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A specialization or skill is an attribute assigned to Kerbals that indicates what abilities they can provide. Kerbals, with the exception of those with the Tourist specialization, can level up by earning experience, which may give them additional abilities specific to their skill.

List of specializations

  • Pilots can provide SAS stabilization while aboard a vessel, with more direction selectors available at higher experience levels. One or two pilots are needed to use the probe control point feature. They can also use maneuver nodes without a connection to Kerbin. Here are the available direction selectors depending on the pilot's level :
Level Effects provided G Tolerance
☆☆☆☆☆ SAS and Stability 1.15x
★☆☆☆☆ Lock towards prograde and retrograde 1.3x
★★☆☆☆ Lock towards normal and anti-normal, radial and anti-radial 1.45x
★★★☆☆ Lock towards target, away from target, and towards maneuver 1.6x
★★★★☆ None 1.85x
★★★★★ None 2x
  • Engineers can have the ability to repack parachutes and repair parts using repair kits. They also greatly boost the production rate of Resource Harvesters and Converters. Since 1.11, all engineers are able to access an EVA construction mode allowing them to place parts stored in storage containers or move existing parts in EVA. Here are their capabilities depending on the engineer's level :
Level Effects provided Harvesting/Conversion Multiplier G Tolerance
☆☆☆☆☆ EVA Construction Mode 25% 1x
★☆☆☆☆ Repack parachutes / Repair parts (>= 1.11) 45% 1.1x
★★☆☆☆ Repair lander legs (<= 1.10.1) 65% 1.2x
★★★☆☆ Repair wheels (<= 1.10.1) 85% 1.3x
★★★★☆ None 105% 1.4x
★★★★★ None 125% 1.5x
Level Effects provided G Tolerance
☆☆☆☆☆ Restore and activate experiments while on EVA 1x
★☆☆☆☆ Research at 5x speed in lab 1.05x
★★☆☆☆ Research at 9x speed in lab 1.1x
★★★☆☆ Research at 13x speed in lab 1.15x
★★★★☆ Research at 17x speed in lab 1.2x
★★★★★ Research at 21x speed in lab 1.25x
  • Tourists have no special skills and can not EVA. They are only made available via tourism contracts, which require transporting them to specified parts of the Kerbol system in exchange for Funds.

No experience specialization override

When playing with no Kerbal experience in the difficulty settings, some specializations are given to everyone and don't need a specialized kerbal[1] :

Use case With experience Without experience
SAS and direction selectors Pilot (selectors are level dependant) Everyone has SAS and all selectors
Manoever nodes Pilot, Kerbin connection or probe control point Pilot, Kerbin connection or probe control point
EVA Construction Mode ☆☆☆☆☆Engineer Engineer (any)
Parachute repack ★☆☆☆☆Engineer Everyone
General part repair (>= 1.11) ★☆☆☆☆Engineer Everyone
Lander leg repair (<= 1.10.1) ★★☆☆☆Engineer Everyone
Wheel repair (<= 1.10.1) ★★★☆☆Engineer Everyone
EVA science measure Scientist Scientist
Science restore Scientist Scientist
Mining Engineer (efficiency is level dependant) Engineer (always ★★★★★)

The BetterSpecialization mod exists to fix this trait override.


  • Engineers can now repair parts in EVA (solar panels, antennae, wheels,...) using repair kits.
  • Tourist Kerbals implemented
  • Initial release