Kerbal Space Program 1.2 Adds Comm Networks

Beep beep beep beep,” said Leonard Nimoy, imitating his favourite piece of space hardware. But what is one voice in the vast night sky? You want yourself a satellite network, Len my son. That’s the focus of update 1.2 for Kerbal Space Program [official site], which launched last night. It lets players link satellites and other hardware to bounce and boost signals all over, and also use satellites to map terrain. Oh, and the update makes your wheeled vehicles and flying vehicles more stable, less prone to wonky physics explosions – unless that’s what you really want, of course.

The full changelog for the ‘Loud and Clear’ update 1.2 is over here. It explains things like communications networks:

“Additional functionality and gameplay components to the Antenna and Probe parts through a series of distinct but related mechanics. When CommNet is enabled, probes will require a connection back to Kerbin or to a control point to have full control, and crewed vessels lacking pilots will have slightly limited control without such a connection. Relays can extend the range of such connections and bounce signals around planets and moons that would otherwise occlude. Science transmission receives a bonus for high signal strength. New antenna parts allow building complex networks, which can be visualized in map view.”

And KerbNet:

* Added KerbNet, which allows the player to see terrain under their satellite, and place custom waypoints with a targeting interface. Allows the player to see biomes and anomalies at higher levels. Scan field of view for KerbNet varies by part and smoothly changes between surface altitude and orbital altitude.
* KerbNet allows all probes and labs manned by a scientist to map as long as they have a communications network connection that eventually bounces to Kerbin.

Science, man.

If you want the patch notes in a more easily-digestible format, here’s a trailer with an overview:

Kerbal Space Program is on sale to celebrate this launch, down to £17.99/23,99€/$23.99 on Steam and the Kerbal Store. It’s still full-price on GOG, mind.


  1. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Fantastic, I didn’t want any sleep for the next few weeks anyway :/

  2. Shiloh says:

    One day I swear I am going to master the intricacies of KSP. It’s in my Steam library, every now and then I think I really must fire it up and build a rocket… which I do, and which then proceeds to fall out of orbit like a bloody rock and smash back down to Earth in a fiery cataclysm.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Hubris Simulator, 2016.

    • JB says:

      I found Scott Manley’s videos very helpful. Plus he’s a delight to listen to.

      • Shiloh says:

        Thanks, is that the Scottish chap? If so, I’ve watched his stuff, but KSP still remains disturbingly opaque to me – apoapsis, periapsis, all that orbital mechanics stuff… notwithstanding my general inability to get my head round it, I might have another go now the update has downloaded.

        Then again, I might just play Space Engineers or Arma 3 instead. Choices, choices.

        • Alfius says:

          A quick search of YouTube yielded this corny but helpful basic briefing on orbital mechanics.

          link to

          It’s important to wrap your head around the basics before you can get the most out of games like KSP. I cut my teeth years ago on Orbiter and never looked back!

        • Darloth says:

          Don’t go up – go sideways.

          You might need to go up a little bit, just to get out of that thick, soupy stuff we call air, but mostly staying in space is about going sideways surprisingly fast.

          • MattW says:

            The thing that got me from “what in the fuck.” to “ok this is fairly straightforward” is the “10 for 10” rule: for every 10km of altitude, tip your phallic thruststick rocket 10 degrees towards the horizon.

            At 10km you go from 0 degrees (straight up) to 10 degrees (ideally in the direction of planetary spin, ie eastwards if memory serves), at 20km you go to 20 degrees, and so on. When your projected course reaches its highest point at the altitude you want to orbit at, cut thrust, and when you approach the target altitude, angle at 90 degrees (parallel to the surface, pointing forwards) and thrust until your orbit is roughly circular. Done.

          • inspiredhandle says:

            The most important revelation for me was in staging, also not using full thrust until higher into the air. Think it might of been Manley that put me onto asparagus staging (I think it’s called). Tiny bit more faff when building, but worth it for the fuel efficiency. This is obviously on top of the whole go sideways or 10 for 10 thing. (Never heard “10 for 10 till now. Good advice).

        • inspiredhandle says:

          Am a huge fan of ksp. Found its mechanics very easy to grasp. Space engineers and arma 3 however, sit in my library, barely played.

          Space engineers lost me when I found out you can’t have thrusters connected to rotating parts and still keep the default key bindings. (The game auto detects their orientation when static, but not if they move). Bummer

          Arma 3 is great, but I have no friends. ?

          • Shiloh says:

            Re. Space Engineers, yeah, I’ve been fiddling around with rotating thrusters but like you haven’t had a lot of joy yet. I’m basically back to building my big underground moon base with long corridors and piston-driven lifts.

            I also have no friends in Arma 3, I mostly just use the mission editor to create brief but spectacularly messy SP firefights.

    • Shiloh says:

      Thanks all for the advice, much appreciated – I’ll go and test it out when I get time later.

  3. BobbyDylan says:

    I hope the mods and up to date!

    • inspiredhandle says:

      Same. Barely make rockets anymore since getting robotic parts mod and the one to build ships. Haven’t been into space for a while now, aircraft carrier building is my new obsession.

  4. hollowroom says:

    As this is basically what I do at work (at least the planning of it) I’m scared to play it in case I’m totally rubbish.

    Everyone else here plays it though, so I might take the plunge.

    • SlimShanks says:

      Funny you should say that, I remember reading about some sort of orbital physicist at NASA playing KSP and totally dying on re-entry. Needless to say they got a hard time from their coworkers.

      • hollowroom says:

        Heh. I asked around. It turns out the majority here are a danger to themselves and others.

  5. Premium User Badge

    ooshp says:

    Does this do anything RemoteTech and ScanSAT didn’t already do? Not that I think it’s a terrible idea integrating them, it just makes the patch a bit underwhelming as I’ve been playing with those mods for a while.

  6. Heavens says:

    It actually does slightly less than RemoteTech and is a tad bit less restrictive (eg. still able to somewhat control uncrewed vessels when outside LoS).

    If you want the full-on hardmode you still go for RemoteTech as it’s possibly the most realistic approach while if you just want some extra difficulty without “killing all the fun” you go for KerbNet.

    The same rules apply for stock aerodynamics and re-entry. FAR and Deadly Re-entry are a lot “harder” and somewhat more realistic but some people are fine with the stock difficulty and stick with that while for others it just can’t be hard enough and that’s what FAR/Deadly Re-entry/RemoteTech are made for.