, and how to use it to determine the amount of fuel you need in order to have a target amount of delta-V. That, combined with an understanding of the importance of thrust-to-weight ratios, will tell you if your rocket is capable of doing the job you want it to and the bare amount of fuel you need to do it.

Smaller, less complicated rockets are generally better and more foolproof than big ones. A perfectly viable SSTO rocket orbiter can be built out of Tier 0 parts alone - a satellite can be launch itself to orbit if done correctly.

Docking is not as big of a deal as everyone makes it out to be. Just be sure you use RCS and that the thrusters are evenly spaced. Four thruster blocks is okay, eight is good, twelve is best.

Reaction Wheels and Reaction Stabilizers are nice but not essential.

Don't forget electricity.

You will screw it up at least once. Probably badly. That's what F5 and F9 are for.

When you can think of a better way, screw the rules.

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You don't always need to be at full throttle when launching a ship. As you get higher in the atmosphere, it's sometimes possible to ease off the throttle. It saves fuel and can massively increase the range of your ship. 

If you put EAS-1 seats in a Service Bay, you can make an inexpensive, ultralight lander can. 

Landing lights are useful even if you aren't coming down on the dark side of a planet. They work even better if you make them a contrasting color to the ground. 

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I have learned that some mods pretty much are essential to gameplay: Engineer and alarm clock.

Minimizing burns for orbit changes is key to longer voyages:  correcting Hohmann transfer inclinations weeks in advanced as opposed to after entering the SOI could mean an extra biome hop worth of fuel. 

Above all else: docking..  Learn to dock quickly and efficiently.  Learn all of the engineering that goes into docking vehicles (RCS thrusters with multiples of 4 symmetry as far out towards the end of the vehicle as possible for maximum torque.)

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Here's my personal advise to new players. It's personal, so others might advice you different things.

 1.  Depending a bit on what you want to do within the Kerbal universe, BE PATIENT!! If you only like to see explosions, then start a new game, choose sandbox, get into the Vehicle Assembly Building or Space Plane Hangar, slap something (anything with a capsule, fuel and an engine) together, hit the launch button and randomly start pressing keys...voila, theres your explosion and you can stop reading here ;) But if you want to get to places...orbit, the moons of Kerbin or beyond. If you want a well functioning rocket, spaceship, airplane, spaceplane etc then you're in for a ride! Don't expect to have succes in your first try. And don't expect to have succes on your second (third, fourth...etc) try as well. And don't panic, you will see explosions anyhow. Maybe a helmet comes in handy for the times you want to bang your head against the wall. KSP is in that sense a real trail and error (lots of error) game.
 I'm playing ksp quite a lot for a couple of years now and still manage to fail/crash/explode on a regular basis. "I was going to make it, but then that planet was in the way..." The biggest reward to me is when a mission goes according to plan without failure. And believe me, after failing manymany times a succes is a great reward and gives a real sense of achievement. 

 2. Be curious! This isn't a game for the light hearted in that sense. Prepare to do a bit of study, even when not playing KSP. A basic understanding of orbital mechanics and aerodynamics is crucial for succesfull missions. Understanding things like "Speed and position are allways relative to something else" or "When I accelerate prograde at periapsis, my apoapsis will rise" will help you understand what you actually see in KSP. Try to understand the terminology. If you like you can take this to university levels of knowledge, including formulae for calculating phase angles and the sorts. These real life formulae actually work in KSP as well. But understanding the basics is enough to have fun and understanding in the Kerbal universe. You'll actually learn a lot by just playing KSP! But if you are willing to expand your knowledge about flight and spaceflight it will help you a great deal in reaching those far away places.

 3. The Navball is your biggest friend. Try to understand and memorise what the symbols on the navball mean. Pointing your rocket to a visible moon or planet and burn for it just isn't going to work.

 4. Look away from the navball!! More than once I landed with Formula 1 speeds (=explosion) because I was intensly looking at my heading/the navball, ignoring my speed, altitude and....everything else basically. By the way, even to modern standards I think KSP has some very beautiful visuals here and there. Just look away from the navball once in a while.

