Without mods, Kerbal Space Program is already an wonderful achievement –a deep, rewarding sim that captures the majesty and challenge of going to space. In 2015 we gave it our greatest recommendation, and since then it’s appeared in both our team’s and our readers’ top 100 lists. Kerbal Space Program sticks around as it is everything that makes PC gaming great: freedom, creativity, flexibility, and mods. Obviously, mods make it simpler. The best mods for Kerbal Space Program include new boats, new components, and tiny touches to keep Kerbal fresh and fun after a hundred hours of rocket science.
Whether you’re searching for a flyable Enterprise or Serenity, a recreation of NASA’s Apollo rockets or the International Space Station, the KSP community was getting it done for ages today. Out of all of the nice work accessible, these are our favourite mods for Kerbal Space Program.
Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Network (CKAN)
Do not forget: Insert Module Manager, a mod which helps other mods play well together.
The very first mod on the listing isn’t actually a mod, it’s a program. CKAN is a open-source, community-supported mod supervisor. Although KSP’s mod community has moved around a lot: for a little while it was officially based from Curse.com, most of the largest mods still reside on the match official forums, and others reside on SpaceDock. With numerous mod sources on the market, CKAN aggregates modders’ submitted documents and cross-references them, making sure that every mod is current, installing/uninstalling immediately, and warning you if mods are incompatible with each other. If a modder has advocated other mods to cooperate with theirs, then CKAN asks if you’d like to put in them at precisely the exact same moment. It’s a stunning piece of work, also it’s more crucial the more mods you add.
To add a mod with CKAN, just start typing the name. There may be a couple of mods only hosted on Curse or SpaceDock, but almost all them are contained in CKAN.
Some of my favourite mods are the most useless. Check out these mods if you want a more amazing, immersive game.
In space, no one can hear you scream unless you hold down the push-to-talk button. Chatterer took real-life audio from the Apollo 11 missions, scrambled up it a bit, and chucked it into audio files that play in the background of your assignments. Coupled with some well-placed Quindar tones, this mod gives the impression of a bustling, chaotic mission control center buzzing with messages along with cross-talk. Floating weightless from the dark of space seems more real with assignment control speaking on your ear.
The Apollo missions occurred before we found the joy of strapping a GoPro to all, but Kerbals are much more advanced. The Hullcam VDS mod adds a variety of attachable cameras so that you can watch your assignments from the side of a rocket or by inside an engine housing. Launching with a down-facing hull camera brings flights a certain SpaceX kind of feel. The mod also adds a Hubble-style space telescope you can use to creep on distant planets.
Making crashes and screw-ups look nicer may be the very”Kerbal” item conceivable. Collision FX adds smoke, sparks, screeching tires, ploughing dirt, and plumes of snowdepending on the earth you are stepping into. They’ve been working on it for decades, and that is why the brand new version throws up dirt that matches the regolith you’re slamming into. That’s quality!
Collision FX also adds an adorable small”oof” sound for if Kerbals fly into something solid during EVAs.
For all the many times that my Kerbals have died in a big ball of smoke and flame, I have always thought to myself: that smoke might be smokier. RealPlume fully reworks the exhaust and plume effects for KSP’s rocket engines (and quite a lot of the mod pack engines, too!) . You devote a lot of time in KSP observing engines burn off, after all, so why don’t you make it look great?
OK, this one is actually useless. Even with this list. Still, I really like PlanetShine since it exemplifies the obsessive attention to detail how great modding communities thrive on. Here is what it does: when a ship is in low orbit around the planet, the majority of this ship will be gently illuminated by the planet’s reflected atmospheric lighting. The mod plays nicely with Environmental Visual Enhancements, which adds nighttime city lights and blur effects.
Kronal Vessel Viewer
I love patterns. I’m not an engineer or an architect, however, I have a fascination with blueprints and technical drawings. Kronal Vessel Viewer provides a view window at the VAB for you to tinker with two-dimensional sketches of your enormous Kerbal ships. Using the burst view, it is possible to acquire a schematic-style look at your most historically important assignments. Just imagine: the view of your boat, the Access To The Mun Please Damn It All, will be in every young Kerbal’s history books in college.
