The Complete Game Guide to Mortal Kombat

From struggling Mortal Kombat newcomer to winning twenty matches in a row and more.

Mortal Kombat Guide

The fighting game genre is considered one of the hardest genres for newcomers to play. Mortal Kombat 11 is one of the easiest fighting games to break into and because of that, it is one of most popular games in the genre. But it can still be a huge challenge.

If you’ve been struggling with the game then don’t worry anymore. With this guide, we’ve gathered essential tips to help you become the next champion of Earthrealm.

We’ve ranked the six best Mortal Kombat games ever! Did your favorite MK game make the top spots?

Character Roster

With the release of Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate, the final edition of the game, there are 37 playable characters to choose from. Each character has their own strengths, weaknesses, and archetype/playstyle. Take the time to play each character to understand their attack moves and how they function, so that you’ll know how to counter them whenever you fight that character.

Character Dlc Pack

Archetypes and Variations

There are three main archetypes of characters:

Rushdown – Characters who excel at aggressive, fast-paced close combat

  • Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Jacqui Briggs, Cassie Cage, Johnny Cage, Scorpion, The Joker, Kung Lao, Sub-Zero, Spawn, Shang Tsung, The Terminator, Nightwolf, Baraka, Mileena, Raiden

Grappler – Characters who utilizes throws and grappling moves to unleash devastating damage

  • Jax Briggs, D’Vorah, Kano, Sheeva, Geras, Kotal Khan, Shao Khan

Zoner – Characters who use long range attacks and projectiles to control the distance or “zone” between them and the opposing player

  • Erron Black, Cetrion, Fujin, Jade, Kollector, Sindel, Noob Saibot, Kitana, Kabal, Frost, Rain, Rambo, Robocap, Skarlet
Mortal Kombat 11 Variations

You can customize loadouts of each characters to create a new variation. Change the cosmetics, costume colors, weapons and fighting abilities to your liking. Please note that you can change the archetype of some characters by drastically changing the abilities of a specific variation.

Tier List

Here is a ranking of every character based on their overall strength and abilities. The ranking goes in order of S-tier, the most powerful and well-rounded characters, down to C-Tier, the weakest group of characters. We recommend that new players start off by playing with strong, top tier characters to compensate for their skills.

S-Tier

  • Liu Kang, Jacqui Briggs, Cetrion, Geras, Jade, The Joker, Erron Black, Fujin

A-Tier

  • Sub-Zero, Johnny Cage, Cassie Cage, Scorpion, Kung Lao, Kotal Khan, Shang Tsung, Spawn, Kabal, Noob Saibot

B-Tier

  • Sheeva, Raiden, Jax Briggs, Mileena, Rain, Nightwolf, Sonya Blade, Frost, Baraka, Kitana, Kano, Sindel, The Terminator, Kollector

C-Tier

  • Rambo, Robocop, Skarlet, D’Vorah, Shao Khan

The Basics of Fighting Games

Let’s briefly go over a few basic aspects of fighting games before we dive into the specific gameplay mechanics of Mortal Kombat. Understanding these fundamental aspects is essential for any fighting game that you play.

Neutral Game

Neutral game, also known as footsies, is when both players do not have an advantage over the other player. Therefore, both players are in a “neutral” position, which is displayed in the following image.

Mortal Kombat Neutral Game

While in neutral, the goal is to land an attack on your opponent and gain the offensive advantage over them while forcing them into the defensive disadvantage. Improving your neutral game is possibly the most important thing you can do if you wish to get better at fighting games.

Spacing and Punishes

Always stay aware of the spacing between you and your opponent. Even more, know how far your attacks can reach. It is crucial to learn to punish your opponent’s attacks that are blocked or missed whenever you can.

A good player can destroy their opponent just by consistently punishing their failed attacks. One way to do this is by walking back and forth to bait an opponent’s attacks, this is better known as the “shimmy”.

Take a look through our fighting game guide for even more advice to level up your skills!

Mechanics of Mortal Kombat 11

Krushing Blows

Krushing Blows are a new feature of the series that deals massive, armor-breaking damage when activated. Each character possesses a few attack moves that contain this powerful attack but each can only be activated once. And, you must to meet the Krushing Blow requirements of the move before you can use them.

Krushing Blow

For instance, the uppercut for all characters becomes a Krushing Blow when it’s a counter hit or punishes an opponent’s high attack. The Krushing Blow will automatically activate unless you change the controls settings to hold the button to use it. This way you can save this incredible move when you need it the most.

Offensive and Defensive Gauge

Effectively use your offensive and defensive gauge to optimize attacks and make use of various defensive and offensive techniques. Although these gauges do slowly regenerate, it will leave you very vulnerable if you waste all of your meter at once.

Amplify your special moves and combos by using half of your offense gauge is the most common use. When you’ve been knocked down and taking pressure, use half of both gauges to perform a quick get-up attack(up + Y/Triangle/X while getting up) to launch the opponent into the air for a juggle combo.

Or use half of the defensive gauge to do an invincible get-up roll (L2+left/right) to slip past opponent. This is especially useful when trapped in the corner.

If you’re being juggled by your opponent then use the full defense gauge to activate a breakaway fall (R2+down). This wraps your character in armor to neglect incoming damage and to fall faster to escape their combo. Be aware that armor-breaking moves such as throws and grapples can still penetrate the armor of the breakaway.

Fatal Blows

A powerful ultimate move called the Fatal Blow is available for use whenever your health drops below 30%. It can only be used once per match so use it wisely. Ideally, you’ll want to save it for the final round of a match.

Liu Kang Fatal Blow

An important fact to remember is that the Fatal Blow does have armor but it is not completely invincible. There’s a chance that your opponent can use a well timed armor-breaking move to stop your Fatal Blow so keep that in mind.

Finish Them!

Finishing off a defeated opponent by using the famous Fatalities of Mortal Kombat is your reward for winning the match. Each character has two fatalities that can be used.

Liu Kang Fatality

Brutalities are another gruesome way to finish off your opponent. Fulfill the requirements of certain moves to activate a game-winning finisher that is just as brutal as the fatality. Use a Friendship to finish the match in a wholesome, humorous way. Or simply punch them if you’re in a hurry to start the next match.

Is the Mortal Kombat movie of 2021 better than the 1995 version? Or is it just as cheesy? Find out now!

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Desmond Harvey
Desmond Harvey

When Desmond isn't writing articles then you can bet that he is working on animation projects, napping or watching documentaries.