Tutorial:Making a planet

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Revision as of 00:59, 19 July 2015 by JebKeb (talk | contribs) (3. Adding the essential modules: Added extra variables to Properties)
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It was never very easy to create planets in KSP - it often required decompiling, which is against the EULA. After a long time looking, a mod called Kopernicus was released and found, making it easy to make planets.


  • Length: 15-30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • For version: 1.0.x


1. Obtaining the prequisites

You will need:

  • A text editor
  • An image editor
  • Kopernicus 0.1

Many developers prefer text editors like Notepad++, a rather advanced program. Image editors usually are advanced, but even Paint would work. You can find Kopernicus here.

2. Setting up the basic file

Create a file, and name it: PLANET.cfg Change PLANET to your planet or moon's name. Inside the file, write this in:


This declares that the file is a Kopernicus configuration file and a celestial body.

3. Adding the essential modules

Kopernicus configs are broken up into different segments described as in this tutorial as modules. An @ symbol before a module overrides the existing module - allowing for Kerbin to turn orange or something. It is unknown whether children of modules are affected by the parent's overriding. The 2 required modules are Properties and Orbit. They require several parameters, listed here:

 description = in game description
 radius = half of the diameter of the planet - used to define size of sphere with texture
 geeASL = planet's gravity in Kerbin gravities
 rotationPeriod = day in seconds
 rotates = whether it rotates | true or false
 tidallyLocked = is one side of the planet locked towards it's parent | true or false
 initialRotation = distance in degrees from the rotation point of origin
 isHomeWorld = is the space centre on this planet | true or false
 timewarpAltitudeLevels = set the altitude for 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 1,000, 10,000 and 100,000x timewarps | example for allowing every level at sea level: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  landedDataValue = multiplier for science points provided by surface samples or ground EVA reports
  spashedDataValue = same as ^, but for oceans
  flyingLowDataValue = same as ^, but for EVA and crew reports whilst flying below the flyingAltitudeThreshold
  flyingHighDataValue = same as ^, but for flying above the flyingAltitudeThreshold but below the spaceAltitudeThreshold
  inSpaceLowDataValue = same as ^, but for flying just above the spaceAltitudeThreshold
  inSpaceHighDataValue = same as ^, but for flying high above the spaceAltitudeThreshold 
  recoverValue = multiplier for all science transmitted back 
  flyingAltitudeThreshold = < in metres from sea level
  spaceAltitudeThreshold = < in metres from sea levels
 referenceBody = body the planet is orbiting, Kerbol is Sun
 inclination = distance at ascending node from horizontal in degrees, relative to the parent's equator
 eccentricity = unknown, perhaps the ratio of pe:ap and vice versa after 0.5
 semiMajorAxis = average of pe and ap: pe + ap / 2 = this
 longitudeOfAscendingNode = unknown, perhaps distance from 12:00 in degrees relative to the parent | set to 0 for max safety
 argumentOfPeriapsis = unknown, set to 0
 meanAnomalyAtEpoch = ^
 epoch = ^
 color = use rgb, but change values to 1/255*value

4. Choosing what to do

Use the code bible below to help you find what you want to do.

Code bible


  • Atmospheres
    • Adding an atmosphere
    • Adding an atmosphere effect NOT DONE

Adding an atmosphere

Add into the Body module and edit as necessary:

 lightColor = tint of the light, in r,g,b format.
 enabled = true | you want one don't you?
 containsOxygen = true/false on oxygen in atmosphere
 altitude = height from sea level in metres
  key = use altitude pressure format | simple example of Kerbin:
  key = 70000 0
  key = 0 1
  key = use altitude temperature-in-celcius forumat | simple example of Kerbin:
  key = 70000 -270
  key = 0 18


At the moment, coding in Kopernicus is not completed, due to the enormity of the subject. It will be done soon.