The Kraken Royale is a superb addition to any slayer's toolkit. As a reworked version of the Kraken from the original game, it serves many of the same functions. It excels at splatting or dispersing enemies, can serve as a way to retreat in a pinch, and can even be put to use as a defensive application.
- The Kraken Royale turns the player into a Kraken, a form which has total invincibility from enemy attacks:
- The special has 1.5 seconds of startup lag before it takes effect.
- Enemy attacks knock you back a bit when not charging or using a charged attack: attacks that hit several times at once, such as the Crab Tank and Triple Inkstrike confer more knockback.
- As of 3.1.0, the Kraken Royale drops all of the user's clams (or the Power Clam they're carrying) when activated.
- Activating the Kraken Royale near contested areas can give your team the edge they need to swoop in and force out the enemy:
- A Kraken Royale in certain Splat Zones, such as those of Um'ami Ruins or Undertow Spillway, can chase away enemies more easily, allowing the rest of the team to get in and anchor themselves: the reduced size of the zone almost always means an easier time splatting front-line opponents, spelling certain doom for them if they don't flee.
- The hitbox of the Kraken Royale is very large: this, combined with its invincibility, lets it serve as a makeshift shield for teammates. This is especially useful in Rainmaker or Clam Blitz, as the Kraken Royale protects the Rainmaker or Power Clam carrier from the front and paints ahead towards the objective while they follow closely behind. If the Power Clam or Rainmaker carrier is close enough behind the Kraken Royale, they'll be safe from the back and sides as well.
- The Kraken Royale can be used to easily score free points in Rainmaker: it can quickly detonate the barrier around the Rainmaker, then can charge into it to move ahead unimpeded.
- The Kraken Royale is also very good at taking out airborne or armored specials. The Inkjet is a sitting duck to the Kraken Royale's spin attack, as its horizontal speed is somewhat slow and the only means it has to get higher up is a small midair hop. The Crab Tank also easily falls to the Kraken Royale, as it can be quickly destroyed by hitting it with a charge attack, then performing a Squid Roll attack to hit the cockpit immediately after. The armor on the Booyah Bomb also falls quickly to repeated spin attacks from the Kraken Royale, allowing them to neutralize a weapon that can rapidly stop a push if the user can spot it before it launches.
- The Kraken Royale has reduced knockback while preparing a charge attack and negates knockback while using a charged attack, allowing the user to weather rapid fire such as that from a Crab Tank.
- Bombs that come into contact with the Kraken Royale are instantly defused, letting the user consume otherwise lethal blasts and shield the user's team.
- A Kraken Royale can also be used as an escape tool, as the invincibility allows the user to get away unharmed, then circle back to the fight upon de-transforming.
Despite being very powerful in the right hands, a Kraken Royale also has some notable weaknesses:
- The startup lag and endlag can end your push before it starts if an enemy gets a hold of you, as you can't fight back during this time.
- The Kraken Royale makes a very audible shimmering noise during the startup lag phase, alerting enemies to either focus on you or run: as of 3.1.0, this noise is even more audible
- If a Kraken Royale is trying to focus down one member of the enemy team, this means the other three members may have to engage in a 3v3.
- Unlike its prior incarnation, the Kraken, the Kraken Royale cannot Super Jump, preventing it from aiding allies as easily and limiting its mobility options.
- The Kraken Royale isn't affected by gear abilities: consequentially, this means that the drinks of a Tacticooler may be going out to three teammates instead of all four.
- The Kraken Royale is slowed down drastically on uninkable surfaces.
- The Kraken Royale travels slightly slower when traveling up walls, and when performing a Squid Surge, its upward movement is slower than that of the standard swim form.
- As of 3.1.0, the Kraken is effectively unable to get onto the tower, as it suffers drastically increased knockback on its surface akin to the nerfed versions of the Bubbler or Kraken, usually enough to slap it off with a bit of fire or one hit from a melee weapon type such as a roller.
The Kraken Royale is a slayer's weapon first and foremost, with its high speed and versatile attacks being tailor-made to splat enemies in little time. It doesn't offer as much as far as direct teamwork is concerned, but on its own, it more than makes up for the difference.
Weapons that have the Big Bubbler, such as the Splattershot Jr. or Splat Roller, are good partners for the Kraken Royale. Deploying one on a contested area like a Splat Zone or tower right as the other is about to end can extend the amount of time you can protect it. The Kraken Royale can also reach backliners very easily due to its ability to swim up walls automatically, forcing them to flee or get splatted, taking some pressure off of the short-ranged weapons.
Deploying the Kraken Royale at the same time as a lethal area denial special, such as the Triple Inkstrike or Booyah Bomb, will mean opponents will get either distracted performing damage control or pressured by the special, allowing the Kraken Royale to activate in stealth and take out opponents unawares. Alternately, you can activate the Kraken to drive opponents towards an area and trap them, then let your ally deploy the other special to take multiple of them out before they can react while fleeing from you.
A good Kraken Royale is a thorn in any team's side, but it's far from unbeatable. There are several weaknesses one can exploit to stop a Kraken Royale's rampage.
- The Kraken Royale starts flashing red when it's about to end, notifying you when to start trying to run out the special or fight back rather than flee or dodge.
- A Splash Wall placed in a chokepoint can buy a bit of time when a Kraken Royale attempts to contest an objective, as they can't destroy them in one hit, forcing them to brute force the wall or find another way around.
- Kraken Royales cannot travel over grates, a weakness shared with its original incarnation. If you stand on top of a grate, the Kraken Royale can't reach you, allowing you to shoot it from above and promptly pick it off as soon as it expires. Bear in mind, however, that this won't work with low enough grates, such as the pathways in Mincemeat Metalworks, as the Kraken's spin attack can still reach you there.
- A Triple Inkstrike or Booyah Bomb can force a Kraken away from the objective due to the increased knockback on it. Try throwing the Booyah Bomb in particular when the Kraken is about to expire, as unless the user can get away from the special, it will detonate in the endlag phase and splat them.
- Keep an eye on what weapons have a Kraken Royale in their kits. If you can spot them and take them down during the startup lag phase, you can keep them from contesting the objective entirely.
- The Kraken Royale's charge attack displays a brief glint in its eyes and plays a noise similar to the Squid Surge. Prepare to sidestep when you hear this noise. In addition, the charge attack can also be jumped over with proper timing.
- The strategy of "taming" the Kraken Royale, shooting at it so that it can't fight back, is less effective than using it on the original Kraken due to the addition of the charge attack, but it still works. With proper dodging, a Kraken Royale won't be able to do as much to a weapon with a high fire rate.