Cloaking makes your units immune to detection by sight and radar, which amounts to near perfect invisibility when dry; however, submerged and swimming units can still be detected by sonar even if cloaked.
Cloaking will fail to work in the following conditions:
- The unit takes damage. After a few seconds of taking no damage, the cloak will reactivate again. Damage-over-time effects (like being on fire or in acidic water) will prevent cloak from reactivating for an extended period of time.
- An enemy unit comes within proximity of the cloak. After a few seconds of no proximate enemies, the cloak will reactivate again.
- Insufficient energy to power the cloak.
- The unit is attacking or nanoing. Nanoing consists of any constructor activity such as reclaiming and repairing, that requires the use of a nanolathe. An exception to this rule is the Phantom (Sniper Walker), which is the only unit that can remain cloaked while attacking, and the resurrecting process, which can be carried out while cloaked by both the Athena (Flying Spec-Ops Constructor) and Commanders equipped with the Lazarus Device resurrection module.
- The unit is stunned or disarmed.
- The unit walks into range of a sonar-equipped enemy while being in water. This does not decloak the unit but it will be visible as a radar dot.
Some units come equipped with a personal cloak. Their cloak costs a small amount of energy to maintain while stationary, and a greater amount of energy while moving. These units are good for sneaking past heavy defenses to reach valuable economic targets at the back of the enemy base. They are also great for spying on enemy positions without being seen.
Area Cloakers (Cornea, Iris, Commanders with Area Cloak module) will render most units inside the cloaking radius invisible. Any other cloak-capable units that have their personal cloak on while inside the radius will not cost any energy to power their personal cloaks, and there is no additional cloak cost for moving, either. This can lead to a potent boost to your economy if you use this feature to negate the cloaking cost of several high-maintenance units, like Skuttles or an Ultimatum.
Units receive a standardized decloak radius when affected by area cloak. This is most useful for Skuttles as they can sneak much closer to enemies without their usual massive decloak radius. Of course this combination has other vulnerabilities as an area cloaker must be nearby. The decloak radius change is not applied to units which are actively area cloaking, the large decloak radius of Iris cannot be mitigated.
All structures aside from Cornea (the Area Cloaker building) are not affected by area cloak. It is also impossible to cloak any shield-projecting unit such as Thug, Felon, Convict and Aspis. Note that a personal cloak module has no effect on a shield projecting commander.
Area cloakers come with a jammer, this can be useful to conceal bases from radar even though they cannot be cloaked. The mobile version can help to hide and reposition armies stealthily.
Energy Usage chart
All cloak-capable units (save Fleas, Blastwings and crawling bombs) require a nominal energy upkeep to maintain their cloak.
|Unit||Stationary cost||Moving cost||Unit||Stationary cost||Moving cost|
|Unit||Jammer cost||Self-cloak cost||Field cost|
Commanders are also able to cloak and jam by installing relevant modules.
|Unit||Stationary cost||Moving cost|
|Personal Cloak Module||5||10|
|Area Cloak Module||15|
Decloak Radius chart
Any units not listed here are assumed to have a decloak radius of exactly 75 elmos (unit of distance in ZK). Remember that radii larger than 75 will be set to 75 when affected by an area cloaker.