KSP Quick Start Guide
(or: lessons I've learned in the last 2 weeks of learning to play it)
Most Important things to remember:
- You can always "Revert" a flight back to either the launch pad, or the hangar, depending on if it was a flight issue or a parts issue.
- You can always change the order of your staging, you don't have to revert to the hangar to do it.
- F5 for safety! Quicksave often, and without shame.
- - F5 is Quicksave - F9 is Quick Reload (hold for 5 secs) T is for Stability Control (SAS)
- - SAS requires either an AI probe with steering capability or a pilot Kerbal
- - Pilots get better at SAS as they level up, eventually able to track things like Prograde/Retrograde and Maneuver Node markers on the Navball without your input
- - The first probe with SAS capability is the one shaped like an octogon, the Sputnik one is just basic steering.
Start Doing Science!
- Everything revolves around Science in either Science or Career mode
- You don't need more than the Goo pod to start doing science
- - Scientists cannot steer the ship, but they can reset experiments
- - Using a Probe to do SAS while you have a Scientist in the pilot seat will get you the best science results
- - All Kerbals can do Crew Reports and EVA Reports.
- - Do a Crew Report in every new biome (over water, in water, over beach, on beach, over grasslands, in grasslands, etc ad nauseum)
- Your first missions don't even require an engine to get science
- - Build a mission using just a capsule and a Scientist in both the Launch and Space Plane facilities.
- - Put one Goo pod on the capsule - change the rotation of the attachment points using WASDQE (shift and those keys for fine 5 degree movements)
- Start a mission at either the launch pad or landing strip facility:
- Do a crew report EVA and do an EVA report while hanging on the outside of the capsule Right-click the capsule and Take, then Store experiment data - your buffer is now clear to do more reports
- Spacebar to jump off of the capsule
- - WASDQE are your movement keys in all modes
- - R will turn on your jetpack (Kerbin's gravity is too high for it to work there)
- - Using the jetpack left Shift and Control are your Up and Down respectively
- - Once you're on the ground, do another EVA report, plant a flag (if available), take a surface sample (if available)
- - Walk back to your capsule and jump/climb back onto it
- - F for Climb/Grab, B for Board once you're grabbed onto it near the hatch Recover Craft (hover above the altitude indicator at the top of the screen to see recovery button)
- Repeat at the other facility
- Your first ship should be dead simple
- - Capsule with parachute mounted on top and heat shield mounted on bottom
- - Goo pod and at least one of each other science instrument you have
- - At least 3 fins for stabilization
- - One solid fuel rocket motor
- - Scientist in the pilot seat - you don't need SAS for this first flight
- Go to launch pad
- Verify your parachute is at the top of your staging stack and your engine is at the bottom, use the + and - buttons to add/remove stages
- Press space bar to launch
- Press D slightly to angle away from your base a couple of degrees
- - During later missions you don't want your spent stages crashing down on your base
- - Pressing D flies you to the East, which is Prograde to Kerbin's rotation, giving you almost 200 meters/sec of additional Delta V
- At the peak of your flight, when your velocity is below 250 m/s, pop your parachute
- - If you're above 500 meters, it will look like it's not fully deployed - this is normal
- - If you're travelling above 300 m/s your chute will be destroyed by aerodynamic forces
- Do a Crew Report and keep it if there is Science in it - you may be over the beach, grasslands, or even water biome at this point
- Do a Goo canister and ditto above
- Repeat your EVA steps from your first mission when you land every mission
This should be enough to get at least 2 maybe into the 3rd tier of Science in the Tech Tree, allowing for Orbit and even Mun missions.
I recommend focusing on the bottom branch with automation/computer/probes/science and the top branch with Fuel systems and motors having priority.
You also will want Struts from one of the middle construction branches as soon as you can get them.