CollisionFX

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Author: pizzaoverhead
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CollisionFX adds sound effects and sparks with lighting when you collide or scrap your craft. It also adds a rubbery screech to landing gear on contact with the ground. If you’re a player whose landings are often less than ideal – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – this mod will add a little more drama to those landings.

KSP Visual Mods - Step-by-Step Installation Guide for v1.3.1 - CollisionFX

Installation

Download and drop in GameData. The GameData folder will look something like the below.

Kerbal Space Program/
    GameData/
        CollisionFX/
        Squad/

Engine Lighting

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Author: tajampi (ToXik-yogHurt for Engine Lighting 1.5.1 update)
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Engine Lighting adds lighting effects to engines and decouplers. Light intensity is calculated from thrust and engine power. This works on a lot of modded engines too, thankfully!

KSP Visual Mods - Step-by-Step Installation Guide for v1.3.1 - Engine Lighting

Installation

Download and drop in GameData. The GameData folder will look something like the below.

Kerbal Space Program/
    GameData/
        EngineLight/
        Squad/

TextureReplacer + Rareden’s Real 8K Skybox

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TextureReplacer (RangeMachine’s Unofficial Release)

Author: RangeMachine (original work by shaw)
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Rareden’s Real 8K Skybox

Author: Rareden (reproduced on their behalf by Kunschner)
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The “skybox” is the game’s starry background. You can never actually reach those places – the skybox is just a cuboid wrapped around the playable area. Change the cuboid, change the backdrop to all of your extra-planetary adventures in KSP.

The default skybox is subtle – one can see the galactic plane stretch across the sky, but it’s largely ignorable. The right skybox can become an important part of KSP’s visual landscape.

To replace the skybox, and many other textures (suits, heads, celestial bodies, for example), you need to install a mod named TextureReplacer. (No marks for inspiration, but A+ for usefulness.) More specifically, you’ll need RangeMachine’s Unofficial Release of it, since TextureReplacer is incompatible with later versions of KSP.

Installation

Download RangeMachine’s Unofficial Release, unzip, and drop in the GameData folder.

Next, download Rareden’s Real 8K Skybox for the skybox files. It’s pretty:

KSP Visual Mods - Rareden's Skybox

(If you want something different i.e. not Rareden’s Real 8K Skybox, check the TextureReplacer thread linked above which has a list of skyboxes you can use.) Skyboxes will come with six files, each corresponding to a different face of the skybox cuboid, named as follows:

GalaxyTex_NegativeX.jpg
GalaxyTex_NegativeY.jpg
GalaxyTex_NegativeZ.jpg
GalaxyTex_PositiveX.jpg
GalaxyTex_PositiveY.jpg
GalaxyTex_PositiveZ.jpg

Put these files in GameData/TextureReplacer/Default, replacing any that might already be there.

Your KSP installation directory will look something like the following:

Kerbal Space Program/
    GameData/
        Squad/
        TextureReplacer/
            Default/
                GalaxyTex_NegativeX.jpg
                GalaxyTex_NegativeY.jpg
                GalaxyTex_NegativeZ.jpg
                GalaxyTex_PositiveX.jpg
                GalaxyTex_PositiveY.jpg
                GalaxyTex_PositiveZ.jpg
            ...

Galileo’s Sun Flares

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Author: Galileo
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“Sun flares” refer to the optical effect often most noticeable in KSP due to Kerbol (the sun). Making a small effort to change the flare effect with Galileo’s Sun Flares will be rewarded every time one of your spacecraft orbit across a planet’s terminus and into the sunlight.

KSP Visual Mods - Galileo's Sun Flares

Requirements

Galileo’s Sun Flares has just one dependency:

Installation

First, follow the instructions listed in this post for Scatterer.

There are two ways to install GSF, depending on whether you use one of the nine more recent flares (GSF v1.8.0 onwards, easier to install) or one of the 25 earlier flares (prior to GSF v1.8.0).

Recent Flares (GSF v1.8.0 onwards)

Download one of the packages (I like Fusion_White), unzip, and place the GSF folder in your GameData folder. And you’re done!

If you really want to use one of the earlier flares, then click the text below to read installation instructions, but they’ve only been lightly updated since I last tested all of this on 1.2.1. In other words, the instructions for earlier flares are untested on 1.3.1 and might not work at all; worse, they may ruin your mod setup totally. This is just my best guess.

