How to install Kerbal Space Program mods the easy way!

Kerbal Space Program is a fantastic scientific spaceflight simulator which allows you to build the spacecrafts of you dreams in a sandbox environment. As we already covered in our full review, the game offers the possibility to install many modifications enhancing the gameplay. Now lets take a look at the mods you should try and how to manage them!

Modded Spaceplane

Mod manager

To install mods you basically have to copy the files of the mods into the main game folder. As this gets confusing really fast it is advised to use a so called mod manager which downloads and copies to mods for you.


CKAN (Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Network) is a neat little application which was purposely build for Kerbal Space Programm mod managment making it minimalistic and functional for the job. It was build with feedback from the community and features versions for Windows, Linux and MacOS. Furthermore it always checks if youre version of the game is compatible with the version of the modification and installs needed dependencies. You can read more here.

To start you simply need to download the application from GitHub and install the programm with the wizard. Once having done that you are ready to install the mods that are available by clicking the “installed” field so that a check mark appears. Then press apply changes. As some mods have other mods they are dependent on to function CKAN will then ask you if you want them installed which you can agree with by clicking continue/agree. Having done that you are ready to go and can press “launch game”.

CKAN User interface


CurseForge overview

Another good mod manager is the popular mod distribution platform CurseForge which is also known for its huge Minecraft mod sortiment. CurseForge also works similar to CKAN and automatically downloads mods and sets them up correctly inside the folder structure. Simply select the game from the overview, navigate to the “get more mods” tab, choose a mod and click on install. Now you are able to enjoy your new mods once you restart KSP.

Installing a mod in CurseForge

Mods to try

1. Starship Expansion

The Starship Expansion pack (installed with CKAN) bring SpaceX Starbase into Kerbal Space Program. With this mod you are able to try launching the incredible Starship yourself, understand how it works and of course try to occupy mars sorry occupy Duna 😉 with it.

SpaceX Starship on the launch pad in KSP

2. Waterfall Core

Watefall Core is a plugin that can be used by other engine mods. It generates beautiful engine exhausts with realistic shock diamonds and plume behaviour.

Exhaust plume enhanced by Waterfall Core

3. Textures Unlimited

Textures Unlimited is a mod that ads shaders to KSP making it possible for Starship to shine so metallic as it can bee seen above. There is also an addition (Textures Unlimited Default Stock Config) that enables these textures for the stock parts of the game.

shiny metall shaders

4. Others

  • Environmental Visual Enhancement – improve the visual features of the planets
  • Artemis Construction kit – adds parts to the game that allow you to build the giant NASA Space Launch System
  • If you have any more favourites please leave them in the comments!

Get Kerbal Space Program, CurseForge and CKAN:

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