Experience (XP) is a unit of measurement used to quantify a Kerbal's progression throughout their missions. The Experience system works only in Career mode; in Sandbox and Science modes there are no restrictions on abilities.
Experience is gained for completing a variety of achievements (described below), leading to higher levels in their specialization. Each kerbonaut specializes as either a Pilot, an Engineer, or a Scientist. Higher levels grant additional abilities, making veteran crew progressively more capable (up to a point).
Orbiting, planting flags, and escaping from the gravity of planets and moons grants various amounts of experience depending on the planet. Each Kerbal can only gain the experience once per planet, so planting multiple flags or repeatedly orbiting a planet do not add provide any further experience for the same Kerbal. Additionally, experience from a given planet or moon is only granted for the most valuable achievement, so orbiting the Mun (3 XP) and planting a flag on it (5 XP) will only grant 5 XP, not 8. Note that when planting flags, each Kerbal in the mission must plant a separate flag to gain the experience for doing so. If only one Kerbal in the mission plants a flag, only that Kerbal will gain experience for having done so. The kerbonaut gains the experience and reaches level only when it returns to the Astronaut Complex by recovery.
|Order||Celestial body|| Fly by
| Plant flag
As Kerbals gain experience, they gain levels in their specialization. Kerbals start at level 0, and can reach level 5. The level of the kerbonaut represented by number of stars.
|Level||XP Required||Total XP|
- Initial Release