Creating a DIY Kerbal Space Program controller with Arduino

If you’re looking for another way to control your spacecraft other than with WASD keys, you’ll love this. 

Kerbal Space Program is a space flight simulation game that lets players design spacecrafts for a fictional race of green humanoids (called Kerbals), who have constructed a fully-furnished and functional spaceport (known as the Kerbal Space Center) on their homeworld Kerbin.


Those looking for another way to control their spacecraft other than with their WASD keys may want to check out Kegan Holtzhausen’s latest project. The Maker has designed a KSP control console equipped with a joystick, multiple displays, and various buttons and switches that will meet any player’s possible command needs. The device, which he calls the Psimax CS40 Telemetric Joystick, was built with modularity in mind, allowing for control to be swapped in and out as necessary.


Under the hood lie three Arduino boards: One Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) runs HoodLoader2 to provide joystick data over HID, another enables the buttons and switches to communicate with the game over KSP Serial IO, while an Arduino Due (SAM3X8E) is tasked with driving three LCDs. Furthermore, the Maker is currently working on OLED meters as well. When all was said and done, Holtzhausen housed the controller’s modules inside a Retex Abox enclosure and 3D-printed a number of the DIY console’s parts.

Intrigued? Then you’ll want to check out the Maker’s detailed build log here.

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