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Gameplay FAQ

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)



Is there a list of key bindings?

Yes. Please see Key bindings.

How do I get things into orbit/land on a planet?

See our Tutorials for more info.

Can I change the order of the stages?

Yes, just drag the stage or the part where you want. You can do this in flight as well as in the VAB.

What's the difference between S.A.S and Advanced S.A.S?

Since version 0.21 there has been no difference between them. The previous function of ASAS,to hold the heading, was moved to the SAS while the SAS instead became reaction wheels which provide torque. Like before with ASAS, only one SAS module per ship is required, its performance depends on amount and positioning of the control systems like RCS.

Why do parts of my rocket fall when I launch it?

Your rocket may have too much weight being supported by a weak joint. Make sure that every part of your rocket is resting on something strong enough to hold its weight, or that it is supported by enough connections to keep it in place.

Can I take screenshots of the game?

Yes! Pressing F1 will take a screenshot of the current scene. The screenshots will be saved in a folder called "Screenshots" that is located in the root folder of your KSP install.
  • Tip: Toggle the marks of ships with F4 or toggle the entire UI with F2 to take less cluttered screenshots.
Additional methods are possible, depending on your OS and installation method. (eg: Steam users can use F12)

How can I recover ships/Kerbonauts that have safely landed after a mission?

The altimeter with the recovery button above it
After a successful flight mission and landing back on planet Kerbin, you can:
  • Move the mouse over the altitude meter, then click the green Recover button that shows up.
  • Return to the main Kerbal Space Center view.
  • Select the Tracking Station (building near the bottom right).
  • Select the completed flight mission from the left.
  • Click on the Recover button near the bottom left.

Why I can't activate the next stage?

There are several reasons this might happen:
  • You have locked the stages by pressing Mod+L. Press it again to re-enable staging.
  • You're in Docking Mode.
  • There isn't any active command pod. If it's an unmanned ship, it may have run out of electric charge. If it's a manned ship, the crew may have all exited the vehicle.
  • Your mouse is hovering over the staging viewer and editor on the left.
  • You're in Time Warp.

Why I can't control the ship anymore?

Please check if:

Why I can't do the Time Warp/save the current progress?

Please check if:
  • The throttle is not at 0%. Press ^ Ctrl to gradually lower it, or X to drop it to 0% immediately.
  • Your ship is spinning too fast.
  • You're flying in atmosphere.
  • You're moving over the terrain.
  • Your ship is completely destroyed. (I'm sorry for that, once again.)

I can't load my save file and/or spacecraft!

  • Updates can and will break saves and .craft files. If the file isn't made by you, make sure that you use the same version as the person who sent you the file! Otherwise try using the last version it worked on.
  • Make sure that you have all addons installed that are needed for the save or craft. You can get them in the forums or on the official Kerbal CurseForge. Keep in mind that sometimes addon updates will break craft, especially when parts are deleted from mod packs. This may not become apparent until you switch focus to a craft that has that particular part (at which point it may explode or simply fall apart).
  • Make sure your KSP installation hasn't be damaged by applying addons. Try reinstalling KSP if nothing else helps.
  • TIP: Always backup (Copy and move to a new folder) your original KSP installation files, save files and ships to prevent loss!

Nothing happens when I click on the "Resume Saved" button in the main menu!

This is usually caused by corrupted saves files. Open the KSP/saves folder and try moving all of the folders (except for scenarios and training) somewhere else. Then move them back one at a time and see if the button works again after each one. If it doesn't work, the last save folder you copied is corrupt. Your progress on that save is probably lost, however there are two things you can do:
  • Replace the current state with that of a quicksave or autosave: Go into the folder for the corrupted save (KSP/saves/SAVENAME) and rename the persistent.sfs file to persistent2.sfs, so KSP will ignore it. Then rename quicksave.sfs to persistent.sfs. This will reset your current progress to that of the last quicksave or autosave. If the save file still won't load, your current missions can't be recovered, unless you know how to repair the files manually.
  • Copy the craft from the corrupted save to another one: Go to the Ships folders in the corrupted and an intact save's folders. Then copy the contents of the SPH and VAB folders from the corrupt save to the corresponding folders of the intact save. You should then be able to load the craft in the intact save file.
Remember that multiple saves could be corrupt, so you might have to repeat the procedure!

Nothing happens when I click on the "Load" button in the VAB/SPH!

This is also caused by corrupted files. You will have to follow a similar procedure as described above:
Go to the craft folder of the save on which the problem occurred (KSP/saves/SAVENAME/Ships) and you will find two folders: VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building craft) and SPH (Spaceplane Hangar craft). Move all the .craft files from the folder in question somewhere else, then move them back one at a time, and see if the button works again. If it does not, the last file you copied is corrupt and you will have to delete it, unless you know how to fix it manually.
Remember that there could be multiple corrupted files, so you might have to repeat the procedure.


How do I stabilize the ship?

The easiest way is to enable SAS. Press T to toggle it on; it will gradually stop your ship from spinning. You can also hold F to momentarily enable SAS.
You must have some electric charge available for SAS to function.

How do I use RCS?

See RCS for the basics.

How do I transfer fuel between tanks?

Hold the modifier key and right click the two tanks. You can then click In or Out on either tank to specify the direction of fuel flow.
  • Tip: Remember that liquid fuel and oxidizer are two separate resources and must both be transferred together.
  • Tip: Transferring will not be available if you select tanks containing different types of fuel.
  • Tip: In Career mode, transferring requires an upgrade of the R&D building.

Can I use Physics Warp while in space?

Yes. You can toggle the Physics Warp by pressing Mod+, and Mod+..
  • Tip: Physics warp can make your spacecraft more fragile. Be careful when using it with engines throttled up.

Can the object filter in Tracking Station be shown in Map View?

