Custom Controllers For Kerbal Space Program

kerbalKerbal Space Program is already a runaway indie video game hit, and if you ask some people, they’ll tell you it is the way to learn all about orbital dynamics, how spaceships actually fly, the challenges of getting to the mün. The controls in KSP are primarily keyboard and mouse, something that really breaks the immersion for a space flight simulator. We’ve seen a few before, but now custom controllers well suited for a Kerbal command pod can be made at home, with all the blinkey LEDs, gauges, and buttons you could want.

[Freshmeat] over on the KSP forums began his space adventures with a keyboard but found the fine control lacking. An old Logitech Dual Shock controller offered better control, but this gamepad doesn’t come with a throttle, and USB throttles for flight sims are expensive. He found a neat plugin for KSP made for interfacing an Arduino, and with a few modifications, turned his controller into a control panel, complete with sliders, pots, gauges, and all the other goodies a proper command pod should have.

[Freshmeat]‘s work is not the only custom Kerbal controller. There’s a whole thread of them, with implementations that would look great in everything from a modern spaceplane to kerbalkind’s first steps into the milky abyss of space. There’s even one over on the Hackaday projects site, ready to fly Bill, Bob, and Jeb to the mün or a fiery explosion. Either one works.

Thanks [drago] for the tip.


  1. Aztraph says:

    Great! Mow it will seem more realistic when I kill my Kerbs!

  2. ErichK says:

    Actually, i’m glad that i can’t run KSP on my old machine properly, because this is a VERY addictive game :-)
    I didn’t know there is already so much interfacing to an Ardiuno. Now imagine the possibilities…

  3. daid303 says:

    Also working on my own controller for KSP:

  4. Kevon says:

    Oddly enough, using the keyboard kinda fits for me. I’ve seen some pics of the cockpit of an old Soyuz and it contains many of what look suspiciously like computer keys, albeit with Cyrillic on them ;)

  5. Mo says:

    Shameless self promo, but have been working on a small open source space sim with a few other people over the last couple of years. Still early in development, just looking to spread the word around at this point and hopefully drive some interest (and perhaps some contributions! :-) )

    You may find more about it here:

  6. Lord Nothing says:

    i started a project called ‘the joystick of doom’. it ran into a brick wall when i discovered the cost of panel mount components was really high.

    • daid303 says:

      Few posts up you can see my panel. All the buttons & switches came from and where pretty cheap. The joystick is an old PC joystick from a yard-sale. The dials I’m making from cheap servos with 3D printed components.

  7. Luca says:

    I would love to have a full-on capsule like this for KSP:

  8. Flame Soulis says:

    I have always been considering building a custom controller at some point, but until then, I’ll just continue hacking my Steel Batallion Controller.

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