Kerbal Space Program 2 Hands-On Preview – Starting liftoff in 5

Posted on February 25, 2023

Have you ever wanted to fly to the farthest reaches of space? It’s a dream some of us hold, but going into space is a complex process. Kerbal Space Program 2 takes that complex process and breaks it down into steps. With a tutorial that properly walks you through all the steps, you can start your journey to the farthest celestial bodies. Or have something horrible happen if you miscalculate.

Kerbal Space Program 2 doesn’t shy away from the entire process of space travel. While some areas have been streamlined (such as not worrying about cost), you must properly go through all the steps. For example, constructing a rocket that can actually take off is mandatory. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and design the rocket of your dreams. You then learn the rocket is too heavy and won’t properly lift off. While all of the complexities can be overwhelming in the beginning, properly understanding them will pay off.

It’s unlikely that you are an expert on interstellar travel before you open up the game, and it’s great to see Kerbal Space Program 2 provide great assistance for new players, especially those who haven’t played the first game. The tutorials are run by a friendly AI named P.A.I.G.E, who runs through every tutorial with excitement and understanding.

“Even if you know nothing about space travel, the tutorial gives you everything you need to know”

Space travel is a serious operation and the calculations for taking off and getting into orbit are not easy. To cut down on the potential dry content, Kerbal Space Program 2 has some fun animations to watch. They compress the complexities of space travel into an easy-to-understand scene, before walking you through the topic you want to cover.

The tutorial at the Training Center goes through the entire process of rocket construction, movement, orbital entry, and reaching other planets. Each step is broken down into parts, helping you internalise each step while properly learning what you need to do. Some parts of space travel are easier than others, and you may have to replay the tutorial multiple times to fully understand.

Thankfully, the tutorial is split into different subsections, allowing you to repeat only the areas that you need help with. It’s a great way to get practice without wasting time on the aspects that you already know. Each part of the tutorial also draws on previous knowledge, which reinforces the information in your head as you develop your understanding. Going through the tutorial with P.A.I.G.E is enjoyable, as actual guidance is punctuated with some silly moments to ease the dry content. You want to keep learning, as if P.A.I.G.E is a cool teacher at school who inspires you to learn more.

Even when you leave the safe confines of the tutorial, the game always has a guiding hand to help you out. Setting maneuver plans ensures you plan out your path to another planet and lets you know when to throttle. Rocket stages always have a panel on the lower right, telling you how much fuel is left before you discard them. It helps you keep an eye on information and make plans accordingly, or indicate a point where you should start going home.

If you fail to get your Kerbal pilots home safely, that’s okay! Failure is expected as you test new features or create new goals for yourself. There’s only a sandbox mode available at the start, but it helps you test your knowledge in a safe environment. With enough practice, your Kerbals will start exploring the farthest corners of the universe. The detailed process and starting from scratch immerses you in space exploration, which makes every success sweeter when you pull it off.

Studying the ins and outs of space exploration is going to take a while, but it’s a fun process thanks to the entertaining tutorials. Set your own goals by constructing your own rockets and charting a path wherever you want to go. Even though there’s only a sandbox mode available, the universe is free to explore and it’s never been easier.

Kerbal Space Program 2 Early Access comes out on February 25, 2023.