Deep Space Kraken

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The Deep Space Kraken was the name given by the community to a bug prior to version 0.17. The name Kraken comes from the legendary deep sea creature that supposedly attacked and sometimes destroyed ancient sailors' ships, a good analogy for "something" unexplainedly attacking and destroying players' ships. Since the original bug was fixed, "Kraken" has become a symbol for many bugs, which are often not related to the original bug.

The Deep Space Kraken was a famous bug and is namesake of other bugs in Kerbal Space Program. It was removed with version 0.17. The bug could be triggered by moving at high velocities in the game. The cause was that KSP prior to 0.17 would move the ship in space, instead of moving space around the ship. The high velocities caused floating point errors in the code which caused parts to be slightly misaligned or misplaced on the ship which would in turn cause the physics engine to detect the parts breaking off or colliding.

A fix was implemented in 0.17, involving offsetting velocity to the universe around the vessel meaning that the focused vessel will always be at a low speed. However, this caused a similar bug to appear, called the Deep Space Cthulhu, which can break apart ships when quickly switching out of high time accelerations (as of 0.17). Another side effect of this fix is that the Kraken can strike vessels which are passed closely and at very high speed, because the speed is offloaded to them instead of the active vessel.

One of the Easter Eggs in the game is a dead deep space Kraken that can be found on Bop, the small rocky moon orbiting Jool.

Fan-attributed Krakens

This is a list of bugs that are attributed to the Kraken bug but are actually the result of physics glitches.

General Kraken

The gyro kraken strikes a lone kerbal!

General Kraken or The Kraken mainly occurs during interplanetary travel. General Kraken only breaks a few parts of a spacecraft which may then collide and result in explosions. The Kraken may also force parts slowly through each other and result in catastrophic explosion. Unlike the Cthulhu, the Kraken tends to attack when exiting the Map View and IVA mode. This Kraken was largely fixed much earlier in the KSP development, with a system officially named "krakensbane" which changed the reference point from Kerbin to the current vessel, thus reducing the rounding errors that started the chain reaction.

Gyro Kraken

Gyro Kraken is when a spacecraft will spin around and vibrate so intensely that the spacecraft will be obliterated. The rate of spinning is so extreme that it is impossible to be replicated manually. This is actually a bug with parts clipping through each other and colliding with each other, causing what is also known as 'ghost forces'. On occasion, it will appear as though something is hitting your craft at high speeds rather than just spinning out of control.

Warp Kraken

Warp Kraken is a bug that attacks Kerbals exiting spacecraft that have just come out of a high time warp. Upon contact with the surface the bug causes the kerbal to be shot out of the solar system at an insane velocity (possibly exceeding the speed of light) while destroying all spacecraft in the vicinity.

Deep Space Cthulhu

Deep Space Cthulhu is a fan-made term for a version 0.17 bug similar to the Kraken, except it only seems to attack when exiting high time warp speeds. Instead of adding phantom forces, Deep Space Cthulhu instead tends to detach parts from one another. In milder, yet more infuriating forms, Deep Space Cthulhu will instead detach small groups of engines, making it impossible to perform orbital burns. Cthulhu is a cosmic entity from H.P. Lovecraft's novels, and bears a slight resemblance to a Kraken. It has been reported that Cthulhu can attack ships that are still on the launch pad when coming out of a high time warp.

Wormhole Kraken

The Wormhole Kraken has been reported to affect ships as they are leaving Kerbin's atmosphere. If there is a lot of weight below a decoupler (which is most likely also the center of mass), the rocket will clip through itself. While in Kerbin's low atmosphere, the bottom part of the link will start moving faster than the top due to the normal acceleration. Once the top of this broken part passes the actual top of the rocket, the entire rocket will obliterate itself, leaving no two pieces attached.

