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!

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 the most recent version of KSP at the time of writing, which is version 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:


Continue reading this article!

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Categories Guide Modding
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Comments (39)

  • Andres
    December 6, 2017 at 12:32 Reply
    Everything works fine but in the last step everything breaks. If I make the textures png, the loading screen before starting a new game after the main menu lasts forever. Also, I think that you have to make terrain in svt pngs or else u get rendering stripes. Also, i get a very ugly thick black line on the far horizon over the ocean. I have tried everything please Help! (otherwise great guide thank you :D!)
    • December 6, 2017 at 12:46 Reply
      Hi Andres! Thanks for trying the guide out! Your feedback is very valuable, so thank you also for taking the time to reach out.I'm sorry you're having difficulty with the final step! It is the most problematic. I've heard of similar symptoms from other users, so you're not alone, but I'm also not sure what the solution is at this stage.I did mention in the instructions to convert the SVT files from DDS to PNG, as you correctly pointed out. As it happens, I think this is the cause of the perpetual loading screen that you pointed out. I think it's actually the SVT PNG files that cause the black screen you're referring to.I haven't figured out the solution to this problem yet, but I'm working on it!The black line on the far horizon is also something I've not worked out. I honestly normally just put up with it because the rest of the game is so beautiful. It looks like an aliasing problem, but again, I'm not sure what's causing it.Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I will continue to test these instructions to see if I can reproduce the issues other people see.
      • Andres
        December 6, 2017 at 15:10 Reply
        Wow, that was a very fast response, thanks. If you are kind to suggestions, i think that there adding Reentry Particle FX mod and RealPlume would be a good idea, and perhaps KSC++. Also, please consider doing a gameplay mods and a parts mods list, I´d be glad to help. Amazing page, glad I found it :)!
        • December 6, 2017 at 19:43 Reply
          Thanks for the suggestions! I would love to do more KSP mod posts in the future, time permitting :) Thank you for your offer! I have made a note of your contact details!
    • December 9, 2017 at 01:00 Reply
      Hi Andres. Could you please try the following: 1) Delete your existing SVT folder, if it still exists. 2) Re-download SVT. 3) Unzip SVT and move to GameData, as before.Don't run ReShade after this!Hopefully you'll now be able to run without graphical problems.
  • Luke
    December 10, 2017 at 01:36 Reply
    Great list of mods and instructions. will a little bit of fiddling i got all but the last one to work and it looks great! I think that Module Manager is required for several of the mods and once i realized that it fixed most of the issues I was having. Also, for those who haven’t completed the mods yet, make sure you save a backup before you install the last one. that will save you a lot of time.
    • December 10, 2017 at 09:52 Reply
      Hi Luke! Thanks for the feedback and extra tips! I think I left a note near the top of the page to backup, but it's always worth emphasising that one! I also believe Module Manager comes packed with one of these mods - perhaps Kopernicus? Did it not appear for you?
  • Ivan
    December 15, 2017 at 23:49 Reply
    Hello! I have a problem with SVE. When I try using it (without configs, just as instructed) I get white Kerbin (everything-s white except terrain). After that I delete SVE but strangely enough whiteness remains until I swap my Scatterer with a new one, as if Scatterer becomes permanently damaged. So is there any way for me to get those sweet clouds? My other mods are EVE, Scatterer, GAP (giving aircraft a purpose), ContractConfigurator, ModuleManager.
    • December 17, 2017 at 22:19 Reply
      Are EVE and Scatterer both up-to-date? These mods change a fair bit between different KSP base versions.
      • Emoti723
        January 27, 2018 at 19:09 Reply
        I have the same problem, and I Just downloaded Everything.
      • Ivan
        February 13, 2018 at 19:19 Reply
        In the end I used CKAN. Which worked.
    • Emoti723
      January 27, 2018 at 21:18 Reply
      Reinstall KSP
      • Ivan
        February 13, 2018 at 19:19 Reply
        Doen't work at all.
    • January 17, 2018 at 11:31 Reply
      Hi again Andres! I think it looks great - skyboxes are so easy to change!
    • January 17, 2018 at 11:29 Reply
      Thanks for sharing! I'll give it a try sometime! Is this something you use yourself?
      • Diederik
        January 17, 2018 at 18:11 Reply
        Installing it as we speak together with Galileo's Planet Pack.
      • Diederik
        January 17, 2018 at 18:25 Reply
        I flew around a bit with KS3P and it looks absolutely brilliant! This is definitely a mod that I'll keep using.
        • January 17, 2018 at 19:34 Reply
          Thanks for the recommendation! I will certainly bear it in mind next time I revisit this mod list!
  • Dylan
    February 3, 2018 at 01:19 Reply
    Hello! I’m having some trouble with EVE/SVE. I’ve unzipped both and they’re both in my game data folder. I also put the high res textures for SVE inside of the SVE folder in gamedata. Upon loading up KSP, nothing looks different (looks like I’m only using scatterer). No clouds, city lights or anything. I’m pretty new to modding, so any help would be appreciated
    • February 6, 2018 at 11:50 Reply
      Hi Dylan! Can you confirm that your GameData folder looks as described in the EVE + SVE section of the guide, that you didn't install the EVE Configs, and that you only installed one set of textures in the SVE folder?
