There are many dangers in Sea of Thieves — from pirate crews to skeletons to deadly storms. The most terrifying among them, though, is the Kraken, a giant sea monster that tries to sink ships and eat pirates.
The Kraken isn’t so much a boss you hunt down as it is a hazard that appears at random, attacking ships with its huge tentacles. When that happens, crews have to drop everything and make a major coordinated effort just to save their ship and their lives. The Kraken is tough and can be deadly. Normally, your goal should just be to do enough damage to get out of its clutches and escape. That said, it isn’t invincible — you can defeat the Kraken. A crew working together can fend it off and force the beast to retreat back into the depths.
We’ve already got guides to get you started, teaching you to sail, fight other crews, and make a living as a lone pirate in Sea of Thieves. Here’s everything you need to know about how to escape from, and even kill, the Kraken.
Watch for the inky water
You can’t go hunting for the Kraken, but you can prepare for the fight if you know what to look for. The Kraken attacks ships seemingly at random, but it does seem to prefer breaking down galleons — crews of three or four — rather than sloops, smaller boats with one or two players. While you’re sailing, keep an eye out for the water around your ship to turn black. When the water gets inky, you know you’re about to get attacked. The warning gives you a few seconds to prepare as it stops your ship. If you see the sign, you’ll want to quickly load up on cannonballs, planks, and bananas, and switch your gun to the sniper rifle.
It’s generally a good idea to constantly stock up on resources every time you visit an island. This is one of the many reasons why.
Blast the tentacles
When the Kraken attacks, you’ll see a host of tentacles popping up around your ship. Blasting them with your cannons is your primary way of damaging the Kraken. When a tentacle takes enough damage, it will retreat under the water — when you get rid of all of them, the Kraken will leave your ship behind and return to the depths.
At any given time, some of the tentacles will swing in close to your ship to attack you, while others hang back further out in the water. To keep your teammates alive, you generally want to focus on shooting the closer, more active ones as they swoop in to scoop up you and your crew.
You can hit the tentacles in any place to damage them, but each tentacle has a “head” at the end of it, and as it approaches your ship, the head will often open up to reveal a “mouth” inside. Tentacles take significantly more damage and withdraw more quickly if you hit them in their heads. Cannons do the most damage, of course, but they’re hard to use accurately to nail the tentacles. If you’re having trouble nailing tentacle heads with a cannonball, you should swap out your gun for the sniper rifle from your ship’s weapons stores. Shooting the Kraken with a gun doesn’t do as much damage, but a shot to the head seems to be meaningful. Working together to do as much damage as you can is key to surviving the attack.
Note that gunpowder barrels will work on the Kraken, but we don’t really suggest using one unless you’re getting desperate. It’s more or less impossible to explode a gunpowder barrel on your ship without dealing heavy damage to everything around. That means the best bet is to throw a gunpowder barrel in the water and shoot it when it nears a tentacle, something that’s hard to perform without practice, especially in the chaos of battle.
Counter the Kraken’s attacks
When the Kraken appears, its tentacles will surround the ship. They’re dangerous in a number of ways, and you need to do everything you can to mitigate the damage they do to your ship and your crew. Luckily, the Kraken tentacles only have two attacks, and both of them can be countered with concentrated attacks by your entire team.
First, it uses its mouth to suck up a member of your crew, grabbing them off the deck of the ship. You take damage while you’re in the tentacle’s mouth, and it can also fling you way off into the water or slam you down against the deck of the ship. If one of your crewmates gets nabbed by a tentacle, it’s a good idea for the crew to turn their attention and unload on it — if you do enough damage, the Kraken will release them. You can’t use your gun on a tentacle when it has you inside its mouth, but you can hack at it with your sword.
Second, the Kraken goes after the ship itself, slamming a tentacle across the bow to do damage to your hull. When that happens, again, it’s best for the whole crew to turn its attention to the attacking tentacle and wail on it. You can slice the tentacles with your swords when they’re on the deck to damage them, and it’s best to lay into them with everything you have to get rid of them quickly.
Beware of swimming on the surface
Chances are pretty good that at least some of your crew will find themselves in the water at some point during a Kraken attack. When that happens, you need to be careful. While the Kraken’s tentacles won’t go after you while you’re in the water, you will take continuous damage from the ink that spreads over the attack area. To minimize the damage, swim beneath the surface as much as possible. The ink floats on the top of the water, so you only have to take damage when you come up for air or get back on your ship.
Keep up with repairs
The fight with the Kraken can be perilous as you find tentacles popping up or disappearing beneath the waves. With crew members getting snagged by tentacles and tossed overboard, it can be easy to forget that your ship itself is under assault. Make sure your crew is frequently dropping below deck to patch up leaks. It might even be prudent to designate one member of your crew specifically to keep your ship from sinking throughout the battle. The Kraken can do a lot of damage, and if there is a lapse in your attention, it might take you down to the depths with it.
Make your escape
In case it wasn’t clear before, we want to make sure you know: You do not have to kill the Kraken! Even if you want to, though, it’s a matter of pride. We understand — but you should be prepared to cut bait and flee rather than to stand up to it.
Depending on whether you’re losing crew to attacks or taking massive damage, making a getaway might be the best way to stay alive (and keep any treasure you have onboard). You can simply sail away from the Kraken once you knock out enough of its tentacles, and it’s worth noting that if you get attacked while you’re on the move, your sails will still be down and anchor up, so this can happen even by accident. If you can sail out of the inky water, you’ll escape the Kraken’s wrath, so blast away at the tentacles until you can start moving again.
If you are intentionally going after the Kraken, you may not want to be carrying much loot while you do. If there is booty aboard, it’s a good idea to prepare your rowboat with the most important spoils so you can be ready to unleash it and row away while the Kraken is distracted by your ship.
Shrouded Spoils update
The Shrouded Spoils update for Sea Thieves made some notable changes to the Kraken encounter that adventurers should be aware of. First, the overall difficulty of all Kraken encounters was increased, making the monster more difficult to defeat (in our experience, only experienced teams are really suited for surviving a Kraken attack now).
Second, the Kraken can now attack any type of ship or crew size. It doesn’t matter if you’re sailing the sloop — the Kraken can still attack. However, the encounter is now balanced based on your crew size, so you can expect the battle to be easier if you’re sailing alone.
Third, the Kraken now has slightly-changed patterns and a brand new slap attack that can do heavy damage. Some players have found that the Kraken can now wrap around the stairs in smaller ships and entirely block access to below deck, essentially dooming the ship to sinking. If this happens to your crew, try saber charging as much as possible at the tentacle to drive it away in time.
Your tentacular rewards
The Kraken fight is tough, but it isn’t really a boss battle. (The folks at Rare describe it as more of a force of nature, like a storm.) The good news is that loot is dropped based on tentacle, so you only need to defeat one tentacle to get at least a small prize, as long as you escape with your life and ship intact. Each tentacle downed will drop some Kraken meat and a couple of pieces of valuable loot. Down a lot of tentacles, and your reward could be extensive. You will also unlock the “Kraken Good Job” achievement for your trouble.