Hell Kraken

The Hell Kraken
Mun rover loaded again after being affected by the hell kraken (v. 0.22)

The Hell Kraken is a bug which was discovered during the 0.21 version. It seems to strike when a kerbonaut on EVA hits a celestial body's surface, causing the screen to turn black, with the UI remaining though. The altitude will remain at 2/3 Mm which displays as "666,666 m". As of version 0.23, the altitude GUI will display "666,666", and will change numbers rapidly like so: "666,666"-"555,555"-"444,444", etc.

The navball also disappears, and when returning to the space center, the screen remains black and the game must be manually closed from the desktop. This kraken is particularly dangerous because when encountered on the surface of a planet, it causes all craft in the vicinity to be destroyed, and those left are shot out of Kerbol orbit. The log in Debug Toolbar shows "look viewing vector is zero". As of V0.90, the game may completely crash instead of freezing in this state.

NaN Kraken

The NaN Kraken is a bug which can only be evoked if the orbits of celestial bodies are altered, via a mod or the alteration of the game's code. If a ship is on the surface of a planet, and another planet is suddenly moved so that the craft is within its SoI, the sudden change in gravity will cause the craft to go towards the latter at incredible speeds, and will sometimes even go through a planet to accomplish this. Please note that the gravity of the second planet does not have to be greater as only one gravity source is allowed at any given time.

Kore Kraken

This bug was discovered in KSP version 0.22. This type of Kraken will only occur when parts somehow manage to come to rest below the surface of the sea of Kerbin. When resumed some parts may not make contact with the ground and can actually float through the ground and towards the core of the planet. When the parts get near enough to the core of the planet, they will gain extreme speeds (about 97.8% of the speed of light) and shoot out towards infinity, not actually hitting the far side of Kerbin (likely because tick-based physics at high speeds can easily "miss" collisions) when they shoot out.

6 Death Kraken

The 6 Death Kraken attacks mostly during early launch stages. It strikes craft that are inside of Kerbin's atmosphere. Around 6,000 meters, at random, the craft will accelerate suddenly, blasting out of view. The trajectory will wobble extremely fast. The engine sound will become warped and robotic-sounding. It is impossible to recover from this form of the Kraken, as the craft is out of view and extremely likely to crash. You can save your Kerbal by going on EVA out of the ship and hope you survive. Reverting back to "Launch" or "VAB/SPH" may not fix it, as this Kraken will most likely strike again. The only way to vanquish this kraken is to re-install the game. The 6 Death Kraken has not been confirmed in .24 or .25.

Ass Kraken

The Ass Kraken - the worst of them all

The Ass Kraken, discovered by forum user Clockwork13, is a rare kraken that occurs while loading quicksaves. It makes the screen get completely wiped out by those red fire particles that can be seen when entering atmospheres. The screen then turns white, and the game needs to be manually closed. Once the game is restarted, all of ships will disappear except for EVAs and Flags. Occasionally debris in orbit around the sun will survive. When reopening the save, it says that the parts to just about all of ships are missing. This doesn't just affect ships but also affects the research. All archives go unharmed, but random parts go missing. The node is still researched, just a lot of parts require another entry fee to gain access to them again. There seem to be varying degrees of Ass Kraken, sometimes deleting parts and ships, and other times leaving them unharmed. This is probably the most devastating, but rarest kraken. The Ass Kraken has been confirmed in .90, so be careful with the quickloading.

Ass Kraken after unpausing for the first time
Ass Kraken unpaused :note the hud failure

Ghost Kraken

The Ghost Kraken is a bug when entering time warp. The ship being controlled will bend until most of the parts have detached. Phantom forces will pull parts down to the planet until they crash into it. It is possible that when you reselect the ship's command pod the ship will duplicate itself and will be okay. It is impossible to time warp while being affected by this kraken because the parts are under acceleration.

Map Kraken

The Map Kraken - You screwed something up.

