Action group

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Click on the Hammer & Spanner icon to access Action Groups.
Configuring an abort sequence using action groups

An action group is a group of part actions that can be triggered using certain buttons or keys. They can be configured under the Action Groups tab in the VAB or SPH.

Enabling action groups

In a default career mode, the action groups button is not initially visible. The VAB or SPH buildings must be upgraded to enable them. At level two, basic action groups are available allowing the stage, gear, light, RCS, SAS, abort, and brakes groups to be customized. At level three, custom action groups are available.

The player can start with action groups enabled in career mode with a custom difficulty setting. All action groups are always available in science and sandbox modes.

Available action groups

Name Triggered by[note 1] Default key Default effect
Stage Launch/Stages Space Activate all parts of next stage
Gear Landing Gear G Toggle position of all landing gear
Light Lights U Toggle all lights on/off
RCS RCS Toggle R Toggle all RCS thrusters on/off
SAS SAS Toggle T Toggle all SAS modules on/off
Brakes Brakes B[note 2] Hold to activate all brakes
Abort Emergency abort Backspace -
Custom01 Custom action 1 Alpha1 -
Custom02 Custom action 2 Alpha2 -
Custom03 Custom action 3 Alpha3 -
Custom04 Custom action 4 Alpha4 -
Custom05 Custom action 5 Alpha5 -
Custom06 Custom action 6 Alpha6 -
Custom07 Custom action 7 Alpha7 -
Custom08 Custom action 8 Alpha8 -
Custom09 Custom action 9 Alpha9 -
Custom10 Custom action 10 Alpha0 -
  1. Names taken from "Input" section of settings
  2. Brake is the only hotkey that automatically toggles off when the key is released. However, if the game is saved while holding down the Brake key, and the save is then loaded, the brakes will remain on, and the Brake key will need to be pressed again to release them.


The tower lifts up the command pod with the Abort action group

An action group can cause any action that can also be triggered by right-clicking a part and making a selection from its popup menu. This makes action groups useful for coordinating the functions of multiple parts all over a spacecraft, or for making the same change to several identical parts. Action groups trigger all their parts simultaneously, allowing quick changes in situations where using the popup menus would be impractical or dangerous, such as surface landings or while the engines are throttled up during a maneuver.

Common uses of custom action groups include:

To create a sequence for an action group, the action group has to be selected. It then shows all actions which are executed in this action group and it is possible to remove any action from the sequence. When a part is selected it also shows all actions possible which can be triggered and will highlight all parts which are affected. The action apply to all parts which are placed together with symmetry. From there it is possible to add remaining actions to the sequence.

See also