KrakenX Protocol

I want to give a special thanks to Jonas Malaco for his help with building out KrakenX support in NZXTSharp, and his work in reverse engineering the KrakenX protocol.

This document describes the HID communication protocol for NZXT KrakenX (x42, x52, x62, x72) devices. The vendor ID for NZXT is 0x1e71, and the device id for KrakenX devices is 0x170e.

CAM receives device information about once/ second, I call these “status reports”. CAM also consistently sends packets to the Kraken device. The packets sent from CAM are meant to set the pump/ fan speeds based on whatever pump/ fan profile is currently set. Jonas Malaco


KrakenX devices have no hello or goodbye handshake process.

Status Reports

The Kraken device continuously sends status reports upstream to the PC. These reports are always 0x40 bytes long. So far, information about how to get pump/ fan speeds, liquid temp, and firmware version. Here is how to get that information from a status report: In the following examples, data refers to the array of bytes last received from the device (zero-indexed).

Pump Speed: data[4] << 8 | data[5] - << is the bitwise left-shift operator, and | is the bitwise OR operator.

Fan Speed: data[4] * 0x100 + data[5]

Liquid Temp: data[0] + (data[1] * 0.1) - The liquid temp value in degrees C, unrounded.

Firmware Version:
  • Major: data[10]
  • Minor: (int)data[12].ToString() + data[13].ToString()


If you want custom pump/ fan speeds to be set, the KrakenX device requires “overrides” at least once every 10 seconds, or the device will revert back to the CAM default “performance profile”. The override buffer schema is as follows:

Pump: 0x02, 0x4d, 0x40, 0x00, (byte)Speed - Speed is the desired speed as a percentage.

Fan: 0x02, 0x4d, 0x00, 0x00, (byte)Speed - Speed is the desired speed as a percentage.

Set Effect

The process of setting an RGB effect is similar to how it is with the Hue+. RGB Effect packets are always 65 bytes long. There are 5 settings bytes at the beginning, then 9 G, R, B color codes, then padding out to the 65 length with 0x00. The 9 GRB color codes are for the 8 LEDs in the ring, and the one in the logo. Even when effects are set on just the logo or ring, there are still 9 color codes. The first 8 seem to be for the ring, and the last is for the logo.

The settings bytes schema is as follows: 0x02, 0x4c, Param1, EffectByte, Param2

Below is a table outlining the settings packets for each effect. Bolded param values are defined below in the Param Schemas Section.

Effect Name Packets/ Send     CB/ Param1 EffectByte Param2 Compatible With
Fixed 1 0x02 0x4c CB 0x00 0x02 Both
Fading 1/ Color 0x02 0x4c CB 0x01 CISS Both
SpectrumWave 1 0x02 0x4c DCB 0x02 Speed Both
Marquee 1 0x02 0x4c CB 0x03 LSS Ring Only
CoveringMarquee 1/ Color 0x02 0x4c DCB 0x04 CISS Both (at same time), or Ring Only
Alternating 1/ Color 0x02 0x4c DCBWM 0x05 CISS Ring Only
Breathing 1/ Color 0x02 0x4c CB 0x06 CISS Both
Pulse 1/ Color 0x02 0x4c CB 0x07 CISS Both
TaiChi 2 0x02 0x4c CB 0x08 CISS Ring Only
WaterColor 1 0x02 0x4c CB 0x09 Speed Ring Only
Loading 1 0x02 0x4c CB 0x0a Speed Ring Only
Wings 1 0x02 0x4c CB 0x0c Speed Ring Only

Speed refers to the speed the effect will display at: 0 - 4 where 0 is slowest, and 4 is fastest. 2 is normal.

Param Schemas

The KrakenX shares the CISS and LSS param with the Hue+. The KrakenX does have a couple of its own unique (for now) params:

DCB - Direction/ ChannelByte

This param is a concatenation of two ints:
  • First Byte: Direction – Forward: 0, Backward: 1
  • Second Byte: ChannelByte – The ChannelByte of the channel the effect will be applied to.

DCBWM - Direction/ ChannelByte (With Movement)

This param is only used for the Alternating RGB effect. The desired value can be found with this table:

Direction v; With Movement > True False
Forward 0x0A 0x02
Backward 0x1A 0x12

CIS/S - Color In Set/ Speed

CIS/S params are a composite of a couple values: The index of the current color in a set of colors, and the speed of the effect. Find the values individually, and concatenate them to get the btye to be passed as a param.

  • First Digit: Color In Set. If there are multiple colors being applied, this digit denotes the index of the color.
    • To Find: digit = x * 2
      • x: The color number (Zero Indexed)
  • Second Digit: Speed
    • 0 - 4 where 0 is slowest, and 4 is fastest. 2 is normal.
  • IF Effect only uses one color, first digit is 0.
  • Whole Byte: Concatenate Color In Set (IN HEX), and Speed.
    • Ex: If the effect uses one color, and was at normal speed, the resulting byte would be 02.
    • Ex: If the color is the third one in the set, and the speed is at fastest, the resulting byte would be 44.

LS/S - LED Size/ Speed

To find the desired byte composite, use the table below:

Speed v ; LED Size > 3 4 5 6
Slowest 00 08 10 18
Slow 01 09 11 19
Normal 02 0a 12 1a
Fast 03 0b 13 1b
Fastest 04 0c 14 1c