EVA Construction Mode
EVA construction mode is a new feature in 1.11 that allows engineers to move parts on and between active craft, or place parts from inside inventories onto active craft, or create new small probes from inventory parts. This allows for cannibalizing parts from craft, or repairing issues such as insufficient power, battery storage, or communication links. There are also Career Mode contracts available for repairs.
To activate EVA Construction Mode, click the button on the top-right panel that looks like a crane hook. This brings up the EVA Construction UI. The UI is similar to that of the VAB or SPH, but there are no symmetry modes available. Only single parts can be handled, and Engineers cannot move subassemblies of multiple parts by hand. EVA Construction is only available for Engineers, other Kerbals have an inventory access panel that can move inventory items but cannot build with them.
Your kerbal engineer has a limited manipulation range of about 10 meters. Parts in inventory containers within this range will show up on the left side of your screen while in EVA Construction mode and are available for you to construct as long as the engineer can carry the parts.
The gravity of the current planet/moon determines how heavy an item an engineer can manipulate. For example on Moho an engineer cannot place an Oscar tank. On Kerbin, even an OKTO is too much weight. As of version 1.11.1, additional kerbals outside during an EVA allow engineers to manipulate heavier items. For example, a lone engineer on Kerbin can manipulate parts up to 60 kg, but every other kerbal nearby, regardless of class, adds another 60 kg to that limit.
Kerbals cannot construct while sat on a command seat. They can however construct while on a ladder, so bring those if you want to build without your Kerbal drifting.
Watch out for unintended forces during construction/movement/rotation. Placing a part may cause a physics kick. Always quicksave.
You cannot deploy Breaking Ground surface experiments with EVA Construction Mode. Doing this will just drop them on the ground and will not properly deploy them.
Controls in EVA construction mode
To enter EVA Construction Mode, click on the crane hook icon on the right toolbar during EVA.
The construction mode interface is similar to that of the VAB or SPH, and most of the same key bindings apply when holding a part. The main difference is the lack of part symmetry. Offset and Rotate gizmos work the same way as in the VAB, but offsetting parts is relative to the active kerbal so it's best used when the kerbal is on a ladder and thus perfectly still. There is no Reroot gizmo, in its place is the button to exit EVA Construction Mode. Angle snap works the same as in the VAB, and Shift + angle snap works as well. In the same part of the screen, it is shown how many nearby kerbals are there to assist and how much weight can be handled.
Your jetpack will function as long as you are not holding a part. Once you are holding a part you cannot use your jetpack controls. If you need to move a part a long distance, you can inch the part along a structure or start moving towards the destination, grab the part, and hold onto it until close enough to the destination.
- Place ladders on vehicles & space stations. Engineers can grab on to the ladder to do their work instead of drifting through space.
- It's easier to move inventory items while in control of a craft, vs trying to do it externally with a kerbal.