How To Set Up Joystick Kerbal Space Program

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Are you ready to embark on a thrilling journey into the depths of space? One of the key elements to a truly immersive gaming experience in Kerbal Space Program is having the right setup, including a joystick. A joystick can add a whole new level of control and realism to your space adventures, allowing you to maneuver your spacecraft with precision and finesse. But how do you go about setting up a joystick for Kerbal Space Program? In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of setting up a joystick for your KSP gameplay. From selecting the right joystick to configuring the controls in-game, we will cover everything you need to know to get your joystick ready for launch. So, buckle up and let’s dive into the world of joystick setup for Kerbal Space Program.

Inside This Article

  1. Setting Up the Joystick
  2. Configuring Controls in Kerbal Space Program
  3. Testing and Calibrating the Joystick
  4. Troubleshooting Joystick Issues in Kerbal Space Program
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

Setting Up the Joystick

Setting up a joystick for Kerbal Space Program is a straightforward process that enhances your gaming experience and gives you more control over your spacecraft. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newbie, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set up your joystick and get ready for liftoff.

1. Check compatibility: Before purchasing a joystick, ensure it is compatible with your computer’s operating system. Most modern joysticks are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, but it’s always best to double-check the specifications.

2. Connect the joystick to your computer: Once you have your joystick, plug it into an available USB port on your computer. The operating system will usually detect the joystick automatically and install the necessary drivers. If not, you may need to download and install them from the manufacturer’s website.

3. Launch Kerbal Space Program: Open Kerbal Space Program and navigate to the settings menu. Look for the controls or input options section, where you can configure the joystick settings.

4. Calibrate the joystick: Some joysticks may require calibration to ensure accurate control input. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to calibrate your joystick. This step ensures that your movements correspond to the intended actions in the game.

5. Assign controls: In the control configuration menu, you can assign specific functions to each button and axis on your joystick. Customizing the controls to your preference will help you navigate the interfaces and maneuver your spacecraft more efficiently.

6. Test the joystick: Once you have assigned the controls, it’s essential to test the joystick to ensure everything is working correctly. Move the joystick and press the buttons to see if the actions are reflected in the game. Make any necessary adjustments until you are satisfied with the response.

7. Save your settings: Once you are satisfied with your joystick configuration, remember to save your settings. This way, you won’t have to go through the entire setup process every time you launch the game.

With your joystick properly set up and configured, you’ll have more precise control over your spacecraft in Kerbal Space Program. So get ready for interstellar adventures and explore the vast regions of space with your new joystick!

Configuring Controls in Kerbal Space Program

Configuring controls in Kerbal Space Program is an essential step to ensure smooth gameplay and maximize your control over your in-game spacecraft. To have the best gaming experience, you need to map the controls of your joystick to the appropriate functions in the game. Here are the steps to configure your controls in Kerbal Space Program.

1. Launch Kerbal Space Program: Start by launching the Kerbal Space Program game on your computer. Ensure that your joystick is connected and recognized by your computer before proceeding.

2. Open the Settings Menu: Once the game is launched, navigate to the settings menu. This can usually be found within the main menu or by pressing Esc during gameplay and selecting Settings.

3. Navigate to the Controls Tab: Within the settings menu, locate and select the Controls tab. This is where you will find all the options to configure and map your joystick controls.

4. Select Joystick Input: In the Controls tab, you will see a list of input devices. Locate your joystick from the list and select it as the input device for configuration.

5. Map Joystick Controls: Once you have selected your joystick, you can start mapping the controls. Each function in the game, such as pitch, yaw, throttle, and staging, can be assigned to a specific button or axis on your joystick.

6. Assign Actions: To map a control, simply click on the function you want to assign, and then move the corresponding button or axis on your joystick. The game will automatically detect the input and assign it to the selected function.

7. Test and Adjust: After assigning all the controls, it is crucial to test them out in the game. Launch a spacecraft and try maneuvering it using your configured joystick controls. If any adjustments are needed, return to the Controls tab and reassign the controls as necessary.

8. Save your Configuration: Once you are satisfied with the control settings, make sure to save your configuration. This will ensure that your settings are retained for future gameplay sessions.

Remember, configuring controls in Kerbal Space Program can be a personal preference, and it may take some trial and error to find the perfect setup for your joystick. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different mappings until you find the configuration that feels natural and intuitive for you.

By following these steps, you will be able to configure controls in Kerbal Space Program and have precise control over your spacecraft using your joystick. Happy space exploration!

Testing and Calibrating the Joystick

Once you have set up your joystick for Kerbal Space Program, it’s important to test and calibrate it to ensure smooth and accurate gameplay. Testing the joystick will help you determine if it is functioning correctly, while calibrating it will fine-tune its sensitivity and dead zones. Here’s how you can test and calibrate your joystick:

1. Testing: Start by launching Kerbal Space Program and accessing the game’s control settings. Navigate to the input or controls menu where you can view and edit your joystick configuration. Look for options to test your joystick’s axes and buttons.

2. Axis Testing: In the controls menu, you should see options to test each axis of your joystick. Move the joystick around and observe the on-screen indicators to ensure that the movements are accurately reflected. Test each axis individually to make sure there are no issues with sensitivity or dead zones.

3. Button Testing: After testing the axes, move on to testing the buttons on your joystick. Press each button while observing the on-screen indicators or checking if the corresponding command is executed in the game. Ensure that all buttons register correctly and are responsive.

4. Calibration: If you notice any issues during the testing phase, it might be necessary to calibrate your joystick. Calibration adjusts the sensitivity and dead zones of the joystick to ensure smooth and precise input.

