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Mortal Kombat 11: How to Play

Introduction


Mortal Kombat 11 is NetherRealm Studios’ latest addition to the popular blood-soaking franchise. We see the return of fan-favorites, such as Scorpion and Sub-Zero, as well as the debut of some never-before-seen characters. With a new game comes an entirely new system and mechanics. Here’s a general breakdown on how the game works and all of its new mechanics.

Gameplay


Like all NetherRealm Studios titles, the game is played on a 2-D playing field. Each character has 1000 health points and must deplete their opponent’s health to win the round. Some characters however will have differing health points, making them easier or more difficult to take down. You win the match by winning 2 rounds. Characters must use a variety of attacks and perform combos in order to achieve this. There are also 2 meter gauges displayed at the bottom of the screen: the Offensive Meter and Defensive Meter, each with 2 bars that automatically charge over time. These meters can be used to perform enhanced versions of attacks and allow for certain mechanics to be used.

Mechanics


1. Amplify

Special Moves can be Amplified to perform an enhanced version of the move. Amplifying a move generally costs 1 bar of Offensive Meter, but some moves require Defensive Meter as well. To Amplify a move you must press the Interact (AMP) button after inputting the Special Move.

2. Krushing Blow

Krushing Blows are powerful high-damaging attacks that can only be done after meeting certain requirements. These requirements differ per Krushing Blow. Each Krushing Blow can also only be used once per match. To perform a Krushing Blow you must hold the last button that is used for the move. For example, to perform a Down+2 Krushing Blow you must hold 2 after inputting the Down+2.

IMPORTANT: By default, Krushing Blows will trigger automatically once the requirements are met. It is strongly advised to change this setting to “HOLD” so that by holding the button down you’ll be able to decide whether you want to use the Krushing Blow or not.

3. Fatal Blow

Fatal Blows are a character’s most-damaging attack and can only be done once your health reaches 30% or lower. Fatal Blows have armor which means they will absorb any incoming attack. Many Fatal Blows also have a large hurtbox or cover a good portion of the screen which makes them difficult to avoid. You can only use a character’s Fatal Blow once per match if it hits, but if it’s blocked or misses then there will be a short period of time before being able to use it again. To perform a Fatal Blow you must press Stance Switch+Block (SS+Block).

4. Flawless Block

Flawless Block is done by perfectly blocking any attack within 3 frames upon contact. You take reduced chip damage for Flawless Blocking an attack. This damage reduction applies to any subsequential follow-up attacks within a string. Some moves if Flawless Blocked will also leave the user at a greater disadvantage which can cause them to be punishable.

After successfully performing a Flawless Block, you can perform a counterattack by either pressing Up+2 or Up+3 at the cost of 1 bar of Offensive Meter and 1 bar of Defensive Meter. Up+2 will launch the opponent for a full combo, but will not have armor. Up+3 on the other hand will not launch the opponent but will have armor.

5. Getup

A Getup is a move that can be done after being knocked down. There are a few different types of Getups.

Getup Attack — This is a counterattack that can be done by either pressing Up+2 or Up+3 at the cost of 1 bar of Offensive Meter and 1 bar of Defensive Meter. Similar to after performing a Flawless Block, Up+2 will launch the opponent for a full combo but will not have armor, whereas Up+3 will not launch but will have armor. Typically, Up+2 is useful against aerial attacks and Up+3 is useful against grounded attacks.

Roll Escape — This is a defensive maneuver that allows you to roll forward or backward at the cost of 1 bar of Defensive Meter. Roll Escapes are armored and can only be beaten with a throw or if the opponent waits for the roll before attacking. Roll Escapes can be great against attacks with high recovery as you can roll and then whiff punish the opponent before they are able to block. To perform a Roll Escape you must press Stance Switch+Back (SS+Back) or Stance Switch+Forward (SS+Forward).

Delayed Getup — This allows you to stay knocked down for a longer period of time in order to avoid your opponent’s attacks. To perform a Delayed Getup you must hold the SS button while knocked down.

6. Hop

A Hop is done by lightly tapping the Up (Up) button. Your character will perform a short hop off the ground and will be able to perform 2 different attacks from it. Hops are generally good to avoid low attacks. Attacks done from a Hop hit as overheads which can be used for mix-ups when coupled with low attacks.

7. Breakaway

A Breakaway, or Air Escape, allows you to escape a combo at the cost of 2 bars of Defensive Meter. Breakaways are armored which prevents you from being hit out of them. It should be noted that Breakaway is not a guaranteed way of escaping a combo as there are moves that have an Armor Break property that will destroy the armor from a Breakaway. To perform a Breakaway you must press Down+Block (Down+Block) while in a combo.


Understanding the game and learning how to utilize all of the mechanics are essential when playing Mortal Kombat 11. Thanks for reading and I hope this guide proves to be useful for anyone trying to learn the game.

Last Updated on January 3, 2020

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Ruo
Ruo
17 days ago

I am new to the game. Thank you for the guide.

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 months ago

very good Guide!

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Is there a printable version of this entire guide? Its really helpful and well made!

Tifffylove
Tifffylove
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Agreed !!

Ameliah
Ameliah
2 years ago

Your so good, taking the time and making the effort to put all this together.. To be honest, when I first loaded MK11 in my ps4, and picked my fighter, and realised like mkx you could view three move list, when all that FRAME DATA, & crap came up, I THOUGHT I WAS PLAYING A TOTALLY DIFFERENT GAME.. even the tutorial,i was like “SAAAAYYY WHHHAAAAA?? “All the different ways moves have been given a numbered meter which determines the amount of damage you give, amplified moves and the defense and offense gauges,And the long inputs for combos, ,which I’m still… Read more »

Daliz
Daliz
2 years ago

Great guide! I appreciate the effort you do to make our initial journey into MK and fighting games more easy 🙂

Jeremiah
Jeremiah
2 years ago

Love the guides and the effort you put in. Thanks alot.

Nice website.

Sam Fisher
Sam Fisher
2 years ago

Great guides. I’m a beginner at fighting games but planning to get good at MK11

inflames
inflames
2 years ago

Raptor saving the NRS community

VSM REDRUM
VSM REDRUM
2 years ago

Great stuff

Collins
Collins
2 years ago

I completely suck at fighting games… butni love mk 11 and want to be good. where should I start.

Kombat Akademy