New challenge mods
Kerbal Space Program is a hard, hard game because physics is impossible and the world would like to squish your frail, pitiful spirit. If it’s not tough enough, however –if you want new ways to fail –then those mods bring new punishments for the most innovative Kerbonauts.
Previous satellite mods centered on scanning and locating tools for pre-1.0 KSP. Now that tools and refineries are part of the vanilla match, SCANsat is the best just because it focuses on what satellites do best: mining. With high profile scans by a SCANsat satellite, players may target flat areas for safe landings, identify points of interest, and find a full understanding of a planet’s biomes worthy of study. The smallest bodies at the Kerbol system are tremendous, so this mod is a great way of coming that challenge.
Orbit Portal Technology Space Plane Parts
There is nothing quite as pleasing as a single-stage-to-orbit space plane that flies smooth and lifts hefty. As soon as you get your arms around the peculiar physics of KSP’s distance planes, you will have a cheap, reusable shuttle system to bring supplies, Kerbals, and even space station modules to orbit. OPT’s excellent space airplane parts pack dramatically expands the tools you need to get to orbit.
This innovative and mildly bowdlerized mod rests stuff. Solar panels brief outengines misfire, fuel tanks begin leaking, batteries fail. You may fix how frequent and how devastating the failures, but the end result is that with Dang It! , even perfectly equipped missions occasionally have hiccups. Fortunately, your professionally trained Kerbals can perform an EVA and fix the issue, provided that you brought together a few spare parts.
For some gamers, this sounds like a hellish nightmare. I admit, though, that I locate surviving a Kerbal version of Apollo 13 to be more than a little compelling. The alert klaxon that sounds every time a malfunction occurs will haunt my dreams for weeks.
Kerbal Construction Time
One of those quirks of all KSP is that it keeps track of time. Every second of spaceflight is added to the general game clock, which tells the game in which each planet and ship is in distance. Time is stopped as you tinker with design of a new ship, and only starts when you click on”launch,” meaning every boat is built immediately. Kerbal Construction Time varies . The more complicated the ship, the longer it takes to build. Why bother? Realism is part of it. It also forces you to plan ahead, sending and designing new ships into the construction pipeline weeks or months until you are ready to start. If you’re constructing a space station in orbit, for example, you either need the cash to build multiple ships at once or you have to plan for your initial module to orbit for a couple of months before the next module can join it.
DMagic Orbital Science: Probe and Rover Pack
Depending on what contracts you take, you may be sending regular flights up and down round the very same parts of space for a while. When you have gotten temperature (cold) and air (not one ) data back to KSP fundamental, there is not a lot more science to be carried out. This mod includes a great deal of new experiments to your vehicles, including a soil moisture sensor and an x-ray diffraction analyzer. Get back to work!
Sad, but true: NASA isn’t actually in the inspiration business . These days, all the exciting space stuff is happening at SpaceY, the privately held Kerbal space service that bears no similarity to independently operated space agencies here on Earth. All of your favorite SpaceY heavy lifter components are all set to download and visit space.
Umbra Space Industries
Unlike most one-off mods, the rocket scientists supporting Umbra Space Industries have established a cottage industry of mod packs. They’ve got cranes and magnets in Konstruction! , submarines for charting alien oceanography from the USI Exploration Bundle, and high-speed search motors in Alcubierre Warp Drive.
Virtually all of USI’s projects packs are modular, so you can take a few science gizmos here and a few motor couplings there as you’d like.
Near Future Technologies
It’s easy to get carried off by the siren-song of sci-fi splendor: god damnit, I need twist drive and phasers and that I need them now. The Near Future series of parts packs takes a more patient approach by bringing near-future sci-fi to KSP. There’s no teleportation, but there are exceptionally sophisticated nuclear reactors and advanced search motors. These mods won’t get you to Star Wars, however they’ll get one to The Martian.
KSP asks you to be a great deal of things at once: administrator, engineer, pilot, scientist, micromanager. All these mods automate some of these tasks, freeing you up to concentrate on anything else.
Kerbal Attachment System
I built an entire Mun foundation using modular pieces designed to match a mini-rover using a docking port. The mini-rover can drive beneath the modules, then lift them off their struts, and drive them to their destination. It was a horrific pain in the ass.
Rather, use Kerbal Attachment System’s system of wires, winches, pulleys, and gas lines to connect components of your foundation without really rearranging them. Drag a wire from a solar panel array over to your own habitat to make power, or pull on a fuel line from your storage tanks into your rover to refuel.