5. Joystick Software: Some joysticks come with their own software that allows you to calibrate them. If your joystick has this feature, consult the manual or manufacturer’s website for instructions on how to access and use the calibration software.

6. Windows Calibration: If your joystick doesn’t have specific calibration software, you can use the built-in calibration tool in Windows. Go to the Control Panel, search for “Game Controllers,” and select “Calibrate.” Follow the on-screen instructions to calibrate your joystick using the Windows tool.

7. Custom Calibration in Kerbal Space Program: If the above options don’t resolve the calibration issues, you can try customizing the joystick calibration settings within Kerbal Space Program. Experiment with adjusting the sensitivity and dead zones to find the optimal settings for your gameplay.

Remember to save your joystick settings and exit the control menu after testing and calibrating. It’s a good idea to periodically re-test and calibrate your joystick to ensure consistent performance. Taking the time to properly test and calibrate your joystick can significantly enhance your Kerbal Space Program experience, allowing for smoother controls and more precise maneuvers in your interstellar adventures.

Troubleshooting Joystick Issues in Kerbal Space Program

Playing Kerbal Space Program with a joystick can greatly enhance the gaming experience, allowing for more precise control over your spacecraft. However, like any gaming peripheral, joysticks can sometimes encounter issues that disrupt your gameplay. If you’re facing joystick problems in Kerbal Space Program, don’t worry! In this guide, we’ll explore common joystick issues and provide troubleshooting steps to resolve them.

1. No response from the joystick: If your joystick doesn’t respond when you move it or press buttons, the first thing to check is whether it’s properly connected. Ensure that the USB cable is securely plugged into your computer and the joystick itself. Also, make sure that your joystick is compatible with the operating system you’re using. If the issue persists, try plugging the joystick into a different USB port or restarting your computer.

2. Joystick axis not working correctly: If the axis on your joystick is not functioning properly, such as not moving smoothly or registering input inaccurately, you may need to calibrate the joystick in the game settings. Open the control settings in Kerbal Space Program and locate the joystick axis settings. Follow the instructions provided to calibrate the joystick and ensure that each axis is responding accurately.

3. Button mapping issues: Your joystick buttons may not be mapped correctly, causing them to perform different functions than intended. To fix this, go to the control settings in the game and check the button mapping for your joystick. If any buttons are not assigned or are assigned incorrectly, reassign them accordingly. You may also try resetting the control settings to their default configuration if you’re not sure about the correct button mapping.

4. Input lag or delay: If you’re experiencing noticeable input lag or delay when using your joystick in Kerbal Space Program, there are a few things you can try to reduce it. First, make sure that your computer’s graphics drivers are up to date. Outdated or incompatible drivers can cause input lag. Additionally, closing any unnecessary background processes or applications can free up system resources and improve responsiveness. Finally, adjusting the joystick sensitivity settings in the game may also help reduce input lag.

5. Driver or software conflicts: Occasionally, conflicts between your joystick’s drivers or software and other programs on your computer can cause issues. To resolve this, start by updating the drivers for your joystick. Visit the manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your specific model. If the problem persists, try disabling any unnecessary background applications or software that may conflict with your joystick. You can also try reinstalling the joystick’s drivers to ensure a clean installation.


Setting up a joystick for Kerbal Space Program can greatly enhance your gaming experience. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, a joystick provides greater control and immersion in the game. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily set up your joystick and start exploring the universe in Kerbal Space Program.

Remember to choose a joystick that suits your preferences and budget. Do some research to find a reliable brand and model that offers the features you desire. Once you have your joystick, connect it to your computer, calibrate it if necessary, and configure it within the game settings. You’ll be amazed at how much more intuitive and enjoyable the gameplay becomes.

So don’t wait any longer – get your joystick ready and embark on exciting space adventures in Kerbal Space Program today!


Q: Can I use a joystick to play Kerbal Space Program?
A: Yes, you can definitely use a joystick to play Kerbal Space Program. The game supports a wide range of joystick models, allowing you to have a more immersive and precise control experience.

Q: How do I set up a joystick for Kerbal Space Program?
A: Setting up a joystick for Kerbal Space Program is relatively easy. Simply connect your joystick to your computer via USB, then launch the game. In the game’s settings menu, navigate to the controls section and select the option to configure your joystick. Follow the on-screen instructions to map the various joystick buttons and axis to the corresponding in-game controls.

Q: What are the benefits of using a joystick in Kerbal Space Program?
A: Using a joystick in Kerbal Space Program can offer several benefits. Firstly, it provides more precise control over your spacecraft, allowing for smoother movements and maneuvering. Additionally, a joystick can enhance the immersion factor, making you feel more connected to the game world. It can also alleviate the strain on your fingers and hands that can occur when using a keyboard and mouse for extended periods of time.

Q: Can I customize the controls on my joystick in Kerbal Space Program?
A: Yes, Kerbal Space Program allows you to fully customize the controls on your joystick. After connecting your joystick and accessing the controls menu in the game, you will be able to remap buttons and axis to suit your preferences. This flexibility ensures that you can tailor the controls to your liking and optimize your gameplay experience.

Q: Are there any specific joystick recommendations for Kerbal Space Program?
A: Kerbal Space Program is compatible with a wide range of joysticks, so you have plenty of options to choose from. Some popular joystick models among players include the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, Thrustmaster T.16000M, and Saitek X52 Pro. However, the best joystick for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget, so it’s worth researching and reading reviews to find the one that suits your needs.