Sea of Thieves' Kraken is one of the most formidable enemies you'll face on the open seas.
Fortunately, how to find the Kraken is a little easier said than done, but once it does appear, you'll want to know how to kill the Kraken so you can live to tell the tale.
This page explains everything you need to hunt (or just survive) a Kraken - from how to track it down to what to do when it decides to wrap those nasty tentacles around your poor little boat.
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How to find and spawn the Kraken in Sea of Thieves
In short, you don't find the Kraken; the Kraken finds you.
Like the Megalodon and Skeleton Ships, the kraken is what Rare classes an "emergent threat", and will randomly spawn to attack a ship while it sails across deep water. The kraken can spawn on any boat type, be it sloop, brigantine, or galleon - although the encounter is considerably less difficult while on a sloop - and you'll immediately know of its arrival when the water around your ship turns an inky black.
Although the kraken will pick a random crew to attack when it spawns, there's a nifty trick you can use to tell when it will appear, if not who it will spawn on. This can be useful if you're trying to increase the odds of encountering it to complete related Commendations, or even if you're actively trying to avoid encountering it for what ever reason.
Here's how it works: the kraken will only spawn when there is no cloud event active on the map. If you're trying to increase the odds of an encounter, make sure that you're sailing in deep water when there is no Skeleton Fort skull cloud or Skeleton Fleet ship cloud visible in the sky. Conversely, if you're trying to avoid it, only head out into the water when either cloud is visible.
How to kill the Kraken in Sea of Thieves
When the Kraken attacks, it's best to start with the basic principles of ship combat that we outline in our Sea of Thieves sailing guide.
Essentially, that means coordination and dividing up tasks between you, Adam Smith style, to make you the most efficient crew possible.
Don't stress if you're playing solo or on a sloop, though; while the kraken battle is mechanically identical for all vessels, it's trivially easy to complete on a sloop if you understand the basics, - tentacles have much lower health and do considerably less damage - and can be wrapped up in a matter of minutes.
It's worth noting upfront that the kraken's inky water will dramatically reduce the speed of your ship (and will inflict damage on pirates that fall into it). However, your vessel WILL continue to move forward during the encounter. As such, if you're actively trying to defeat the creature, you might want to lower your anchor at the first sign of the beast so that you don't accidentally drift out of its area of attack while the battle rages on. Of course, if this does happen, you can simply about-face and sail back into the water to resume the attack.
It's also worth noting that it's possible for multiple emergent creatures to spawn simultaneously; if you're very unlucky, you could find yourself facing a kraken, skeleton ship, and megalodon all at the same time. If this happens, though, don't panic and remember that both the megalodon and kraken will attempt to attack skeleton ships and vice versa, meaning NPCs will take some of the heat off you during the battle, assuming you don't antagonise them with gunfire.
How you choose to divvy up duties during the kraken fight will depend on the number of crew mates you have available. In general though, you want at least one person manning the cannons and another below deck focussing on repairs at all times. On the bigger ships, repairers should prioritise patching up holes first and bailing out water second - bailing water is also a good way to stall for time if you run out of wooden planks and need someone else to come and deposit a few in the store. On a sloop, water accumulates slowly enough below deck that it's entirely possible to simply keep bailing water out of a window and then patch up once the fight is over.
Larger crews should remain flexible against the kraken, shifting between tasks - attacking, repairing, and steering - as required. As always on the Sea of Thieves, good communication and crew coordination is key, so it helps to have one player designating tasks. That player should also keep an eye on the horizon for enemy vessels, as the last thing you'll want during a kraken attack is to find yourself amidst a PvP encounter unprepared.
Once the kraken encounter begins, its tentacles will rise out of the water, and you can immediately start attacking with cannons and ranged weapons. You can attack any tentacle poking vertically out of the water, although you'll obviously find it easier to aim for those closer to your ship. Concentrate on the open "mouths" at the tip of each tentacle to do more damage.
At certain intervals, the kraken will initiate one of three different attacks so you should learn to read the tells and be prepared to respond appropriately.
The sound of rushing wind means one tentacle is trying to suck a crew member off the ship and into its maw. All crew mates should IMMEDIATELY stop what they're doing and head below deck until the sound has subsided. If a crew member is hoovered off the ship, they should begin attacking the tentacle with their sword until they're dropped into the inky water. Alternatively those still on the ship can use cannon fire to librate them, or even hoist them back onboard with a well-aimed shot of the harpoon at the front of the vessel. Be aware that this suction attack can also target crew mates on a rowboat.
If a tentacle ducks underwater and resurfaces close to the side of the boat bent in a tight arc, the kraken is preparing to slam the side of your ship. This will likely spin the boat on it axis, so you'll need to realign your cannons quickly, using the wheel to adjust your angle if necessarily. More seriously though, the attack will create a large number of holes in the lower deck of your vessel. As such, have as many crew mates as you can spare head down in preparation for rapid repairs.
Finally, the kraken might opt to wrap a tentacle entirely around the hull of the ship. Depending on a number of factors, this can prevent movement between the upper and lower deck, so larger crews should always aim to keep one member below deck on repair duties - failure to do so can lead to a rapidly sunk ship! However, don't panic - this tentacle is much easier to remove that it might first appear. Simply look for the second tentacle either side of the ship standing vertically with its mouth wide open, then unload as much damage on its maw as possible. Very soon, the tentacle's grip will loosen and the fight can resume.
To complete the battle and banish the kraken back to the depths from whence it came, you'll need to defeat 2-3 tentacles on a sloop, 5-6 on a brigantine, and 7-8 on a galleon.
Kraken loot explained - what do you get for killing the kraken?
Each defeated tentacle will drop 1 or 2 pieces of loot at its base, which is one reason why it can be beneficial to drop your anchor at the start of a kraken encounter if you're confident in what you're doing - you won't need to sail around looking for treasure that you may have drifted past much, much earlier. Rewards are drawn from an extremely large loot pool, so you can expect anything from treasure chests of all types to trinkets to skulls to gems.
Additionally, each defeated tentacle will drop one piece of Kraken Meat. This can be cooked and eaten for a health boost, but you might prefer to hand if over to a Hunter's Call trading company representative at any seapost. You'll be rewarded with XP to increase your standing with the Hunter's Call, and will receive up to 450 gold for a perfectly cooked bit of meat.
Getting started? Read what to do in Sea of Thieves and take take part in the Maiden Voyage tutorial, which teaches you the essentials of sailing and ship battles. It's also useful for beginners to know how to survive fights with skeletons and the kraken. Elsewhere we have advice on how to get easy gold and doubloons, complete skeleton forts and The Shroudbreaker, take part in fishing in Sea of Thieves and Sea of Thieves island maps.
What commendations can you get for killing the kraken?
There are several Commendations and related rewards associated with defeating the kraken:
- Defeat 1 kraken to earn the Kraken Hunter commendation and earn 10 doubloons
- Defeat 5 kraken to earn the Master Kraken Hunter commendation and earn 20 doubloons
- Defeat 10 kraken to earn the Legendary Kraken Hunter commendation and earn 50 doubloons
These commendation will respectively unlock the Kraken Capstan, Kraken Wheel, and Kraken Cannon for purchase at any shipwright.