Parallax CKAN

A PBR terrain shader for planet surfaces

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Game Version: 1.11.2

Source code: Gameslinx/Tessellation

Downloads: 34,852

Author: Gameslinx

Mod Website: Forum Thread

Support this mod: Donate

Followers: 90

Outdated Mod

This mod is not known to work with the latest version of Kerbal Space Program. Proceed with caution.


Parallax is a custom terrain shader for Kerbal Space Program that combines tessellation and displacement mapping to create realistic planetary surfaces.

Watch the trailer here:


Parallax completely replaces the terrain shader used in the normal game in favour of more and better features, including:

  • Tessellation
  • Self-shadowing
  • Accurate lighting
  • Accurate normal mapping
  • Support for multiple lights
  • Reflections
  • Specular highlights
  • Metallic materials
  • Influence mapping


The shader that Squad uses for Kerbal Space Program is extremely limited. You can only assign 2 textures that work unless you opt to use an extremely complicated 'Atlas' shader that was introduced in 1.9. We will pretend that the Atlas shader doesn't exist because it's only used on Kerbin and it is extremely unoptimized.

Parallax improves upon the stock shader in a number of ways, for example: * Normal mapped lighting is accurate and faces the right way on a surface at any angle * Tessellation allows surfaces to have much more complexity, allowing for the creation of lifelike planet surfaces * Texture blending is a much smoother transition and varies based on the distance from the camera * You can have a much greater amount of control over the planet - You have a low, mid, high and steep texture to use * Complete control over how much colour of a texture to apply to the surface VS how much colour of the surface to retain (using an influence map). This prevents your grass from changing colour on brown terrain, but lets you change the sand colour as it varies with the planet's surface colour.


Parallax has been created for my planet pack 'Beyond Home' for its beta stage so that I can spend time working on fixing any bugs and working on improvements / optimizations before the mod is used elsewhere.

As for system requirements, these are for 1080p:


  • CPU: Parallax does not have much of a CPU impact, you'll be fine
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti (or AMD equivalent)
  • RAM: 6GB


  • CPU: Parallax does not have much of a CPU impact, you'll be fine
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB (or AMD equivalent)
  • RAM: 8GB

You can follow Parallax's development here:


  • Download the correct version of Parallax for your KSP version
  • Drag and drop the "Parallax" folder into GameData
  • Adjust any settings you need to in the config (Parallax/Config/ParallaxGlobal.cfg)
  • Launch the game, and make sure your terrain quality is set to high
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