Appears in 0.24 only in the map screen when switching directly to it the moment you get on the launch pad. The vessel will be destroyed and blasted through your map screen as you stand by, helpless to say a word. This is an 'Ultra-rare' Kraken and has not been able to be reproduced. (This may be due to the fact that the incident shown to the right occurred in the presence of mods.)

Kerbal Kraken

This Kraken occurs in 0.24 & 0.24.2 when the player attempts to edit save file configuration settings of the original three astronauts--or possibly all active astronauts--at any time, whether the game is running or not. If a player attempts to edit something in the .Persistent file in the save folder, the game will glitch, causing the player to be unable to access the VAB and SPH. The player can access Mission Control, R & D, The Tracking Station, and the Astronaut Complex; However, when attempting to return to the KSC screen, the screen becomes locked and stuck. The player can still click buttons and control some parts of the game, but cannot exit the current building or the save file. The only fix is to delete the affected save file. This Kraken is particularly dangerous because it requires you to delete the entire save file.

In .90, a version of this Kraken can appear when you fire a Kerbal (even one who is MIA) if that Kerbal had completed an achievement (such as first flight, first Mun landing, altitude records, etc.). Editing the save file to add the Kerbal back in with the "Dead" status will allow the game to work normally while still freeing up the slot to hire another kerbonaut. There is a fix among the Stock Bug Fix Modules that will prevent this bug from happening, but any save already hit by this will still need to be manually edited.

Space Center Kraken

This Kraken occurs rarely when you build a vehicle that extends beyond the VAB or SPH limits, upon leaving either It causes you to zoom in near the VAB, and freezes your camera control. It is difficult but not impossible to access the main menu from this state but the game must be restarted in order to access the save file in which it occurred again without this kraken appearing. This has only been observed in versions .24, and .24.2, and was reported by wiki user TJ McCaustland.

Launchpad Kraken

This Kraken occurs any time an exceptionally large spacecraft is placed on the launchpad in version 0.25. Once the craft has loaded, the weight of the spacecraft triggers the explosion sequence of the launchpad, destroying first the launchpad, and then breaking the craft apart and sending any surviving pieces flying in different directions. The remaining pieces can then destroy other facilities. This can be avoided by using Launch Stability Enhancers to elevate the heavy craft above the launchpad. This may not be an actual Kraken, rather a bug associated with version 0.25. Still, it's something to worry about.

Solar Kraken

This Kraken happens very rarely when switching to a ship in a 180 degree inclination in an orbit. Then, it destroys the entire solar system, removes the orbit indicators, and leaves only your ship, and some random parts flying near you, even if you haven't unlocked them with science left. Reloading the game fixes this.

Phase Kraken

Phase Kraken is when parts of spacecraft will clip inwards through itself when anchored weakly and enough thrust is applied. This phasing happens not vertically, but rotating inwards around an anchor point. Usually happens with boosters, the parts will phase through the craft at time warp and eventually explode, either because you leave time warp or the thrust stops being applied at it whips back and the other ends collide, destroying all parts in the explosion radius. Note: this may fall under another Kraken or not actually be a Kraken, but I consider it to a a Kraken, and it's own one. Known to exist in 1.0.4.

Rover Kraken

A possible new kraken, it occurs frequently when testing rovers on Kerbin. Rovers will hit invisible bumps, coming a few meters off of the ground and will usually land wheels up. Any rover with combustible parts is usually destroyed on impact. It appears to be very common in 1.0.4.

Docking Kraken

The Docking Kraken is when a craft moving to intercept another vessel will suddenly and inexplicably gain velocity according to its instruments, though it does not appear to gain any actual velocity. The target also appears to move backwards along its orbital trajectory. This makes docking virtually impossible, unless the player is very good at flying by eye. It is presently unknown what causes it, or any fixes save switching to the tracking station until both vessels are within visual range of one another, and then focusing on the vessel you want to dock.


  • (Bug fix) 'Off loading' velocity to the universe alleviated this problem, though it still exists in 'new' form.