» Installation instructions for earlier flares

Earlier Flares (Prior to GSF v1.8.0)

These instructions are more involved because GSF didn’t use Module Manager in the past, so you have to overwrite some settings from other mods you have installed. (You’ll have at least one because you need Scatterer.)

Download Galileo’s Sun Flares and extract the zip file. This will provide you with a folder, GalileosSunFlares, containing four folders corresponding to the colour you’d like to provide to Kerbol – blue, red, white, or yellow. Each of these folders in turn contains six or seven folders, each corresponding to a different flare type. The one shown above, for example, is number five. (I prefer the fifth variant of the white sun, myself.) To distinguish between them you might need to try a few out, or dig into the mod folder a little more and imagine what a composite of the images might look like.

Within each flare type folder, there is a GameData folder containing a folder called “scatterer”. To recap, you have a folder structure something like this:

GalileosSunFlares
    Blue
        ...
    Red
        ...
    White
        1
            ...
        2
            ...
        3
            ...
        4
            ...
        5
            GameData
                scatterer
                    config
                        Sunflares
                            Sun
                                ...
                            Sun.cfg
        6
            ...
    Yellow
        ...

You’ll need to copy one of the nested scatterer folders into your KSP installation GameData folder, overwriting any files when prompted (i.e. you want Galileo’s Sun Flares effects to override the base Scatterer effects).

There’s a further action to take if you’re using SVT. Copy the Sun.cfg file nested inside your chosen sun flare variant to SVT/configs and overwrite the existing file in there.

In summary:

  1. Download and extract Galileo’s Sun Flares. I’m assuming you now have a file called “GalileosSunFlares” in some directory.
  2. Choose a colour and a flare variant e.g. White/5.
  3. Copy the “scatterer” folder for that flare variant into your KSP installation’s GameData folder i.e. copy: /GalileosSunFlares/White/5/GameData/scatterer to: /GameData and overwrite when prompted.
  4. If you’re using SVT, overwrite the Sun.cfg file in the SVT folder with the one from the sun flare variant that you’ve chosen i.e. copy: /GalileosSunFlares/White/5/GameData/scatterer/config/Sunflares/Sun.cfg to: /GameData/SVT/configs and overwrite when prompted.

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JayS_NL’s Custom KSP ReShade

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Author: JayS_NL
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This odd-sounding mod makes myriad tweaks and final touches to the visual feel of KSP in a manner that, in my opinion, makes the whole game a little more vibrant. It works in a similar way to GemFX or SweetFX, so-called “DLL-injectors”. See some of the comparison video below showing the action of the JayS_NL’s Custom KSP ReShade mod.

KSP Visual Mods - Step-by-Step Installation Guide for v1.3.1 - Custom ReShade
by Mulbin on KSP Forums

Installation

This is perhaps the most fiddly of all the mods listed on this page to get working. The problem begins on the first post of the thread linked to above – some of the tools referred to no longer exist in the expected form. The author has corrected the installation method in some later posts, but for posterity I’ll include everything here. There are a number of steps that you need to take to get this to play nicely with the other mods here.

  1. Download ReShade, a post-processing injector for games.
  2. Run the downloaded executable, click ‘Select game’, choose the KSP executable (I would recommend running all of these in 64-bit mode, but choose whichever one you normally use e.g. /KSP_x64.exe), then choose the Direct3D 10+ rendering API. ReShade will install files and configuration to your KSP directory.
  3. To avoid rendering artifacts in the game (normally manifesting themselves as “stripes” around KSC and in some clouds on Laythe and Eve), you’ll need to convert some images from one format (known as DDS) to another (PNG).
    1. Download, install, and run the free program DDS Converter.
    2. If you’re using SVT, select all DDS files (with the DDS Converter program) in /GameData/SVT/SVT_Textures and convert them to PNG, outputting into the same directory. Backup the DDS files somewhere (just in case things go wrong) and delete them from this directory.
    3. If you’re using SVE, repeat step 2 for /GameData/StockVisualEnhancements/Textures.
  4. Download the file hosted here, called reshade.ini, and paste it directly into your KSP installation top-level directory (Kerbal Space Program). (Note that I didn’t create this file. It was configured by JayS_NL; I’m merely hosting it for posterity.)
  5. Run KSP in forced D3D11 mode with the “-force-d3d11” flags. Do this by following the guide here.
  6. Some windows will appear while KSP loads – this is ReShade doing its thing. Once the game has loaded, press SHIFT + F2 to open the ReShade settings menu and change the presets file to point to /reshade.ini.
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