You’re already maxing out KSP’s built-in graphical settings, but you want more. Or maybe you just want a different look and feel. Visual mods are often a player’s first foray into the world of modding – not just for KSP, but across the board. Additional textures, lighting presets, perhaps even model replacements are amongst the sought after additions. Included here is a selection of KSP visual mods with instructions that are hopefully explicit enough for anyone to use.
KSP can be beautiful just in vanilla – any space nerd is tickled by Jool rising over Laythe – but you can really up the ante with just a handful of mods from the community.
I haven’t found the mods listed here to be compatible out-of-the-box, but I’ve listed the steps necessary to get them all working together. With just a little coercing, they’ll give you an incredible visual experience. Please get in touch or leave a comment if you experience any difficulties and I’ll help out as best I can.
Check out some of my tips to make this process a bit smoother. This includes my recommendation to install these mods manually rather than by using CKAN. If you want to use CKAN, you’ll have to navigate the issues that throws up on your own; this guide does it the manual way. Some quick tips in case you didn’t click through that link:
- Backup your whole Kerbal Space Program installation directory before doing anything. This is doubly true if you already have a stable set of mods!
- Install the mods one at a time. Launch your game after installing each one to make sure it still works. I recommend going at least to the Command Center to make sure everything’s working graphically!
If you’re into planetary visuals (and I’m willing to bet you are if you’re reading this page!), then Photographs from the Archives of NASA makes for an excellent coffee table addition.
KSP Visual Mods
If you intend to install all of the KSP visual mods below, I recommend reading through this list in the order given; I’ll assume you do so in order to deal with incompatibility issues. These installation instructions have been tested on 1.4.5 and 1.3.1. There might be additional problems running any other version, especially those before 1.2.
The full list of KSP visual mods featured here is:
- Stock Visual Terrain (SVT)
- Distant Object Enhancement
- Engine Lighting
- Galileo’s Sun Flares
- JayS_NL’s Custom KSP ReShade