 5. Use the forum. Don't hesitate to ask questions. There are no stupid questions. A lot of us have launched a rocket straight up, then wondered why it didn't go into orbit and why it fell back (explosion!)

 4. Experiment! See what works for you. If it fails, revert to the VAB/SPH (vehicle assembly building/spaceplane hangar), adjust your design, and try again...and again...and again untill it works.

 5. Start playing the vanilla game. Get the hang of how things work before downloading mods (if at all). But...

 6. Using the mod Kerbal Engineering Redux has helped me more than I would bargain for. It shows readouts on a phletora of stats the base game doesn't show. I wouldn't even call it a mod (apart from that it is one). It has helped me getting to become a much better Kerbal pilot. Understanding the terminology helps in this as well

 7. Have fun! Banging your head against a wall hurts. Just stop playing for a while when you feel that urge.

Now go and explode something!

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I can offer one I just discovered. Aligning for re-entry with arrival at KSC can be a pain; it's lovely to come in on a perfectly equatorial orbit and drop (ideally) right on top of the Space Center. Up until now, I've used debris or rescue ships in orbit to target and match planes with; more recently I've been launching an "Orbital Alignment Probe" to use as a target.

All unnecessary. In yet another facepalm moment, I realized there's already the perfect target in an equatorial orbit: The Mun.

For cheap, easy alignment with KSC try this: While returning from the Mun or Minmus, or if just in a non-equatorial orbit, target the Mun, and match planes with it. You can do it FAR outside the Mun's orbit (if coming in from Minmus) for a low-cost (in fuel terms) plane change. One of those things I catch myself saying "Doh! Why didn't I think of that before!"

My recipe for aerobraking: 

Aerobraking is critical for a safe, economical return to Kerbin. Assuming a basic vessel using a command pod, I find these numbers to work well: Following plane change, burn retrograde until your Kerbin Pe is 37.4k. The engine - either a poodle, a terrier or any of the smaller engines - can handle that much heating with ease and if returning from the Mun, you'll top out with an Ap of about 150k. When you reach Ap, raise your Pe to 100, then circularize at Pe. You ought to be in a perfect alignment for a very accurate landing at KSC

At the East coast the second continent West of KSC (Picture provided - about 90 degrees West) burn until a Pe of -145.4 then detach your engine while Retrograde. You'll plop right down on top of the center.


Right here - if you're using KER, burn the moment the 'biome' heading changes from 'Deserts' to 'Shores'.

Obviously,  these numbers work for my design; yours (speaking specifically to new players here) will behave slightly differently depending on weight and drag - but you'll be very close. :) With subsequent flights, fine-tune your own numbers until you can step out onto the KSC grounds every time. :)

Hope this helps!


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1. Learn to dock without the aid of MechJeb.

2. Modularize everything. It cuts down on the design time behind building a station, base, or multipart ship.

3. Build the rocket/plane and hit the launch button. If it handles like the old farm truck, make some adjustments. A crashing rocket/plane is part of the game and enjoyment :).

4. Never send up a manned flight without a way of getting the poor Kerbal back down to Kerbin's ground, safely. Have rescue craft handy.

5. Perfect the Hofman Transfer orbit. Get to know this concept very intimately.

6. Smaller is always bigger. Avoid a large payload and avoid large stages unless you absolutely need them. With docking ports in the game, send your large contraptions up in pieces and assemble them in LKO.

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- Always put at least a few fixed solar panels on any non-tiny ship. You WILL forget to extend the bigger ones, and this is a life-saver.

This, so much. Alternatively, have at least one battery "locked" to provide emergency power for extending the panels/reorienting the ship.

Lost a recent mission because I didn't do this. Although I didn't forget to extend the panels. "Eh, one gigantor should suffice, it only has one probe core"... then of course the ship is rotated so that its only panel is in shadow. Power runs out. Bugger.

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I don't want to start a flame war, but I highly disagree with the Mechjeb. I am proficient at, well, everything, because I took the time to learn how to do everything systematically and in a manner that works. I wouldn't want to play a game about spaceflight if the game flew for me, right? I think I have the unfair advantage of being natural capable of seeing what will work.