Yes. Move the mouse to the top of the screen and it will drop down.

Can I filter for multiple types of objects at the same time?

Yes, you can right-click the filters to select more than one of them.

Can I rename a vehicle?

Right-click an active command module, then click "Rename Vehicle". You'll be able to change the name and the type of this vehicle. Alternatively, you can rename it from the tracking station by selecting it and clicking its name on the info panel, on the right-side of the screen.

Why doesn't the orientation of the navball follow what I want it to be?

The direction of the navball depends on which part of the ship you are controlling it from. You can change it by right clicking any command module or docking port then clicking "Control from Here"; the navball will then point in the same direction as the selected part. If you have tried all the command modules and docking ports and none of them have the orientation you want, then you must go back to the VAB or SPH and add a new one to allow it (Sorry!).

Can I see the ship at different angles?

By right clicking and drag you can make the camera orbit the ship, and by middle clicking and drag you can change the direction of the camera within a limited range.
Press V to change the camera mode (Auto/Free/Orbit/Chase). Press C to switch between external view and IVA view.

How do I make Flight Planning more precise during interplanetary transfer?

You can try opening settings.cfg in game folder with Notepad and change "CONIC_PATCH_DRAW_MODE = 3" to "CONIC_PATCH_DRAW_MODE = 0". This will make each trajectory drawn at the current position of celestial bodies, so that you can focus the celestial body you're planning to reach.
As of version 0.23.5 this has been exposed as part of the stock game. If you change your focus to a body whose SOI you will enter in the future (double-click on it, right click on it and select "Focus View", or press Tab repeatedly) you will see the trajectory your craft will follow once it arrives. You can return focus to your ship by pressing Delete.

Can trajectory prediction work with more SOI changes?

Trajectory prediction is limited to 2 SOI changes (3 conics trajectories) after the last maneuver nodes. Set a maneuver node on the end of your trajectory, the prediction should extend to more SOI. Due to the limits of the game's mathematics, orbit predictions beyond 3 SOI changes will be less accurate than nearer ones. It's also possible without maneuver nodes by replacing the number in "CONIC_PATCH_LIMIT = 3" in the settings.cfg with a higher value.


Why does my rover "lift itself" in low-gravity environments?

In low gravity, the powerful motors on rover wheels can exert so much force that they kick the wheels out from under the vehicle. Wheelies are all too easy in low gravity!
  • Accelerate and brake carefully, with short taps of the forward and backwards keys, to avoid this.
  • Don't turn too sharply at high speed or the rover may tip over. Slow down before turning, or turn more gradually.
One other cause of rover flipping is activating reaction wheels while driving. You can make reaction wheels no longer work by doing any of the following actions:
  • Switch to Docking Mode;
  • Disable SAS.
  • Right click the parts with reaction wheels, then click "Toggle Torque".
  • Rebind the rover control keys away from the attitude control keys. Enter the Main Menu, click Settings, then Input, then Rovers. Change the controls of rovers from WSAD to something other, like IKJL.

Why do the wheels of my rover break?

It's because your velocity over surface is beyond the maximum velocity of the wheel, or your wheel hit the ground too hard.
You can repair the wheel by walking a Kerbanaut near it, then right clicking on the wheel and clicking "Repair Wheel".


I'm floating away into space! How do I get back inside the ship?

Press R to activate your kerbonaut's RCS backpack; the proper keys will now make the kerbonaut move in each of the cardinal directions. Each manned command module has a hatch and small ladder mounted on one side; find where it is and carefully fly towards it. Once the kerbonaut is within a meter or so of the hatch, a prompt will appear to press F; press it and he/she should grab the ladder. Press B to finish boarding or move along the ladder until the boarding prompt appears.

Why does my Kerbal always walk with the back to the camera?

Press Mod to switch to free-walking mode.

Can Kerbals jump in different directions when on ladders?

Press Shift + (WSAD) + Space. Press Shift+Space to jump backward, Shift+A to jump to the left, etc.

How can I orient Kerbals to the direction of camera?

Make sure the jet pack is activated, then press Space.

How can I orient Kerbals to an other direction that the one of the camera?

Press A/E to "yaw", left click and drag to "pitch"/"roll". Make sure you disabled EVAs Auto-Rotate to Camera in your settings (input/other) or the orientation will reset the next translationnal move you make.

Why do some Kerbals laugh during the entire mission, while others panic easily?

Each Kerbal is rated on his "courage" and "stupidity"; the different levels of each attribute determine his reaction to flight events. Some, such as Jebediah, are also considered "badass" and will laugh in the face of all but the biggest calamities. (This is controlled by a secret flag named "badS" in the configuration files behind the scenes.)


Can I undo/redo my actions?

Yes, by pressing ^ Ctrl+Z and ^ Ctrl+Y.

Can I rotate the parts?

Yes, by pressing QEWSAD you will be able to rotate parts by 90° and by pressing Shift + (QEWSAD) you will rotate parts by 5°. There is also move tools in the upper left corner of the VAB.
All right, I know you haven't read Key bindings.

How do I transfer a craft between the VAB and the SPH?

The .craft files you made are located in \saves\*The name of the save*\Ships\VAB and \saves\*The name of the save*\Ships\SPH. Any .craft file in these two folders will be shown in corresponding buildings, no matter what type it is. As for the type, you can edit the file with Notepad, change "type = VAB" or "type = SPH" to change the type of the craft permanently.
As of version 0.22, you can also use the subassembly system to move part groups, including nearly-complete craft, between the two areas.
As of version 0.90, you can load craft of both types in both buildings.

How do I transfer a craft between savegames?

The .craft files you made are located in \saves\*The name of the save*\Ships\VAB and \saves\*The name of the save*\Ships\SPH.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)