Kerbal Space Program Guide: Essential Mods to Make the Game Better

Mods are essential for enjoying Kerbal Space Program. In Kerbal Space Program, you must assemble all of the craft and machines, plan out the missions, and do the piloting while pushing ever further into the darkness of space. There is a mod to fulfill every need and hopefully, this article has all mods to make your time with KSP more fun.

Kerbal Space Program Guide: Essential Mods to Make the Game BetterWith more than 10 years since the release of Kerbal Space Program, the game has certainly stood the test of time. Its a game where you design and fly little green frogs from the planet Kerbin into space. While the stock game is in a great state after the final 1.12, it can feel and look quite outdated at times. Fortunately, the Kerbal modding community has created some amazing mods which can make the game better in every way.

Kerbal Space Program is available on Steam, Playstation and Xbox.

Read Also: Kerbal Space Program Review (Xbox One)

How to install mods

The best way to mod Kerbal Space Program is probably by installing CKAN. It has most of the upto date compatible mods, has its own efficient GUI and works on all non-console platforms. To install CKAN:

  1. Go to this link.
  2. Scroll down to the assets tab and download ckan.exe file.
  3. Copy and paste the download folder in the Kerbal Space Program game folder.
CKAN Window

CKAN Window

If, however, you can’t install CKAN you can also directly install the mods from and paste them in the GameData folder in Kerbal Space Program game file. Link for all the mods are given below.

Note: This article lists mods which improve the quality of the base game without drastically altering the base game mechanics.

Graphics

For a game that’s 11 years old, stock Kerbal Space Program can look a bit jarring at times. Here are some of the mods to make terrain look smooth, add more elements to atmosphere and make upgrade the looks of parts.

Environment Visual Enhancements(EVE)

While there are a lot of mods for improving the graphics, Environment Visual Enhancements is easily one of the best. This mod adds clouds, city lights and tweaks everything up. Its very configurable and improves the overall looks of all planets. However, if you don’t have a very high end system, you’ll find that the physics simulation suffers.

Environmental Visual Enhancements

Environmental Visual Enhancements

Parallax(2.0)

Parallax(2.0) completely reimagines the surfaces of planets. It combines a tessellation and displacement shader as well as vastly improves the terrain detail. Parallax(2.0) makes use of GPU instancing for surface objects so it can render bring about massive improvements at amazing performances, therefore it is highly recommended to use it along with EVE.

Parallax(2.0)

Parallax(2.0)

Scatterer 

While, Scatterer adds multiple visual enhancements to KSP, its mostly focused on enhancing atmospheric scattering and water shaders. The ocean in stock Kerbal Space Program looks very patchy and does not feels like water. This mod adds ocean waves and vastly improves the texture quality of oceans.

Waterfall

One of the things that really stick out in the stock is the way engine plumes look ugly and extremely low framerates. This can be solved by using waterfall mod. This mods gives the plumes much lifelike textures at very good framerates. Additionally, it also includes atmospheric expansion, meaning the higher you go up in the atmosphere the the more the plumes spread because of the lower atmospheric pressure, just like they do in the real world. It highly recommended to be used with Restock.

Restock

Some of the art style decisions made squad are questionable as they are made by ammeter artists, resulting a mess of art style and qualities of part designs. Restock revamps about 250 parts by giving them a more consistent art design and higher fidelity textures. AS well as new part variants. Additionally, this mod also revamps many of the mods part expansions as well.

Pood’s Skyboxes

Pood’s Skyboxes contain some of the best skyboxes for KSP. These include:

  • Deep Star Map- This provides very nice star coverage in x-y-z direction. Preferable if you like the feeling of staring at an endless void.
  • Calm Nebula- Features a faint nebula, a subtle galaxy star line and pink/blue proto star fields. 
  • Milky Way- Skybox presenting you with the familiar Milky Way rings, photographed by NASA, for if you want to go with a more realistic look.

Utility

Kerbal Space Program does not do a very good job at creating spatial awareness for players and relaying important data to plan ahead the mission. These mods can fix this problems very easily, fortunately.

Kerbal Engineer Redux

The Kerbal Engineer Redux adds a lot of flight parameters, atmospheric data and much more information so that you have much more situational awareness inflight without having to open the map. It allows you to add entire customized sections to your HUD without taking up too much of your screen. It also has a cleaner look than MechJeb 2 without sacrificing too much usefulness.

Kerbal Engineer Redux

Kerbal Engineer Redux

Transfer Window Planner 

The Transfer Window Planner lets you visualize planetary transfer efficiency in-game. Use it to select your planet of Origin and planet of Destination and it will present you with details about the required Delta-V to travel from Origin to Destination by plotting maneuver nodes. 

Transfer Window Planner

Transfer Window Planner

Kerbal Attachment System

Connecting vessels can be quite challenging in outer space. KAS remedies this by introducing some neat mechanics and parts that help with these tasks. It adds winches, pulleys, harpoons, and pipes. Now you can transfer resources in space without docking the two spacecrafts together.

Kerbal Attachment System

Kerbal Attachment System

Docking Port Alignment Indicator

Docking two spacecrafts is the most challenging thing to do in Kebal Space Program, if you are a beginner. This mod will help you align docking port without constantly switching the focus and view, which the base game UI does not help much with.

Docking Port Alignment Indicator

Docking Port Alignment Indicator

Trajectories

Having trouble landing base pieces close to a base? This mod provides forecasts of the trajectory where your spaceship might land while it adjusts the trajectory for any atmospheric disturbance. The trajectories are updated in real time with this mod, meaning its will keep changing the forecasts as you go on landing.

Trajectories

Trajectories

Better Time Warp

The time warp in the base game can be very slow for aligning the planets to get the right transfer window. Better Time Warp introduces much faster time warp and ×20 physics warp. It can also slow down and even the freeze to time to help with laggy spacecrafts or to get neat cinematic visuals. Beware though, as physics warp faster than ×8 can destroy spacecrafts while moving through atmosphere.

There are a multitude of other mods not covered in this article but hopefully, the ones we do cover are exactly the ones you were looking for.

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