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IMO the most important point in KSP: it is orbital mechanics, not driving on the road. If you want to get to a place, you can't just hit the pedal and get there; you don't change direction by just steering; we don't really have much "control" in this case, and indeed we don't -- essentially we are all slaves of gravity, we make a small change here, and hope that gravity will gradually bring you to the correct place. In the atmosphere, you may be flying a plane, but once in orbit, strictly speaking you are not flying anything; you just change something at a certain point, and you can only let gravity does its job. Everything takes time in this game; the only thing you can control is how well you perform your maneuver, and once it is done you can only wait (time-warp) for it to happen. It's not like a car racing game. So it is very important to invest time to perfect your maneuver, and it is the nature of space travel. Knowing some maths does open up a lot of possibilities, but KSP does provide enough info readouts for most basic missions. And in fact, understanding how your action affects your orbit is more important than knowing a lot of jargons and just plugging numbers in each of them.

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Some tips for lander testing:

0) Before sending it to another planet, test your lander around Kerbin. It's better to be sure than to find that it can't do anything at the place. Also it's good to know what you can and what you can't at this TWR.

1) Ultra-light (Gilly, Bop, Pol) - just test on Minmus. It may be much of an overkill for some of them delta-v wise (you might start from suborbital trajectory in this case and test some hops around the landing site), but still you have to have at least this level TWR for comfortable piloting. Ensure that you have means to secure your craft on the surface - it's too easy to tip over in light gravity.

2) Mun-grade (Eeloo, Dres, Ike) - test it on the Mun! Dres and Ike are actually easier targets, but it's better to have some extra. Again, you may use suborbital tests with starting at already reduced speed and at least getting the same value when starting back.

3) Double-Mun-Grade (Moho, Vall, Duna) - try double Mun landing at half throttle (a bit overkill, but still) or direct landing from Kerbin-Mun transfer trajectory and going directly back to Kerbin. For Duna landing with aerobraking try starting at couple km above the Mun with minimal velocity, and also run some chute tests in Kerbin atmosphere.

4) Laythe - land it on Kerbin and get back to orbit (or at least 2 km/s). Ensure it's capable of landing on a slope and in water (there're almost no good even spots)

5) Tylo - try simulating "landing" from 100 km Kerbin orbit to 70 km altitude and returning back to 100 km orbit (and better ensure it can get to orbit - you'll need that extra delta-v for the actual landing). Also note the fuel levels during the "landing" and try dropping the craft with these fuel levels on Kerbin's surface to test touchdown sequence. (P.S. if it's SSTO rocket, it should be enough, just ensure it is landable)

6) Eve - I don't know. Landing with chutes can be tested on Kerbin, but the ascent... I'm not sure there is appropriate simulation for that atmosphere. Maybe try to put pitch at 45 degrees right from the pad? If it reaches escape velocity - it should probably be good enough.

Edited by Alchemist
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1. Failure is part of success. - In my first days of Kerbal I didn't have any idea what I was doing, then I had my first Minmus landing that made all my 'prototypes' worth it.

2. Scott Manley is your friend. - Not trying to be cliche, but this man has taught me so much, mods or not, he is one knowledgeable fellow.

3. Bigger is not always better. - Grabbing an Orange tank and strapping on 6 radially attached orange tanks and some boosters will probably give you a little bit of a hard time. Instead research Asparagus staging. It is a Godsend.

4. Check your staging - For how many times I have caught myself having to load a quicksave because of staging problems. So simple but yet we forget.

5. Think outside the box - This game rewards creativeness. Getting some more complicated designs from players on the forums or spaceport can give you some ideas to get the juices flowing. I have downloaded tons of user crafts, but I usually don't fly them, I take them apart to see how they work.

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What I really appreciate from MechJeb is the rendezvous autopilot... matching orbits by hand is painful and tedious.

At the start of the week I would have agreed with you, making upwards of 10 burns to get within 10k and then going direct (what can I say I am still a noob). Now down to 2 burns to start and end the transfer and I am normally within 300m, unbelievable how much difference it has made.


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