      • Dylan
        February 7, 2018 at 01:33 Reply
        I just checked, everything looks the same on my end. I also downloaded module manager to see if it would do anything to help but it didn't. It said that it found 26 patches but didn't seem to get SVE or EVE working. I'll remove and reinstall the mods again just to check
      • Dylan
        February 7, 2018 at 01:45 Reply
        Just uninstalled and reinstalled and it seemed to work fine...not sure how I differed from the first time I tried. Oh well, thanks!
        • February 7, 2018 at 06:35 Reply
          Glad it worked out for you! These things can be finnicky sometimes!
  • AAAA
    February 25, 2018 at 22:48 Reply
    Thanks so much for this in-depth tutorial and guide, I managed to install all of these mods on a new game and its freaking gorgeous, the oceans, clouds and aurora just blow me away everytime, Kerbin feels so alive now.
    • February 25, 2018 at 22:55 Reply
      I'm so glad it was helpful to you! Enjoy :)
  • David
    March 3, 2018 at 20:29 Reply
    I have problems converting 2 files in SVT. NewMunSurfaceMapDiffuse.dds, newoceanmoon00.dds: Has anyone else encountered this problem or do i just ignore it? I tried redownloading SVT and I also tried just continuing without it but then i get a transparent kerbal map…
    • David
      March 3, 2018 at 20:58 Reply
      Also, apparently there are 5 .dds I cannot convert. At the main menu continuing without, Kerbin is white, can’t launch into KSC, and in a scenario I get a transparent planet. http://prntscr.com/imfutq. Any suggestions?
  • Dave
    March 9, 2018 at 00:03 Reply
    Right so this is a bit embarrassing. I’m completely dumb at this sort of thing, but it seems pretty simple and I’m fairly Mac savvy. I can’t get a single mod to work OR Ckan (terminal, mono framework… too much for me??). I’m running a Mac OS High Sierra via Steam, have put (the contents of each one of these) into my Game Data folder located through steam. I restarted the game and my Mac each time, installed these one by one in the recommended order, followed your file structure detailed above, and incredibly didn’t see a single one work. I did get EVE to show up an icon, but got an error when I pressed it saying something like “cannot find config”. No idea how or where config files should be. So just wondering, if I copied the folders into game data correctly, why does it just not work. I’m assuming it’s because of the recent update, I’m on 1.4.0. ? If I could get even one, ie scatterer to work I’d be a happy man! Here’s a screenshot of my folder: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xg0r20LNp3Vxmhf_zn-5o-P-RKk8iWy_/view?usp=sharing. Have tried with many combination of these and nothing seems to work at all. Any help would be brilliant!
  • Benjamin Frintn
    March 17, 2018 at 19:04 Reply
    Hi there! Nice work, helped me a lot recently.One question though: Will you update this guide to 1.4 and later?Greetings
    • March 17, 2018 at 19:42 Reply
      I imagine I'll take a look eventually! Did you find something didn't quite work in 1.4?
      • Benjamin Frintn
        March 18, 2018 at 09:32 Reply
        Some of them are outdated and not optimized for 1.4 :( And Galileo still doesn't recomment to use Scatterer with SVE due to some major bugs.
        • March 18, 2018 at 09:34 Reply
          Thanks for the information! I'm sure the post will get an update in due course!
  • Nexis
    March 20, 2018 at 01:23 Reply
    Hi, i think i have a issue with EVE/SVE/Scatterer.
    I explain it: After i start my Game all Mods are working as intended and all looks awesome ?
    But the the (en)joy lasts only briefly. Because after an indefinite time or event more and more things start failing ?
    At first the skybox-stars are disappearing, after that the kerbol-star is disappearing and at last the planets and moons seems to disappear.
    So i can see the light on my ship, but no more the star which is producing it. And i can no longer see the planet’s/moon’s surface, even at daytime. At last i see only my ship and the hud, surounded by endless black.
    Even after game-restart the issues persists. I have to deinstall all mods, so return to stock that all returns to normal.It seems to happen if i change the SOI of two body’s. As long i am in orbit around kerbin all is fine, but if i fly to mintmus, things start to fail like described above.
    Same if i fly from Gilly to Eve. But here something curious: sometimes if i hit Eve’s atmosphere for aerobraking, the skybox, kerbol-star and the eve-planet return to normal (moddet) state.I think i have installed all mods correctly, because i don’t have any update-warnings at gamestart. In addition to EVE/SVE and Scatterer i have the following mods installed: KerbalEngineer, Chatterer and StageRecovery. I play KSP 1.4.1.
    My pc has 16GB RAM, 2GB VRAM (msi geforce gtx 750ti) and AMD FX-8350 (8core 4GHz).
    So i also do not think that my pc is the reason.Did i something wrong? Is this issue known?
    • Nexis
      March 22, 2018 at 13:22 Reply
      EDIT: I was able to narrow down the bug. It is definetely Scatterer-mod which causes the bug of disapperaing planets, moons and skybox (i call it for now on “fade to black” to save time). Do not misunderstand: EVE, SVE and Scatterer work fine if a Vessel does not leave kerbins orbit. If a vessel flys to mun, minmus or into kerbol-orbit -> while scatterer-mod is running
      • March 22, 2018 at 13:38 Reply
        Thanks for the update! I will eventually re-evaluate this list for KSP 1.4!
  • Alex Booth
    March 28, 2018 at 10:47 Reply
    Engine Lighting seems to be the best improvement iv seen so far. The way it changes the light coming from the thrusters transforms the visuals immensely.

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