Contracts Window +
The user interface in vanilla KSP is really good, but Contracts+ supplies a great deal of new performance. You can sort your accepted contracts by name, due date, fiscal payout, and other alternatives. Even better, you can schedule custom missions and monitor contracts which way. If you have got five contracts and also want to meet them on a single assignment, a custom mission will allow you to just watch those three. It is miles ahead of vanilla KSP’s tiny scrolling taskbar window.
Definitely the most well-known and hottest KSP mod in life is that the mechanical Jebediah, or MechJeb. Allowing a pc autopilot to take on your piloting tasks is perfect for anybody with a solid flight program and great engineering abilities, but without the rock-steady hands it requires to carefully touch 80 tons of steel on alien soil. MechJeb can do it all, from extra-planetary insertion burns to docking maneuvers.
Many purists insist that utilizing MechJeb is”cheap” or”cheating.” To them, I say crap. MechJeb doesn’t allow an underpowered rocket hit orbit, and it will not give you unlimited fuel. If designing assignments sounds like more fun than flying them to you, there is no shame whatsoever in handing the controllers to an expert…. But since we could not find a specialist anywhere around here, we are handing them to Jeb. Good luck.
Kerbal Alarm Clock
Throughout nearly all of KSP’s advancement, you needed to only fast-forward time and expect you didn’t rocket beyond your window. In these dark days, Kerbal Alarm Clock was first born. Even though KSP has made it easier to hit on your windows, the alarm clock remains crucial. Set alarms for specific pieces of the orbit, for other crafts passing nearby, for crossing orbits, and others. You can even tie into a strange alternate universe, a planet called”Earth,” and put alerts depending on the local time.
Docking Port Alignment
The navball in vanilla KSP is much-maligned, but I don’t think that it deserves the flak it receives. It’s ideal for most functions. Its biggest failure, to my mind, is docking advice. Trying to line up a three-dimensional maneuver with a one-dimensional target? That is silly enterprise. Docking Port Alignment adds a pop-up window using four crosshairs. Point in the target, rotate into recovery, head vertical to your goal, and get moving gently toward it, all with the identical window.
It will not dock for you enjoy MechJeb, but it provides you all the information you want to pinpoint it. I moved from docking in a couple of minutes to under thirty minutes when I began using this mod.
Of all the mods on this list, this one feels the most like cheating. For Science! Is intended to remove the science grind by automating it. Simply taking a thermometer into the ocean will automatically capture that reading and store it in the command module. Arming a plane with a few experiments and flying it around Kerbin will bring in a steady stream of science points. No more guessing if you’re over a specific biome or seeking to fly and press on an experiment at the same time.
For many, KSP’s biggest advantage is its isolation. For others, the one thing greater than docking is docking with a buddy. Vanilla KSP was assumed to one day support multiplayer, but it now seems fairly unlikely that will ever happen. The idea took off with the neighborhood, however, and there are a couple solid options available.
Telemachus is complex and I’m but a simple moron, but the basic gist is this: Telemachus pulls flight data from KSP and sets it into an internet browser. Using magical, presumably.
Why is this cool? Well, you can use it for a lot of things. You are able to gather up pills and older laptops and assemble yourself a mission control. You can send that browser connection to a buddy and share real time data as you fly. Or, and here is where it gets really fun, it is possible to assemble a team to play as your mission controller. 1 player plays as the pilot in cockpit view, and mission control works to tell her when to burnoff, just how long, and where. Add some beer and a few explosions, and you have yourself a party.
Dark isn’t the original multiplayer mod, the only one that acquired the total Kerbosphere a-twitter as it first introduced, but it’s the best we’ve got right now. By combining a great deal of server options with more-stable-than-not netcode, Dark Multiplayer lets you hook up with a friend, rendezvous in orbit, and start constructing that orbital science station.
The big barrier for multiplayer is time warping: when I fast-forward two hours to catch up to my friend and she stays put, we are now in two separate time lines with two variations of Kerbin at different points in orbit. Without getting into Doctor Who levels of timey wimey-ness, Dark Multiplayer permits for one master to control time warping. This keeps everyone on the same deadline, preventing fourth-dimensional weirdness and Dalek strikes.