When it comes to Combo System in Killer Instinct, the game has taken a few basic techniques from Street Fighter franchise. But in Killer Instinct, combos can be extended significantly like in King of Fighters games.
Killer Instinct Combos
The basic combo system begins with an Opener which is followed by an Auto Double or Manual Double which is then followed by a Linker. A second Auto Double or Manual Double comes after the Linker and the combo is finished with an Ender. Prior to executing the Ender, the combo can be increased according to your preference. However, you need to make sure that you follow the same pattern:
Opener – Auto/Manual – Linker – Auto/Manual – Ender
How To Deal Maximum Damage
Just as you execute an Opener followed by an Auto/Manual, a small part of enemy’s health bar will begin to twinkle. This small portion represents the Potential Damage; the amount of damage which your character has the potential to do. You need to end a combo with an Ender to yield the Potential Damage.
Not being able to complete a combo using an Ender will result in re-filling of the Potential Damage. However, if you execute another combo while the Potential Damage bar is re-filling, you will yield Potential Damage for both current Potential Damage and previous Potential Damage.
As soon as you commence a combo, a small red bar will pop-up on your screen indicating how long a combo can be extended. There are Light, Medium, and Strong attacks. Light Attacks fill up the KV meter quite fast but the damage is not that great.
Medium Attacks are good to use as they fill up the KV meter fast and the damage is also decent. Furthermore, Combo Breakers are very hard to use against Medium Attacks and Light Attacks. Heavy Attacks fill up KV meter very slowly along with an amazing damage output. But since these attacks are quite slow so they are very easy to use a Combo Breaker against them.
Shadow Attacks are really a good way of extending your combos since they don’t fill-up the KV meter at all. Even on a full KV meter, you will be able to launch a Shadow Attack.
There are basically two types of Openers: Manual Openers and Special Openers. Manual Openers are basic ground/crouching/jumping attacks which are followed by an Auto/Manual. Whereas Special Openers are some especial attacks which then lead to a Auto/Manual.
If your opponent is getting on your nerves by executing too many Combo Breakers then you might want to consider about Manual Double which replaces an Auto Double. However, these attacks are very hard to execute and you need very strict timing to pull them off. Combos containing Manual Doubles can be extended and are very hard to break.
Long combos are executed by connecting a Linker after Auto Double or Manual Double. Each character in the game has some special attacks which are used as Linkers. You can refer to Command List in the Options menu to find about each character’s Combo Linkers.
Besides normal Linkers, there are Shadow Linkers which are considerably long and yield more damage. Shadow Linkers are executed exactly like normal Linkers but with a slight change. For example, if you execute a normal Linker by QCB + Medium Kick then the Shadow Linker will be executed by QCB + Medium Kick + Light Kick.
Like the name suggests, Enders are executed at the end of a combo which allows you to end a combo and yield your Potential Damage. There are various Enders at different characters’ disposal and each of them have different uses. E.g. Wall Splat.
Wall Splat allows you to execute another combo after ending your first combo with a specific Ender.
Heavy Punch/Heavy Kick Enders usually result in a Wall Splat. Wall Splat gives your character the room to launch an Opener followed by a new combo. However, it does not reset your KV meter. So keep an eye out for it!
Wall Splats also allow you to get Potential Damage of your combo after the reset and still have the Potential Damage from the previous combo.
Ultimate Combo in this game can only be executed when your character is down to only 15% of health; with ‘Danger’ flashing over the Health Bar. Ultimate Combos are really large combos which can be executed after a combo.
The primary feature of an Ultimate Combo is that it cannot be broken by using a Combo Breaker.
Since the combos and juggling system in this game is very extensive; the game offers a way to break your opponents’ extremely long and damaging combos. However, if you don’t want your efforts ruined, you can always execute a Counter Breaker which will make your opponent’s Combo Breaker useless and the enemy character will no longer be able to use a Combo Breaker for a specific time frame i.e. 4 seconds.
In order to land a successful Combo Breaker, you need to guess what your opponent is likely to use during the combo. Combo Breakers can be executed by pressing Punch + Kick at the same time. If you think that the opponent will use a Light Attack in a combo, you need to press Light Punch + Light Kick to break the combo and vice versa.
Locked Combo Breaker
Pressing wrong buttons combination to break your opponent’s combo results in a Locked Combo Breaker which is indicating by a red/yellow cross over your character’s head for 3 seconds. This gives your opponent a chance of completing the combo without worrying about further Combo Breakers from you; for 3 seconds.
Red Cross over a character’s head indicates the failure in guessing the kind of attack the opponent has used. Whereas, Yellow Cross indicate the wrong timing. Other than this, both are identical in what they do.
Prior to executing a Combo Breaker, you should keep a close eye on your opponent’s attacks. Heavy and Medium attacks are a bit slow in their execution and can be seen accurately. As for the Light Attacks, they are quite fast and need precise timing.
You can counter your opponent’s Combo Breaker by pressing Medium Punch + Medium Kick as soon as you see your opponent’s Combo Breaker; it needs very strict timing. A successful Counter Breaker makes you immune from further Combo Breakers for 4 seconds.
A successful Counter Combo also allows you to launch an Opener followed by a new combo along with a KV meter reset. And in case, you fail at executing the Counter Breaker at the right time, your opponent’s Potential Damage will begin re-filling and you will be vulnerable to your opponent’s combos.
How to Combo Break Different Attacks?
Breaking a Manual Double is more hard then breaking an Auto Double since you don’t get enough time to see the attack and execute your Combo Breaker. Just like Manual Doubles need precise timing, so does its Combo Breaker.
Linkers can be broken by following the tips I have provided above! A Linker executed with a Light attack can only be broken by the combination of Light Punch + Light Kick. As for the Enders, they are usually unbreakable except when they are used immediately after an Opener.
Shadow Linkers usually comprise of 5 hits and it is extremely hard to use a Combo Breaker on these attacks. In order to Combo Break a Shadow Linker, you will have to Combo Break at least 3 hits out of 5 correctly.
Failed to do so will lead to a Red Cross Locked Combo Breaker.
A good way of executing your Counter Break is to use a simple attack so that your opponent Combo Breaks it and you can Counter Break it. Another way of getting a Locked Combo Breaker on your opponent is to use a Shadow Attack which are very hard to break.
Using Instincts to Extend a Combo
While you are executing a combo, you can press Heavy Punch + Heavy Kick to activate the Instinct Mode. Instinct Mode resets your KV meter so that you can launch a completely new combo.
You can start a combo once again and when your KV meter reaches max, activate the Instinct Mode again to get it reset. After doing all this, launch an Ender to get your Potential Damage.
You can also activate the Instinct Mode by cancelling an Ender. This will allow you to get the Potential Damage along with getting the KV meter reset to start a new combo. But it will require a lot of practice!